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.
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.
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.