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
Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityMicrosoftGoogledata protectionencryptiononline safetypki

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments