[LINK] More on the Uselessness of Dig Sig Certs

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Jul 17 13:29:00 AEST 2012

What's a mug punter meant to make of this?

Attempts to access
generate errors,
and the errors are inconsistent between browsers, and/or wrong.

(1)  Safari 4.1.3 displays a small box containing:
>The certificate for this web-site has expired
[re-typed, because the idiot programmer made that message uncopiable]

When you expand the box, you get a *different* error-message:
>This certificate is not valid (host name mismatch).

Better yet, the names match, and the certificate is shown as date-valid.

See http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/MA-120717-Safari.tiff

(2)  Firefox 3.0.19 displays
>Secure Connection Failed
>medicareaustralia.gov.au uses an invalid security certificate.
>The certificate is only valid for www.medicareaustralia.gov.au.
>(Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)
># This could be a problem with the server's configuration, or it 
>could be someone trying to impersonate the server.
># If you have connected to this server successfully in the past, the 
>error may be temporary, and you can try again later.

[But wait a minute, that the same domain as in the URL window]

No further detail is offered, just 'Add Exception' or Abandon.

See http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/MA-120717-Firefox.tiff

Sure, they're old browsers - just like a lot of other users have, 
variously through laziness, incompatibilities, and strong preferences 
for less-intrusive old-style browsers over modern 
malware-facilitating browsers.

Added to that, it appears that the same problems exist with at least 
some current browsers.

One possibility is that "Medicare information has moved to a single 
entry point for health, social and welfare payments and services", 
and they've left the Medicare site in a state of disrepair - despite 
the fact that large numbers of people were habituated to going there.

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law               University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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