Weak SSL Configurations

  • LAST UPDATED DATE: 12/14/2015
  • LAST UPDATED BY: Joey M. (l0stkn0wledge)


Many web servers still support out dated methods of securing connections with SSL/TLS. These methods can make the communications between the server and clients more suspectible to both traditional man-in-the-middle attacks and to more sophisticated attacks where the SSL Handshake is intercepted and modified to create weaker connections between the client and the server.

Capabilities and Risk

This can be used to lead to the exposure of encrypted communications, which are often used to transmit sensitive data, which includes (but is not limited to):

  • Usernames/Passwords
  • Personally Identifiable Information
  • Personal Health Information
  • Financial Data


Readily available tools like 'sslscan' can be used to determine the versions of SSL/TLS and cipher suites supported by a server. Servers can also be tested using 'openssl s_client', which has several configuration options for enabling different versions of SSL/TLS and cipher suites. This can allow for testing a server's connection and determining the supported cipher suites.


The best remedy for this solution is to ensure that web servers relying upon SSL/TLS are using up-to-date cipher suites that offer appropriate levels of protection. Modern cipher suites making use of algorithms like AES and SHA-256 are examples of the algorithms to consider for use. Servers should be configured to a minimum SSL/TLS version of TLS v.1.0



  1. An attacker can use methods like ARP Spoofing or rogue wireless access points to intercept network communications
  2. Use iptables to re-direct to your proxy listening port: iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp --destination-port 443 -j REDIRECT --to-ports <$listenPort>
  3. Use proxy tool (e.g. mitmproxy) to intercept the connection and alter SSL Handshake so client only requests weaker versions of SSL and/or weaker ciphers (configuration will vary depending on the tool(s) used.
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Last updated on 24th Jul 2019