Why does OpenSSL report google's certificate is "self-signed"?

Dr Paul Dale pauli at openssl.org
Thu Apr 1 07:49:20 UTC 2021

Perhaps ask Qualys to answer your concerns directly?  They must have a 
reason for including this warning.


On 1/4/21 5:43 pm, Jan Just Keijser wrote:
> On 31/03/21 19:43, Michael Wojcik wrote:
>>> From: openssl-users<openssl-users-bounces at openssl.org>  On Behalf Of Viktor
>>> Dukhovni
>>> Sent: Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 10:31
>>> To:openssl-users at openssl.org
>>> Subject: Re: Why does OpenSSL report google's certificate is "self-signed"?
>>> It looks like Google includes a self-signed root CA in the wire
>>> certificate chain, and if no match is found in the trust store,
>>> you'll get the reported error.
>> What do people think about this practice of including the root in the chain?
>> As far as I can see, neither PKIX (RFC 5280) nor the CA/BF Baseline Requirements say anything about the practice, though I may have missed something. I had a vague memory that some standard or "best practice" guideline somewhere said the server should send the chain up to but not including the root, but I don't know what that might have been.
>> On the one hand, including the root doesn't help with path validation: either some certificate along the chain is a trust anchor already, in which case there's no need to include the root; or it isn't, in which case the peer has no reason to trust the chain.
>> On the other, it's useful for debugging, and perhaps for quickly finding whether the highest intermediate in the chain is signed by a trusted root if that intermediate is missing an AKID (though we'd hope that isn't the case).
>> I can also see an application deferring trust to the user in this case: "this chain ends in this root, which you don't currently trust, but maybe you'd like to add it?". Which doesn't seem like a great plan either -- and PKIX says trust anchors should be added using a trustworthy out-of-band procedure, which this is not -- but I suppose it's a conceivable use case.
> The only thing I'd like to add to this is that whenever I *do* include 
> the root anchor in a website and run Qualys' ssllabs test on it, I get 
> a (minor) warning:
> Additional Certificates (if supplied)
> Certificates provided     3 (5051 bytes)
> *Chain issues     Contains anchor*
> Unfortunately their documentation does not state *why* they print out 
> this warning or why it would be bad, but I normally remove the trust 
> anchor from the webserver certificate chain nevertheless. It  could 
> very well be that I'm not the only web admin that follows their advice 
> in this respect.
> JM2CW,
> JJK / Jan Just Keijser

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