puwei219 puwei219 - 2 months ago 9
Python Question

How can I decode a SSL certificate using python?

How can I decode a pem-encoded (base64) certificate with Python? For example this here from github.com:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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pVKACvTqzQIDAQABo4IDajCCA2YwHwYDVR0jBBgwFoAUTFjLJfBBT1L0KMiBQ5um
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KwYBBQUHMAGGGGh0dHA6Ly9vY3NwLmRpZ2ljZXJ0LmNvbTBLBggrBgEFBQcwAoY/
aHR0cDovL3d3dy5kaWdpY2VydC5jb20vQ0FDZXJ0cy9EaWdpQ2VydEhpZ2hBc3N1
cmFuY2VFVkNBLTEuY3J0MAwGA1UdEwEB/wQCMAAwYQYDVR0fBFowWDAqoCigJoYk
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AVYeggFSAEEAbgB5ACAAdQBzAGUAIABvAGYAIAB0AGgAaQBzACAAQwBlAHIAdABp
AGYAaQBjAGEAdABlACAAYwBvAG4AcwB0AGkAdAB1AHQAZQBzACAAYQBjAGMAZQBw
AHQAYQBuAGMAZQAgAG8AZgAgAHQAaABlACAARABpAGcAaQBDAGUAcgB0ACAAQwBQ
AC8AQwBQAFMAIABhAG4AZAAgAHQAaABlACAAUgBlAGwAeQBpAG4AZwAgAFAAYQBy
AHQAeQAgAEEAZwByAGUAZQBtAGUAbgB0ACAAdwBoAGkAYwBoACAAbABpAG0AaQB0
ACAAbABpAGEAYgBpAGwAaQB0AHkAIABhAG4AZAAgAGEAcgBlACAAaQBuAGMAbwBy
AHAAbwByAGEAdABlAGQAIABoAGUAcgBlAGkAbgAgAGIAeQAgAHIAZQBmAGUAcgBl
AG4AYwBlAC4wHQYDVR0lBBYwFAYIKwYBBQUHAwEGCCsGAQUFBwMCMBEGCWCGSAGG
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cR+GnW01Poa7ZhqLhZi5AEzLQrVG/AbnRDnI6FLYERQjs3KW6RSUni8AKPfVBEVA
AMb0V0JC3gmJlxENFFxrvQv3GKNfZwLzCThjv8ESnTC6jqVUdFlTZ6EbUFsm2v0T
flkXv0nvlH5FpP06STLwav+JjalhqaqblkbIHOAYHOb7gvQKq1KmyuhUItnbKj1a
InuA6gcF1PnH8FNZX7t3ft6TcEFOI8t4eXnELurXZioY99HFfOISeIKNHeyCngGi
5QK+eKG5WVjFTG9PpTG0SVtemB4uOPYZxDmiSvt5BbjyWeUmEnCtwOh1Ix8Y0Qvg
n2Xkw9dJh1tybLEvrG8=
-----END CERTIFICATE----


According to ssl-shopper it should be something like this:

Common Name: github.com
Subject Alternative Names: github.com, www.github.com
Organization: GitHub, Inc.
Locality: San Francisco
State: California
Country: US
Valid From: May 26, 2011
Valid To: July 29, 2013


How can I get this plaintext using python?

Answer

Python's standard library, even in the latest version, does not include anything that can decode X.509 certificates. However, the add-on cryptography package does support this. Quoting an example from the documentation:

>>> from cryptography import x509
>>> from cryptography.hazmat.backends import default_backend
>>> cert = x509.load_pem_x509_certificate(pem_data, default_backend())
>>> cert.serial_number
2

Another add-on package that might be an option is pyopenssl. This is a thin wrapper around the OpenSSL C API, which means it will be possible to do what you want, but expect to spend a couple days tearing your hair out at the documentation.

If you can't install Python add-on packages, but you do have the openssl command-line utility,

import subprocess
cert_txt = subprocess.check_output(["openssl", "x509", "-text", "-noout", 
                                    "-in", certificate])

should produce roughly the same stuff you got from your web utility in cert_txt.

Incidentally, the reason doing a straight-up base64 decode gives you binary gobbledygook is that there are two layers of encoding here. X.509 certificates are ASN.1 data structures, serialized to X.690 DER format and then, since DER is a binary format, base64-armored for ease of file transfer. (A lot of the standards in this area were written way back in the nineties when you couldn’t reliably ship anything but seven-bit ASCII around.)