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WinCollect: Replacing the default certificate in QRadar Generates invalid PEM errors



Replacing the default certificate in QRadar requires the ConfigurationServer.pem file on WinCollect agents be updated.


WinCollect agents that attempt to communicate with the QRadar® appliance can receive rejection messages if the incorrect certificate is being passed. This issue causes the following error message to display in the logs (/var/log/qradar.log):
May 17 17:06:31 ::ffff:IP ADDRESS [ecs-ec] [WinCollectConfigHandler_4] com.q1labs.sem.semsources. 
wincollectconfigserver.WinCollectConfigHandler: [ERROR] [NOT:0000003000] [IPADDRESS/- -] 
[-/- -]Agent with ip: IP ADDRESS tried to connect with an invalid PEM 

The IP address of the WinCollect agent attempting to communicate to the QRadar appliance is displayed in the error message. These error messages from the WinCollect agent informs the administrator that a communication issue is present due to an invalid PEM file.


The ConfigurationServer.PEM file must be replaced on the Windows host. This action must be completed by a Windows administrator or a user that has access to delete files from the remote Windows host.

Resolving The Problem

To replace the ConfigurationServer.PEM file on a WinCollect agent, the Windows administrator must:
  1. Open a remote desktop connection to the WinCollect Agent reporting it is unable to communicate.
  2. Click Start > Run.
  3. Type services.msc, then click OK.
  4. Stop WinCollect service.
  5. On the Windows host, navigate to the WinCollect configuration folder. By default, the folder path is: C:\ProgramFiles\IBM\WinCollect\config
  6. Delete the ConfigurationServer.PEM.
  7. From the Services window, start the WinCollect service.

    After the WinCollect service restarts, the agent will attempt to contact the QRadar appliance that manages the Windows host. The QRadar appliance will detect the missing ConfigurationServer.PEM file and issue a replacement against the existing certificate. This practice replaces the old ConfigurationServer.PEM file with a new ConfigurationServer.PEM file that has the updated certificate. If the .PEM file is not replaced, this can indicate a communication issue on TCP/8413 where the service is blocked by a firewall or the service on the QRadar appliance is not listening. For more troubleshooting information, see WinCollect 101.


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Document Information

Modified date:
02 March 2021