A website wants to switch an SSL certificate from Network Solutions to Gandi. Everything seemed to be installed correctly except that there is an error being thrown in Firefox only. On Chrome and IE, there are no errors being thrown. It appears that there is something wrong with the certification path. I've tried a few things and Googled around but the problem won't go away. Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Steps attempted:

  • Gandi Intermediate Certificate acquired from Gandi per instructions at http://wiki.gandi.net/en/ssl/intermediate (SHA2 Standard certificate)
  • Added the Gandi Intermediate Certificate to the server (MMC > Certificates > Intermediate Certification Authorities > Certificates)
  • USERTRust RSA Certification Authority Certificate acquired from SSL-Tools at https://ssl-tools.net/certificates/1y0ovx5-usertrust-rsa-certification-authority
  • Added the USERTrust RSA Certification Authority Certificate to the server (MMC > Certificates > Trusted Root Certification Authorities > Certificates)
  • Restarting IIS after every installation.
  • Clearing local browser cache after every installation.

Firefox Error:

Technical Details
www.somedomain.org uses an invalid security certificate.
The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown.
(Error code: sec_error_unknown_issuer)

Firefox 34 Certificate Heirarchy:

Gandi Standard SSL CA 2 > somedomain.org

Chrome 40 and Internet Explorer 11 Certification Path:

USERTRust > USERTrust RSA Certification Authority > Gandi Standard SSL CA 2 > somedomain.org

SSL Labs test results (https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html):

Additional Certificates (if supplied)
Certificates provided   2 (2851 bytes)
Chain issues    Incomplete
Subject Gandi Standard SSL CA 2 
Fingerprint: 247106a405b288a46e70a0262717162d0903e734
Valid until Wed Sep 11 16:59:59 PDT 2024 (expires in 9 years and 8 months)
Key RSA 2048 bits (e 65537)
Issuer  USERTrust RSA Certification Authority
Signature algorithm SHA384withRSA

Certification Paths
1   Sent by server  somedomain.org 
Fingerprint: 0123456789012345678901234567890123456789 
RSA 2048 bits (e 65537) / SHA256withRSA
2   Sent by server  Gandi Standard SSL CA 2 
Fingerprint: 247106a405b288a46e70a0262717162d0903e734 
RSA 2048 bits (e 65537) / SHA384withRSA
3   Extra download  USERTrust RSA Certification Authority 
Fingerprint: eab040689a0d805b5d6fd654fc168cff00b78be3 
RSA 4096 bits (e 65537) / SHA384withRSA
4   In trust store  AddTrust External CA Root   Self-signed 
Fingerprint: 02faf3e291435468607857694df5e45b68851868 
RSA 2048 bits (e 65537) / SHA1withRSA 
Weak or insecure signature, but no impact on root certificate

SSL-Tools test results (https://ssl-tools.net/webservers/):

Certificate chain
1054 days remaining  2048 bit sha256WithRSAEncryption
- Gandi Standard SSL CA 2
- 3537 days remaining  2048 bit sha384WithRSAEncryption
- Root certificate unknown
-- USERTrust RSA Certification Authority


  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • IIS 7.5

1 Answer 1


'USERTrust RSA Certification Authority' is not recognized as a root CA on all platforms. So, the best option is use it as an intermediate CA, having a certificate signed by 'AddTrust External CA Root'.

You can retrieve this certificate at http://crt.usertrust.com/USERTrustRSAAddTrustCA.crt

Proper installation (most accepted) of your certificate is:

  • Root store
    • AddTrust External CA Root
  • Intermediate store
    • USERTrust RSA Certification Authority (signed by AddTrust)
    • Gandi Standard SSL CA 2
  • Personal store
    • [your server certificate]

Windows Server 2008 R2 manages automatically trusted certificates, so your server could get the next configuration:

  • Root store
    • AddTrust External CA Root
    • USERTrust RSA Certification Authority (self-signed)
  • Intermediate store
    • USERTrust RSA Certification Authority (signed by AddTrust)
    • Gandi Standard SSL CA 2
  • Personal store
    • [your server certificate]

When server sends the certificate it chooses the shortest path to root:

  • [server] < Gandi < USERTrust (self-signed)

And that is an incomplete chain for most platforms.

If this is your problem, the best solution is locate the 'USERTrust RSACertification Authority' on Root store and edit its Properties to 'Disable all purposes for this certificate'.

After you restart the server, Windows will always generate the desired chain:

  • [server] < Gandi < USERTrust < AddTrust
  • Thank you so much for the response. I took a look and it seems like all of the certificates are installed in the right places. Using the console MMC > Certificates (Local Computer) and then Personal, Trusted Root Certification Authorities, and Intermediate Certification Authorities, there are entries for all 5 certificates as you've noted. I also tried "Disable all purposes for this certificate". I'm guessing we're missing something small. Is "AddTrust External CA Root" the same as "USERTrust RSA Certification Authority"?
    – jiminy
    Jan 9, 2015 at 18:43
  • 'AddTrust External CA Root' and 'USERTrust RSA Certification Authority' are different root certificates. But 'USERTrust RSA Certification Authority' has also a certificate (with the same public key and CN) signed by AddTrust. It's better to use the intermediate certificate of USERTrust, enabling all clients trust your certificate. It's very important that you disable all purposes only to the 'USERTrust RSA Certification Authority' on root store. I've edited my post to reflect that a restart of the server is needed after the changes.
    – mimaen
    Jan 12, 2015 at 8:15
  • I'm not sure where to put this but @mimaen's answer shows what's missing but does not say how to fix it. What helped me was to install the certificates via MMC in this order: 1) Primary Gandi SSL Certificate as PFX into the Personal store, 2) Gandi Cross-Signed Certificate into the Intermediate store, and 3) USERTrustRSAAddTrustCA.crt into the Intermediate store. I'm not sure if it's necessary, but there was a reference online that suggested removing the RSA from the root store so we did so and have not seen any problems yet with that missing certificate. Thank you for your help.
    – jiminy
    Jan 15, 2015 at 7:10

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