The recent discovery of the heartbleed vulnerability has prompted certificate authorities to re-issue certificates.

I have two certificates that were generated before the heartbleed vulnerability was discovered. After the SSL issuer told me to regenerate the certificate I have updated both my servers/domains with the new certificates.

If my understanding is correct then the old certificates should have been revoked by the CA and should have made it to the CRL (Certificate revocation List) or the OCSP database (Online Certificate Status Protocol) otherwise it is technically possible for someone to perform a "man in the middle attack" by regenerating the certificates from information picked up from compromised certificates.

Is there a way to check if my old certificates have made it to CRL and OCSP. If they haven't is there a way to get them included?

UPDATE : The situation is that I have already replaced my certificates all I have is the .crt files of the old certificates so using the url to check is not really possible.

  • You can check using certutil I believe. Have a read here
    – MichelZ
    Apr 22, 2014 at 9:28
  • 1
    I use Ubuntu as my desktop and Centos on my server Apr 22, 2014 at 9:55
  • Then I encourage you to tag your question as such
    – MichelZ
    Apr 22, 2014 at 9:59
  • I recommend a read of this for *nix
    – MichelZ
    Apr 22, 2014 at 11:22
  • @MichelZ - i have tagged the question with Ubuntu Apr 22, 2014 at 11:49

4 Answers 4


Get the ocsp url from your cert:

$ openssl x509 -noout -ocsp_uri -in /etc/letsencrypt/archive/31337.it/cert1.pem

Send a request to the ocsp server to check if the cert is revoked or not:

$ openssl ocsp -issuer /etc/letsencrypt/archive/31337.it/chain4.pem -cert /etc/letsencrypt/archive/31337.it/cert4.pem -text -url http://ocsp.int-x1.letsencrypt.org/ -header "HOST" "ocsp.int-x1.letsencrypt.org"
        This Update: Oct 29 10:00:00 2015 GMT
        Next Update: Nov  5 10:00:00 2015 GMT

this is a good cert.

This is a revoked cert:

$  openssl ocsp -issuer /etc/letsencrypt/archive/31337.it/chain3.pem -cert /etc/letsencrypt/archive/31337.it/cert3.pem -text -url http://ocsp.int-x1.letsencrypt.org/ -header "HOST" "ocsp.int-x1.letsencrypt.org"
        This Update: Oct 29 12:00:00 2015 GMT
        Next Update: Nov  5 12:00:00 2015 GMT
        Revocation Time: Oct 29 12:33:57 2015 GMT
  • This worked for me (thanks), but thought I would also mention that in addition the the Revocation Time, my out displayed a Revocation Reason as well, which was helpful when we contacted the issuer trying to figure out what the heck was going on with the cert.
    – sdek
    May 12, 2017 at 18:14
  • 1
    This almost works for me (openssl 1.1.1 on Ubuntu 18.04); I need to replace the space after HOST with an equals sign (=). (The hostname that follows is fifferent, too.) Feb 1, 2022 at 16:49
  • As @reinierpost points out, with modern Openssl versions (e.g. 1.1.1f on Ubuntu 20.04) the -header argument doesn't take a pair of headers like @Simon indicated ("HOST" "ocsp.int-x1.letsencrypt.org") instead it takes a key=value pair that would look like this -header "HOST=ocsp.int-x1.letsencrypt.org". Additionally, it looks like Let's Encrypt uses this OCSP URL these days : -url http://r3.o.lencr.org -header "HOST=r3.o.lencr.org"
    – gene_wood
    Oct 11 at 17:13

You can use certutil on Windows:

If you have a certificate and want to verify its validity, perform the following command:

certutil -f –urlfetch -verify [FilenameOfCertificate]

For example, use

certutil -f –urlfetch -verify mycertificatefile.cer

Source / More info: TechNet

Additionally, be sure to check with your CA. Just because you rekey the cert / get a new one, does not mean they automatically revoke it!

  • 1
    To install certutil on Ubuntu server use the command sudo apt-get install libnss3-tools. This is not obvious as searching the apt-get cache returns no results for the string certutil . I know that the OP's server is CentOS, but it is possible that other Ubuntu Server admins will find this question helpful as well.
    – dotancohen
    Apr 22, 2014 at 11:25
  • My answer was purely Windows based. I don't know of any *nix implementation of this. See here for a possible *nix solution
    – MichelZ
    Apr 22, 2014 at 11:31
  • 3
    @dotancohen While that program is also called certutil, it's not the same program as certutil.exe on Windows, and is not used in the same way.
    – Dan Getz
    Oct 19, 2015 at 13:30

You can use this SSLLabs service to test SSL certificates, but you need them to be accessible from web. Moreover you can find out some more information, cause this service provide some audit.

  • This requires that the server runs with the old certificate. But having regenerated my certificates all I have is the .crt file of the old certificate. Apr 29, 2014 at 10:54

If you have revoked the certificates through the CA that generated them then they would have made it to OCSP and CRLs.

If you would like to make sure that that is the case, then please extract the ocsp url from the certificate and then construct a ocsp request to that url including the certificate serial number, the ca issuer cert and retrieve the ocsp response and then one could parse it to check and confirm that it is indeed revoked.

More details at this useful page: http://backreference.org/2010/05/09/ocsp-verification-with-openssl/

Note: this requires usage of openssl library.

Edit1: I see that you have added information on OCSP and CRL explicitly after this answer.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .