World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

OCSP stapling

Article Id: WHEBN0014539471
Reproduction Date:

Title: OCSP stapling  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: BREACH (security exploit), Botan (programming library), Certificate Transparency, Nginx, RSA BSAFE
Collection: Cryptographic Protocols, Internet Protocols, Internet Standards, Transport Layer Security
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

OCSP stapling

OCSP stapling, formally known as the TLS Certificate Status Request extension, is an alternative approach to the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) for checking the revocation status of X.509 digital certificates. It allows the presenter of a certificate to bear the resource cost involved in providing OCSP responses, instead of the issuing certificate authority (CA).


  • Motivation 1
  • Solution 2
  • Specification 3
  • Deployment 4
  • Limitations 5
  • References 6


OCSP has several advantages over older Certificate Revocation List (CRL)-based certificate revocation-checking approaches. OCSP can introduce a significant penalty for certificate authorities who are now required to provide responses to every client of a given certificate in real time. When the certificate is issued to a legitimate high traffic web site, for instance, this can result in enormous volumes of OCSP request traffic, all of which serves to indicate that the certificate is valid and can be trusted.

OCSP checking also creates a privacy impairment, since it requires the client to contact a third party (the CA) to confirm certificate validity. A way to verify validity without disclosing browsing behavior would be desirable for some groups of users.


OCSP stapling resolves both problems in a fashion reminiscent of the

  1. ^ P. Hallam-Baker, X.509v3 Extension: OCSP Stapling Required
  2. ^ P. Hallam-Baker X.509v3 TLS Feature Extension draft-hallambaker-tlsfeature-05
  3. ^ A. Langley, No, don't enable revocation checking, April 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Apache HTTP Server mod_ssl documentation - SSLUseStapling directive
  5. ^ nginx-announce mailing list - nginx-1.3.7
  6. ^ Release Log - Litespeed Tech. Retrieved 2014-02-07,
  7. ^ Duncan, Robert. "Microsoft Achieves World Domination (in OCSP Stapling)". Netcraft Ltd. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  8. ^ HAProxy website
  9. ^ Release Note: BIG-IP LTM and TMOS 11.6.0
  10. ^ OCSP Stapling in Firefox, retrieved 2013-07-30
  11. ^ Improving Revocation - MozillaWiki, retrieved 2014-04-28
  12. ^ "How Certificate Revocation Works". TechNet. Microsoft. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Mozilla NSS Bug 360420, Comment by Adam Langley
  14. ^ Mozilla NSS Bug 611836 - Implement multiple OCSP stapling extension
  15. ^ Pettersen, Yngve N. (June 2013). "The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Multiple Certificate Status Request Extension".  


This limitation has been addressed by Multiple Certificate Status Request Extension, specified in RFC 6961. It adds the support for sending multiple OCSP responses.[15]

OCSP stapling is designed to reduce the cost of an OCSP validation---both for the client and the OCSP responder---especially for large sites serving many simultaneous users. However, OCSP stapling supports only one OCSP response at a time, which is insufficient for certificate chains with intermediate CA certs.[13][14]


On the browser side, OCSP stapling was implemented in Firefox 26[10][11] and in Internet Explorer since Windows Vista.[12]

Apache HTTP Server supports OCSP stapling since version 2.3.3,[4] the nginx web server since version 1.3.7,[5] LiteSpeed Web Server since version 4.2.4,[6] Microsoft's IIS since Windows Server 2008,[7] HAProxy since version 1.5.0,[8] and F5 Networks BIG-IP since version 11.6.0. [9]

OCSP stapling has not seen broad deployment to date, however this is changing. The OpenSSL project included support in their 0.9.8g release with the assistance of a grant from the Mozilla Foundation.


[3] OpenSSL bug.Heartbleed TLS developer Adam Langley discussed the extension in an April 2014 article following the repair of the [2] Current version of the proposal has been extended to support also other TLS extensions.[1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.