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All your old digital gadgets could stop working later this week

After a critical digital certificate essential to visit websites safely expires on Thursday, internet connectivity on outdated electronic equipment and smart gadgets may stop operating. Let’s Encrypt, the largest issuer of digital certificates (which encrypts and safeguards the connection between devices and websites on the internet), will be forced to expire one of its most popular digital certificates, the IdentTrust DST Root CA X3, on September 30.

This means that a number of phones, computers, video game consoles, smart gadgets, and “Internet of Things” devices purchased before 2017 and using the Let’s Encrypt digital certificate in question, as well as those that haven’t updated their software since then, may have trouble connecting to the internet. Popular devices affected include iPhones running iOS 9 and below, Android phones running software older than 2.3.6, Windows computers running software prior to XP SP3, Sony’s PS3 and PS4 game consoles, and the Nintendo 3DS.

Security researcher and cybersecurity expert Scott Helme, said, “Certain older devices from 2016 and before and any gadget that has the word ‘smart’ in it that requires internet connectivity, like certain TVs, bulbs, fridges, and home control apps, could be affected by this certificate expiry.” Many manufacturers, including Apple, Google, Sony, and Microsoft, have been unaware of the situation, according to Helme, and have made no announcements to customers about potential concerns.

This is one of the first large digital certifications to expire since the internet’s inception in the 1980s, according to him. As a result, there is no precedent on how to remedy the problem other than changing device software. Part of the reason for such issues is planned obsolescence, which causes tech equipment to stop working correctly after a set number of years. Although there is a substantial danger that millions of gadgets could stop working on Thursday, some internet security experts believe that each device will be affected differently.

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