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Trying to figure out Facebook SSL errors

Posted on 2014-10-13
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Last Modified: 2015-04-07
Hi everyone,
On my corporate network, when I go to facebook.com, I'm getting SSL certificate security errors: NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID.  See attached.

When I look at the Certificate info, I see the info in the second attached screenshot. It looks like the certificate is being issued by our security software (Trend Micro).

Also of note, there aren't any restrictions on Facebook access, so it's not a permissions issue.

I'm trying to make sense of this. Can anyone shed some light on what the issue may be? Thanks in advance.
cert-error.png
cert-info.png
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Question by:isaacr25
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Assisted Solution

by:Chris
Chris earned 166 total points
ID: 40377254
Do you use any kind of inline web filter? In order to check the content on an SSL site, I've seen some web filters essentially perform a man in the middle attack on the SSL connection and the original site's certificate gets replaced by one generated by the filtering appliance.
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by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 166 total points
ID: 40377316
This is normal behaviour if you enable the deep scan / https scan in Trend Micro Web Security suite. That's because if you have it on, it's the only way to scan the https traffic. If it's the original certificate that Facebook uses, it means the connection is secure, and the content cannot be scanned. The only work around is that Trendmicro gives you the certificate, scans the content, and passes it on to Facebook (or any other https site).
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40377347
Is this behavior necessary? While I am an advocate of security, this is making Facebook unusable, and it is next for some business functions.

What's the difference between this cert issue and other ssl sites that are not experiencing this behavior? Is the Facebook cert not sufficient? Trying to understand...
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40377350
I meant to type that Facebook is necessary for business functions. Sorry.
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by:Wylie Bayes
ID: 40377366
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by:Kimputer
ID: 40377405
All the sites that are scanned by Trendmicro have this behaviour. If you don't want it, disable https scanning. As I said, this is normal behaviour if you enable it, as I also explained earlier.
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40377505
Kimputer
I can go to other sites via https without this behavior occuring. Does that mean that Trend is not set up to scan these sites? Again just trying to understand.

It is also being explained internally as being a SHA256 issue related to Google deprecation in January 2015. Doesn't make sense to me, but is there any validity there?
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 40379483
Sites via https that do NOT have this behavior, clearly means it's NOT being scanned (check if certificate is valid just to be sure). TrendMicro has either an active filter for facebook and not this site, or the otherway around (filter all sites, with a whitelist exception for the ones that don't have this behaviour).
It's just like physics, if something falls, it's because of gravity. If you see this Trendmicro certificate, it's because it's being scanned. If not, it's not being scanned. The active rules, you have to check yourself, or with your IT Admin.
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40380854
Kimputer
I can go to other sites via https without this behavior occuring. Does that mean that Trend is not set up to scan these sites? Again just trying to understand.

It is also being explained internally as being a SHA256 issue related to Google deprecation in January 2015. Doesn't make sense to me, but is there any validity there?
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40380858
Ignore that last post. Sorry. I'm following up on my end in regards to your last post. Thanks.
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by:Merete
ID: 40385925
Have you looked in the padlock permissions / connections etc on the Facebook page, just a side idea
Facebook security permissions
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aleghart earned 168 total points
ID: 40398180
The HTTPS monitoring uses a man-in-the-middle technique.  The content from the requested site is decrypted, analyzed, then re-encrypted with an SSL cert belonging to the analysis device/server.

The problem you have is that your browser is not accepting the substituted SSL cert.  Your browser is correctly detecting that the encrypted traffic is not using a cert that matches the host sending the data.

This is usually fixed in corporate environments by pushing out a group policy that trusts the SSL cert of the man-in-the-middle device.

Your I.T. department would do that for Internet Explorer (and Chrome).  For Firefox (which doesn't use I.E.'s settings), you might have to tweak it manually.

Have you talked to your I.T. team yet?
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40425082
I'm in discussion with the I.T. team now.

The confusing thing is that it seems to be selective. The issue is only happening for Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). On any other site with https (like https://google.com), everything works fine.
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by:aleghart
ID: 40425487
Content filters can be (and often are) configured with a pass-through list.  This recognizes a domain or URL pattern an bypasses the HTTPS decryption stage.  It leaves the encryption intact.

Social media sites are a category that's often set to 'monitor' or 'warn' or 'block'.  To show a warning or block page, the traffic must be decrypted, which uses the substitute (or man-in-the-middle) SSL cert.

Same goes for monitoring.  The stream must be proxied to the web server, then re-encrypted before delivering to your browser.  Requires the substitute key.
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Author Comment

by:isaacr25
ID: 40504010
Still in talks with IT. Should be able to close this question soon.
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