The error message “SSL: SSLV3_ALERT_CERTIFICATE_EXPIRED” indicates that the server you’re trying to connect to has an expired SSL certificate. This can cause issues when accessing websites, using APIs, or connecting to any secure service that relies on SSL/TLS for encryption.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to fix this error, step-by-step:
Table of Contents
Verify the Certificate Expiry
- OpenSSL: Use the openssl command-line tool to check the validity of the server’s SSL certificate. Specifically, look for the notAfter field in the output. This will show you the expiration date of the certificate.
openssl s_client -servername hostname -connect hostname:port 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -noout -dates
- hostname: with the server’s hostname (e.g., example.com).
- port: with the port number used for the connection (usually 443 for HTTPS).
- servername: this option is used for SNI (Server Name Indication) which is important for servers hosting multiple domains on the same IP address.
openssl s_client -servername google.com -connect google.com:443 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -noout -dates
Renew the SSL Certificate
- Let’s Encrypt: If you’re using a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt, you can renew it using the certbot renew command.
- Purchased Certificates: If you’ve purchased an SSL certificate from a provider like DigiCert or Comodo, you’ll need to contact them to renew it.
Install the New Certificate
- Download the new certificate and any intermediate certificates from your provider.
- Install these certificates on your server according to your operating system and web server software instructions.
Restart the Web Server
- Once the new certificates are installed, restart your web server (e.g., Apache or Nginx) for the changes to take effect.
sudo systemctl restart apache2
sudo systemctl restart nginx
Verify the New Certificate
- Open your browser and try connecting to the website. Your browser should no longer display the “SSL: SSLV3_ALERT_CERTIFICATE_EXPIRED” error message.
- Alternatively, use the openssl command again to verify that the new certificate is installed and valid.
Check Intermediate Certificates
- Ensure that the entire certificate chain is installed correctly on your server. This includes any intermediate certificates that are needed to validate the root certificate.
- Missing intermediate certificates can lead to browser warnings or connection errors.
Update System and Software
- Regularly update your operating system and software, including the libraries and clients that handle SSL/TLS connections.
- Keeping your software up-to-date ensures that you have the latest security patches and fixes.
Adjust SSL Configuration
- Review your server’s SSL configuration settings.
- Disable outdated protocols like SSLv3 and enable secure protocols like TLS 1.2 or later.
- Choose appropriate cipher suites that offer strong encryption.
Check Client-Side Issues
- If you’re developing an application that connects to the server using SSL/TLS, ensure that your application uses updated SSL libraries and is configured correctly.
- Outdated or improperly configured client libraries can cause similar errors.
Clear Browser Cache
- In some cases, clearing your browser’s cache and SSL state can resolve the error. This removes any outdated certificate information that your browser might be storing.
- The specific steps for clearing the cache will vary depending on your browser.
Note: Always prioritize security when managing SSL/TLS. Use strong cipher suites, keep your software updated, and follow best practices for securing your server and applications.
By following these steps, you should be able to fix the “SSL: SSLV3_ALERT_CERTIFICATE_EXPIRED” error and establish a secure connection to the server. Remember to adapt these steps depending on your specific server environment and software configuration.