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October 1 2013 all SSLs will be required to have 2048 bit key lengths.

This means that October 1 2010 there should be no more 3 year renewals for the 1024 key length as those will exceed that date.

And on October 1 2011 there should be no more 2 year renewals for 1024
and on October 1 2012 there should be no more 1 year renewals for 1024.

My question is, when were 2048 bit SSL introduced on major webservers? What kind of timeline was this? Is there typically a setting as to which key length to use?

Any insight on this, such as when the deadline was put in place?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

2048 bit key lengths have been available for quite some time. Not always commercially, though. I was running a Certificate Authority in 2001 that had the ability to mint 2048 bit keys. I didn't do it then since not much supported lengths that long.

OpenSSL had support as early as 0.9.7 (February 2002), and probably earlier, so by extension any products using OpenSSL libraries also had support.

IIS5 (Server 2000) also had 2048 bit support.

It has been there for a long time. BROWSER support wasn't always there, but webserver support has.

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