Certificate Transparency only applies to CAs that are publicly-trusted - that is, CAs that are supported by your browser or device out of the box, without any additional configuration steps.
For CAs that have been manually installed, provided those certificates are not or have not been publicly-trusted, it’s not necessary to enable support for Certificate Transparency. Further, Certificate Transparency Logs will not accept certificates from those CAs, thus it’s not possible to support CT.
In some cases, an Enterprise may have a locally-trusted CA that has been manually installed, but it was previously publicly-trusted. For example, this CA may have been removed by a browser or an OS for not complying with the root store policies, but the Enterprise may still have a dependency on trusting this CA. In these cases, the Enterprise can use Enterprise Policies to configure how Certificate Transparency will be enforced for those CAs.
For Enterprises that have domain names that are internal to their organization, and do not need to be publicly-trusted by default, several options exist to enable these domains to be kept private, while allowing the certificates to still be used, without error, for users in their organization.
The recommended option is to no longer rely on publicly-trusted certificates to serve these domains, as they are organization specific. For example, such organizations can use a private CA, which several CAs offer. Using a hosted, managed PKI may help organizations more rapidly respond to change in the TLS ecosystem, such as changes to certificate algorithms or support for new protocols.
Another option is to request that the publicly-trusted CA not log the certificate. This will prevent this certificate from being trusted by default, but organizations that manage their devices or users can override this through Enterprise Policies to enable these certificates to be trusted for users in their Enterprise.
Finally, organizations may manage their own PKI in-house, using CA software such as CFSSL, Boulder, EJBCA or Active Directory Certificate Services. Managing certificates in-house may be more complex and security risky, but offers an alternative solution to partnering with a certificate provider.
Some Enterprises rely on Certificate Authorities that have not been audited to the same standard as other CAs or been operated to the same security requirements. These CAs would not be trusted in new products, nor other root programs, but may be trusted on one or more platforms that Chrome runs on. Because they are trusted by default, they are subject to the Chrome’s policies on requiring CT, but due to their legacy status, may not be prepared. While the requirement to disclose new certificates via Certificate Transparency has been communicated, some may not do so, causing their new certificates to not be trusted. This is most common with CAs run by governments, as they rarely meet the required security standards of a widely-trusted CA.
Organizations that need to use certificates from these CAs should be aware that their certificates will not be trusted if they do not support CT, and so should look for CAs that do support CT. Alternatively, supporting CT via TLS may be the only way to ensure these certificates continue to work, but that requires the Enterprise constantly keep track of changes regarding Certificate Transparency.
Organizations that need to trust certificates from these CAs, such as when talking to other organizations that need to use these CAs, can configure Enterprise Policies for users in their organization, which will allow trust in these certificates. As these only apply to Enterprise users, these policies are not suitable for making these certificates trusted more widely.
Several Chrome-specific policies exist that allow Enterprises to configure their machines or users to disable Certificate Transparency for certain cases. These policies are documented in the master policy list, but detailed further below.
This policy has been available since Chrome 53, and allows for disabling Certificate Transparency enforcement for a certain set of domains or subdomains, without disabling Certificate Transparency altogether.
If you wish to disable CT for a given hostname, and all of its subdomains, then
the domain is simply entered into the list. For example,
disable CT for
example.com and all subdomains.
If you wish to disable CT only for a given hostname, but wish to ensure that
subdomains will still have CT enabled, then prefix the domain with a leading
dot. For example,
.example.com will disable CT for
while leaving it enabled for subdomains.
This policy, available since Chrome 57, allows for disabling Certificate Transparency enforcement if certain conditions are met in the trusted certificate chain. This allows disabling CT without having to list all of the domain names, but only for certificates issued to a specific organization.
Certificates are specified in this policy by applying Base64 to a hash of their
subjectPublicKeyInformation, as well as specifying the hash algorithm used.
This format is very similar to that used by
HTTP Public Key Pinning (HPKP), so that
sites can use the same examples
or tools used to generate HPKP
hashes to determine how to configure the policy. Note that while both use
Base64, an HPKP hash will be in the form
pin-sha256="hash", while the policy
will be in the form
To disable Certificate Transparency for these certificates, the certificate must match one of the following conditions:
This policy, available since Chrome 67, allows for disabling Certificate Transparency enforcement for certain legacy CAs that have not adopted modern security and audit requirements required of publicly-trusted CAs. This is particularly tailored towards CAs that are trusted on some platforms that Chrome runs on, but are not trusted on ChromeOS or Android, due to not meeting the necessary security requirements.
CAs are specified in this policy by applying Base64 to a hash of their
subjectPublicKeyInformation, the same as in
However, these CAs must also be recognized as Legacy CAs in the
file, which means that they are not trusted on ChromeOS or Android, but are
trusted on another platform that Chrome runs on.
This policy is the riskiest of the three Enterprise policies, in that such legacy CAs can represent the greatest security threat to an organization, as they lack either the audits or compliance with industry best practice and root store requirements. Enterprises should only enable this policy if no other option meets their needs.