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Webbrowsers and certificate errors

Read this if you are experiencing trouble accessing our software pages with your webbrowser

Problem Description

In some cases you may experience problems when trying to access web-sites using secure connections and certificates such as our software pages (e.g. GenDB, EMMA). When accessing the secure page for the first time, some webbrowsers such as the Mozilla Firefox up to version 5.0 may show an alert message " uses an invalid security certificate".

The reason for this is that we are using a certificate that is not issued by a Certification Authority (CA) included into a number of webbrowsers. Certificates are used to identify and authenticate the server of a secure web-site. A certificate can for example be purchased from a commercial CA. As an academic institution we use a certificate that is signed by the Deutsche Forschungs-Netz (DFN). Unfortunately, this CA (or better the German Telekom which is the root CA for the DFN) is, up to now, not included into some webbrowsers, for example older versions of Mozilla Firefox.

See the Mozilla bug report at to get an impressive overview of the bureaucratic process of getting a root certificate into this product.


To access our software you may want to follow the procedure outlined below. This has to be done only once. We apologize for any complication caused by this.

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