Feeds

MI5 stinks up website with dead SSL certificate

Secret policeman's balls-up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Blighty's intelligence agency MI5 forgot to replace the expired digital certificate for its website over the weekend.

The schoolboy error meant anybody trying to securely access the Security Service's site - perhaps to report suspected terrorist activity - would have been warned by their browser that the connection was untrusted. Communications would have still been encrypted if surfers chose to proceed regardless of the alert.

The digital paperwork expired on Sunday, 15 April, and a new one was installed on Monday morning. The replacement certificate was issued on 25 March and expires on 27 March 2018, so the problem was sparked by a failure to install the new cert rather than late payment for a renewal. Both the old and new credentials were issued by VeriSign.

Spook-watching Spyblog points out that the glitch was particularly embarrassing for MI5 because its www.mi5.gov.uk web server is configured to be accessible only over a secure connection.

"Since the MI5 website redirects to an SSL/TLS HTTPS-only version, they have effectively created a Denial of Service attack on themselves," Spyblog notes.

"'This connection is untrusted' web browser warnings do not give the impression of professional competence and respect for internet confidentiality, which potential users of their SSL/TLS encrypted 'Reporting suspected threats' web form should expect, and upon which their lives and the lives of potential British targets may depend on." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.