Certificates on Windows Mobile

If you have a Windows Mobile device like the Spectra Precision Ranger 3, it has an ‘Internet Explorer’ program on it. You can use this to browse to websites like ours:


but if you browse to other websites (like Google) you get one or more security warnings:


What is up?

A couple of things, first when you  browse to Google, you type in “www.google.com” which evaluates to “http://www.google.com/”, but Google changes your request to the equivalent secure address “https://www.google.com/” which forces a secure web page to your mobile device.

Googles’s secure page is signed by


“Google Internet Authority G2” which in turn is signed by “GeoTrust Global CA”.

The underlying issue is new certificates are built with SHA2, not with SHA1. Microsoft depreciated SHA1 in July 2016. Early version of the operating system for the Ranger 3 don’t support SHA2. A new OS is available which does and if you update the OS (which will erase ALL data from the data collector) it will browse to these secure sites and load intermediate certificates as required.

There is a detailed description of the issue ( here )

There are many data collectors (which we also sell) that don’t have ready access to updated OS’s. There may not be an easy fix for these devices. However, I would add that for the intended purpose, these devices are still just fine. You should not be doing heavy web browsing on a Surveyor+ or LT30.

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