Monitoring Website SSL/TLS Certificate Expiration Times with R, {openssl}, {pushoverr}, and {DT}

macOS R users who tend to work on the bleeding edge likely noticed some downtime at <> this past weekend. Part of the issue was an SSL/TLS certificate expiration situation. Moving forward, we can monitor this with R using the super spiffy {openssl} and {pushoverr} packages whilst also generating a daily report with {rmarkdown} and {DT}.

The Basic Process

The {openssl} package has a handy function — download_ssl_cert() — which will, by default, hit a given host on the standard HTTPS port (443/TCP) and grab the site certificate and issuer. We’ll grab the “validity end” field and convert that to a date to use for comparison.

To get the target list of sites to check I used Rapid7’s FDNS data set and a glance at a few certificate transparency logs to put together a current list of “r-project” domains that have been known to have SSL certs. This process could be made more dynamic, but things don’t change that quickly in r-project domain land.

Finally, we use the {DT} package to build a pretty HTML table and the {pushoverr} package to send notifications at normal priority for certs expiring within a week and critical priority for certs that have expired (the package has excellent documentation which will guide you through setting up a Pushover account).

I put this all in a plain R script named r-project-ssl-notify.R that’s then called from a Linux CRON job which runs:

/usr/bin/Rscript -e 'rmarkdown::render(input="PATH_TO/r-project-ssl-notify.R", output_file="PATH_TO/r-project-cert-status/index.html", quiet=TRUE)'

once a day at 0930 ET to make this status page and also fire off any notifications which I have going to my watch and phone (I did a test send by expanding the delta to 14 days):



Here’s the contents of

#' ---#' title: "r-project SSL/TLS Certificate Status"#' date: "`r format(Sys.time(), '%Y-%m-%d')`"#' output:#'   html_document:#'     keep_md: false#'     theme: simplex#'     highlight: monochrome#' ---#+ init, include=FALSEknitr::opts_chunk$set(  message = FALSE,   warning = FALSE,   echo = FALSE,   collapse=TRUE)#+ libslibrary(DT)library(openssl)library(pushoverr)library(tidyverse)# Setup -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------# This env config file contains two lines:## PUSHOVER_USER=YOUR_PUSHOVER_USER_STRING# PUSHOVER_APP=YOUR_PUSHOVER_APP_KEY## See the {pushoverr} package for how to setup your Pushover accountreadRenviron("~/jobs/conf/r-project-ssl-notify.env")# Check certs -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------# domains retrieved from Rapid7's FDNS data set# ( and cert transparency logs#+ workc(  "", "", "",   "", "", "",   "", "", "",   "", "", "",   "", "", "",   "", "") -> r_doms# grab each certr_certs <- map(r_doms, openssl::download_ssl_cert)# make a nice tabletibble(  dom = r_doms,  expires = map_chr(r_certs, ~.x[[1]][["validity"]][[2]]) %>% # this gets us the "validity end"    as.Date(format = "%b %d %H:%M:%S %Y", tz = "GMT"),        # and converts it to a date object  delta = as.numeric(expires - Sys.Date(), "days")            # this computes the delta from the day this script was called) %>%   arrange(expires) -> r_certs_expir# Status page generation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------# output nice table  DT::datatable(r_certs_expir, list(pageLength = nrow(r_certs_expir))) # if the # of r-proj doms gets too large we'll cap this for pagination# Notifications ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------# See if we need to notify abt things expiring within 1 week# REMOVE THIS or edit the delta max if you want less noiseone_week <- filter(r_certs_expir, between(delta, 1, 7))if (nrow(one_week) > 0) {  pushover_normal(    title = "There are r-project SSL Certs Expiring Within 1 Week",     message = "Check which ones:"  )}# See if we have expired certsexpired <- filter(r_certs_expir, delta <= 0)if (nrow(expired) > 0) {  pushover_critical(    title = "There are expired r-project SSL Certs!",     message = "Check which ones:"  )}


With just a tiny bit of R code we have the ability to monitor expiring SSL certs via a diminutive status page and alerts to any/all devices at our disposal.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from authored by hrbrmstr. Read the original post at: