CertFP

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Introduction

This page describes how to connect, and identify yourself to services securely via a certificate fingerprint.

A major advantage of using a CertFP to authenticate is that you don't have to use /msg NickServ IDENTIFY anymore.

By using SSL you are also encrypting the connection between you and the server.

Creating the certificate

OpenSSL

We will be using OpenSSL to create the certificate. If you haven't already, please install OpenSSL using these instructions:

Windows Linux
Notes:
  • At the time of writing this tutorial, Windows 8.1 and 10 with Win64 OpenSSL v1.1.1g Light were used.
  • In case of 32-bit files; replace every occurrence of Win64 with Win32.


Download and install the latest version of Win64 OpenSSL v1.1.1 Light.

  • The default installation folder should be fine.
  • For this exercise, Copy OpenSSL DLLs to: The OpenSSL binaries (/bin) directory is good enough. Select otherwise if you'd like for these encryption libraries to be available to other software; e.g., some IRC clients.
Most distributions come with OpenSSL or have the OpenSSL package in their repositories. If they don't, please go to https://www.openssl.org/ and install it.


Generating a .pem

To generate the required .pem file, you will need to create a key and a certificate first:

Windows Linux
  1. Start menu → OpenSSL → Win64 OpenSSL Command Prompt
  2. Type in openssl and press  Enter . The prompt should change now into OpenSSL>
  3. Type in req -nodes -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout Rizon.key -x509 -days 365 -out Rizon.cer and press  Enter
openssl req -nodes -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout Rizon.key -x509 -days 365 -out Rizon.cer


Assuming your commands were entered successfully, you will be asked some questions. Fill them in similarly to what is shown below:

Country Name (2 letter code) [US]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Texas]:Michigan
Locality Name (eg, city) [San Antonio]:Grand Rapids
Organization Name (eg, company) [Stealth3]: Rizon
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) [ISP]: IRC
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:Rebel_n00b
Email Address []:rebel@rizon.net


By now, two files have been generated; which you will need to combine together as follows:

Windows Linux
  1. Type exit to exit out of the OpenSSL program.
  2. Type copy Rizon.cer+Rizon.key Rizon.pem and press  Enter
cat Rizon.cer Rizon.key > Rizon.pem

Configuring your client

This section varies highly from client to client.

KVIrc

Move the Rizon.pem file to a safe place.

  • Go to SettingsConfigure KVIrc
  • Go to ConnectionAdvanced
  • On the tab SSL check Use SSL certificate and Use SSL private key and point both to the Rizon.pem file you created.
  • Change your connection settings and enable the SSL option.

mIRC

Move the Rizon.pem file to a safe place. Make sure SSL is enabled in your mIRC by typing //echo -a $sslready which should return $true. If not, then go here https://www.mirc.com/ssl.html

  • Go to ToolsOptionsConnectOptions
  • Press the SSL... button.
    If there isn't one, then upgrade your mIRC to the latest version. Otherwise, follow the OpenSSL installation steps properly, noting the second Notes bullet point.
  • Click on the empty box below Private key file:, navigate to where you placed your Rizon.pem and select it.
  • Do the same for Certificate chain file:
  • Press OK , (re)connect, and add your certificate fingerprint to NickServ.
  • Finally, to check whether you are connected with SSL, //echo -a $ssl should return $true.

XChat

XChat uses the .pem file that corresponds with the name of the network under Network list. If irc.rizon.net is named under Rizon, then all you have to do is move the Rizon.pem file to ~/.xchat2/Rizon.pem or  C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\X-Chat 2. If it's not named Rizon, then you will have to either rename the .pem file, or rename the network that irc.rizon.net is listed under, so they match each other. Once you are done with that:

  • Go to XChatNetwork List
  • In the Networks list, find Rizon and press Edit...
  • Select the box Use SSL for all the servers on this network.
  • Press Close and then press Connect
  • Add your certificate fingerprint to NickServ.

HexChat

HexChat uses the .pem file that corresponds with the name of the network under Network list. If irc.rizon.net is named under Rizon, then all you have to do is move the  Rizon.pem file to ~/.config/hexchat/certs/Rizon.pem or  C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\hexchat\certs. If it's not named Rizon, then you will have to either rename the .pem file, or rename the network that irc.rizon.net is listed under, so they match each other. Once you are done with that:

  • Go to HexChatNetwork List
  • In the Networks list, find Rizon and press Edit...
  • Select the box Use SSL for all the servers on this network.
  • Press Close and then press Connect
  • Add your certificate fingerprint to NickServ.

HexChat Documentation

WeeChat

  • Quit WeeChat
  • Move Rizon.pem to ~/.weechat/ssl/Rizon.pem
  • Open ~/.weechat/irc.conf
  • Make the following options look like this:
# changing the port to 6697 or 9999 is what matters
rizon.addresses = "irc.rizon.net/6697"
rizon.ssl = on
rizon.ssl_cert = "%h/ssl/Rizon.pem"
# 2048 is the default anyway... *shrugs*
rizon.ssl_dhkey_size = 2048

Irssi

ZNC

  • Ensure the Cert module is loaded (cert not certauth).
  • To add your certificate/pem file, either:
    • Copy and paste the contents of the *.pem file into the *certauth web interface at
      http<s>://<url>:<port>/mods/network/<rizon net name>/cert/
    or
    • If you are using cert as a user module, move your certificate to ~/.znc/users/<user>/moddata/cert/user.pem
    • If you are using cert as a network module, move your certificate to ~/.znc/users/<user>/networks/<rizon net name>/moddata/cert/user.pem
  • Add your certificate fingerprint to NickServ.

Quassel

  • Go to Quassel and click SettingsConfigure Quassel (or press F7).
  • Click Identities in the left-hand sidebar, and choose the identity you wish to associate your certificate with.
  • In the Advanced tab, under the Use SSL Certificate section, load the Rizon.pem file you created.

You can check to make sure this is setup correctly by typing /msg *cert info. If you get back You have a certificate in: <path> then you're done. You can now use /msg *status connect to reconnect using cert.

If you have configured everything correctly, you should see the following when you connect to Rizon:

*** Connected securely via TLSv1.2 ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384-256
*** Your client certificate fingerprint is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Welcome to the Rizon Internet Relay Chat Network Rebel_n00b


Add the certificate fingerprint to NickServ

First, identify yourself through services with /msg NickServ IDENTIFY password.

Next, just copy and paste this line /msg NickServ ACCESS ADD FINGERPRINT

Disable whatever auto-authentication you had with NickServ before you saw this tutorial, and reconnect. If it worked, you will be identified by services automatically via the fingerprint.

If you have any questions, feel free to join #ssl or #help and ask.