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"Secure Connection Failed" - Firefox error message

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I receive an error "Secure Connection Failed", when trying to access an MIT certificate-protected page, or when trying to obtain an MIT personal certificate.
Secure connection error

Solution: Install the MIT Certificate Authority

The error messages you are receiving are related to Firefox not recognizing MIT's certificate authority. In most cases, installing the MIT CA (Certificate Authority) will resolve the issue.

  1. Download the MIT CA (Certificate Authority).
  2. Select Trust this CA to identify websites, and press OK.
    Trust new certificate authority screen

  3. The CA should now be installed in Firefox. Try again to access the site.

If the error persists after installing the MIT Certificate Authority

This error should not occur for IS&T sites after the MIT Certificate Authority (CA) has been installed in the browser.

  1. Make sure that you've typed the full name for the web server, for example, "", as opposed to "wikis".
  2. Note that the MIT CA needs to be installed separately for each web browser that you use.
  3. If you continue to get the error, contact the administrators for the site. They can let you know whether the following steps are needed for accessing the site:

Note: Follow these instructions only if you trust the administrator of the site.

  1. Select the link: Or you can add an exception.
    Secure connection error screen

  2. Select the Add Exception button.
    Add security exception screen

  3. Select the Get Certificate button.
    Add security exception for server

  4. Select the Confirm Security Exception button.
    User identification request screen

  5. Select your certificate and press OK.

Still having trouble?

This error can also occur when the MIT Certificate Authority is installed, but is not set to "identify websites." This setting is initially set when they install the CA, but also can be edited after the CA is installed. To edit the setting for the CA:

  1. Go to Preferences (Mac) or Options (Windows).
  2. Go to the Advanced tab > Certificates (in older versions of Firefox, this will be called Encryption) > View Certificates.
  3. In the next window, go to Authorities and find the MIT CA.
  4. Highlight the MIT CA and select, Edit.
  5. Check the box to allow the CA to identify websites.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

July 28, 2016

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