Certificate issues with Tootsbook

Since about 5am (Eastern time) some users are experiencing intermittent connection issues with Tootsbook. We’re looking into it, but it seems there may be a problem with the SSL Certificate used to ensure browsing privacy.

Visiting Tootsbook at http://tootsbook.com/ (instead of https:) seems to work, but it’s possible others can tell what pages you’re reading. This may be only a small invasion of privacy, but it’s a risk you should be aware of, not only for Tootsville, but on the Web in general.

Update (13:30):

Brief outages seem to have appeared around the following times, but things seem to be all right now. (Times US/Eastern)

04:57‐05:19; 06:47‐07:15; 12:27‐12:54

Update (13:40):

The 12:27‐12:54 outage might actually have been caused, at least partially, by our troubleshooting efforts.


What is TLS (SSL)?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) keeps the “conversation” between your web browser and a web server private. You can tell you’re using TLS (formerly called SSL) because a URI (web address) will begin with “https:” and your browser should show a “lock” or similar indication beside that address.

It’s most important for very private information, like credit card numbers or passwords, but it’s generally a good idea to encrypt everything you send over the web. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a tool to help ensure that you use TLS wherever possible, called Https Everywhere.

You can check your browser’s TLS with https://www.howsmyssl.com/ instantly.


What went wrong?

Honestly, we’re not really sure, but “something” caused a “glitch” in the certificate that Tootsbook.com uses to establish a TLS connection. We’ll be monitoring it as always to see if it reoccurs.

Graphics Not Loading Bug

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) hasn’t yet updated to recognize our new static content server, you might see “missing” art on some pages today. These problems should self-correct over the next couple of hours, but we don’t expect them to affect many users.

This mostly would be visible as missing logos on the main “splash” page, disappearing bookmark icons, and similar glitches. If you right-click on a “broken image” icon and “open image” (or similar), you might see an error message like, “this site has not set up their security properly,” or “cannot reach this server.”

Error on Fri, 4 October, 2016
Error on Fri, 4 October, 2016

It turns out that our secure server system and a content distribution system we were experimenting with got into a bit of an argument. Within the next hour or two, things should sort themselves out.

Toot Tester troubleshooting

Sorry ☹

We’ll post a follow-up, later, about the neat changes underneath that this “outage” is making possible, though.