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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Expired certificates : how to display a contextual message
Date Wed, 07 Apr 2004 07:32:42 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> When I try to connect to mod_sll with an expired client 
> certificate it brings back a
> 'Page Cannot be Displayed' error message. This is for IE.
> Mozilla brings back a contextual pop-up : "could not 
> establish a encrypted connection .... because your 
> certificate is expired."
> Does anyone know how I can get it to return a 'Your 
> certificate has expired' error message that explains a bit 
> more to the client what exaclty happened? Can the server do 
> that or is it only dependent on the client.
> Is there a way to redirect the user to an error page, this 
> way, the message given would not depend on the browser of the 
> client, it would be the same page for all users.

Congratulations for actually searching the archives and reading relevant
posts *before* posting a question!

Regarding your problem, I think the original respondant is correct. The
failure is occurring during the HTTPS session negotiation so no HTTP
connection is ever established so there is no way for the server to
communicate with the client. Basically, apache isn't even aware that the
client has *tried* to connect. The communication looks something like

client: I want to set up an SSL session.
server: OK, I need to see your client cert.
client: Here is the cert.
server: (receives cert - oh no! It's expired!) Sorry, request denied.
client: Oh dear - (warns user with native method, drops connection).

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

> There was a similar post nearly two years ago that was rather 
> pessimistic about doing that, you can read it there :
> I hope there is a way to do that or to get around it.
> Thanks in advance for any hint on this.
> Nicolas.
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