Multiple websites and reports have shown that there will be an "Internet Blackout" on September 30, 2021. This will affect millions of devices including computers, smartphones, video game consoles, etc. These devices will not be able to access the internet or have any kind of network.
This can be a very challenging scenario for millions of people. The world has just started going back to the work from the office environment and with devices losing network and connectivity can be a serious threat to production and productivity.
Is it for real? Or just a part of a conspiracy theory?
On September 30, 2021, the IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 certificate is set to expire. What does this mean? Let's Encrypt, a non-profit organization, issues certificates that encrypt the connections between your devices and the Internet in general, ensuring that no one can intercept and steal your data in transit.
To simplify it, every time you enter a website that starts with HTTPS, which means that it is secure, it is thanks to the certificate issued. But after September 30, Let's Encrypt will stop using this old certificate.
What are the Possible Consequences?
Going by TechCrunch, this will have no consequences for the majority of internet users in the world. But, it does not mean that they will not be affected by this change: there will be computers, devices and browsers that could no longer connect to the internet if they are not up-to-date.
What Devices are Supposed to Experience This?
The devices that would be affected by the expiration of the certificate will be those that are not updated regularly, such as embedded systems that are designed not to update automatically or smartphones that run versions of software from years ago. Users running earlier versions of macOS 2016 and Windows XP (with Service Pack 3) are likely to face issues, along with clients that rely on OpenSSL 1.0.2 or earlier, and older PlayStations 4 that have not been upgraded to a newer firmware.
What Happens to Android Devices?
Theoretically, devices with an Android operating system prior to version 7.1.1 would be affected, but Lets Encrypt would have already worked to extend the validity of the certificate for another three years. However, those that are version 2.3.6 could still be seen offline.
Those that will be affected will be those with an operating system prior to iOS 10. The iPhone 5 models is the lowest model that can have iOS 10, so the previous ones may have problems.
What Can Consumers Do?
Check your devices and make the corresponding updates. Most will not have problems, although inevitably there will be "victims" by this "blackout" of the internet.