Several smartphones, TVs, laptops and other devices may go offline starting October 1, here’s why – Times of India
Starting October 1, several old laptops, TVs, smartphones, gaming consoles and other devices may lose some internet connectivity. The reason is that a crucial digital certificate that is responsible for verifying secure internet connections expires on September 30.
This means that you may not be able to do activities like check emails, access internet banking, or even use apps or browse websites that require secure internet connection on these old devices
What is this digital certificate?
The digital certificate in question here is called IdentTrust DST Root CA X3. Provided by Let’s Encrypt, the certificate acts as a secure bridge between a server, the website and the client. Each one of them presents a digital certificate confirming identity to prevent hacking or any other interception during the data transmission.
This is the certificate that basically ensures that the user has reached the correct server and the client is the user and not some hacker. IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 is a root-level certificate and it is the max level of certification available for digital devices.
Devices that are expected to get affected by this
Let’s Encrypt has already posted the list of all devices that are likely to get affected by the certificate expiration. According to the certificate provider, older Android devices running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbird will work till September 2024. After September 2024, the digital certificate will expire on these devices and will only work on Android smartphones running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
iPhones and iPads running iOS9 or earlier have also lost the digital certification. The same goes for Macs running macOS 10.12.0 or earlier Some gaming consoles like Sony PlayStation 3 or older and PlayStation 4 running software version 5.0 or older are also on the list.
Windows users running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or earlier are likely to get affected as well.
What can users of these devices do?
The most basic solution to fix this problem is updating your device’s firmware version, preferably to the latest. This,however, does not apply to Android smartphones that no longer receive updates and are on version 2.3.5 or older.
Sony recently sent a version 4.99 update for PlayStation 3 with new features and security updates and it’s possible that might have fixed the certificate issue.
iPhone 5 or newer can be updated to iOS 10 or newer, doing that will solve the problem easily. Also, most Windows machines can be updated to newer operating systems or at least the Windows XP SP2 machines can be updated to SP3, which supports the certificate. Mac devices need 10.13 or newer.
In the worst-case scenario, if you have a device that can’t be updated to a newer firmware, Firefox is the solution. Mozilla Firefox carries its own digital certificates and does not rely on system certificates. So, this will allow you to browse on older devices.