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'Expired' Key Certificates

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Since January 2000 it seems that some users are having difficulty connecting to secure sites like the one that deals with our online ordering system. Users will perhaps get a message indicating that their encryption 'certificate' has expired, or something similar. Encryption keys associated with some browsers are certificated by 'Certification Authorities' such as VeriSign, and the message that the user gets is sometimes to the effect that the key 'expired' in December 1999 and is no longer valid.

It appears that this is a browser issue. Those affected include IE4.5 (for the Mac) and versions of Netscape older than 4.06. The problem has also been noted on older versions of IE and, indeed, other browsers such as Opera. For more information on this, you can try

www.netscape.com/cms/certinfo.html

www.verisign.com/server/cus/rootcert/webmaster.html

www.iplanet.com/cert/

One solution is to upgrade to a more recent version of your browser. Some users, however, get the option to continue and do, in fact, establish a connection to the secure site and are able to complete the transaction with no further problems and, apparently, no loss of security. Others, though, are refused access to the site and for them, the only realistic way around the problem is to upgrade their browser.

If any of our customers, or potential customers, have experienced this problem then we are sorry for the inconvenience, but it really is something beyond our control.
 


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