Tuesday, May 28

Due to lapsed security settings the Tory website goes down on cabinet reshuffle day



The Conservative website broke in the middle of Theresa May’s critical reshuffle.

The official site found at Conservatives.com wouldn’t show to visitors who attempted to visit on one of the Government’s most high-profile days.

It was one of a run of technical problems for the party, which also tweeted the news that Chris Grayling would move to be Conservative party chairman before deleting it very soon after.

As chairman, it would be one of Mr Grayling’s responsibilities to ensure the website worked.

Visitors over the morning of the reshuffle saw a message that said the connection to the site wasn’t private, and were warned not to continue.

Others saw a less explained error, which only showed that the site’s server had broken.

The problem appears to be a consequence of the party not renewing its SSL certificate, which confirms with browsers that the website they’re viewing is safe. If that certificate isn’t kept up to date, then the website won’t properly load.

That’s because the party uses the more secure HTTPS protocol, meant to ensure that browsing can’t be intercepted. The website had been set up so that visitors couldn’t use the traditional but less secure HTTP protocol.

In that sense, the broken website is actually more secure than if it kept showing. If the website had continued to work, it would have been redirecting people to a less secure version of the website, meaning that visitors might have their browsing and computer opened up to attack.

The site is now back online and the certificate is back in place.

The website, which is devoted primarily to campaigning, doesn’t actually list the occupants of jobs before or after the reshuffle.

That is instead found on the Government’s website, where a page lists all the current ministers and is usually updated once a reshuffle has been completed.