GitHub home page down after apparent SSL fail

(Image credit: Pixabay)

GitHub’s home page malfunctioned earlier this week, with reports indicating that an expired SSL certificate was to blame.

 GitHub users reported being unable to access various resources, apparently because the SSL certificate issued to GitHub’s content delivery network (CDN) was only valid until November 2, 2020, 7:00 AM ET.

Technically, the issue is termed a “mixed content problem” because the main GitHub server did have a valid certificate, meaning that some aspects of the site, such as text-based content, continued to function properly. However, anything accessed from the separate CDN server, including images and JavaScript files, could not be loaded.

The outage lasted around 30 minutes before GitHub managed to acquire a new SSL certificate. The new certificate is due to expire in November 2021.

Certificate expired

Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, certificates are a commonly used security protocol that informs online users that the communication between their web browser and a web server is encrypted. As a visual clue that a valid SSL certificate is in place, internet users should see a padlock next to any HTTPS URL that is using the SSL protocol.

Despite the importance of having a valid SSL certificate, a surprising number of online outlets forget to renew, leading to embarrassing outages. In recent times, HP and Roku users have experienced issues due to unforeseen certification problems.

Most of the time, these issues are easily averted simply by employing good forward planning. To avoid any future problems, someone at GitHub should set a reminder now to renew the SSL certificate before it expires next year.

Via Bleeping Computer

Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.