Is Your SSL Certificate Expired?

Date: March 10, 2020 | Categories: ,

Scammers send out fake alerts about expired security certificates

By now, most websites have followed Googles guidelines with the addition of a security certificate or SSL certificate. Scammers bank on the fact that consumers don’t quite know how these certificates work.

To prey upon unwitting website owners, cyber criminals send out fake notices that your security certificate has expired. The alerts normally contain a link or button urging you to click to install a new certificate. Clicking the link opens the user’s computer up to malware.

According to Kasperky:

The alarming notification consists of an iframe — with contents loaded from the third-party resource ldfidfa[.]pw — overlaid on top of the original page. The URL bar still displays the legitimate address. 

https://securelist.com/mokes-and-buerak-distributed-under-the-guise-of-security-certificates/96324/

While this is not a new method for scammers to gain access to information, it is a new twist on this old trick. Do not click on any unexpected popup messages you receive on your internet browser. (The same is true for links in email.) The alerts can look pretty convincing since the scammer place them right on top of legitimate, but hacked, websites. Your best bet is to close the alert box or abandon your internet session.

Can SSL certificates expire?

Actually, yes! SSL certificates do expire. When previous versions of security certificates expired, they needed to be renewed and reinstalled manually. The process was much more cumbersome than it is today. While newer security certificates do expire, they usually autorenew. This does not make them free of issues, though. Starting March 4, 2020, Let’s Encrypt began revoking millions of vulnerable certificates. The certificates in question were issued while a bug infected the company’s software. Let’s Encrypt is notifying customers via email, not sketchy, unexpected popups on random websites.

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