Update the ABRCA Root CA Certificate on PolicyCenter Appliances (Revised: September 16, 2021)
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Update the ABRCA Root CA Certificate on PolicyCenter Appliances (Revised: September 16, 2021)


Article ID: 207671


Updated On:


PolicyCenter PolicyCenter S-Series


The Appliance Birth Registration Certificate Authority (ABRCA) root CA certificate is the ultimate root of trust for all appliance certificates that Symantec products use. Symantec has created a new ABRCA root CA certificate to replace the one expiring in December 2021. Before the older ABRCA root CA certificate expires, ensure that the new ABRCA root CA certificate is installed on your appliances. The new certificate will have an expiration date of Dec 31 00:04:16 2037 GMT.

When the root CA certificate expires, some features that use the ABRCA root CA certificate for authentication will fail. See the end of this article for additional details.

Warning: The continued operation of your PolicyCenter appliances requires that you upgrade PolicyCenter and complete the following steps in a timely manner. To ensure the uninterrupted operation of your appliances, request a new appliance certificate and perform a software update by August 31, 2021.

Recovery: What to Do If You Fail to Update Before the Certificate Expires

If you fail to update your PolicyCenter appliances before the root CA expires in December 2021, your appliances might experience failures as described in "Consequences of an Expired Appliance Certificate." The steps to renew the certificate are identical, whether you renew the root CA before, or after, the certificate expires. To renew the certificate, follow the steps in this article to upgrade to a new build that contains the updated trust package.




Required Step – Upgrade the PolicyCenter OS: 

To update the ABRCA root CA certificate, you must upgrade PolicyCenter to one of the following releases before the dates listed in the previous section:  

  • PolicyCenter

The new ABRCA root CA certificate is included in these releases. Upgrading to one of these releases automatically updates the ABRCA root CA certificate; no manual action is required. These releases also include a feature that automatically renews the appliance certificate (this is different from the ABRCA root CA) if it is within 60 days of expiring. 

Additional Steps

You must update the appliance certificate in addition to the ABRCA root CA certificate. The system can automatically download the appliance certificate or you can manually force the update of the appliance certificate using the commands described in the next sections.

Access the PolicyCenter CLI

Access the PolicyCenter CLI using one of the following methods:

  • Click the CLI Commands button at the bottom of the PolicyCenter user interface.
  • Use a DB-9 connector to access the serial console.

Ensure Access to abrca.bluecoat.com

Ensure that the appliance can access the abrca.bluecoat.com domain, as described in Required Ports, Protocols, and Services for Symantec Enterprise Security Products.

Manually Renew the Appliance Certificate

To manually update the appliance certificate, use the following command:

You may have to run the following command first (if 'acquire-cert' command is not available): 

PolicyCenter# pc showdebug 1

Then run the following command:

PolicyCenter# acquire-cert


PolicyCenter# acquire-cert
Successfully acquired PolicyCenter birth certificate.

Update the Hardware Appliance Certificate in a Closed Environment

If the appliance is in a closed environment, you must do the following to update the appliance certificate:

  • Add a firewall exception for abrca.bluecoat.com.


Verify that You Have Successfully Upgraded Your Appliance  Certificate

Enter the following command to show the appliance certificate expiration date:

PolicyCenter# ver ver 


PolicyCenter# ver ver
Version:                   PolicyCenter build 261254 (DEBUG)
Product:                  PolicyCenter S400
Part Number:           xxxxxxxxxx-12345 REV BN
Serial Number:        xxxxxxxxxx
Memory:                  15.9GB RAM, 4GB System Disk total, 3.1GB System Disk available

mgmt MAC Address:            xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Slot2_in MAC Address:        xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Slot2_out MAC Address:       xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Slot3_in MAC Address:        xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Slot3_out MAC Address:       xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

  ABRCA root certificate expires Dec 31 00:04:16 2037 GMT
  Appliance birth certificate expires May 14 18:32:59 2026 GMT

  Installed Keys:
                  Visibility:   Activation 2020-08-12, Expiration Never
                     Control:   Activation 2020-08-12, Expiration Never
                         FDR:   Activation 2020-08-12, Expiration Never
              Packet Capture: Activation 2020-08-12, Expiration Never

                   MaxLinkSize:  2000000000
           MaxStaticPartitions:       10000
          MaxDynamicPartitions:       20000
                    MaxClasses:       10000
                   MaxPolicies:       10000
              MaxMatchingRules:       25000
      MaxMatchingRulesPerClass:        1000
                      MaxHosts:      550000
            MaxURLCacheEntries:     2000000
         MaxConcurrentTCPFlows:     1000000
      MaxConcurrentNonTCPFlows:      500000

Consequences of an Expired ABRCA Root CA Certificate

If the ABRCA root CA certificate expires, you will not be able to update the appliance certificate. When the appliance certificate expires, certain appliance-to-back-end communications flows that use the appliance certificate for authentication might stop working correctly, including:

  • Inability to download your license from Broadcom.

  • WebPulse service failure.


Other issues, yet to be identified, might also occur.