Why many phones, PCs, Smart TVs and even outdated PS3 and Kindle are often without internet today

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Today you’ll have tried to access an online service through an old device. If you’ve done it and it gave you a connection error, do not be surprised: many devices —mobiles, Smart TVs, computers, and even Amazon’s Kindle or consoles just like the PS3— are exposed to a standard problem: the expiration of a certificate. Let’s Encrypt security .

This company is responsible of validating secure connections between our devices and websites or internet services, but today its Ident Trust DST CA X3 certificate expired. that’s not a drag for many users with modern or updated devices, but the thing changes if your mobile, your smart TV or your laptop works with an old OS not updated. therein case it’s going to be impossible for those devices to attach to the web .

What is that of security certificates?

they’re small pieces of code that validate and encrypt the connections between our devices on the web , thus guaranteeing that nobody can gossip on these transmissions. There are other entities that provide certificates, but Let’s Encrypt has become a benchmark and now one among its most used certificates, Identrust DST Root CA X3, expires.

When am i able to notice that the web isn’t performing on my device? Each certificate features a valid start date and an expiration date, and during this case the certificate became valid on September 30, 2000 at 21:12:19 GMT (23:12:19 in mainland Spain) and can expire on September 30, 2021 at 14:01:15 GMT (16:01:15 in mainland Spain).

But my computer is modern . If so, you do not need to worry: the list of affected devices is formed from systems with a few years behind them. you’ll not know if your computers have a minimum of Windows XP SP3 or higher, with macOS 10.12.1 or higher it’ll be safe if you updated to Service Pack 3 (April 2008). In many cases we mention updates and versions of operating systems that appeared five years ago, in 2016. Thus, there are not any problems for versions like macOS 10.12.1, iOS 10, or Android 7.1.1 or higher (with some exceptions ), which were already integrating new certificates.
Does this only affect computers and mobiles?No. Any device that uses secure Internet connections and uses this certificate may find yourself not having access to the network of networks. Smart TVs and even the PlayStation 3 or PS4 (which must have a firmware adequate to or greater than 5.0) could lose internet connection if we’ve not updated their operating systems within the last 4 years. an equivalent happens with Amazon Kindle e-book readers (they need to be updated to version 3.4.1 of their OS at least). for instance , clients like web browsers will “no longer trust” those trusted Let’s Encrypt certificates if they were those in use, but again which will be weird and if we’ve updated the browser sometime within the previous couple of years (Firefox 50.0, launched in November 2016,
This is not the primary time this went on . Certificates expire from time to time, and actually in 2020 a certificate called AddTrust External CA Root expired and corporations like Roku , Stripe , and even Red Hat had problems with their services. This time, however, it might be worse, because Let’s Encrypt issues more certificates – they only celebrated the issuance of the 2 billionth certificate – and thus more users, devices and corporations might be affected if they still depend upon those certificates that now expire. .

Upgrade or To die run out of internet . the sole thing we will do to unravel the matter or avoid it’s to update our device. there’ll be cases during which it’s impossible , but we may a minimum of be ready to update, for instance , Android phones from 6 or 7 years ago to Android 7.1.1. In Let’s Encrypt they already started the migration to the ISRG root certificate in 2019, which certificate called cross-signed ISRG Root X1, which is now on many computers, won’t expire until September 30, 2024.

Beware of OpenSSL . If you’re a corporation or entrepreneur with an online service that depends on OpenSSL, be careful: in Let’s Encrypt they indicate that if your software depends on OpenSSL 1.0.2 it’s advisable that you simply make some modifications that basically contains eliminating the DST Root CA X3 root certificate then add the ISRG Root X1. They explain everything on their official website .
Well, it still works on behalf of me on my old device . There are strange exceptions to the present expiration, like Android : on these devices it’s possible to possess an Android version between 2.3.7 and 7.1.1 that doesn’t have problems. Let’s Encrypt’s own community of users – which announced this potential problem in May 2021 – tries to reply to somewhat stranger cases with various devices and services, and there are those that offered more data to undertake to avoid problems, especially if you had services with customers that would be affected. When the AddTrust certificate expired in May 2020 the experts explained how the answer can come both from the server side and from the client side. In some devices it’s going to happen that the disconnection exists, but it’s only partial, and doubtless here that relationship between the client’s certificate which of the server determines whether we will access these contents or not.

So far the impact has been low . It is still too early to assess the impact of the expiration of the certificate, but at the moment there do not seem to be any relevant conflicts that have come to light. The truth is that with these types of scenarios there is a lot of uncertainty, and we will see if in the coming days / weeks it really shows if the problem is serious or not. It may be that being very relegated to old devices finally the collateral effects are minimal, but we will be attentive.

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