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This patent application further claims the benefit of and is a continuation-in-part of U. For example, using the SSL protocol, a user may divulge his credit card number to a merchant's Website secure in the knowledge that all communications with the Website are encrypted. 7,366,919, entitled “Use of Geo-Location Data for Spam Detection,” having the same assignee and the same two inventors as the present patent application. The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol is a popular Internet protocol for allowing a client computer to engage in secure communications with a server computer.Computer-implemented methods, apparati, and computer-readable media for thwarting computer attacks. Enterprises are reluctant to deal with this problem, because there are so many useful Websites that require SSL in order to operate properly, e.g., sites performing credit card transactions.

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The digital certificate 20 illustrated in contains the following fields: Distinguished Name.

The distinguished name is the concatenation of several fields, including Common Name, one or more Organizational Units, Organization, Locality, State, and Country. The Common Name is usually the domain name (e.g., amazon.com) of the computer 2 that presented the certificate 20.

Top level DNS 23 is the DNS controlled by the custodian of the corresponding top level domain.

For example, if the top level domain is .org, the custodian is Veri Sign, Inc., of Mountain View, Calif.

A typical digital certificate 20 is illustrated in .

There are a number of protocols and standards, including the X.509 standard and the PKCS 7 standard, that specify mandatory and optional fields that should be used in digital certificates.

The two fields described immediately above are referred to as the “signing block” 29.

illustrates apparatus suitable for carrying out the present invention.

A method embodiment of the present invention comprises the steps of examining (52) a digital certificate (20) presented by a server computer (2); compiling (53) a set of suspicion indications (31) gleaned from said examining step (52); feeding (54) said suspicion indications (31) to a trustworthiness calculation engine (30); and outputting from said engine (30) a trustworthiness factor (32) that determines whether SSL stripping is to be used (57) on communications with said server computer (2).

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