SSL Certificate Renewal: Even Google Forgets

Apparently no one is perfect when it comes to renewing SSL Certificates. Google forgot to renew an SSL Certificate for www.googleadservices.com resulting in an error displayed on users' computers for a large part of the day.

It primarily affected sites using Google checkout or AdWords conversion tracking.

As Tim Gross explains, if you are using Google Checkout on your site, this is having a major impact. Not only that, if you are using the conversion tracking scripts for AdWords, and your potential buyer clicked on your ad, they may be prompted with a security warning and leave your site. There goes your sale, and you paid for that.

Here is a screen shot of the security warning on Safari. You will get a similar one on any other browser:

Google Secure Cert Expired

This happens way too often, simply because it is an easy thing to forget. Late January, Yahoo forgot to renew their SSL certificate for the publisher network.

Andrew Codrington pointed out that Certificate Management services, such as the ones Entrust offers, can be a great help in avoiding certificate expirations like this. SSL Shopper also can send reminders about certificate expiration if you sign up for it using our SSL Checker.

Oops! Google's SSL Certificate Throwing Out Scary Warnings - [Search Engine Land]

More Big SSL Certificate Expiration Goofups

Yahoo let a certificate expire on January 30, 2008.

Another big web site, LinkedIn, forgot to renew their certificate on July 6, 2008.

Google again forgot to renew a certificate for smtp.gmail.com on July 29, 2008.

The Better Business Bureau (www.bbbonline.org) appears to have left an expired certificate on their site for over a month. (November 2nd, 2008).

On January 23rd, 2009, VeriSign itself let a certificate for pip.verisignlabs.com expire.

On January 25th, 2009, the certificate on www.grandcentral.com was found to be expired before Google replaced it.

On Valentines day, February 14th, 2009, the Payment Gateway Linkpoint had an expired certificate on secure.linkpt.net.

On December 17th, 2009, www.macromedia.com had an expired certificate.

On December 29th, 2009, First National Bank in Hermitage, PA had certificate that expired certificate on 11/10/2009

On July, 27, 2010, Twitter let a certificate for www.twitter.com expire.

Originally posted on Sun Mar 9, 2008

Comments (2)

  1. Gregory:
    Aug 07, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Heartland's breach and subsequent end-to-end crypto endeavours remind us that securing assets with digital certificates and keys is only going to increase (more mandates and security threats lead to more expansive cyrpto deployments). As orgs deploy more and more of this stuff, they actually expose themselves to greater risk if they continue--as Google has clearly done--to leverage manual processes like spreadsheets, reminder notes and "a really smart guy." Get with it! IT process automation and for improves systems management.

  2. idealist:
    Sep 01, 2008 at 02:43 PM

    Please Firefox keep the scary warnings! Big companies, no excuse - they've the money, the webmasters (hopefully, if they put any value on their reputation), and the most & quickest damage to their users, business partners and reputation if they're hacked & noone notices. Small websites, if your data or your users data is valuable enough to encrypt, you should treasure it enough to buy a cert.





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