Millions of old phones, laptops and smart devices could stop working by the end of this week for a strange reason

Internet connectivity on older technology devices and smart devices could stop working Thursday after a key digital certificate required to access websites securely expires.

Let’s Encrypt, a non-profit organization that is the largest issuer of digital certificates, which encrypts and protects the connection between devices and websites on the Internet, will be forced to expire one of its most popular digital certificates, IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 , on September 30.

This means that various phones, computers, video game consoles, smart devices and “Internet of Things” devices purchased before 2017 that use the Let’s Encrypt digital certificate in question and have not updated their software since then, could face major issues connect to the Internet.

The problem will mainly affect popular devices such as iPhones running iOS 9 and earlier, Android phones running below 2.3.6 software, Windows computers running pre-XP SP3 software, PS3 game consoles. and Sony’s PS4 and Nintendo 3DS.

“Certain devices older than 2016 and earlier and any device that has the word ‘smart’ that requires Internet connectivity, such as certain televisions, light bulbs, refrigerators and home control applications, could be affected by the expiration of this certificate.” said the security researcher. and cybersecurity expert Scott Helme. “It is not clear how big the problem will be, but something somewhere will certainly break. Tomorrow there will be a lot of fires and we will have to put them out. “


This problem has gone unnoticed by many manufacturers, including big tech companies Apple, Google, Sony and Microsoft, none of which have advertised to customers about potential problems, Helme said.

He added that this is one of the first major digital certificates to expire since the advent of the Internet in the 1980s. Therefore, there is no precedent for how to solve the problem other than update the software on the devices.

“There have been no squeaky wheels, so no one has ever greased it. It’s a completely new problem, ”Helme said.

Planned obsolescence, which causes technological devices to stop working properly after a certain number of years, is part of the reason these problems occur.

Many technology companies, such as Apple, do not promise users a fluid experience for customers who have owned a device for several years.

“Some companies have been proactive in educating customers on this issue, and some companies got lazy and didn’t do their homework and hope that customers will fix it themselves if problems start to occur on older devices,” he said. Leonard Grove, CEO of, a well-known private commercial digital certificate provider.

Although there is a significant risk that millions of devices will not work on Thursday, some internet security experts say it could affect all devices in a different way.


“We just don’t know exactly what will happen, it could be like the Y2K in 2000 with a big warning and nothing happens, or you could see a lot of people rush to fix their devices or get new ones,” Grove added.

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Original Author: Nihal krishan

Original location: Millions of old phones, laptops and smart devices could stop working by the end of this week for a strange reason

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