“Unknown SSL protocol error” on Joomla’s VirtueMart Checkout

A client of ours emailed us yesterday and told us that clients weren’t able to checkout on his VirtueMart store. He told us that they were seeing the following error:

Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to www.eprocessingnetwork.Com:443

We did a quick research on the issue and it looked like it was caused by an update to the SSL certificate on the destination (e.g. on the eProcessingNetwork website), and so we tried adding the following code in the authorizenet.php file (just immediately after curl_setopt($curl_request, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);), which is located under the plugins/vmpayment/authorizenet folder of the Joomla website:

curl_setopt($curl_request, CURLOPT_SSLVERSION, 3);

We tried the transaction again and we had the same problem. And so we flipped the 3 in the above line to 2:

curl_setopt($curl_request, CURLOPT_SSLVERSION, 2);

Still, we had the same error.

And then we thought, what if the OpenSSL library on the source server (e.g. on the server hosting the Joomla website) was outdated. So, we logged in to the WHM account, and we saw a big yellowing warning on the top stating the following:

Red Hat® will deprecate all CentOS 5 systems on March 31, 2017. cPanel, Inc. and Red Hat will no longer provide your operating systems with updates or security fixes. You must migrate your server to a CentOS 7 server with the Service Migration Tool to ensure that your server remains up to date. You must contact your hosting provider for a destination server.

Aha! So the server was using a very old version of CentOS (which is CentOS 5), hence the outdated OpenSSL library. That meant that the only solution to the problem was to update the OS on the server, and so we initiated the update process with the hosting company, and they took care of the rest.

We started testing the website immediately when the update to CentOS 7 was done, and, unsurprisingly, payment processing worked again! The problem was fixed!

We hope that you found our little post helpful and that it helped you fix the checkout problem on your Joomla website. If it didn’t, then please contact us. We’ll fix the problem for you quickly, professionally, and for very little money!

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