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I'd like to know if any certificates support a double wildcard like *.*.example.com? I've just been on the phone with my current SSL provider (register.com) and the girl there said they don't offer anything like that and that she didn't think it was possible anyway.

Can anyone tell me if this is possible, and if browsers support this?

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FYI for future visitors, no browser supports a double wildcard certificate ala *.*.example.com as of 2015. No idea why. –  Mahn Aug 10 at 21:03
@Mahn Then do you have to write *.a.a.com,*.b.a.com,*.c.a.com, ... manually? –  Liam William 2 days ago
@LiamWilliam apparently, I haven't found other combinations that browsers like up until now. It's a pain. –  Mahn 2 days ago

7 Answers 7

RFC2818 states:

If more than one identity of a given type is present in the certificate (e.g., more than one dNSName name, a match in any one of the set is considered acceptable.) Names may contain the wildcard character * which is considered to match any single domain name component or component fragment. E.g., *.a.com matches foo.a.com but not bar.foo.a.com. f*.com matches foo.com but not bar.com.

Internet Explorer behaves in the way outlined by the RFC, where each level needs its own wildcarded certificate. Firefox is happy with a single *.domain.com where * matches anything in front of domain.com, including other.levels.domain.com, but will also handle the *.*.domain.com types as well.

So, to answer your question: it is possible, and supported by browsers.

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Thank you! Testing on FF 3.5.7 this morning showed that it is now RFC compliant in the same way as IE. It rejected my .example.com cert for foo.bar.example.com. So just to clarify all I need is another wildcard cert that has *..example.com as the Common Name? –  Rob Long Jan 19 '10 at 17:04
correct, based on that you would need a *.*.example.com –  Alex Jan 19 '10 at 18:41
I just tested in FF 3.5 and IE 8 and neither would accept a certificate for ..example.com. I think the only solution is to use multiple wildcard certificates. –  Robert Jan 21 '10 at 1:16
Who wrote this standard? This is worthless. Also a waste of money if you ask me. What does it protect? –  Brent Pabst Apr 2 '12 at 23:15
If double-wildcards cause problems, do specific subdomains around wildcards work? ala SubjectAltName: DNS:foo.*.example.com, DNS:bar.*.example.com –  rcoup May 1 '12 at 21:19

Just to confirm FF and IE 8 will NOT accept certificates in the form *.*.example.com although it is technically possible to create them.

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Then do you have to write *.a.a.com,*.b.a.com,*.c.a.com manually? –  Liam William 2 days ago

When Wildcard SSL certificate is issued for *.domain.com, you can secure your unlimited number of sub domains over the main domain.

For example:

  • sub1.domain.com
  • sub2.domain.com
  • sub3.domain.com
  • sub*.domain.com

If the Wildcard SSL certificate is issued on *.sub1.domain.com, in that case you can secure all second level subdomains which are listed under the sub1.domain.com

For example:

  • aaa.sub1.domain.com
  • bbb.sub1.domain.com
  • ccc.sub1.domain.com
  • ***.sub1.domain.com

If you want to secure limited number of sub domains and second level domains, then you can choose multi domain SSL that can secure up to 100 domain names with a single certificate.

For example:

  • domain.com
  • sub1.domain.com
  • aaa.sub2.domain.com
  • domain2.net
  • domain3.org

You should know your actual requirements to choose an SSL certificate.

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I was just doing some research on this as I have the same requirements to secure sub subdomains as well and came across a solution from DigiCert.

This certificates says it will support yourdomain.com, *.yourdomain.com, *.*.yourdomain.com and so on.

It is currently rather pricy, but the hope is that other providers would start offering similar certificates and reduce prices.

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this is the right approach. a wildcard cert having multiple (wildcard) names supported –  AlberT May 28 at 10:23

This could be worth a new round of tests with current browser versions.

My personal quick check results in: Firefox 20.0.1 seems to still not support this. It shows:

This certificate is only valid for *.*.mydomain.com

...when surfing to https://svn.project.mydomain.com.

Internet Explorer 9.0:

The certificate of this website was made for another address


  • Both statements translated from German to English, by me. Probably I did not use the same phrases as the English browser versions would show.
  • I used a self-signed certificate. Which caused the browsers to show an additional sentence of warning. I assume that the quotes above would also be shown with a trusted certificate issuer. Verifying this was out of the scope of my "quick check".
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What you can do is something like *.domain.com and then *.www.domain.com or *.mail.domain.com. I've never seen *.*.domain.com on a production site.

You can get a wildcard (*.domain.com) but you will also need *.www.domain.com as a alternative subject name entry to get this to work. The only companies that I know offer this are ssl.com and digicert. There may be others but I'm not sure.

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there is no need for double wildcard as the single wildcard can accommodate any subdomains under the domain.com domain.


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I have done some testing on this in the past with self-signed certs. Firefox behaved as you suggest, where one *.domain.com covered it all. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, treats the wildcard ONLY for that portion of the domain. So you would need to have 2 wildcarded certs to secure both www.domain.com (*.domain.com) and secure.mail.domain.com (*.*.domain.com) as the original question is stated. –  Alex Jan 19 '10 at 15:18
@Alex is right, see his answer! –  Stefano May 10 '11 at 10:06

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