If you’re a Spotify user, you’re probably aware that recently, the site was down, displaying the rather cryptic and unhelpful message “Couldn’t Load the Page.” The problem has now been resolved, but here’s a quick synopsis of what happened: According to Louis Poinsignon, a Cloudflare engineer, one of Spotify’s certificates “*.wg.spofity.com” expired and the company forgot to renew it.
Once the issue was identified, it didn’t take long to renew the certificate and get service restored. Unfortunately, these types of issues are becoming increasingly commonplace as large numbers of certificates are set to expire in the months ahead.
Part of the issue here is that an increasing percentage of site owners have adopted the use of secure socket connections. Each time one of these certificates expires and the company forgets to renew, the result is immediate communications issues that lead to outages until the certificates are renewed.
Spotify is hardly the first company to have experienced this. In recent months, we’ve seen a wide range of IoT devices having similar troubles. A website associated with California’s CalREDIE, which is an essential component of the state’s COVID-19 case tracking infrastructure, went offline briefly due to this very issue.
Facebook’s Tor server was briefly offline for the same reason, and even Microsoft Teams had issues. So the trouble isn’t limited to a single industry, or companies of a certain size, or anything like that. It’s a global issue that we’ll continue to feel the effects of for months to come. Certainly to the end of the year and likely beyond that.
Even if you’re fairly sure it won’t happen to you, it’s worth having your IT staff check your certificates and make sure they get renewed before they expire so your company doesn’t run into similar issues. It’s far better to be safe than sorry.