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Expiring Jars

So around the end of July our customer service application, developed by an outsourcer as part of this review in early 2005, died.
Bruce is conducting a BSM review using NWC Inc. applications, and noted that the app was broken. I rebooted the machine, but still no luck - something had seriously messed up the app. I seriously believed it had something to do with Bruce's review, like an altered classpath or replaced JAR file somewhere, but couldn't find anything wrong.
Today I was hanging with Jeff from Cognos, installing Cognos Series 7 and getting a tour for my BI review when he mentioned he needed a USB fob to transfer some files because the certs used to sign a jar file had expired and that it screws up the cryptography functions in the app if he doesn't upgrade them.

I noticed the files he was replacing were JCE_1.2.1 and a light bulb appeared above my head (no kidding, really - a light bulb, 150 watt). That appeared to be the problem with our app as well!

A quick search on expiration of JCE 1.2.1 turned up some well hidden advisories on the subject, and it turns out that on July 28, 2005 the digital certs used to sign JCE 1.2.1 expired. I replaced the JCE jar files with the updated JCE 1.2.2 files and surprise! The application is back up and running.

I'm a bit miffed that I was in the dark and had no explanation as to why the app suddenly stopped working, but I'm even more disgusted that the plethora of searches I did via Google did not turn up even ONE reference to the 'expiring cert' issue with JCE 1.2.1.
But thanks to some unexpected help, we're back in service.