Archive for September, 2010

Managing Certificate Revocation Lists and Certificate Stores

Vadims has published a couple of articles with great examples of how to use PowerShell to manage CRLs (Certificate Revocation List) and local certificate stores.

CRL tasks include:

  • Importing CRL:
$crl = Import-QADCertificateRevocationList -File C:\pica-1.crl
  • Reviewing CRL details:
$crl | format-list *
  • Add CRL to local certificate store:
Add-QADCertificateRevocationList -CRL $crl -Store $store
  • CRL removal:
Get-QADCertificateRevocationList -Store $store |
  where-object {$_.IssuedBy -like "sysadmins*"} |
  Remove-QADCertificateRevocationList -Store $store
  • CRL export:
Export-QADCertificateRevocationList -CRL $crl -File c:\customcrl.crl
  • Publishing CRL:
Publish-QADCertificateRevocationList -CRL $crl -CAName CustomCAName
  • Unpublishing CRL:
Get-QADPKIObject CDP |
  Get-QADCertificateRevocationList |
  where-object {$_.IssuedBy -like "sysadmins*"} |
  Unpublish-QADCertificateRevocationList -CAName "CustomCAName"

For certificate store management, Vadims goes through:

  • Exploring certificate stores:
Get-QADLocalCertificateStore -StoreLocation LocalMachine -StoreName My |
  Get-QADCertificate
  • Adding certificate stores:
New-QADLocalCertificateStore -StoreLocation CurrentUser -StoreName CustomStoreNameToAdd
  • Removing certificate stores:
Remove-QADLocalCertificateStore -StoreLocation LocalMachine -StoreName CustomStoreToDelete

For all these, Vadims is providing tons of details so I highly recommend checking those out:

Managing Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL) with PowerShell

Managing Certificate Stores with PowerShell

PKI management with PowerShell

Guide for Using Quest AD-PKI cmdlets: Using PowerShell to manage your security certificatesComplete guide for security certificate management with AD cmdlets 1.4 got recently published here and is a must-read if you want to automate your public key infrastructure (PKI).

PKI allows security administrators to uniquely identify and trust hardware devices by using digital certificates. This technique is one of the most secure access strategies, but can also be complicated to set up and manage. This guide reviews the security concepts surrounding digital certificate management and details how the AD-PKI cmdlets can be used with Active Directory to simplify PKI management.

Here’s the table of content from the guide:

  • Understanding Digital Certificates
    • Cryptography Fundamentals
      • Symmetric Encryption
      • Asymmetric Encryption
      • Best Practices for Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption
  • Types of Certificates
    • X509 Certificate Version 1
    • X509 Certificate Version 2
    • X509 Certificate Version 3
      • Common Certificate Extensions
  • Certificate Revocation List
    • X509 Certificate Revocation List Version 1
    • X509 Certificate Revocation List Version 2
      • Common CRL Extensions
  • Certificate Stores and Containers
    • Local Certificate Stores
    • Active Directory Certificate Containers
  • Certificate cmdlet Descriptions
  • Object Structures of Certificate Stores, Certificates, and CR
    • Certificate Store
    • Certificate
    • Certificate Revocation List (CRL)
  • Using Quest AD PKI-related cmdlets
    • Working with Certificate Stores
      • Explore Certificate Store
      • Create Certificate Store Container
      • Delete Certificate Store Container
    • Adding Certificates to a Certificate Store
      • Certificate File Types
      • Import a Single Certificate
      • Import a Pkcs7 Certificate Container
      • Import a Serialized Store
      • Import a Pkcs12 Certificate with a Private Key
      • Add Imported Certificates to a Store
      • Add an Imported Certificate to a User Account
      • Advanced Techniques
    • Exporting Certificates from a Certificate Store
      • Simple Certificate Export
      • Export a Certificate with a Private Key
      • Export Multiple Certificates
  • Working with Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs)
    • Add CRLs to a Certificate Store
    • Export CRLs from a Certificate Store
    • Remove a CRL from a Certificate Store
  • Manage Active Directory PKI-related Containers
    • Publish a Certificate to Active Directory Containers
    • Remove a Certificate from Active Directory Containers
    • Publish CRLs to Active Directory Containers
    • Remove CRLs from Active Directory

Download the ebook “Guide for Using QuestAD-PKI cmdlets: Using PowerShell to manage your security certificates” and get the most out of your PKI environment.

Improved script-signing in PowerGUI

Kirk has just updated his Script Editor add-on allowing you to sign your PowerShell scripts.

Script-signing is a highly-recomended best practice in PowerShell and the best way to prevent accidentally changed scripts or scripts downloaded from the internet and not properly tested and verified to be executed in your environment.

Kirk’s add-on is a great way to have code-signing integrated right into your script development environment absolutely for free. This is also one of our most popular add-ons which already had more than 700 downloads.

The new features include:

  • Replaced test certificate functionality with View Certificate, and updated result to show the certificate properties in the native windows dialog,
  • Updated script signing certificate search algorithm to search only in the “My” containers (the only places where script signing certificates will be stored),
  • Switched the default signing method to include all certificates in the chain.

Download the PowerShell Script-Signing add-on for PowerGUI here and let us know what you think.

PKI Management Console 1.5

Vadim‘s enterprise certificate management PowerPack went 1.5 and got significantly enhanced. The new features include:

  • Native use of Quest AD Cmdlets (version 1.4.2) – so better performance and the code which is easier to understand.
  • Additional error handling.
  • Certification Authorities information includes CA CRL status.
  • New Active Directory PKI node that contains the most common AD PKI-related containers. You can review container contents and publish/unpublish certificates/CRLs by using new actions.
  • Now the PowerPack correctly retrieves all available Enterprise OCSP Responders even if they are not running CA service.
  • For Certificates node now has two subcontainers: Certificates and CRLs. This allows you to browse both — certificates and CRLs in the local certificate store. For CRLs added new basic actions.
  • Graphical dialog boxes for certificate export and import actions.

And of course it still has the great functionality from previous versions:

Here’s a very quick summary of some of the features his tool has:

  • Certificate Authorities management:
    • CRL Distribution Points (CDP)
    • Authority Information Access (AIA) settings
    • Review CRLs
    • Publish new CRLs
    • Change CRL publishing periods including overlap settings
    • Revoked Certificates
    • Issued Certificates
    • Pending requests
    • Failed requests
    • Issued certificate templates
    • Revoke/unrevoke certificates
    • Issue or deny pending requests for certificates
    • Add/remove certificate templates to issue
    • Change CRL/CRT/OCSP URL priorities
  • Local certificate store management:
    • Import/Export certificates using various certificate types (such CER/pkcs12/pkcs7/SST)
    • Copy/move certificates between stores
    • Delete certificate from store
    • Validate certificates passing them through certificate chaining engine
    • Sign files
  • Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) Responders management
    • Review and change OCSP Responder settings
    • Change OCSP URL priorities

All of these support bulk operations, filtering, and reporting. All are available with their source PowerShell code for your reference and scripting.

Learn more about the Enterprise PKI PowerPack and download it here.

New PowerShell, AD, PowerGUI Training

LeadThem Consulting together with Quest Software developed and started offering professional classes covering:

This is a great hands-on training which you can order to help IT professionals in your company get up to speed with PowerShell and these popular PowerShell tools so they can get the most out of the technology available to them.

The training is available in North America, Europe and Asia, in English, Japanese, French and Spanish.

Go to the LeadThem Consulting PowerShell training page to learn the details on the topics covered, and sign up for the training. PowerShell skills you get from a training like that make a great return on investment!


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The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer - WSO2 or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

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