Having trouble with Outlook 2011 for Mac and SSL?

A couple of customers have recently contacted us about problems with Outlook 2011 for Mac when it’s configured to make SSL connections.

Outlook 2011 for Mac has a bug: It tries to use the long-obsolete “SSLv2” protocol that is no longer supported on modern mail servers, including ours. If your network also uses a very common kind of firewall that prevents “client-initiated SSL/TLS session renegotiation”, SSL connections will simply fail.

The best solution to this is to upgrade to a modern version of Outlook. Outlook 2016 for Mac, for example, doesn’t have this problem.

Read the rest of this entry »

Small change to SSL ciphers (April 24, 2018)

We’ve made a small technical change to the way our servers handle SSL connections. The change shouldn’t affect anyone, but we’re describing it here just for the record.

The technical description of the change is that we’ve removed the DES-CBC3-SHA (aka TLS_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA) cipher suite from the “Medium security, good compatibility: Disable SSLv3 but enable TLS 1.0” option in the SSL section of our control panel, because PCI scanning companies have started flagging the existence of that cipher suite as a “fail”. (We told you it was technical!)

This change may make “medium security” SSL connections show errors for some very old browsers running on Windows XP. (Most such browsers already failed anyway with “medium security”, and they can’t connect to most major sites on the Internet, so almost nobody uses them.) In the unlikely event that you do need a very old browser like that to connect to an SSL-enabled site, you can choose Low security, excellent compatibility: Enable SSLv3 and TLS 1.0 in our control panel to allow it.

Wildcard Let’s Encrypt certificates now available

Let’s Encrypt recently started offering wildcard SSL certificates that work with any subdomain, without forcing you to get a new SSL certificate every time you change the hostnames you use.

If we host your site’s DNS nameservers (which is true for almost all of our hosting customers), we can now automatically provide you with a wildcard certificate, for free. We’ve already updated every existing Let’s Encrypt certificate to be a wildcard wherever possible.

If you’re still paying GoDaddy $349.99 a year for a wildcard SSL certificate, or paying Network Solutions $579 a year for it, now might be a good time to switch to our service. 😉 (In the last week, we’ve provided several million dollars worth of wildcard certificates to our customers even at GoDaddy’s introductory prices. You’re welcome!)

We’re using Let’s Encrypt wildcard certificates ourselves, too

We’re now also using these certificates on everything related to our own services, too, including our website, blog, FTP servers, and mail servers.

Almost all customers shouldn’t notice any change, but if you use secure connections with old or unusual programs that don’t handle SSL connections properly, you might be asked to “accept” the new certificate.

Read the rest of this entry »

SSLv3 disabled on our webmail servers

We’ve updated the SSL/TLS security settings on our webmail servers to match current “best practices” for security, disabling “SSLv3”.

Our customers shouldn’t notice any changes. (We made this change on our main website some time ago with no reports of problems, and many of the largest sites on the Internet have done the same.) We’re just mentioning this so that people know to contact us in the unlikely event they do have any trouble.

That said, if you do have any trouble, it’s probably because you’re using an outdated, insecure web browser that you should update. You can check your browser by visiting www.howsmyssl.com. If you can’t update it, using a different browser on your computer will probably help.

SSL certificate errors October 13, 2016 (resolved)

We’re receiving reports that some people visiting some SSL sites (including our site) are seeing security errors saying a “certificate has been revoked”.

This is an Internet-wide problem caused by an issue with one of the main Internet “certificate issuers”, a company called GlobalSign, and isn’t specific to us or sites we host. It’s affected many large Internet sites, such as Wikipedia. (Internet news site “The Register” has a report here.)

GlobalSign says the problem will soon be fixed. In the meantime, if your browser allows you to “click past” the warning about a “revoked certificate”, it is safe to do so.

Update 3:13 PM Pacific time: The problem is slowly resolving itself as the bad certificate information expires from “caches” around the Internet, but we’ve temporarily replaced our SSL certificates with new ones to make it stop immediately. This problem should now be resolved.

Our mail servers now use stronger SSL/TLS settings

We’ve updated the SSL/TLS security settings on our mail servers to match current “best practices” for security.

Our customers shouldn’t notice any changes. We’re just mentioning this so that people know to contact us in the unlikely event they do have any trouble.

That said, if you do have any trouble, it’s probably because you’re using outdated, insecure mail software that you should update. If you can’t update it, but the changes prevent you from sending mail with the “SSL” option turned on in your program, you may need to turn off the “SSL” option for outgoing mail until you can update.

Read the rest of this entry »

We now offer free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt

Our hosting customers can now get free SSL certificates to secure their site.

What’s an SSL certificate? It activates the “padlock” icon for your site in a Web browser, showing that the connection is encrypted for security. You should use an SSL certificate if your visitors type sensitive data such as usernames, passwords or credit card numbers, because it ensures that “hackers” can’t intercept that data.

SSL certificates used to cost a lot of money, but an organization called Let’s Encrypt is now providing them for free, trying to encourage the widespread use of encryption on the modern Internet.

We believe that encryption should be widely available, so we’ve changed our SSL certificate system to provide free Let’s Encrypt certificates to our hosting customers. You can get one now in our “My Account” control panel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Small change to SSL ciphers

We’ve made a small technical change to the way our servers handle SSL connections. The change shouldn’t affect anyone, but we’re describing it here just for the record. If you have an SSL site with us and see any unexpected behavior, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our servers are compatible with 2015 and 2016 PayPal security upgrades

Recently, PayPal has been sending notifications to merchants who use the “PayPal API”, discussing some changes they’re making. If you are one of our customers and you have received this e-mail from PayPal, you may be wondering if you need to do anything. The short answer is that you don’t; the change is being made entirely on the PayPal servers, and our service is fully compatible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Disabling SSLv3 and TLS 1.0

If you use an SSL certificate on a site you host with us, we now offer more control over the SSL/TLS protocol versions your site uses.

Old protocol versions, including SSL version 3 (“SSLv3”) and TLS version 1.0, are no longer considered secure. You can now disable these to improve security, at the expense of preventing some older, less-secure browsers from making SSL or TLS connections. Some credit card companies are starting to require that SSLv3 and TLS 1.0 both be disabled.

Read the rest of this entry »