MonkeySphere is a set of tools to securely exchange digital OpenPGP certifications, when faced with having to buy digital certificates from a expensive Certificate Authority with its own rules or offering non recognised digital certificates that will trigger a security warning, MonkeySphere allows administrators to create their own OpenPGP certificates, publish them to the web of trust for validation and certify it themselves. It can be used for https websites or SSH server authentication, it comes included with the Tails operating system set up to use Indymedia’s key server .onion hidden service (hkp://2eghzlv2wwcq7u7y.onion) using hkps:// and available through the internet on keys.indymedia.org, users can verify TLS certificates using MonkeySphere Firefox addon, compatible with other Mozilla based browsers like IceWeasel in Linux.
Monkeysphere currently supports ssh and https and can be used for certificate revocation, expiration, ease of rekeying, etc.
One problem with traditional Certificate Authorities is that their target is to make money and some companies are willing to cut in security and relax verification rules to achieve this, CAs also run in similar fashion to a cartel with the big Certificate Authorities recognised by major browsers charge exorbitant fees that only corporations can afford. The web of trust P2P model can provide an alternative but it is not extended enough to be reliable, therefore the best choice is a hybrid system and this is how MonkeySphere works, when you visit an https site with the Monkeysphere plugin installed in your browser if the X.509 digital certificate presented to you is not recognised by the browser validation will then be passed to MonkeySphere’s own validation agent avoiding a scary security warning.