Sunday, January 15, 2023

Updating and Verifying LDAPS Certificate

Windows domain controllers (DCs) can be used by applications as an LDAP server for user authentication or application data storage. To enable encrypted communication with LDAP on a DC, you need to install a certificate on the DC. This uses TLS similar to how a web server does for HTTPS.

If you have an enterprise CA in your Active Directory (AD) forest, a certificate is automatically issued to your DCs for encrypting LDAP communication. If you don't have an enterprise CA in your AD forest, then a certificate isn't issued to DCs automatically and LDAP communication is unencrypted.

Any server certificate added the the computer store on the DC is automatically used and available for secure LDAP. You don't need to configure the DC to use the certificate. You also have the option to install a certificate in the NT Directory Services store. If a certificate is installed into the NT Directory Services store, it is preferred over certificates in the computer store. This is useful when there are multiple services running on the DC (such as IIS) and you want to ensure that secure LDAP is using the correct certificate.

To update the certificate used by secure LDAP, put the new/renewed certificate in the same certificate store as the certificate that's being replaced. The newer certificate will be automatically selected and used for secure LDAP within a few minutes.

If you are a bit paranoid and want to confirm that the new certificate is being used before you remove the older certificate, there are no built-in Windows tools or logging events that display the information. You can use LDP.exe to test connectivity to port 636 and verify that secure LDAP is working, but this doesn't give you information about which certificate is being used.

However, you can download and use OpenSSL to verify which certificate is being used. OpenSSL can be installed on a client computer for testing connectivity rather than the DC. The following command connects to LDAPS on port 636 and displays information about the certificate being used to secure communication:

openssl s_client -connect

You can use the output from this command to verify the name in the certificate and expiration date.



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