March 8, 2016

Making the Internet Safer, One Secure Site at a Time: Let’s Encrypt Hits 1 Million Certificates

Let’s Encrypt today issued its one millionth free certificate (at 9:04am GMT to be exact), just about 100 days after it released its beta version of the service. This is a major accomplishment for the group, but also big news for the web and the security of everyone online.

In the past three months, our online activities and web traffic have become much safer and better protected through the efforts of Let’s Encrypt, an open source project that is hosted by The Linux Foundation and supported by organizations like Mozilla, Cisco, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Facebook, and Google Chrome.

Encryption, which is visually demonstrated by the small lock in browser location bars, has historically been out of reach for most website owners because of cost and complexity. Many major companies and even government sites only used encryption technology for their most sensitive transactions, leaving the vast majority of traffic unencrypted and insecure.

But the Let's Encrypt certificate takes only a few minutes to install and is free. The simplicity of the install is one of the reasons why the group was able to issue one million certificates so quickly. New certificate issuances can be publicly tracked in real-time here.

The project has also received major support from hosting companies like OVH, Wordpress.com, Gandi, Dreamhost and Digital Ocean, which all supported making sites secure so that the traffic cannot be intercepted or changed. Due to the enormous hard work behind Let’s Encrypt, we can now envision a future not too far off where all communication on the Internet is secured.

Projects like Let’s Encrypt and the Core Infrastructure Initiative are taking smart, nimble steps to ensure the web and the world’s other most critical infrastructure are safe for all. A proactive, preventative approach will serve us by preventing attacks. That work is happening today and is being underwritten by the companies who recognize the importance of this work. Congratulations to the Let’s Encrypt team on this important milestone.