Why does my mail program want an exception for the SSL certificate?

Asked by:
HubFans / n/a Points
2015-05-23 1:39 am EST
I use the WHH secure servers for checking and sending e-mail. Recently, when trying to send e-mail, I receive an error message prompting me to create a security exception. (This is new in the past few days.)

The error declares "This site attempts to identify itself with invalid information," and that the "Certificate is not trusted, because it hasn't been verified by a recognized authority." From searching around online, my best interpretation is that the root certificate is not properly identified and so the rest of the chain is considered suspect. (This is what checking at ssl-tools.net suggests, e.g.)

So, what's going on? Do I need to create this security exception / is that a good idea?

I use Postbox (postbox-inc.com) e-mail, which was based on Thunderbird originally; I have read advisories for Thunderbird that seem similar to this issue, but I can't tell for certain if they are the same thing or not.

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12,339 Points
2015-05-23 2:00 am EST

Thank you for contacting us about an SSL certificate error. All hosting accounts include a shared SSL certificate. You can use the SSL certificate when checking mail, however you will need to use the "secure" mail server instead of mail.yourdomain.com. If you have the client set as SSL but are not using the secure server, it can cause a Unsecure Connection error. For more information on how to set up an SSL connection, please see our article on connecting to email via SSL. This was taken from our full guide on Troubleshooting Error Messages when Checking Email.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.

Thank you,
John-Paul B

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Reading comprehension 101.

The very first sentence I posted was "I use the WHH secure servers for checking and sending e-mail."

How is it useful to advise me that "you will need to use the 'secure' mail server?"
17 Points

2015-05-23 2:27 pm EST

1,198 Points
2015-05-27 7:25 am EST
Hello Matthew,

I apologize for the miscommunication. Can you provide the settings you are using to connect (server, port, security). This way we can help pinpoint why you are getting this error.

Best Regards,
TJ Edens

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Of course. I apologize for being impolite, too.

My account is on server 31. I have Postbox set up to send mail with SSL/TLS, using port 465. Let me know if I can provide other details.

Thank you!
17 Points

2015-05-28 1:39 am EST
Hello MatthewKuhns,

Shared server certificates are purchased with the shared server name in mind. Whereas, the mail client is looking to MATCH the domain name with the server. So, because you're using the shared server's SSL, the certificate would be set to secure31.webhostinghub.com. This would NOT match with your domain name resulting in the message you're seeing. These certificates are finite - meaning that they expire. When they're renewed, you would need to simply accept them (the exception) within your browser/email client again.

If you have any further questions on the issue, please let me know.

Arnel C.
17,314 Points
2015-05-29 6:23 pm EST
Okay, thank you so much for detailing this. I am glad to know more about what's happening here; I no longer feel like I'm in the dark and your reply is much appreciated.
17 Points

2015-05-29 7:09 pm EST
Hello Matthew,

No problem! Apologies that it took us a few replies to clarify! I meant to mention one last thing. When you look at the exception alert, make a note of the server name they mention (in this case it should be secure31.webhostinghub.com) and then use an SSL checker like this one (https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html#hostname=secure31.webhostinghub.com) to check its validity. That should give you extra piece of mind that the server your making an exception for is actually secured by a VALID SSL certificate.

Arnel C.
17,314 Points
2015-05-29 8:20 pm EST
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