I found your thread because I got the same error on the same day!
I have been running from cron, but mine does NOT work when I run from shell either.
Failed to login: SSL Exception: The SSL handshake timed out local: 127.0.0.1:53786 peer: 127.0.0.1:443.
Also true for me:
"... ESXi 4.1.0 server that has been backing up just fine with ghettoVCB for a long time, but it has suddenly stopped working. "
I am running a slightly modified version of Ghetto, so I called it myVCB.
The only thing it does differently is to write a message to a log file
2014-03-12 04:16:44 -- info: ERROR: failed to locate and extract VM_ID for [snip]!
./myVCB.sh -a -d dryrun | grep Virtual
Failed to login: SSL Exception: The SSL handshake timed out local: 127.0.0.1:59024 peer: 127.0.0.1:443.
When I try to run from command line, I get:
Failed to login: SSL Exception: The SSL handshake timed out local: 127.0.0.1:59617 peer: 127.0.0.1:443.
2014-03-12 13:47:50 -- info: ERROR: failed to locate and extract VM_ID for [SNIP]!
2014-03-12 13:47:50 -- info: ###### Final status: ERROR: All VMs failed! ######
I'm not getting an SSL handshake error, but I haven't let it run through cron with debug turned on yet. As I said, it works just fine if I execute the script manually. I changed the options so that the next time it gets run by cron this weekend as scheduled, it will output debug info. I'm hoping I will get some insight there.
This fixed it for me, and did not damage the VM's
running a service restart solved it for me too. Thanks so much!