The "Serial number" attribute of a certificate may be a negative value when you create a self-signed certificate in Windows XP

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Article ID: 945342 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

You call the CertCreateSelfSignCertificate function to create a self-signed certificate in Windows XP. When you do this, the Serial number attribute of the created certificate may be a negative value.

This behavior does not comply with the Request for Comments (RFC) 3280 specifications. Additionally, some applications may experience problems if those applications do not expect a negative serial number.

CAUSE

This problem occurs because the CertCreateSelfSignCertificate function follows the RFC 2459 specifications instead of the RFC 3280 specifications.

RESOLUTION

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.
After you apply this hotfix, the CertCreateSelfSignCertificate function generates self-signed certificates that are in compliance with RFC 3280.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must have Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
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File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Crypt32.dll5.131.2600.3260598,52826-Nov-200716:59x86

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

Another hotfix resolves the same problem in Windows Server 2003.
For more information about the hotfix for Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
945344 The "Serial number" attribute of a self-signed certificate has a negative value when you call the CertCreateSelfSignCertificate function to create the certificate in Windows Server 2003

Serial number requirements for RFC 3280

RFC 3280 imposes the following requirements for the Serial number attribute:
  • The serial number must be a positive integer that is assigned by the certification authority.
  • The serial number must be unique for each certificate that is issued by a given certification authority.

Serial number requirements for RFC 2459

RFC 2459 imposes the following requirements for the Serial number attribute:
  • The serial number must be an integer that is assigned by the certification authority.
  • The serial number must be unique for each certificate that is issued by a given certification authority.
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Properties

Article ID: 945342 - Last Review: December 10, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbwinxppresp3fix kbexpertiseinter kbbug kbfix kbhotfixserver kbqfe KB945342

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