I requested a trial certificate from Verisign which I received via email and thus the intermediate and root ones. What I reveived was an PEM certificate, the one with BEGIN and END CERTIFICATE.

I'm using this certificate for https and theres supposed to be a private key for decryption. I generated the CSR file from IIS 8 Windows 2012. The certificate was requested via Google Chrome.

Do IIS have a private key and the CSR is created using this? Where is the private key here?


  • Do you requested trial certificate via browser ? – user45475 Feb 5 '15 at 20:31
  • Generally you would submit your own certificate for VeriSign to sign as a CSR. I'm not sure what downloading their certificate would do. – RoraΖ Feb 5 '15 at 20:31
  • Yes, using Google Chrome. – Jhonnytunes Feb 5 '15 at 20:32
  • Have you entered the DN details and clicked submit button ? – user45475 Feb 5 '15 at 20:33
  • If DN==Domain Name, yes. – Jhonnytunes Feb 5 '15 at 20:41

Your private key lives on your server, yes.

I think it lives inside the registry somewhere by default, but can easily export it using Windows' Certificate Management MMC Snapin. This process has essentially been the same since at least Windows Server 2003.

Here is a walkthrough with screen shots: https://www.digicert.com/ssl-support/pfx-import-export-iis-8.htm

  • But how does Verisign knows which public key pair to use while creating the certificate? – Jhonnytunes Feb 6 '15 at 1:22
  • The CSR contains the Public Key (certificate) that the private key pairs with, so Verisign doesn't need to make any choice. They just sign it with their own private key, and that's what the resulting SSL certificate is. There's a pretty good explanation of the CSR process on wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_signing_request – Dale Anderson Feb 6 '15 at 18:23

If you created the Certificate Signing Request in IIS your private key is stored there. You should be able to export the certificate as a PFX file then extract the private key using the following article.


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