Contrary of verifying a certificate which is a well-known procedure, I am wondering what the procedure is to verify a raw public key 'certificate' (https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7250). This certificate, as a matter of fact, does not carry any signature.


1 Answer 1


It is outside the scope of TLS and must be arranged out of band.

Raw public keys come without any signatures and cannot be verified without additional knowledge. Section 1 of the RFC mentions a few ways how they might be verified in some situations. They all amount to receiving the public key through some other authenticated channel.

  • The TLS client can obtain the TLS server public key from a DNSSEC- secured resource record using DNS-Based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) [RFC6698].
  • The TLS client or server public key is obtained from a [PKIX] certificate chain from a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [LDAP] server or web page.
  • The TLS client and server public key is provisioned into the operating system firmware image and updated via software updates.

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