Wow. This was a two pipe problem. I just upgraded perl on one of our servers. We use a lot of SOAP::Lite calls here, which used to be fine. But all of a sudden all my lovely scripts say:
500 Can't connect to our.server.com:443 (certificate verify failed) at /usr/bin/myscript.pl line 28
Now perl is actually doing the right thing here, because we're using a self signed cert. So the proper solution is to move all your certificates across. However, that is a pain for testing and h4x0ring, so I spent a "happy" hour bouncing around CPAN lookig for a solution.
As it turns out, you can set a single environment variable and have behaviour return to usual. Sweet. I found the answer in the LWP::UserAgent manual. So at the top of yer code:
If you are doing this in a CGI context, you can have Apache set the variable thus:
SetEnv PERL_LWP_SSL_VERIFY_HOSTNAME 0
So, now back to the actually useful work I should have been doing all along.