Starting September next year, all Android phones running older versions (v7.1 and prior) will not be able to load the websites from their browsers. This is because most of the sites running a TLS provided by Let’s Encrypt, will not be supported since it’s a partnership with IdenTrust will expire. IdenTrust root certificates are used for cross signing Let’s Encrypt in user devices.
Let’s Encrypt Ending Partnership
Let’s Encrypt is a Certificate Authority, which started about five years back to provide a free TLS for all. The organization has applied for installing its ISRG Root X1 root certificate in all devices and browsers, which will be cross-signed by IdenTrust’s DST Root X3 root certificate for verification.
Ans since the partnership between Let’s Encrypt and IdenTrust is ending in September of 2021, Let’s Encrypt now warns about the consequences of this breakup. While it’s grown to cross sign its root certificates by own today, it needs the devices to run on the latest versions to be supported. Thus, it specially mentioned that Android devices running on versions 7.1 and older will not be able to access websites once the support ends next year.
As of now, it’s recorded that over 30% of the world domains use Let’s Encrypt root certificates, meaning all of them will be inaccessible once the partnership with IdenTrust ends. Statistics show about 6% of phones in the world still run on Android 7.1 and lower, putting them all at risk.
While it’s suggested that users upgrade their mobiles to new ones meanwhile, Let’s Encrypt has also recommended using the Mozilla Firefox browser for overcoming these issues when the support ends. Since Firefox browser comes with their own root certificates for self cross signing, it supports devices running on Android 5.0 and above for web access.
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