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UPDATE: Fixed link to cached Obama image thx to notice from JB

While the two front-running candidates engaged in a bizarre, Klingon-esque ritual of hubris regarding which one was the better killer, their respective technical campaign staffers were failing to make the grade on security when it comes to taking your donations.

Earlier this week, I mentioned the most excellent Qualys SSL Certificate Tester and thought it would be interesting to try it on the two front-running US Presidential candidates online donation forms, especially since both candidates are focusing on how much they want to protect the American public.

Let’s just say that the results aren’t stellar, but they are better than I expected.

You can view the results directly from the SSL Labs site by hitting the following links:

While I’m not exactly hopeful either staff will end up fixing the SSL configurations, in the event they do, here are image-cached results of the scans I ran on Saturday, May 5, 2012:

But, you don’t want links, you want results, so here’s the top-level summary comparison:

Mitt Romney

Barack Obama

So, both candidates earn a “C” with Obama’s team scoring 10 total points higher than Romney, but let’s look at the details (only comparing the “bad” categories):

Candidate SSL Configuration Comparison

USERTrust Legacy
Secure Server CA
Go Daddy Secure
Certification Authority
Supports Insecure SSL 2.0
Number Of Weak Cipher Suites
Vulnerable to the BEAST
Weak Ephemeral DH
Chart made with CompareNinja

While it’s somewhat ironic that Romney is vulnerable to the BEAST, both candidates show their true cipher weakness. Ultimately, though, I have to agree with the numerical results (Obama coming out the least bad of the two) if not solely based on Romney supporting insecure SSL 2.0 connections.

Given that the Trustworty Internet Movement‘s SSL Pulse Report made tech headlines just recently and that both the scan and the fixes take about 10 minutes to complete, these results are just, plain sad.

Hopefully no one decided to donate to either candidate while sipping their quad grande no-whip mocha macchiatos at Starbucks.


  1. Link to cached Obama image points to Romney image.

  2. This is a great information and very interesting.It’s not necessarily the case that failing to check the server certificate makes the connection “insecure”. If you’re using SSL because you want an encrypted connection then you get that whether you check the certificate or not. Going to the extent of checking the CA chain may even give a false sense of security given the poor record of CA’s (especially if you don’t also check the certificate revocation list). Thanks a lot for this information.

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