Expired certificates likely contributed to one of two data glitches that had California undercounting new COVID-19 cases for more than a week – leading, some believe, to the resignation of the state’s public health director.

Certificates act as identities for all kinds of machines; they control the flow of sensitive data. When certificates expire applications, servers, containers and algorithms fail,” said Kevin Bocek, vice president of threat intelligence at Venafi.

Beginning July 31, an expired certificate kept California’s centralized reporting system from receiving data from Quest, one of the labs doing COVID-19 testing in the state. That incident followed a glitch caused by a temporary patch applied after a server outage in the centralized system.

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