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Stop local certificate warnings

Posted on 2015-02-02
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Last Modified: 2015-02-03
We have a lot of internal web interfaces for various devices (VMware management, Nimble management, KVM, etc.) and are tired of seeing the following message:

Chrome
or the IE version:

IE
I'm trying to figure out the best way around this.  I've read about installing my own Certificate Authority on my 2012 DC (http://careexchange.in/how-to-install-certificate-authority-on-windows-server-2012/) but am not sure if this is the solution to my problem, or what to do after installing the CA.  

Is there a solution that doesn't involve any browser setting changes or installing the certificate on each client PC in my network individually?
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Question by:fallriverelectric
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40585034
Most devices like KVMs allow you to replace their default certificate with one of your own. That requires no browser setting changes. If you buy public certificates then it also requires no certificate installations on the client machine. The other option is to stand up an internal CA and issue certificates from there. That'll be fine for domain-ho jed machines when set up properly, but other machines would require installing the root from the CA to trust any certs issued from it.

So you have options, but depends on your resources, environment, and goals.
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Author Comment

by:fallriverelectric
ID: 40585050
Would prefer not to buy public certificates for these applications that are used only internally.  So you say most devices allow you to replace the default with one of your own, I assume this requires an internal CA?  And I'd need to issue a certificate for every device or site throwing the message?  The article I linked to shows how to set up the CA, but isn't clear on what comes next, and I haven't really found that anywhere.
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40585061
Yes, you'd set up a certificate for each device/site. And each device has its own process for doing that. You have to generate a CSR (in the device itself), then submit that CSR to your new CA. And finally install the cert issued by the CA back on the device. Since each device has its own way of generating a CSR and subsequently installing the resulting cert, you'll have to refer to that device's documentation.
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Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 40587445
(Caveat:  Your internal CA will not necessary, automatically be trusted by the client machines.  If you install an internal CA, you'll still need a way to get the various browsers to trust your Root CA.  You can, for example, push the Root CA certificate out via Group Policy to windows machines, and IE will then trust certificates issued from that CA.  Firefox, and Java don't use the same certificate store and won't trust the CA, and I'm not certain about Chrome.  This isn't to say this isn't a solvable problem, but there may still be some fiddling with client machines... but fortunately with the CA, it'll be much LESS fiddling.  :-) )
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