2021 will bring access problems to thousands of sites

Released in 2016, Android 7, better known as Android Nougat, reached thousands of devices during the years 2016 and 2017, however, Google has already discontinued this version of its operating system, and now we We are on Android 11. It happens, that if you have a device with Android 7.1.1 Nougat or lower, there are great possibilities to be able to access thousands of sites from the next one. The reasons? They are directly associated with the HTTPS protocol, more precisely with the Let’s Encrypt certificates.

The HTTPS protocol (instead of HTTP) is used to encrypt communications. It also allows you to be sure to see the good content posted by the websites, and most importantly, it is safe. Sites that are over HTTPS (such as Noticias e Tecnologia) must use a certificate issued by an external entity, and one of the main ones in this area is Let’s Encrypt. Its advantage is that it is free, hence its significant adoption by sites. But this has side effects, and to be felt in 2021.

When Let’s Encrypt first came into existence, it requested that its own root certificate (ISRG Root X1) be included in all browsers and operating systems. At the same time, the issued certificates were signed by the IdenTrust DST Root X3 certificate. It’s been around for years on Windows, macOS, Android, and other operating systems.

Let’s Encrypt certificate expires and Android 7.1.1 (and earlier) phones will no longer access millions of HTTPS sites

Let’s Encrypt has an agreement with IdenTrust that expires on September 1, 2021, and the group has already announced that they have no plans to renew it. As a result, all operating systems that do not have the Let’s Encrypt root certificate will be blocked. In other words, they will not be able to access sites and services that use their certificates for HTTPS connections. In other words, Android 7.1.1 and earlier versions will no longer rely on Let’s Encrypt certificates as of September 2021. Therefore, connection with these sites will not be allowed.

Fortunately, there is a solution: use Firefox. Mozilla browser uses its own certificate store and continues to support ISRG Root X1. Sites with the Let’s Encrypt certificate will therefore be able to function normally, but the same will not be possible in other applications.


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Founder of Noticias e Tecnologia, and this is his second online project, after several years connected to a portal focused on the Android system, of which he was also one of its founders.

IT professional and passionate about new technologies, mechanical sports and mountain biking.