Menu
Expired Google certificate temporarily disrupts Gmail service

Expired Google certificate temporarily disrupts Gmail service

Google let a certificate linked to the Gmail SMTP server expire, causing issues for third-party email clients

Google forgot to renew one of its TLS certificates, leading to service disruption Saturday for people using Gmail through third-party email clients.

The problem was fixed in a matter of hours, but should serve as a reminder to online service operators that keeping track of digital certificate expiration dates is important and should be planned for in advance.

Some users reported Saturday on Twitter and other sites that email clients like Microsoft Outlook and OS X Mail were displaying certificate errors when trying to send email messages through smtp.gmail.com.

It seems that it wasn't the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server's certificate that expired, but one higher up in the chain that corresponded to Google Internet Certificate Authority G2 -- an intermediate certificate authority operated by Google.

When SSL/TLS certificates are validated by software applications, all certificates they link back to need to be valid as well. In this case the certificate for smtp.gmail.com had been issued by Google Internet Authority G2, which had in turn been issued by GeoTrust Global CA.

According to the Gmail status page, it took Google around two and a half hours to fix the problem, which affected "a majority of users." The certificate was renewed and is now set to expire on Dec. 31, 2016.

While operators of large online services typically monitor their certificates closely, similar expiration incidents have occurred before and when they do, they can have serious consequences.

In February 2013, an expired certificate issue disrupted the Microsoft Azure service worldwide for around a day. Since Azure is a cloud computing platform, many third-party services relying on it were affected as well.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityMicrosoftGoogledata protectionencryptiononline safetypki

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Kiwi channel debates GDPR as Reseller News Exchange hits Wellington

Kiwi channel debates GDPR as Reseller News Exchange hits Wellington

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange, in association with Arrow ECS ANZ, ForeScout and StorageCraft, went on the road to debate the early implications of GDPR in New Zealand, extracting opportunities while evaluating challenges for the channel in the year ahead.

Kiwi channel debates GDPR as Reseller News Exchange hits Wellington
Show Comments