ArcGIS Online security update (SHA-2) and how it affects ArcPad users

12-02-2015 01:05 AM
Esri Contributor
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ArcGIS Online security update (SHA-2) and how it affects ArcPad users

Security certificates and tokens are the standard way that websites control and maintain a private and secure connection between user and the server.  A user typically enters a username and password and the server sends back a token-signing certificate. These certificates have different levels of encryption security such as support for SHA-1 or SHA-2 encryption.  The encryption for logging into ArcGIS Online has been upgraded to SHA-2 (beginning Dec 2 2015). The move to SHA-2 is an industry wide action to improve internet security. The following article describes Microsoft's position.  The support for SHA-2 encryption is at the operating system level, and for Windows it is available on Windows (XP, 7, 8.1, 10) and Windows Embedded HandHeld 6.5 devices that have been patched by the manufacture. Devices with mobile operating systems older than Windows Embedded HandHeld 6.5 cannot be patched.

What does this mean for ArcPad users?

This means that ArcPad running on many mobile devices (Windows Mobile/Windows CE) will not be able to login to ArcGIS Online after Dec 2nd 2015 unless:

  • The mobile device is running Windows Embedded HandHeld 6.5 devices that has a SHA-2 patch provided by the manufacturer. (see more information below)


  • The ArcPad user is running ArcPad 10.2.3, scheduled to be released on Dec 15th 2015. Note: Even with ArcPad 10.2.3 devices that only support SHA-1 certificates will only be supported by ArcGIS Online until November 2016.

The use of Esri basemaps is not affected by this security update. The security update only pertains to ArcPad users who are signing into ArcGIS Online to retrieve ArcPad Packages or edit feature services.

What mobile devices running Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 have a patch available for SHA-2?

Esri has made contact with many hardware manufacturers who already provide or are working on SHA-2 patches for Windows Embedded HandHeld 6.5 models.  The list below is for the devices we currently know about. If you have questions about the availability of the SHA-2 patch for your Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 device we encourage you to contact the manufacturer.


            Trimble Geo7x – The 6.7.17 OS upgrade (supports SHA-2) – Download here

Trimble is working on SHA-2 updates for all the Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 they are currently selling

Juniper Systems

Mesa –The 1.2.2 upgrade supports SHA-2 – Download here

Archer 2 and Allegro 2 will be support in a future update

Leica Geosystems

             Zeno 20 – Already supports SHA-2

             Zeno 5 – Planned to be updated with SHA-2 support in 2016