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I have a VPS hosting with both WHM/cPanel and SSH root access, I created an FTP account using cPanel, now when I try to connect using FileZilla I get the following warning:

The server's certificate is unknown. Please carefully examine the certificate to make sure the server can be trusted. etc etc. and at the bottom under Session details a red text saying Hostname doesn't match certificate.

Now I'm familiar with SSH/CLI and can navigate anywhere in the server without any trouble if graphical cPanel access is not enough, but don't have in depth knowledge about SSL certificates or networking in general so at a loss where to even begin. Of course I tried googling first in case this is a common case but without avail, so I need at least a clue to the right direction, for starters, should I check some values from some files in the server and match with something showing in the message?

Here's the screenshots of the server certificate from a browser: enter image description here

And here's the popup warning window from FileZilla while trying to connect to the server:

enter image description here

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  • In short it just means that for any TLS connection (HTTPS, FTPS, etc.) the certificate presented by the server to the client must include the hostname the client used to connect to it, otherwise the client will abort the connection. Feb 4, 2022 at 13:06
  • "Hostname doesn't match certificate" - so, what is the hostname you are using to connect with and what are the reported hostname(s) on the SSL cert?
    – MrWhite
    Feb 4, 2022 at 19:38
  • @MrWhite the hostname is 263research.com, and I'm connecting with that name, I've updated the question with both screenshots, although I'm not sure if the warning image is actually showing any sensitive info or not. here's the link for the images: i.stack.imgur.com/YRiVd.png i.stack.imgur.com/AM6I6.png
    – Nishu Ali
    Feb 7, 2022 at 3:32

1 Answer 1

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The certificate that is configured for the FTP server is different from the one configured for the HTTP server. In this case, it seems that the FTP server is using a certificate that was issued to v5837.securen.net. This is probably the default certificate for your server as created automatically by your managed host. Since you have full root access, it may be possible to reconfigure the FTP server to use the same certificate as the HTTP server directly; support will vary depending on the FTP software.

That being said, your connection is encrypted regardless of this error. If you're the only user of this server then there is minimal risk in simply accepting the certificate as-is.

If you want to fix this, you will need to know what the FTP server software is. The FTP welcome message sometimes will reveal what it is, otherwise you might take a glance at the server's service list to see what is running and deduce from there. sudo service --status-all might help you with that latter part if your server uses systemd.

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  • service --status-all returned following info: (not sure how to maintain line breaks in comments so posting it to pastebin) [link]pastebin.com/zHf1xiWP i'm not sure that revealed much
    – Nishu Ali
    Feb 11, 2022 at 4:34
  • any suggestions what i'm doing wrong here? it seems to be a pretty straightforward command, and yet looks like it's not showing relevant data, ie: list of (running?) services. server is running centos 7 so i thought maybe the command is different for that but googling returned same one
    – Nishu Ali
    Feb 11, 2022 at 4:53
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    found the solution here: [serverfault.com/questions/737401/…. running systemctl list-units --type service reveals that the server is running pure-ftpd
    – Nishu Ali
    Feb 11, 2022 at 5:03
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    github.com/jedisct1/pure-ftpd/blob/master/README.TLS seems like a starting point for you then. I read around a bit and can't find any good information regarding where pureftp is configured by default... You may just need to hunt around your server a bit.
    – Pecon
    Feb 11, 2022 at 9:04
  • found following in /etc/ssl/private: lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 33 Jul 22 2018 pure-ftpd.pem -> /var/cpanel/ssl/ftp/pure-ftpd.pem, so that's an alias, went to the original file, it seems the original file has the same content as i can see from cPanel's cabundle, so somewhat at a loss again, however i see the permission of the file is with root and wheel only -rw-rw---- 1 root wheel 8050 Jul 5 2021 pure-ftpd.pem, so could it be the issue? when i'm accessing the server with filezilla the user is definitely not root, so maybe it can't read the content or something and thus the issue?
    – Nishu Ali
    Feb 11, 2022 at 10:05

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