CodeQL documentation

TrustManager that accepts all certificates

ID: java/insecure-trustmanager
Kind: path-problem
Security severity: 7.5
Severity: error
Precision: high
   - security
   - external/cwe/cwe-295
Query suites:
   - java-code-scanning.qls
   - java-security-extended.qls
   - java-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

If the checkServerTrusted method of a TrustManager never throws a CertificateException, it trusts every certificate. This allows an attacker to perform a machine-in-the-middle attack against the application, therefore breaking any security Transport Layer Security (TLS) gives.

An attack might look like this:

  1. The vulnerable program connects to

  2. The attacker intercepts this connection and presents a valid, self-signed certificate for

  3. The vulnerable program calls the checkServerTrusted method to check whether it should trust the certificate.

  4. The checkServerTrusted method of your TrustManager does not throw a CertificateException.

  5. The vulnerable program accepts the certificate and proceeds with the connection since your TrustManager implicitly trusted it by not throwing an exception.

  6. The attacker can now read the data your program sends to and/or alter its replies while the program thinks the connection is secure.


Do not use a custom TrustManager that trusts any certificate. If you have to use a self-signed certificate, don’t trust every certificate, but instead only trust this specific certificate. See below for an example of how to do this.


In the first (bad) example, the TrustManager never throws a CertificateException and therefore implicitly trusts any certificate. This allows an attacker to perform a machine-in-the-middle attack. In the second (good) example, the self-signed certificate that should be trusted is loaded into a KeyStore. This explicitly defines the certificate as trusted and there is no need to create a custom TrustManager.

public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        class InsecureTrustManager implements X509TrustManager {
            public X509Certificate[] getAcceptedIssuers() {
                return null;

            public void checkServerTrusted(X509Certificate[] chain, String authType) throws CertificateException {
                // BAD: Does not verify the certificate chain, allowing any certificate.

            public void checkClientTrusted(X509Certificate[] chain, String authType) throws CertificateException {

        SSLContext context = SSLContext.getInstance("TLS");
        TrustManager[] trustManager = new TrustManager[] { new InsecureTrustManager() };
        context.init(null, trustManager, null);
        SSLContext context = SSLContext.getInstance("TLS");
        File certificateFile = new File("path/to/self-signed-certificate");
        // Create a `KeyStore` with default type
        KeyStore keyStore = KeyStore.getInstance(KeyStore.getDefaultType());
        // `keyStore` is initially empty
        keyStore.load(null, null);
        X509Certificate generatedCertificate;
        try (InputStream cert = new FileInputStream(certificateFile)) {
            generatedCertificate = (X509Certificate) CertificateFactory.getInstance("X509")
        // Add the self-signed certificate to the key store
        keyStore.setCertificateEntry(certificateFile.getName(), generatedCertificate);
        // Get default `TrustManagerFactory`
        TrustManagerFactory tmf = TrustManagerFactory.getInstance(TrustManagerFactory.getDefaultAlgorithm());
        // Use it with our key store that trusts our self-signed certificate
        TrustManager[] trustManagers = tmf.getTrustManagers();
        context.init(null, trustManagers, null);
        // GOOD, we are not using a custom `TrustManager` but instead have
        // added the self-signed certificate we want to trust to the key
        // store. Note, the `trustManagers` will **only** trust this one
        // certificate.
        URL url = new URL("");
        HttpsURLConnection conn = (HttpsURLConnection) url.openConnection();


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