Certificate Chains

Most digital certificates problems are caused by broken certificate chains.

A certificate chain is a string of certificates from the one you are using (e.g., your certificate) to a certificate that is trusted by your computer. The first link of the chain is a self-signed certificate that a Root Certificate Authority (CA) issues to itself. The next link of the chain is a certificate that the Root CA issues to a Subordinate CA. The last link of the chain is an end-entity certificate that a Subordinate CA issued to you, a webserver, or some other person or device. A certificate chain is broken if your computer does not trust the Root CA or cannot find the certificates that link the end-entity to the trusted root.

The following certificate chains are used at NIH as part of the HHS PKI:

 

NIH DPKI Certificate Chain and CRLs

Please refer to the guides below before downloading and installing these certificates.

NEW - NIH Device PKI Certificate Chain  

This certificate chain will replace the current HHS Device Certificate chain based on the SHA-1 algorithim which will soon be deprecated. It will be the trust path used by NIH desktops, servers and other devices to trust NIH Domain Controllers certificates during smart card logon process. The NIH DPKI certificates must be installed in the certificate stores of all Windows, Macs, Unix/Linux, and other devices that will be participating in PIV card authentication with NIH Domain Controllers.

  NIH-DPKI-ROOT-1A.cer (expires 9/17/2045)

         NIH-DPKI-CA-1A.cer (expires 9/18/2025)
                   NIH Domain Controllers 

 

NIH DPKI Certificate Revocation List (CRL)

NIH DPKI CRLs can be downloaded from this link: http://NIHDPKICRL.NIH.GOV/CertData

Note: NIH DPKI CRLs should be automatically downloaded to your Windows and Mac computer and is only needed if your computer cannot access:

  1. Active Directory LDAP CRL location:
  2. http://NIHDPKICRL.NIH.GOV/CertData/

 

HHS PKI Certificate Chains and CRLs

Please refer to the guides below before downloading and installing these certificates.

 

HHS Entrust FPKI Certificate Chain

This certificate chain is the trust path used by HHS smart card certificates (issued since 9\15\2013) and HHS Internal Common Policy TLS certificates issued by Entrust. See below for instructions on installing this chain on a Macintosh computer.


Certificate Icon Federal Common Policy CA (expires 12/1/2030)
       Certificate Icon Entrust Managed Services Root CA (expires 12/15/2020)
              Certificate Icon HHS-FPKI-Intermediate-CA-E1 (expires 5/9/2019)
                     Certificate Icon Your PKI Certificate

 Below are the most current HHS Entrust FPKI Certificate Chain  begining March 13th 2017

Certificate Icon Federal Common Policy CA (expires 12/1/2030) 
       Certificate Icon Entrust Managed SErvices Root CA.cer (expires 7/30/2025) 
              Certificate Icon  HHS-FPKI-Intermediate-Rollover-2017.cer (expires 7/20/2025)
                     Certificate Icon Your PIV Certificate


 

new HHS Public Entrust TLS Certificate Chain

This is the most recent certificate chain trust path used by HHS External Public Trust TLS certificates issued by Entrust.


Certificate Icon Entrust Root Certification Authority -G2 (expires 12/02/2030)
       Certificate Icon Entrust Certification Authority -L1K (expires 10/23/2024)
              Certificate Icon NIH Webserver

 

HHS Public Entrust TLS Certificate Chain

This is an older, but still used, certificate chain trust path used by HHS External Public Trust TLS certificates issued by Entrust.


Certificate Icon Entrust.net Certification Authority (2048) (expires 7/24/2029)
       Certificate Icon Entrust Certification Authority -L1C (expires 11/11/2021)
              Certificate Icon NIH Webserver

 

HHS Device Certificate Chain (Soon to be deprecated)

This certificate chain is the trust path used by NIH desktops and servers to trust NIH domain controllers during smart card logon.


Certificate Icon HHS Domain Device Root CA (expires 6/25/2027)
       Certificate Icon NIH-DEVICE-SUBCA (expires 5/2/2019)
              Certificate Icon NIH Domain Controller

Note: the device PKI certificates must be installed in the Windows Local computer certificate stores.

 

HHS Device PKI Certificate Revocation List (CRL)


CRL Icon HHS Domain Device Root CA CRL (expires 3/02/2016)

Note: This CRL should be automatically downloaded to your computer and is only needed if your computer cannot access www.hhs.gov.

 

              

The following guides will help you diagnose and fix certificate chain problems:

You may need system administrative privileges to install root certificates. If you do not have system administrative privileges, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk to have these certificates installed on your computer.

 

Information and Assistance

For additional information, search the NIH IT Knowledge Base for tutorials, instruction sheets and user guides or refer to the appropriate How-To Guide.

For questions or user support, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk.​​​​​