Here’s Where Google Hid the SSL Certificate Information That You May Need


UPDATE (December 2, 2017): Easy Access to SSL Certificate Information Is Returning to Google’s Chrome Browser

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Google has a great security team, so it’s something of a head-scratcher when they misfire. Or should we be wondering if the Chrome user interface crew had enough coffee lately?

Either way, Google Chrome users have been contacting me wondering why they no longer could access the detailed status of Chrome https: connections, or view the organization and other data associated with SSL certificates for those connections.

Up to now for the stable version of Chrome, you simply clicked the little green padlock icon on an https: connection, clicked on the “Details” link that appeared, and a panel then opened that gave you that status, along with an obvious button to click for viewing the actual certificate data such as Organization, issuance and expiration dates, etc.

Suddenly, that “Details” link no longer is present. Seemingly, Google just doesn’t feel that “ordinary” users need to look at that data these days.

I beg to differ. I’ve frequently trained “ordinary” users to check that information when they question the authenticity of an https: connection — after all, crooks can get SSL certificates too, so verifying the certificate issuance-related data often makes sense.

Well, it turns out that you can still get this information from Chrome, but apparently Google now assumes that folks are so clairvoyant that they can figure out how to do this through the process of osmosis — or something.

The full certificate data is available from the “Developers tools” panel under the “Security” label. In fact, that’s where this info has been for quite some time, but since the now missing “Details” link took you directly to that panel, most users probably didn’t even realize that they were deep in the Developers tools section of the browser.

To get the certificate data now, here’s what you need to do. 

First, get into Developer tools. You can do this via Chrome’s upper-right three vertical dots, then click “More tools” — then “Developer tools” — or on many systems you can just press the F12 button.

But wait, there’s still more (yeah, Google took a simple click in an intuitive place and replaced it with a bunch of clicks scattered around).

Once the panel opens, look up at its top. If you don’t see the word “Security” already, click on the “>>” to the right of “Console” — then look down the list that appears and click on “Security” — which will open the Security panel with all of the certificate-related goodies. When you’re done there, click the big “X” in the upper right of the panel to return to normal browser operations.

And don’t feel too badly if you didn’t figure all of this out for yourself. Even Houdini might have had problems with this one.

–Lauren–