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If you are a user of the ChemNet service, you need to update your device configuration by noon April 9th 2018 in order to maintain wifi access after that time. The best way to update your device configuration is to make it forget the current ChemNet wifi configuration and then follow the instructions for connecting to ChemNet to set up the connection again.

Why is the change necessary?

The University's SSL certificate supplier has changed the certificate authority it uses to issue the SSL certificates that secure ChemNet. Clients need to be updated to know about the new certificate authority or they will be unable to verify that they are connecting to the real ChemNet and not a malicious network pretending to be ChemNet. Clients that are unable to verify they are connecting to the right network usually refuse to connect in order to protect you.

In more detail: When your device connects to ChemNet, it needs to provide your username and password to our authentication server so we can confirm that you are an authorised user of the service. We use an SSL certificate (the same technology used by secure HTTPS websites) to enable your device to verify the identity of the wifi network it is connected to, and to ensure that your username and password are securely encrypted when they are sent over the network. The SSL certificate also ensures that your device only sends your ChemNet credentials to our authentication server and nowhere else - it would otherwise be possible for a malicious third party to trick your device into connecting to their wifi network and steal your Chemnet credentials.

SSL certificates always have an expiry date, and the certificate used by the ChemNet service expires on April 9th. The replacement one uses the new certificate authority. Thus, you need to configure your device to trust the new certificate authority for ChemNet before the existing one expires.

What is being changed?

The precise details of the changes being made are listed below - these are provided mainly for interest, and we strongly recommend that you make your device forget its existing ChemNet configuration and then follow the instructions for connecting to ChemNet to setup the connection again. Please note the exact terminology for the following settings varies from device to device.

  • Your username/identity/inner identity for ChemNet changes from e.g. fjc55@ch.cam.ac.uk to fjc55@ch.2018.cam.ac.uk (where fjc55 is your CRSID)
  • The anonymous/outer identity for ChemNet changes from @ch.cam.ac.uk to @ch.2018.cam.ac.uk (N.B. not all devices ask you to set this)
  • The CA certficate/Certificate authority changes from AddTrust External Root to QuoVadis Root CA 2 G3.

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