Saturday, March 26, 2022

Exchange - Install Let's Encrypt On SpamTitan

If your company is anything like the one I work for, they really hate spending money on technology...it almost becomes a yearly fight when renewing things like certificates, even though certs are needed for almost everything regarding messaging.

One of those certs is the SSL cert on SpamTitan, which is used for the WebUI secure connections and more importantly, outbound TLS connections - meaning: external receiving servers can't verify TLS without a public cert.

Luckily, SpamTitan now supports free certs from Let's Encrypt. Now, you're prolly thinking "woah, Let's Encrypt? On production?" Let's Encrypt sometimes gets a bad rap because it expires in 90 days and depending on the system you have to jump through hoops to install/renew it. It's very easy on SpamTitan, it's free, and it will automatically request the certificate, install it, and set up TLS and HTTPS for you. Additionally, it will be automatically renewed before expiration, without ever touching it again...can't do that with a paid public cert, can ya? 😁

Here's how to install the Let's Encrypt certificate on your SpamTitan appliance.

Go to Settings > SSL

Provide all the same information as if you're requesting a cert from a public CA:

SpamTitan SSL

Common Name: This is the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) that will be used in the URL to access the SpamTitan UI. It must match the server name exactly, otherwise you will get a warning dialog every time you visit the site. An example, spamtitan.exchangeitup.com.

Organization: This is the name of your company or organization.

Organization Unit: Specify a specific department within your organization, like IT.

City: This is the name of the city or town where the organization is located

State/Province: This is the full name of the state or province where the organization is located.

Country: This is the two-letter country code of the location of the organization. e.g. US

**Note** For most CSR's the OU is optional....this is not so on Let's Encrypt. You must input an OU (I use "IT") or else you'll get the following error:

AcmePhp\Ssl\DistinguishedName::$organizationalUnitName expected a string. Got: ""

Notice that the "$organizationalUnitName expected a string" got an empty value.

If that happens fill out your CSR info again, with an OU this time and it will run successfully

Hit the "Run" button next to "Use Let's Encrypt to generate a Certificate"

SpamTitan Run Let's Encrypt

Important: the outbound cert validation needs to be accessible over port 80 at all times, for Let's Encrypt servers to renew/validate the cert. Blocking port 80 on the firewall if you run your own SpamTitan appliance, or disabling HTTP is not recommended or else Let's Encrypt may not be able to renew the certificate every 90 days. If your security requires it, you can disable HTTP after the validation, just set yourself a reminder to to temporarily enable it in 90 days for renewal.

If you get an error that port 80 is blocked, we'll need to enable HTTP.

Go to Settings > Access/Authentication under the Web Management Protocol section and hit the "Enable" button next to HTTP. It will then show as ON

SpamTitan HTTP

Now, run your Let's Encrypt again, it should verify successfully and be marked as active

SpamTitan Let's Encrypt Active

You'll also see that its installed in the "Installed Signed Certificates" section

SpamTitan Let's Encrypt Installed

SpamTitan Let's Encrypt Cert Info

And if you check the cert in your browser, you'll see the Let's Encrypt Issued By "R3" , which matches the Common Name in the above screenshot.

SpamTitan Let's Encrypt Cert

And you'll see that the Let's Encrypt cert has been set for the HTTPS connections in the Web Management Protocol settings

SpamTitan Let's Encrypt HTTPS

And you'll see that the Let's Encrypt cert has been enabled for TLS connections under Settings > TLS

SpamTitan Let's Encrypt TLS

And lastly, you'll need to make sure that the Let's Encrypt cert is selected for outbound TLS connections, by going to System Setup > Mail Relay...scroll to the bottom and select the Let's Encrypt cert in the drop-down and click Save:

SpamTitan Outbound TLS

There you have it! An easy, FREE cert for securing your SpamTitan management and outbound communications!

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