SSL Certificate Invalid – Before We Get Into The Topic, Let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
How to Solve the Invalid SSL /TLS Certificate Issue?
Would you enter a store that appears to be a front for a criminal enterprise? Probably not, or at least not soon. Websites are the virtual marketplaces of the twenty-first century. Most security-conscious internet users will avoid visiting a website that has the words “Not Secure” printed all over it in red. Unless you’re a cybercriminal (or a bad businessman), your target audience is likely to be more diverse than naïve customers who disregard security warnings and enter your website anyhow. For a secure and smooth browsing experience, it is in the best interest of both users and website owners to utilize a reputable SSL certificate and correct any certificate problems.
SSL Certificate Invalid? Why Do We Use an SSL/TLS Certificate?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) are cryptographic technologies that allow clients and servers to communicate securely over the internet. TLS is a newer version of SSL, which is an older encryption system. The purpose of holding an SSL/TLS certificate was to establish the identity of the remote server with whom the client browser spoke, not merely for authentication. Consider the following scenario: your browser is communicating with https://www.yourdomain.com, and the website’s SSL/TLS certificate is legitimate. This tells us two things:
- Because the channel is encrypted, anyone listening in across the network will receive jumbled data that cannot be deciphered.
- Your browser is communicating with the real server, not a spoof.
Of course, that was the purpose. Fast forward to today, and around 50% of phishing websites now employ an HTTPS connection to spam users. A domain is only meant to be completely validated in terms of its identity with an EV SSL certificate. At the very least, since the firm must be registered and the owner must pay for the EV certificate, there is accountability.
Data confidentiality and integrity are ensured by SSL/TLS. To ensure that data transfers securely across the Internet, we use the SSL/TLS protocol. Encrypting data in transit helps to prevent unscrupulous users from sniffing the network to steal sensitive data such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.
An attacker cannot create a false certificate and pass it off as a valid one because SSL/TLS certificates are signed by a third party called a Certificate Authority. If a website utilizes an invalid certificate (it can’t track back to the root CA or the names given in the certificate don’t match), the browser will alert the user. It is not suggested that you visit such a site because it could be a phishing or a fraudulent website.
What Does It Mean to Have an Invalid SSL Certificate?
- Due to a perceived lack of authenticity, visitors to your website will lose trust.
- Some people may believe you are hosting a harmful website and choose to avoid you even if the problem is resolved.
- It has a negative influence on business and reputation, especially if you are not a well-known player who is suffering a momentary technical issue.
- In the case of the end-user:
- The data exchanged between you and the website you’re trying to connect to will be sent in cleartext if the SSL certificate is detected as incorrect by the browser. Any user credentials or other sensitive data sent across the connection could be intercepted or stolen. It is always a good idea to avoid using an insecure connection.
- Aside from the risk of transferring unencrypted data, there’s a significant chance the site you’re trying to connect to is set up to phish your credentials or to do anything else nefarious. Having a trusted SSL certificate does not, in any way, guarantee that such attacks will not occur. You can always double-check the certificate issuer information by looking at the certificate details.
Reasons for the Error and How to Fix It
The browser may display the invalid SSL certificate error notice on our screens for a variety of reasons. We’ll look at a few of them and see what we can do about them in the sections below.
- There is no way to access the HTTPS version successfully if the website owner misconfigures the SSL certificate during installation. This error will be displayed on the screen every time someone visits the page.
- When you try to install a certificate on your web server or CDN as a website owner, but the essential certificate details are not filled incorrectly, you may get an Invalid SSL certificate / Intermediate certificates error. You can use Qualys SSL Labs’ free SSL Checker to see if the SSL certificate on the webserver is set up correctly.
- The certificate was either revoked or obtained fraudulently.
- The ERR CERT COMMON NAME INVALID issue warns that the names of the domain you’re trying to access and the one included in the certificate may be mismatched. Before the CA gives the certificate, the website owner must check that the web address is in the correct format. Keep in mind that the domain https://www.example.com may be included in the certificate, whereas https://example.com is distinct and may not be included in the SSL certificate.
- The certificate’s chain of trust has been broken (perhaps due to the root CA’s inability to be validated or the root/intermediate certificate’s expiration).
- To avoid any controversy originating from a time violation, the certificate must be renewed before it expires. Make sure your computer’s date and time are right, as this will be used to determine the validity duration of the website’s SSL certificate.
- The certificate structure is faulty, or the signature on the certificate cannot be verified.
- To avoid security warnings from browsers, obtain a certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) such as Symantec, Thawte, Comodo, and others. Configure the domain to utilize Full SSL instead of Full SSL if a self-signed certificate is being utilized (Strict).
- Examine the antivirus or firewall software. You may need to disable options like “encrypted/SSL scanning or checking.”
- Websites that exclusively use SHA-1 encryption are marked as insecure, and their security certifications must be updated.
Invalid SSL/TLS Certificate – Security implications
Because an invalid SSL/TLS certificate makes the communication channel between the client and the server unsecured and data travels in cleartext, it can result in a significant security breach. An attacker on the network can sniff the user credentials and session ID for a specific session and use the information to impersonate a legitimate user or exploit session management flaws. A malicious website can potentially be identified by an incorrect SSL certificate. When in doubt, it’s best to avoid visiting sites that have been marked as insecure or display security warnings.
If the end-user is faced with a variety of security alerts or error messages when accessing your website, your brand reputation suffers. An SSL/TLS certificate from a reliable CA is recommended, especially because they are inexpensive and the benefits far outweigh the costs. On our SSL pages, you may learn more about the differences between SSL and TLS.