How to View the Contents of a Certificate

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 216830 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q216830
We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. IIS 6.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/prodtech/IIS.mspx
Expand all | Collapse all

SUMMARY

The Windows NT Option Pack ships with a tool called CertUtil, which can be used to display information about certificates. Most certificates are in one of two formats, either Base64-encoded or DER-encoded binary. CertUtil cannot handle the former directly, but it does have an option for converting the file from Base64 to binary.

MORE INFORMATION

If the file is Base64 encoded, you will first need to convert it. You can check the file to see if it's Base64 encoded or not. If it is Base64 encoded, it will look similar to the following:
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----
					
To convert to binary, type CertUtil -decode cert.txt cert.cer .

Note:Cert.txt refers to the BASE64 file and Cert.cer is the name of the new binary file in this example.

Now that you have the file converted, you can query its contents by typing CertUtil cert.cer .

You should then see something similar to the following output:
PKCS7 Message Certificates:
================ Begin Nesting Level 1 ================
X509 Certificate:
Version: 3
Serial Number: 25f51e4e0000115a
Signature Algorithm:
  Algorithm ObjectId: 1.2.840.113549.1.1.4
  Algorithm Parameters:
	05 00                                              ..
Issuer: CN=MS CertSrv Test Group CA, OU=Windows NT, O=Microsoft, L=Redmond, S=WA, C=US
NotBefore: 10/23/1998 3:33 PM
NotAfter: 10/23/1999 3:33 PM
Subject: CN=Name (Signing), OU=IASG, O=Microsoft, L=Redmond, 
                                      S=WA, C=US, E=name@domain.com
Public Key Algorithm:
  Algorithm ObjectId: 1.2.840.113549.1.1.1
  Algorithm Parameters:
	05 00                                              ..
PublicKey: UnusedBits=0
	30 48 02 41 00 d4 c1 0e  6f 0b 86 54 b8 9b 08 de   0H.A....o..T....
	41 87 b5 e8 62 83 a6 42  a6 63 de 5a 9e cc 17 f6   A...b..B.c.Z....
	72 95 52 1f 56 7a 95 ad  33 f0 8e c2 e8 c6 d4 95   r.R.Vz..3.......
	0d ce c4 7a 1a f3 10 28  ca 15 46 4e 48 52 8c 89   ...z...(..FNHR..
	87 f8 5d 0d 1b 02 03 01  00 01                     ..].......
Certificate Extensions: 6
  2.5.29.15: Flags = 0(), Length = 4
    Key Usage
        Digital Signature, Key Encipherment, Data Encipherment, Key Agreement(B8)
  2.5.29.37: Flags = 0(), Length = c
    Enhanced Key Usage
        Client Authentication(1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.2)

  2.5.29.35: Flags = 0(), Length = a9
    Authority Key Identifier
        KeyID=2A58 2026 5B9F CFB1 E328 F42A EA4D F8CA 19CB F3C4
        Certificate Issuer:              Directory Address:
                  CN=MS CertSrv Test Group CA
                  OU=Windows NT
                  O=Microsoft
                  L=Redmond
                  S=WA
                  C=US
        Certificate SerialNumber=1113 6100 AA00 2B86 11D2 5EF8 DDA0 99B4

  2.5.29.31: Flags = 0(), Length = 91
    CRL Distribution Points
        [1]CRL Distribution Point              Distribution Point Name: 
    Full Name:                        
    URL=http://CERTSRV/CertSrv/CertEnroll/MS CertSrv Test Group CA.crl
    [2]CRL Distribution Point              Distribution Point Name:                   
    Full Name:                        
    URL=file://\\CERTSRV\CertSrv\CertEnroll\MS CertSrv Test Group CA.crl 
  2.5.29.19: Flags = 0(), Length = 2
    Basic Constraints
        Subject Type=End Entity         Path Length Constraint=None 
  1.3.6.1.5.5.7.1.1: Flags = 0(), Length = 56
    Authority Information Access
        [1]Authority Info Access              
    AccessMethod=Certification Authority Issuer(1.3.6.1.5.5.7.48.2)  
    Alternative Name:                   
    URL=http://CERTSRV/CertSrv/CertEnroll/CERTSRV_MS CertSrv Test Group CA.crt 
Non-root Certificate
					
Note: This certificate was modified to fit in this window.

For information on how to read the contents of a certificate, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
216831 How to Read and Analyze a Client Certificate

Properties

Article ID: 216830 - Last Review: June 23, 2005 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB216830

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com