iPhones, Samsung Galaxys and more: the Internet could soon stand still for many smartphones, consoles or old smart TVs. The trigger is an outdated certificate that is in use on many devices. Read the background and what you can do about it here.
“Let’s Encrypt”, probably the largest issuer of digital certificates, is currently warning users of older smartphones and other devices: Since September 30th, the “IdentTrust DST Root CA X3” certificate is no longer available.
This could mean that many devices such as cell phones, but also PCs, consoles or “Internet of Things” devices could now have significant problems with the Internet connection, as Yahoo reports.
This would also affect iPhones that run with iOS 9 or lower, as well as Android smartphones with Android 2.3.6 or older. In addition, Windows users with operating systems prior to Windows XP and owners of a Sony PS3, PS4 or Nintendo 3DS would also face problems.
iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, PS4 and more soon without internet?
According to security expert Scott Helme, it could affect devices that were released before 2016 as well as all gadgets that have the word “smart” in their names. According to Helmets, this also includes televisions, lightbulbs, refrigerators and smart home devices. “It is not yet clear how big the problem will be. But somewhere, something will stop working at some point“.
Helmes goes on to say that large manufacturers such as Apple, Google, Sony or Microsoft did not even have the problem on the slip and therefore did not warn users about the certificate expiry. The current situation has not existed since the 1980s, which is why it is difficult to accurately assess the consequences.
What can you do about it?
If you have an older device that can still receive updates, you should update it urgently. Some smart TVs or smartphones can easily be provided with a new certificate.
However, this is only possible if the devices are compatible with the new certificate. As “Mimikama” reports, this is no longer possible for Macs with MacOS 10.12.0 or earlier. Even iPhones and iPads (iOS 9 or earlier), PS4 consoles with firmware 5.00 (or older) and PCs with Windows XP (Service Pack 2) can no longer receive the new certificate.
In the case of even older devices – such as the PS3 – it is still questionable whether the necessary updates were carried out to the last. If there are any problems, the manufacturers may also comment on them. If these are no longer supported, the only solution is to switch to a more up-to-date device.