Java – Trusting all certificates using HttpClient over HTTPS


Recently posted a question regarding the HttpClient over Https (found here). I've made some headway, but I've run into new issues. As with my last problem, I can't seem to find an example anywhere that works for me. Basically, I want my client to accept any certificate (because I'm only ever pointing to one server) but I keep getting a Not trusted server certificate exception.

So this is what I have:

    public void connect() throws A_WHOLE_BUNCH_OF_EXCEPTIONS {

        HttpPost post = new HttpPost(new URI(PROD_URL));
        post.setEntity(new StringEntity(BODY));

        KeyStore trusted = KeyStore.getInstance("BKS");
        trusted.load(null, "".toCharArray());
        SSLSocketFactory sslf = new SSLSocketFactory(trusted);

        SchemeRegistry schemeRegistry = new SchemeRegistry();
        schemeRegistry.register(new Scheme ("https", sslf, 443));
        SingleClientConnManager cm = new SingleClientConnManager(post.getParams(),

        HttpClient client = new DefaultHttpClient(cm, post.getParams());
        HttpResponse result = client.execute(post);

And here's the error I'm getting:

    W/System.err(  901): Not trusted server certificate 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.OpenSSLSocketImpl.startHandshake( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.AbstractVerifier.verify( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory.connectSocket( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.impl.conn.DefaultClientConnectionOperator.openConnection( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at 
    W/System.err(  901):    at 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.DefaultRequestDirector.execute( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.AbstractHttpClient.execute( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.AbstractHttpClient.execute( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.AbstractHttpClient.execute( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at me.harrisonlee.test.ssl.MainActivity.connect( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at me.harrisonlee.test.ssl.MainActivity.access$0( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at me.harrisonlee.test.ssl.MainActivity$ 
    W/System.err(  901): Caused by: the trust anchors set is empty 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.TrustManagerImpl.checkServerTrusted( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.OpenSSLSocketImpl.startHandshake( 
    W/System.err(  901):    ... 12 more 
    W/System.err(  901): Caused by: the trust anchors set is empty 
    W/System.err(  901):    at 
    W/System.err(  901):    at<init>( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.TrustManagerImpl.<init>( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.TrustManagerFactoryImpl.engineGetTrustManagers( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at  901):     at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory.createTrustManagers( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory.<init>( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory.<init>( 
    W/System.err(  901):    at me.harrisonlee.test.ssl.MainActivity.connect( 
    W/System.err(  901):    ... 2 more

Best Solution

You basically have four potential solutions to fix a "Not Trusted" exception on Android using httpclient:

  1. Trust all certificates. Don't do this, unless you really know what you're doing.
  2. Create a custom SSLSocketFactory that trusts only your certificate. This works as long as you know exactly which servers you're going to connect to, but as soon as you need to connect to a new server with a different SSL certificate, you'll need to update your app.
  3. Create a keystore file that contains Android's "master list" of certificates, then add your own. If any of those certs expire down the road, you are responsible for updating them in your app. I can't think of a reason to do this.
  4. Create a custom SSLSocketFactory that uses the built-in certificate KeyStore, but falls back on an alternate KeyStore for anything that fails to verify with the default.

This answer uses solution #4, which seems to me to be the most robust.

The solution is to use an SSLSocketFactory that can accept multiple KeyStores, allowing you to supply your own KeyStore with your own certificates. This allows you to load additional top-level certificates such as Thawte that might be missing on some Android devices. It also allows you to load your own self-signed certificates as well. It will use the built-in default device certificates first, and fall back on your additional certificates only as necessary.

First, you'll want to determine which cert you are missing in your KeyStore. Run the following command:

openssl s_client -connect

And you'll see output like the following:

Certificate chain
 0 s:/ to SSL123 
   certificate/OU=Domain Validated/
   i:/C=US/O=Thawte, Inc./OU=Domain Validated SSL/CN=Thawte DV SSL CA
 1 s:/C=US/O=Thawte, Inc./OU=Domain Validated SSL/CN=Thawte DV SSL CA
   i:/C=US/O=thawte, Inc./OU=Certification Services Division/OU=(c) 
   2006 thawte, Inc. - For authorized use only/CN=thawte Primary Root CA

As you can see, our root certificate is from Thawte. Go to your provider's website and find the corresponding certificate. For us, it was here, and you can see that the one we needed was the one Copyright 2006.

If you're using a self-signed certificate, you didn't need to do the previous step since you already have your signing certificate.

Then, create a keystore file containing the missing signing certificate. Crazybob has details how to do this on Android, but the idea is to do the following:

If you don't have it already, download the bouncy castle provider library from: This will go on your classpath below.

Run a command to extract the certificate from the server and create a pem file. In this case, mycert.pem.

echo | openssl s_client -connect ${MY_SERVER}:443 2>&1 | \
 sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p' > mycert.pem

Then run the following commands to create the keystore.

export CLASSPATH=/path/to/bouncycastle/bcprov-jdk15on-155.jar
if [ -a $CERTSTORE ]; then
    rm $CERTSTORE || exit 1
keytool \
      -import \
      -v \
      -trustcacerts \
      -alias 0 \
      -file <(openssl x509 -in mycert.pem) \
      -keystore $CERTSTORE \
      -storetype BKS \
      -provider org.bouncycastle.jce.provider.BouncyCastleProvider \
      -providerpath /path/to/bouncycastle/bcprov-jdk15on-155.jar \
      -storepass some-password

You'll notice that the above script places the result in res/raw/mystore.bks. Now you have a file that you'll load into your Android app that provides the missing certificate(s).

To do this, register your SSLSocketFactory for the SSL scheme:

final SchemeRegistry schemeRegistry = new SchemeRegistry();
schemeRegistry.register(new Scheme("http", PlainSocketFactory.getSocketFactory(), 80));
schemeRegistry.register(new Scheme("https", createAdditionalCertsSSLSocketFactory(), 443));

// and then however you create your connection manager, I use ThreadSafeClientConnManager
final HttpParams params = new BasicHttpParams();
final ThreadSafeClientConnManager cm = new ThreadSafeClientConnManager(params,schemeRegistry);

To create your SSLSocketFactory:

protected org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory createAdditionalCertsSSLSocketFactory() {
    try {
        final KeyStore ks = KeyStore.getInstance("BKS");

        // the bks file we generated above
        final InputStream in = context.getResources().openRawResource( R.raw.mystore);  
        try {
            // don't forget to put the password used above in strings.xml/mystore_password
            ks.load(in, context.getString( R.string.mystore_password ).toCharArray());
        } finally {

        return new AdditionalKeyStoresSSLSocketFactory(ks);

    } catch( Exception e ) {
        throw new RuntimeException(e);

And finally, the AdditionalKeyStoresSSLSocketFactory code, which accepts your new KeyStore and checks if the built-in KeyStore fails to validate an SSL certificate:

 * Allows you to trust certificates from additional KeyStores in addition to
 * the default KeyStore
public class AdditionalKeyStoresSSLSocketFactory extends SSLSocketFactory {
    protected SSLContext sslContext = SSLContext.getInstance("TLS");

    public AdditionalKeyStoresSSLSocketFactory(KeyStore keyStore) throws NoSuchAlgorithmException, KeyManagementException, KeyStoreException, UnrecoverableKeyException {
        super(null, null, null, null, null, null);
        sslContext.init(null, new TrustManager[]{new AdditionalKeyStoresTrustManager(keyStore)}, null);

    public Socket createSocket(Socket socket, String host, int port, boolean autoClose) throws IOException {
        return sslContext.getSocketFactory().createSocket(socket, host, port, autoClose);

    public Socket createSocket() throws IOException {
        return sslContext.getSocketFactory().createSocket();

     * Based on
    public static class AdditionalKeyStoresTrustManager implements X509TrustManager {

        protected ArrayList<X509TrustManager> x509TrustManagers = new ArrayList<X509TrustManager>();

        protected AdditionalKeyStoresTrustManager(KeyStore... additionalkeyStores) {
            final ArrayList<TrustManagerFactory> factories = new ArrayList<TrustManagerFactory>();

            try {
                // The default Trustmanager with default keystore
                final TrustManagerFactory original = TrustManagerFactory.getInstance(TrustManagerFactory.getDefaultAlgorithm());
                original.init((KeyStore) null);

                for( KeyStore keyStore : additionalkeyStores ) {
                    final TrustManagerFactory additionalCerts = TrustManagerFactory.getInstance(TrustManagerFactory.getDefaultAlgorithm());

            } catch (Exception e) {
                throw new RuntimeException(e);

             * Iterate over the returned trustmanagers, and hold on
             * to any that are X509TrustManagers
            for (TrustManagerFactory tmf : factories)
                for( TrustManager tm : tmf.getTrustManagers() )
                    if (tm instanceof X509TrustManager)
                        x509TrustManagers.add( (X509TrustManager)tm );

            if( x509TrustManagers.size()==0 )
                throw new RuntimeException("Couldn't find any X509TrustManagers");


         * Delegate to the default trust manager.
        public void checkClientTrusted(X509Certificate[] chain, String authType) throws CertificateException {
            final X509TrustManager defaultX509TrustManager = x509TrustManagers.get(0);
            defaultX509TrustManager.checkClientTrusted(chain, authType);

         * Loop over the trustmanagers until we find one that accepts our server
        public void checkServerTrusted(X509Certificate[] chain, String authType) throws CertificateException {
            for( X509TrustManager tm : x509TrustManagers ) {
                try {
                } catch( CertificateException e ) {
                    // ignore
            throw new CertificateException();

        public X509Certificate[] getAcceptedIssuers() {
            final ArrayList<X509Certificate> list = new ArrayList<X509Certificate>();
            for( X509TrustManager tm : x509TrustManagers )
            return list.toArray(new X509Certificate[list.size()]);

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