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To verify the XML signature on a SAML metadata aggregate, you need an authentic copy of the metadata signing certificate, that is, the certificate that contains the public key corresponding to the private InCommon metadata signing key. The certificate must be obtained securely since all subsequent operations depend on it.

Warning
titleCheck the integrity of the metadata signing certificate!

To bootstrap your trusted metadata process, you MUST check the integrity of the metadata signing certificate fetched over the network. It is not sufficient to request the certificate via a TLS-protected HTTP connection, which is why the sample procedure shown below does not rely on TLS.

You may check the integrity of the downloaded certificate in a variety of ways. For example, on a GNU/Linux system, you could use curl and openssl to check the integrity of the metadata signing certificate as follows:

Code Block
languagebash
# get the metadata signing certificate on md.incommon.org
# and display the HTTP response header
$ CERT_PATH=/path/to/inc-md-cert.pem
$ /usr/bin/curl --silent --dump-header /dev/tty http://md.incommon.org/certs/inc-md-cert.pem > $CERT_PATH
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 14:01:00 GMT
Server: Apache
Last-Modified: Wed, 18 Dec 2013 21:08:31 GMT
ETag: "150037-4fd-4edd5727611c0"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 1277
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

# compute the SHA-1 and SHA-256 fingerprints of the metadata signing certificate
$ /bin/cat $CERT_PATH | /usr/bin/openssl x509 -sha1 -in $CERT_PATH -noout -fingerprint
SHA1 Fingerprint=7D:B4:BB:28:D3:D5:C8:52:E0:80:B3:62:43:2A:AF:34:B2:A6:0E:DD
$ /bin/cat $CERT_PATH | /usr/bin/openssl x509 -sha256 -in $CERT_PATH -noout -fingerprint
SHA256 Fingerprint=2F:9D:9A:A1:FE:D1:92:F0:64:A8:C6:31:5D:39:FA:CF:1E:08:84:0D:27:21:F3:31:B1:70:A5:2B:88:81:9F:5B

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