Network Security 12-19-2017

Common Certificate Errors from

Vincent Lynch

If you’re getting a pop-up warning about * that says, “[the] identity of this website cannot be verified” or “[the] name on the security certificate is invalid,” this post is here to help. is operated by Bright Roll, a company owned by Yahoo, that distributes online ads.

This warning/error appears because of a misconfiguration on the website or web server where you are shown the ads. Because the same ads are not always shown, you may notice the error is intermittent or inconsistent. This error does not indicate there is malware or a virus on your PC.

When these websites attempt to load certain ads from the Bright Roll network, a misconfigured SSL certificate (part of the HTTPS Protocol, which provides secure connections to websites) triggers the error. These warnings are being shown by your web browser (or another piece of software with an internet connection, such as Skype).

The certificate for * has been issued by us—Digicert, a trusted Certificate Authority. The certificate itself is valid, however, due to a common misconfiguration, every time an ad from one of these affected servers attempts to load, this error is displayed. You may see it occasionally or dozens of times back-to-back.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that DigiCert can do to resolve this issue. The error is caused by misconfigured web servers operated by other companies. You can contact Bright Roll to report your problem, but they will not be able to provide an immediate fix.

The most direct way to fix this problem is to run ad blocking software, such as AdBlock Plus, to prevent these ads from loading. Users of Internet Explorer 11 report this issue more frequently, and may want to consider using a different web browser or turning on the built-in ad blocking and privacy protection features of IE11.

Users on Windows may also be receiving certificate error pop-ups when using Skype. This is due to the same root cause—Skype loading specific advertisements, which are coming from misconfigured websites. The official response from Skype is that the “Classic” version of the software may occasionally exhibit this issue, and the only current solution is to update to Skype Version 8.0+ or the Windows operating system.

If you have any other questions about this topic, feel free to leave us a comment.


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