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Microsoft forgot to renew the certificate for its Windows Insider subdomain

Visitors to met with safety warning - how reassuring

Microsoft has forgotten to renew the certificate for the web page of its Windows Insider software testing program.

Attempting to visit the Windows Insider portal was returning the familiar "Your connection is not private" warning – as if webpages larded with scripts and trackers can truly be called "private." The problem has now been fixed, and someone's no doubt getting an earful.

Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari will attempt to deter visitors from accessing the webpage, but will provide a link for those who ignore the warnings and persist on clicking through to advanced options.

We did so and lived to tell about it.

The Insider web page certificate expired on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 4:59:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

Expired Microsoft certificate

Click to enlarge

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But clicking through the warnings on Firefox initially took this reporter to Microsoft's main Windows page with 302 and 307 redirect responses – Microsoft is redirecting requests to its expired page and so is aware of the issue.

This sort of snafu happens occasionally. In November, 2021, an expired cert affected Windows 11 version 21H2 – it prevented Windows users from opening certain apps like the snipping tool.

And in 2020, an expired authentication certificate prevented customers from accessing Microsoft Teams.

Cert expirations tend to be worse when they affect root certificates and bork services for multiple vendors and customers. The expiration of Sectigo's AddTrust legacy root certificate two years ago affected thousands of customers.

They're also rather disruptive when they occur at telecom companies, the 2018 Ericsson cert expiration that hindered communications among tens of millions of UK customers.

Maybe Window's scheduling systems aren't all they are cracked up to be. ®

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