When you connect to websites you sometimes find yourselves on a secure site, this means that the communications between your computer and the website are encrypted. One of those encryption technologies used is called SHA1.
SHA1 is a hashing function that is designed to hide what you send online, due to its vulnerabilities though its soon to be retired. While stopping the use of old and insecure technologies is a great step, Facebook and Web security firm CloudFlare have warned that when SHA1 stops being supported around 7% of the world’s browsers can’t support the new standard being put in place, SHA256.
Both Facebook and Cloudflare have announced a new mechanism that will allow websites to connect using SHA256, but if you can’t use it their new technology will allow you to continue using SHA1.
While Facebook is rolling the new mechanism across their websites and Cloudflare to websites they host. For other companies who want to adopt the new mechanism, it will be made open source, granting the entire world access to the technology, in the hopes that the tens of millions of people who would be affected can still connect and use the internet without disruption.
While new technologies fixing the problems of the last generation is always a good thing, is the impact of cutting millions of users off from their sites worth it?