Expiring Security Certificate May Affect Older Devices

The internet connection on several older tech devices may stop working on Thursday, as an essential digital certificate required to access websites is set to expire.

A digital certificate encrypts and protects the internet connection between a device and a website. Without one, a website won’t be able to “trust” a device and subsequently would prevent it from connecting. Devices released before 2017 are most likely to be affected, especially if they never got a firmware update; however, fixes exist, according to Tom’s Guide.

If this issue isn’t fixed, the apps and services that require an internet connection will not work on these older devices.

The certificate in question is known as the IdentTrust DST Root CA X3, and it’s issued by Let’s Encrypt, a non-profit organization that is one of the largest issuers of these digital certificates. The IdentTrust DST certificate is so widespread that its expiration may cause major connection problems with various devices.

Some affected devices include iPhones/iPads running iOS 9 or older, old PCs running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or older, PlayStation 4 consoles with firmware earlier than the 5.00 version, and smart home devices not up to date. The full list can be found on Let’s Encrypt’s website.

Android owners have nothing to worry about, since Let’s Encrypt extended the certificate expiration date until September 2024.

As for everyone else, it’s strongly recommended that users upgrade their devices by downloading the latest firmware update. If a user cannot upgrade their Mac, PC, or iPhone, Tom’s Guide recommends downloading the Firefox web browser.

Firefox doesn’t use a device’s security certificate, as the web browser uses its own, so users can utilize it until they download the update and fix the issue.

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