By pvomhoff

2011-09-30 20:18:39 8 Comments

I upgraded from Java 1.6 to Java 1.7 today. Since then an error occur when I try to establish a connection to my webserver over SSL: handshake alert:  unrecognized_name

Here is the code:

SAXBuilder builder = new SAXBuilder();
Document document = null;

try {
    url = new URL(https://some url);
    document = (Document);
} catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException ex) {
    Logger.getLogger(DownloadLoadiciousComputer.class.getName()).log(Level.SEVERE, null, ex);  

Its only a test project thats why I allow and use untrusted certificates with the code:

TrustManager[] trustAllCerts = new TrustManager[]{
    new X509TrustManager() {

        public[] getAcceptedIssuers() {
            return null;

        public void checkClientTrusted(
      [] certs, String authType) {

        public void checkServerTrusted(
      [] certs, String authType) {

try {

    SSLContext sc = SSLContext.getInstance("SSL");
    sc.init(null, trustAllCerts, new;
} catch (Exception e) {

    Logger.getLogger(DownloadManager.class.getName()).log(Level.SEVERE, null, e);

I sucessfully tried to connect to where is my fault?



@Alfredo 2018-02-22 12:49:29

If you are building a client with Resttemplate, you can only set the endpoint like this: https://IP/path_to_service and set the requestFactory.
With this solution you don't need to RESTART your TOMCAT or Apache:

public static HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory requestFactory(CloseableHttpClient httpClient) {
    TrustStrategy acceptingTrustStrategy = new TrustStrategy() {
        public boolean isTrusted(X509Certificate[] chain, String authType) throws CertificateException {
            return true;

    SSLContext sslContext = null;
    try {
        sslContext = org.apache.http.ssl.SSLContexts.custom()
                .loadTrustMaterial(null, acceptingTrustStrategy)
    } catch (Exception e) {
        logger.error(e.getMessage(), e);

    HostnameVerifier hostnameVerifier = new HostnameVerifier() {
        public boolean verify(String hostname, SSLSession session) {
            return true;

    final SSLConnectionSocketFactory csf = new SSLConnectionSocketFactory(sslContext,hostnameVerifier);

    final Registry<ConnectionSocketFactory> registry = RegistryBuilder.<ConnectionSocketFactory>create()
            .register("http", new PlainConnectionSocketFactory())
            .register("https", csf)

    final PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager cm = new PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager(registry);
    httpClient = HttpClients.custom()

    HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory requestFactory =
            new HttpComponentsClientHttpRequestFactory();


    return requestFactory;

@MagicDude4Eva 2017-03-31 07:20:16

There is an easier way where you can just use your own HostnameVerifier to implicitly trust certain connections. The issue comes with Java 1.7 where SNI extensions have been added and your error is due to a server misconfiguration.

You can either use "-Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false" to disable SNI across the whole JVM or read my blog where I explain how to implement a custom verifier on top of a URL connection.

@Aram Paronikyan 2017-01-31 21:01:40

My VirtualHost's ServerName was commented out by default. It worked after uncommenting.

@Dark Star1 2018-08-28 14:30:10

Same here. Server name was missing.

@Griffin 2016-12-28 10:52:30

Just to add a solution here. This might help for LAMP users

Options +FollowSymLinks -SymLinksIfOwnerMatch

The above mentioned line in the virtual host configuration was the culprit.

Virtual Host Configuration when error

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/load/web
    <Directory "/var/www/html/load/web">
        Options +FollowSymLinks -SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
        Order Allow,Deny
        Allow from All
     RewriteEngine on
     RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !^443$
     RewriteRule ^/(.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [NC,R=301,L]

Working Configuration

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/load/web

   <Directory "/var/www/html/load/web">

        AllowOverride All

        Options All

        Order Allow,Deny

        Allow from All


    # To allow authorization header
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP:Authorization} ^(.*)
    RewriteRule .* - [e=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%1]

   # RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !^443$
   # RewriteRule ^/(.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [NC,R=301,L]


@Tomasz Janisiewicz 2015-09-07 08:39:10


  • System.setProperty("jsse.enableSNIExtension", "false");
  • Restart your Tomcat (important)

@Ray Hunter 2015-08-21 16:40:54

Ran into this issue with spring boot and jvm 1.7 and 1.8. On AWS, we did not have the option to change the ServerName and ServerAlias to match (they are different) so we did the following:

In build.gradle we added the following:

System.setProperty("jsse.enableSNIExtension", "false")
bootRun.systemProperties =

That allowed us to bypass the issue with the "Unrecognized Name".

@Scott McIntyre 2015-06-29 14:26:09

We also ran into this error on a new Apache server build.

The fix in our case was to define a ServerAlias in the httpd.conf that corresponded to the host name that Java was trying to connect to. Our ServerName was set to the internal host name. Our SSL cert was using the external host name, but that was not sufficient to avoid the warning.

To help debug, you can use this ssl command:

openssl s_client -servername <hostname> -connect <hostname>:443 -state

If there is a problem with that hostname, then it will print this message near the top of the output:

SSL3 alert read: warning:unrecognized name

I should also note that we did not get that error when using that command to connect to the internal host name, even though it did not match the SSL cert.

@sideshowbarker 2015-08-04 10:22:00

Thanks for including the example about how to reproduce the problem using openssl. It’s very helpful.

@mox601 2016-05-25 10:44:13

Is there a way for an openssl client to see the name difference that originates the message SSL3 alert read: warning:unrecognized name? I see the alert printed, but the output doesn't help me to actually see this naming difference

@Allan D 2015-05-19 13:29:07

I have also come across this issue whilst upgrading from Java 1.6_29 to 1.7.

Alarmingly, my customer has discovered a setting in the Java control panel which resolves this.

In the Advanced Tab you can check 'Use SSL 2.0 compatible ClientHello format'.

This seems to resolve the issue.

We are using Java applets in an Internet Explorer browser.

Hope this helps.

@Shcheklein 2015-02-17 21:39:36

It should be useful. To retry on a SNI error in Apache HttpClient 4.4 - the easiest way we came up with (see HTTPCLIENT-1522):

public class SniHttpClientConnectionOperator extends DefaultHttpClientConnectionOperator {

    public SniHttpClientConnectionOperator(Lookup<ConnectionSocketFactory> socketFactoryRegistry) {
        super(socketFactoryRegistry, null, null);

    public void connect(
            final ManagedHttpClientConnection conn,
            final HttpHost host,
            final InetSocketAddress localAddress,
            final int connectTimeout,
            final SocketConfig socketConfig,
            final HttpContext context) throws IOException {
        try {
            super.connect(conn, host, localAddress, connectTimeout, socketConfig, context);
        } catch (SSLProtocolException e) {
            Boolean enableSniValue = (Boolean) context.getAttribute(SniSSLSocketFactory.ENABLE_SNI);
            boolean enableSni = enableSniValue == null || enableSniValue;
            if (enableSni && e.getMessage() != null && e.getMessage().equals("handshake alert:  unrecognized_name")) {
                TimesLoggers.httpworker.warn("Server received saw wrong SNI host, retrying without SNI");
                context.setAttribute(SniSSLSocketFactory.ENABLE_SNI, false);
                super.connect(conn, host, localAddress, connectTimeout, socketConfig, context);
            } else {
                throw e;


public class SniSSLSocketFactory extends SSLConnectionSocketFactory {

    public static final String ENABLE_SNI = "__enable_sni__";

     * Implement any constructor you need for your particular application -
     * SSLConnectionSocketFactory has many variants
    public SniSSLSocketFactory(final SSLContext sslContext, final HostnameVerifier verifier) {
        super(sslContext, verifier);

    public Socket createLayeredSocket(
            final Socket socket,
            final String target,
            final int port,
            final HttpContext context) throws IOException {
        Boolean enableSniValue = (Boolean) context.getAttribute(ENABLE_SNI);
        boolean enableSni = enableSniValue == null || enableSniValue;
        return super.createLayeredSocket(socket, enableSni ? target : "", port, context);


cm = new PoolingHttpClientConnectionManager(new SniHttpClientConnectionOperator(socketFactoryRegistry), null, -1, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS);

@Haozhun 2017-04-15 21:07:51

If you do it this way. How do you deal with verifyHostname(sslsock, target) in SSLConnectionSocketFactory.createLayeredSocket? Since the target is changed to empty string, verifyHostname is not going to succeed. Am I missing something obvious here?

@korpe 2017-07-08 18:50:00

This was exactly, what I was looking for, thank you so much! I didn't find any other way to support SNI and servers which respond with this "unrecognized_name" warning at the same time.

@mrog 2018-10-16 23:06:41

This solution works, unless you're using a proxy server.

@FlyingSheep 2019-05-13 10:45:11

Having just done a quick debug throught the Apache client code, starting with verifyHostname(), I cannot see how this can work using the DefaultHostnameVerifier. I suspect that this solution requires Hostname verification to be disabled (e.g. using a NoopHostnameVerifier), which is NOT a good idea as it allows man-in-the-middle attacks.

@Gerhard 2014-06-30 20:54:21

I had the same problem with an Ubuntu Linux server running subversion when accessed via Eclipse.

It has shown that the problem had to do with a warning when Apache (re)started:

[Mon Jun 30 22:27:10 2014] [warn] NameVirtualHost *:80 has no VirtualHosts

... waiting [Mon Jun 30 22:27:11 2014] [warn] NameVirtualHost *:80 has no VirtualHosts

This has been due to a new entry in ports.conf, where another NameVirtualHost directive was entered alongside the directive in sites-enabled/000-default.

After removing the directive in ports.conf, the problem had vanished (after restarting Apache, naturally)

@eckes 2012-01-07 12:42:40

You can disable sending SNI records with the System property jsse.enableSNIExtension=false.

If you can change the code it helps to use SSLCocketFactory#createSocket() (with no host parameter or with a connected socket). In this case it will not send a server_name indication.

@jn1kk 2012-04-09 18:27:11

Which is done like this: System.setProperty ("jsse.enableSNIExtension", "false");

@Joseph Shraibman 2012-05-09 21:42:16

I've found that that doesn't always work. I don't know why it works in some cases and not others.

@ceving 2013-02-04 10:33:34

Works for me with -Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false. But what else does it do? Is it harmful for the rest of Javas security?

@eckes 2013-02-07 23:17:56

No it just means that some sites (especially web servers) which use mutiple hostnames behind a shared IP do not know what certificate to send. But unless your java app has to connect to millions of web sites you wont need that feature. If you encounter such a server your certificate validation might fail and the connection aborts. So there is no security problem expected.

@user3122271 2014-05-29 10:09:37

Perfect. Thanks.

@Bob Kerns 2012-06-15 02:20:04

You cannot supply system properties to the jarsigner.exe tool, unfortunately.

I have submitted defect 7177232, referencing @eckes' defect 7127374 and explaining why it was closed in error.

My defect is specifically about the impact on the jarsigner tool, but perhaps it will lead them to reopening the other defect and addressing the issue properly.

UPDATE: Actually, it turns out that you CAN supply system properties to the Jarsigner tool, it's just not in the help message. Use jarsigner -J-Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false

@eckes 2012-09-06 02:26:09

Thanks Bob for the followup. Sadly Oracle still dont understand the whole thing. The SNI alert is not fatal, it may be trerated fatal. But most typical SSL clients (i.e. browsers) chose to ignore it since it is not a real security problem (because you still need to check the server certificate and would detect wrong endpoints).Of course it is sad that a CA is unable to set up a properly configured https server.

@Bob Kerns 2012-10-22 01:39:24

Actually, it turns out that you CAN supply system properties to the Jarsigner tool, it's just not in the help message. It is covered in the documentation. Silly me for believing the online text. Of course, they used this as an excuse for not fixing it.

@eckes 2013-01-21 04:21:29

BTW: I am currently discussing this issue on [email protected] and at the moment I was evaluating it it looks like Symantec fixed the GEOTrust timestamping server, it now correctly accepts the URL with no warning. But I still think that should be fixed. If you want to have a look, a test client project and the discussion:

@user2888387 2013-10-16 23:01:15

I hit the same problem and it turned out that reverse dns was not setup correct, it pointed to wrong hostname for the IP. After I correct reverse dns and restart httpd, the warning is gone. (if I don't correct reverse dns, adding ServerName did the trick for me as well)

@Lekensteyn 2013-02-14 22:06:59

Java 7 introduced SNI support which is enabled by default. I have found out that certain misconfigured servers send an "Unrecognized Name" warning in the SSL handshake which is ignored by most clients... except for Java. As @Bob Kerns mentioned, the Oracle engineers refuse to "fix" this bug/feature.

As workaround, they suggest to set the jsse.enableSNIExtension property. To allow your programs to work without re-compiling, run your app as:

java -Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false yourClass

The property can also be set in the Java code, but it must be set before any SSL actions. Once the SSL library has loaded, you can change the property, but it won't have any effect on the SNI status. To disable SNI on runtime (with the aforementioned limitations), use:

System.setProperty("jsse.enableSNIExtension", "false");

The disadvantage of setting this flag is that SNI is disabled everywhere in the application. In order to make use of SNI and still support misconfigured servers:

  1. Create a SSLSocket with the host name you want to connect to. Let's name this sslsock.
  2. Try to run sslsock.startHandshake(). This will block until it is done or throw an exception on error. Whenever an error occurred in startHandshake(), get the exception message. If it equals to handshake alert: unrecognized_name, then you have found a misconfigured server.
  3. When you have received the unrecognized_name warning (fatal in Java), retry opening a SSLSocket, but this time without a host name. This effectively disables SNI (after all, the SNI extension is about adding a host name to the ClientHello message).

For the Webscarab SSL proxy, this commit implements the fall-back setup.

@Dima 2013-07-20 23:15:10

it works, thanks! IntelliJ IDEA subversion client had the same error when connecting through HTTPS. Just need to update idea.exe.vmoptions file with line: -Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false

@Torsten 2014-01-07 10:32:10

For java webstart use this: javaws -J-Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false yourClass

@shahshi15 2014-01-24 00:27:16

I had the exact same issue with my Jersey client with https rest server. Turns out I used your trick and it worked!! thanks!

@user3122271 2014-05-29 10:10:16

Perfect. Thanks.

@Lekensteyn 2014-07-01 13:23:24

For those wondering about Java 8, Oracle has still not changed the behavior and still require the programmer to catch servers which do not (properly) support SNI:‌​/…

@Stephen C 2015-02-25 18:28:55

Thanks! For those on jruby/trinidad, you can add this option to your JRUBY_OPTS environment variable.

@ChaimKut 2015-04-22 12:13:09

Our product involves customers installing our server, but we don't necessarily know an appropriate FQDN to place in the ServerName directive. A simple solution is providing ServerAlias *. The ServerName will then be defined based on the hostname provided by the Java Webstart request. This way, we don't have to define the ServerName FQDN ahead of time -- we simply make use of whatever hostname the user requested.

@Evan Knowles 2016-03-17 14:20:53

Fun discovery - this then will not work if you need to connect to CloudFlare sites.

@Blauhirn 2016-04-07 17:10:48

You are talking of misconfigured servers. I bought an SSL certificate at my hoster,, and firefox confirms a secure connection on the respective pages. So there is nothing to do for me, really..?

@Blauhirn 2016-04-07 17:48:41

because sadly, none of your solutions work for me

@Lekensteyn 2016-04-08 16:12:50

@Blauhirn Contact your webhost support, they should fix their configuration. If they use Apache, look down for some changes that need to be made.

@Blauhirn 2016-07-27 17:13:24

Hoping this will help somebody else some time: My host told me it's my fault not theirs and that I were probably using an outdated OpenSSL version. I'm using Java 8. Still I might have found a solution: setting enableSNIExtension explicitly to TRUE

@bluerojo 2017-05-24 16:30:04

Was receiving this error after updating Confluence to "6.1 (which in turn updated JAVA. This resolved my issue. Thanks!

@Erik 2012-12-17 10:21:32

Instead of relying on the default virtual host mechanism in apache, you can define one last catchall virtualhost that uses an arbitrary ServerName and a wildcard ServerAlias, e.g.

ServerAlias *

In that way you can use SNI and apache will not send back the SSL warning.

Of course, this only works if you can describe all of your domains easily using a wildcard syntax.

@Michael Paesold 2016-04-20 14:21:41

As far as I understand, apache only sends this warning in case the client uses a name not configured as either ServerName or ServerAlias. So if you have a wild card certificate, either specify all used sub domains, or use the * syntax for ServerAlias. Note that you can add multiple aliases using ServerAlias, e.g. ServerAlias * *

@David McLaughlin 2011-11-09 00:10:13

I had what I believe the same issue is. I found that I needed to adjust the Apache configuration to include a ServerName or ServerAlias for the host.

This code failed:

public class a {
   public static void main(String [] a) throws Exception { c = new"").openConnection();

And this code worked:

public class a {
   public static void main(String [] a) throws Exception { c = new"").openConnection();

Wireshark revealed that during the TSL/SSL Hello the warning Alert (Level: Warning, Description: Unrecognized Name), Server Hello Was being sent from the server to the client. It was only a warning, however, Java 7.1 then responded immediately back with a "Fatal, Description: Unexpected Message", which I assume means the Java SSL libraries don't like to see the warning of unrecognized name.

From the Wiki on Transport Layer Security (TLS):

112 Unrecognized name warning TLS only; client's Server Name Indicator specified a hostname not supported by the server

This led me to look at my Apache config files and I found that if I added a ServerName or ServerAlias for the name sent from the client/java side, it worked correctly without any errors.


@Paŭlo Ebermann 2011-11-09 00:18:50

This looks like a bug in Java's TLS implementation.

@eckes 2012-01-05 16:19:03

I actually openend a Bug for this. I got this number assigned (not yet visible):

@Jared Beck 2012-12-04 02:28:13

Thanks, adding a ServerAlias worked for me. I had seen the same TLS alert in Wireshark.

@end-user 2013-01-31 18:34:49

This worked for me, also. (would have worked better if I'd believed it and not gone hunting down another path)

@Bruno 2014-02-24 19:51:05

@JosephShraibman, saying the Oracle employee is an idiot is inappropriate. When you use two ServerNames, Apache responds with an unrecognized_name warning alert (which could also be a fatal alert). RFC 6066 precisely says this on this topic: "It is NOT RECOMMENDED to send a warning-level unrecognized_name(112) alert, because the client's behavior in response to warning-level alerts is unpredictable.". The only mistake made by this employee is to assume that this was a fatal alert. This is as much a JRE bug as it is an Apache one.

@Aykut Kllic 2015-01-17 19:22:19

Correcting ServerName fixed the issue for my case.

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