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About X.509 Certificates

X.509 Authentication

X.509 is the name of a standard for authentication certificates. A common name for the standard is an SSL certificate. 

Auto-Enrolled X.509 Certificates

A Windows Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) was installed at Argonne and configured to issue X.509 certificates automatically to persons logging in with their ANL Domain credentials to computers that are members of the anl.gov domain. The Argonne Certificate Authority (CA) server in the Windows PKI issues X.509 certificates.

If you use an auto enrolled X.509 certificate (or a smart card with an X.509 certificate) issued by the Argonne CA on a computer that is not a member of the anl.gov domain, you may need to install the CA certificate or CA certificate chain into your computer's certificate store.  If the application using the certificate is written in Java, you may need to install the CA certificate or CA certificate chain into the java certificate store.  See your system documentation for specific procedures. 

You may get the Argonne CA certificates by navigating to https://certificates.anl.gov and choosing the link for downloads. Then choose the link to download the base 64 CA certificate or CA certificate chain.

kx509 Certificates

A kx509 certificate is an X.509 certificate derived from Kerberos credentials and issued by an Argonne CA. Because your ANL Domain credentials are Kerberos credentials, you may use them to obtain a kx509 certificate.

The kx509 certificate is issued by the Argonne kx509 CA in one of two ways:

  1. If you run the kx509 utility when you login to your Windows system with ANL Domain credentials, the utility obtains a short-term personal SSL certificate for you.You may use the personal certificate to logon to web sites.
  2. If you do not login to your Windows system with ANL Domain credentials, you can still authenticate to the Argonne Kerberos infrastructure with your ANL Domain credentials and obtain a personal certificate using the kx509 utility.

Short-term Nature of X.509 Certificates

Both auto-enrolled certificates and kx509 certificates are issued with an expiration date measured in days.


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