Manage DS certificates
All the certificates for card schemes supported by ActiveServer can be managed from the Directory Servers page, under the Certificates tab.
A user requires the System admin role to manage DS certificates.
To manage a card scheme's certificates:
Select the appropriate card scheme tab at the top of the page to display its details.
Client and server certificates¶
In a 3DS2 authentication, both inbound and outbound traffic with the DS is required to be mutually authenticated, meaning ActiveServer will act as both a HTTPS client and a server in different processes.
ActiveServer acts as a client when it connects to the card scheme's DS to send the initial AReq. The client certificate is used to verify and authenticate ActiveServer in this flow, with this connection also being used to receive the resulting ARes from the DS when it is ready.
If an authentication requires a challenge, ActiveServer will act as a server when it is time for the DS to notify us of the authentication results in the RReq and respond with the RRes.
This certificate/s is downloaded from the card scheme, usually after providing a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
Each certificate has the following table information displayed:
- Certificate information - certificate details of the installed certificate.
- Status - displays whether the certificate has been signed by a trusted CA. Valid indicates the CA Certificate has been successfully installed in ActiveServer, whereas Not Valid indicates no associated CA Certificate can be found.
- Validity - start and end dates for certificate validity.
- Issuer - name of the CA issuer that signed the certificate.
- Hash algorithm - hash algorithm used for the certificate signature.
- Export | Delete - Export or delete a certificate.
The following processes can be carried out for client certificate management:
To assist with the generation of a CSR, ActiveServer provides this functionality via the Create CSR button. However, it also possible to do this process manually if you prefer, using an external method such as OpenSSL.
The certificate content should be filled in as appropriate for the card schemes requirements, with the following options available:
- Key size - key size of the request, measured in bits .
- Common Name – hostname that will use the certificate, usually a fully-qualified domain name. For the server certificate, this must be the hostname of ActiveServer. For the client certificate, this will usually be the same as the sever certificate, however some card schemes may have different requirements. This value will be pre-filled with the 3DS Server URL setting of the DS if it available.
- Organization – legal name of your company or organization.
- Organization Unit – departmental or division name for your group.
- City – city where your company is located.
- Province – province or state where your company is located.
- Two letter country code – two-character abbreviation for your country.
- Hash algorithm - hash algorithm used to sign the CSR.
Creating a CSR will generate the CSR content and an associated private key to be stored in the database.
Only one CSR for the client certificate and one CSR for server certificates can be stored at a time, per card scheme.
Download CSR will export the CSR content to a
.csr file in the following file name pattern: "Common Name"_"Card Scheme".csr, e.g.
Download CSR will only be available if a CSR has already been created in the system.
Delete CSR will delete both the CSR content and associated private key from the system.
Delete CSR will only be available if a CSR has already been created in the system.
Deleting a CSR is permanent and will invalidate any outstanding CSRs waiting to be signed, meaning they will be unable to be installed.
Install Certificate will install a signed certificate, either using the raw certificate content or certificate file.
The certificate can be in one of the following formats:
.pem. ActiveServer will try each file type one by one when installing. If the file type requires a password, such as
.p12, enter the password on the install certificate page.
ActiveServer will attempt to use a private key if it is included with a
.jks file, otherwise it will use an existing private key created by the system if it is available. See below for information on creating your own private key.
If the card scheme provider only requires one certificate for client and server connections, the Server certificate is the same as the client certificate option can be selected. This will install the certificate to both the client and server sections.
To ensure the correct certificate type is being installed to the correct section, ActiveServer will check the certificate extension X509v3 Extended Key Usage and perform the following checks:
- Client certificate - must have the value TLS Web Client Authentication. If the value TLS Web Server Authentication is missing, the Server certificate is the same as the client certificate option will be disabled.
- Server certificate - must have the value TLS Web Server Authentication
Install certificate will save the certificate to the database, then remove any outstanding CSR content from the system, as well as the local private key if an external private key was provided. After this a new CSR and private key are able to be created if required.
Important: Restart required for new certificates
To use newly installed certificates, the ActiveSever instance must be restarted to refresh the DS connectors.
It is only possible to have one client and one server certificate at a time, installing another certificate will cause the current certificate and private key to be overwritten.
Export and delete¶
Client and server certificates are able to be exported for backup purposes or deleted if required by selecting the relevant icon from the certificate table.
Certificates can be Exported in two formats:
- PKCS12 keystore (.p12 including private key) - creates a
.p12file including the certificate and associated private key. Optionally a password can be included for the file.
- Certificate only (.pem) - creates a
.pemfile only containing the certificate.
Delete will show a prompt, asking the user to confirm deletion of the certificate, before removing it from the system.
Deleting the certificate is permanent, with exporting the certificate as a backup being recommended first.
CA Certificates are used to verify the CA signer of the server/client certificate for this provider and ensure they are from a valid CA. CA certificates will be automatically added if found in the certificate chain during server/client certificate upload, otherwise they should be added manually to validate installed certificates.
If an associated CA has not been installed, the Certificate Status of the client or server certificate will be Not valid. Deleting a CA will also invalidate previously installed certificates.
The Install Certificate button will show a prompt to search for a local certificate file. Certificate information and functionality shown is the same as described in the Client and Server certificate section, with the addition of the CA Certificate Alias value.
Using external tool for certificate management¶
You can use your chosen tool for generating a CSR and private key. An example using OpenSSL is provided below.
Ensure OpenSSL is installed and open a terminal to perform the following:
Create a RSA Private Key
openssl genrsa -out privateKey.key 2048
Generate the CSR and follow the prompts to enter CSR details
openssl req -new -key privateKey.key -out yourCSR.csr
Once the CSR has been signed by the card scheme, combine the provided signed certificate and card scheme CA certificate chain with the generated private key
openssl pkcs12 -export -out certifcate.p12 -inkey privateKey.key -in signedcertificate.crt -certfile ca-chain.crt
Install the certificate as normal