US Requiring HTTPS for all Public Government Websites

Posted on June 09, 2015 by .

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Lately U.S. government websites have been the brunt of attacks where hackers found ways to deface some of them and collect sensitive data in other cases. To put a stop to this chaos, it is being mandated by the U.S. government that all public government websites utilizing the HTTPS security protocol.

HTTPS deployment is an assurance of a website having authenticated communications with the data sent back and forth over the internet. With HTTPS, which is known as HTTP over SSL or HTTP Secure, websites are encrypted and decrypted with the information that they transmit. Basically, use of HTTPS will make the data transmitted to and from government websites encrypted where attackers could not compromise the information or use it to wage an attack against the sites.

Computer users who often surf the web visiting financial sites or make purchases on legitimate shopping sites are accustomed to seeing a HTTPS site load where the URL field of most web browsers is highlighted green or shows a lock icon. In such cases of using HTTPS, the site prevents eavesdropping and will ultimately ensure the U.S. government of information transmitted over the vast internet being secure.

With the actions of the government making all publicly accessible sites use HTTPS, it will be difficult for third parties to intercept communications. In the end, this will fortify the U.S. government and make the sites secure for all users, not use those outside of the U.S. government.

The U.S. CIO, Tony Scott, said, “With this new requirement, the Federal web community seeks to drive faster internet-wide adoption of HTTPS and promote better privacy standards for the entire browsing public.”

With Edward Snowden’s many revelations about the U.S. government and their alleged snooping on the public, the irony gets thick as attackers and hacker activist groups wage war on many U.S. government sites that have proven to be vulnerable.

In March, the proposal of mandatory use of HTTPS was issued after the government started accepting comments on its plans from the security community and public. As it turns out, the consideration is a real thing and is in process of being deployed.

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