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I was surfing on Stack Exchange websites when I suddenly got the error message from Firefox about "Identity of this page could not verified" on all stackexchange sites. I had to confirm that I know that the certificate of these pages are unknown. Should I worry about that (and yes, I know that I am currently asking that on an unsafe Stack Exchange site)? If yes, what has happened?

All the other SSL pages (e.g. Google, my mail provider etc.) worked.

  • Is the date, time and timezone correct on your PC? – Big Chris Oct 31 '14 at 16:21
  • Yes, according to my pc clock. – arc_lupus Oct 31 '14 at 16:21
  • Cleared browser caches etc.? – Big Chris Oct 31 '14 at 16:22
  • Nope, just opened a new tab/wanted to comment on a post – arc_lupus Oct 31 '14 at 16:22
  • Apart from the SE login pages... I don't think the sites are SSL...?! Can anyone confirm this?! I'm just thinking why would our static content need to be SSL.... the login pages, yes... – Big Chris Oct 31 '14 at 16:23
  • @BigChris Confirm that HTTP is being used. It probably should be using HTTPS to protect against cookie stealing attacks like Firesheep. – Kevin Panko Nov 1 '14 at 13:32
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While HTTPS works (most of the time) it's not officially supported as yet. There are issues with getting certificates for the child meta sites (the current naming scheme means that SE need a certificate per site, rather than one certificate that covers a range of sites).

Therefore, any problems you get are likely to be transient.

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I just had a similar error. My browser was trying to load a page from stackauth.com that was signed with a certificate for *.stackexchange.com. I'd say that something has been misconfigured by StackExchange. It's not worth worrying about, since it was in fact a valid certificate for *.stackexchange.com.

  • Ok, that was something I was wondering about. I'll wait a bit before accepting, maybe there will be some other explanations, too. – arc_lupus Oct 31 '14 at 16:25

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