accepting HTTPS connections with self-signed certificates


I'm trying to make HTTPS connections, using HttpClient lib, but the problem is that, since the certificate isn't signed by a recognized Certificate Authority (CA) like Verisign,GlobalSIgn, etc., listed on the set of Android Trusted Certificates, I keep getting Not trusted server certificate.

I've seen solutions where you simply accept all certificates, but what if I want to ask the user?

I want to get a dialog similar to that of the browser, letting the user decide to continue or not. Preferably I'd like to use the same certificatestore as the browser. Any ideas?

2/20/2018 7:03:09 PM

Accepted Answer

The first thing you need to do is to set the level of verification. Such levels is not so much:


Although the method setHostnameVerifier() is obsolete for new library apache, but for version in Android SDK is normal. And so we take ALLOW_ALL_HOSTNAME_VERIFIER and set it in the method factory SSLSocketFactory.setHostnameVerifier().

Next, You need set our factory for the protocol to https. To do this, simply call the SchemeRegistry.register() method.

Then you need to create a DefaultHttpClient with SingleClientConnManager. Also in the code below you can see that on default will also use our flag (ALLOW_ALL_HOSTNAME_VERIFIER) by the method HttpsURLConnection.setDefaultHostnameVerifier()

Below code works for me:

HostnameVerifier hostnameVerifier = org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory.ALLOW_ALL_HOSTNAME_VERIFIER;

DefaultHttpClient client = new DefaultHttpClient();

SchemeRegistry registry = new SchemeRegistry();
SSLSocketFactory socketFactory = SSLSocketFactory.getSocketFactory();
socketFactory.setHostnameVerifier((X509HostnameVerifier) hostnameVerifier);
registry.register(new Scheme("https", socketFactory, 443));
SingleClientConnManager mgr = new SingleClientConnManager(client.getParams(), registry);
DefaultHttpClient httpClient = new DefaultHttpClient(mgr, client.getParams());

// Set verifier     

// Example send http request
final String url = "";
HttpPost httpPost = new HttpPost(url);
HttpResponse response = httpClient.execute(httpPost);
12/11/2012 8:57:42 AM

The following main steps are required to achieve a secured connection from Certification Authorities which are not considered as trusted by the android platform.

As requested by many users, I've mirrored the most important parts from my blog article here:

  1. Grab all required certificates (root and any intermediate CA’s)
  2. Create a keystore with keytool and the BouncyCastle provider and import the certs
  3. Load the keystore in your android app and use it for the secured connections (I recommend to use the Apache HttpClient instead of the standard (easier to understand, more performant)

Grab the certs

You have to obtain all certificates that build a chain from the endpoint certificate the whole way up to the Root CA. This means, any (if present) Intermediate CA certs and also the Root CA cert. You don’t need to obtain the endpoint certificate.

Create the keystore

Download the BouncyCastle Provider and store it to a known location. Also ensure that you can invoke the keytool command (usually located under the bin folder of your JRE installation).

Now import the obtained certs (don’t import the endpoint cert) into a BouncyCastle formatted keystore.

I didn’t tested it, but I think the order of importing the certificates is important. This means, import the lowermost Intermediate CA certificate first and then all the way up to the Root CA certificate.

With the following command a new keystore (if not already present) with the password mysecret will be created and the Intermediate CA certificate will be imported. I also defined the BouncyCastle provider, where it can be found on my file system and the keystore format. Execute this command for each certificate in the chain.

keytool -importcert -v -trustcacerts -file "path_to_cert/interm_ca.cer" -alias IntermediateCA -keystore "res/raw/myKeystore.bks" -provider org.bouncycastle.jce.provider.BouncyCastleProvider -providerpath "path_to_bouncycastle/bcprov-jdk16-145.jar" -storetype BKS -storepass mysecret

Verify if the certificates were imported correctly into the keystore:

keytool -list -keystore "res/raw/myKeystore.bks" -provider org.bouncycastle.jce.provider.BouncyCastleProvider -providerpath "path_to_bouncycastle/bcprov-jdk16-145.jar" -storetype BKS -storepass mysecret

Should output the whole chain:

RootCA, 22.10.2010, trustedCertEntry, Thumbprint (MD5): 24:77:D9:A8:91:D1:3B:FA:88:2D:C2:FF:F8:CD:33:93
IntermediateCA, 22.10.2010, trustedCertEntry, Thumbprint (MD5): 98:0F:C3:F8:39:F7:D8:05:07:02:0D:E3:14:5B:29:43

Now you can copy the keystore as a raw resource in your android app under res/raw/

Use the keystore in your app

First of all we have to create a custom Apache HttpClient that uses our keystore for HTTPS connections:

public class MyHttpClient extends DefaultHttpClient {

  final Context context;

  public MyHttpClient(Context context) {
      this.context = context;

  protected ClientConnectionManager createClientConnectionManager() {
      SchemeRegistry registry = new SchemeRegistry();
      registry.register(new Scheme("http", PlainSocketFactory.getSocketFactory(), 80));
      // Register for port 443 our SSLSocketFactory with our keystore
      // to the ConnectionManager
      registry.register(new Scheme("https", newSslSocketFactory(), 443));
      return new SingleClientConnManager(getParams(), registry);

  private SSLSocketFactory newSslSocketFactory() {
      try {
          // Get an instance of the Bouncy Castle KeyStore format
          KeyStore trusted = KeyStore.getInstance("BKS");
          // Get the raw resource, which contains the keystore with
          // your trusted certificates (root and any intermediate certs)
          InputStream in = context.getResources().openRawResource(R.raw.mykeystore);
          try {
              // Initialize the keystore with the provided trusted certificates
              // Also provide the password of the keystore
              trusted.load(in, "mysecret".toCharArray());
          } finally {
          // Pass the keystore to the SSLSocketFactory. The factory is responsible
          // for the verification of the server certificate.
          SSLSocketFactory sf = new SSLSocketFactory(trusted);
          // Hostname verification from certificate
          return sf;
      } catch (Exception e) {
          throw new AssertionError(e);

We have created our custom HttpClient, now we can just use it for secure connections. For example when we make a GET call to a REST resource.

// Instantiate the custom HttpClient
DefaultHttpClient client = new MyHttpClient(getApplicationContext());
HttpGet get = new HttpGet("");
// Execute the GET call and obtain the response
HttpResponse getResponse = client.execute(get);
HttpEntity responseEntity = getResponse.getEntity();

That's it ;)

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