Oculus VR has issued an update after an expired certificate rendered all of its Rift virtual reality headsets useless.
On 7 March, users took to Reddit to complain that their VR headsets wouldn't restart after completing a recent update. One user said they tried to manually restart their device. When they did, the headset displayed the error message "Can't reach Oculus Runtime Service."
Users quickly figured out that an expired certificate on OculusAppFramework.dll was interfering with the ability of all headsets to access the OVRLibrary service and update mechanism. As a result, the devices weren't starting correctly.
Oculus posted a comment to the Reddit thread confirming that it was working to resolve the issue. This annoyed a user who goes by the name of "CLTGUY," who fired back at the company for not posting something in its support forums about the issue.
To its credit, the American technology firm did use social media to reassure users that it was aware of the problem.
"We’re aware of an issue impacting people’s ability to use Rift’s software, and we’re working to fix the problem. Please visit https://t.co/uM54CuqqIn for the latest—thanks for your patience!"
— Oculus Rift (@OculusRift) March 7, 2018
At some point, it also let users of its support forums know that "an issue with [its] software certification" had affected users' access to their headsets.
Pushing out a fix proved to be a bit of an issue, as the expired certificate blocked the company's usual software update path. Oculus ultimately decided to release the patch on its website.
For instructions on how to install the update, click here.
Users were undoubtedly annoyed by the inconvenience of not being able to access their VR headsets. But they're not alone in their frustration.
Venafi spokesman Craig Steward told BBC News that many companies have suffered service disruptions due to an expired certificate:
“Oculus are far from alone in experiencing these difficulties. The average business has around 17,000 undiscovered or forgotten certificates in their environment and occasionally one will be as important as this one.”
Stewart went on to say that expired certificates usually occur because companies manually manage their certificates, a process which fails to inventory and monitor all their digital documents. To address those security gaps, he recommends businesses invest in a solution that automates the certificate management process.