Windows CE 2.11 / 3.0 users are going to run into some trouble later this year when a large number of current generation secured Internet sites suddenly cease to work.
HPC:Factor has discovered that the Windows CE 2.12 / CE 3.0 Secure Channel services that ship in HPC2000 as well as the 128-bit SSL update for Handheld PC's will reach their certificate expiration sometime during 2004.
The expiration only affects Verisign issued security certificates, used by numerous e-Banking and e-Commerce services around the world. The Verisign Public Primary certificates that are used to ensure the safe receipt of data across the Internet are perhaps the most widely used of all the Root Certificate Authorities. For a good overview of the role of Verisign Public Primary keys see TrustItalia
Both Class 1, 2 and 3 are set to expire at some point during this year. Verisign/RSA certificates (Used by Hotmail for example) will remain unaffected for the time being.
Microsoft are keen for us to mention that the expiration of the certificates built into the Handheld PC Secure Channel does not necessarily mean the immediate deactivation of the sites that you use. In general it will mean that Verisign issue a new certificate. However after the expiration date passes a gradual process of users being unable to connect to web sites will begin.