While I was searching related questions, I saw this: https://superuser.com/questions/109213/how-do-i-list-the-ssl-tls-cipher-suites-a-particular-website-offers

I tried working on the solutions provided but I haven't found my solution.

I have 2 server, the test and the production server.

Both of them host an application, test and prod. This application requires a reverse proxy so I set up Apache for this.

I was asked to improve the cipher suite used for the HTTPS.

The PROD server uses, in apache, this:

SSLProtocol All -SSLv2 -SSLv3
SSLHonorCipherOrder on

The TEST server, which I'm currently working on, was updated for using this:

SSLProtocol all -SSLv3 -TLSv1 -TLSv1.1
SSLHonorCipherOrder on
SSLCompression      off
SSLSessionTickets   off

It is time to test if the new configuration works (well, it already should, but you know...).

From a 3rd TEST machine I ran:

curl https://test.servertest.com/test1
against the TEST server
curl https://prodserver.com/accept
to the PROD one.

Reading the APACHE error log from both the TEST and PROD servers, I do not see differences.

[Tue Oct 23 13:57:10.846249 2018] [ssl:trace3] [pid 13130] ssl_engine_kernel.c(1795): [remote] OpenSSL: Handshake: done
[Tue Oct 23 13:57:10.846257 2018] [ssl:debug] [pid 13130] ssl_engine_kernel.c(1844): [remote] AH02041: Protocol: TLSv1, Cipher: ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits)

[Tue Oct 23 13:58:04.192403 2018] [ssl:trace3] [pid 6856] ssl_engine_kernel.c(1795): [remote] OpenSSL: Handshake: done
[Tue Oct 23 13:58:04.192409 2018] [ssl:debug] [pid 6856] ssl_engine_kernel.c(1844): [remote] AH02041: Protocol: TLSv1, Cipher: ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits)

Probably CURL might not be the best way for testing the cipher suite (?) but my question is: How can I be sure that the changes I applied are correct (beside finding the ciphers suite themselves in the Apache manual) ?


curl -vv -k https://test.example.com will output some of useful TLS info, but will only negotiate a single protocol and cipher, rather than testing every possible and supported SSL/TLS version and cipher.

curl -vv https://test.example.com
* Rebuilt URL to: https://test.example.com/
*   Trying
* Connected to test.example.com ( port 443 (#0)
* SSL connection using TLSv1.2 / ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384

A useful online testing tool is Qualis SSL labs https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/ or run your own tests using the nice wrapper script from https://testssl.sh/ around the commandline openssl tool/library.

A few simple openssl commands to test for the correct SSLProtocol level are:

 openssl s_client -connect test.example.com.com:443 -ssl3

Which is supposed to return a failure when SSLv3 is disabled with SSLProtocol -SSLv3

140304709433232:error:14094410:SSL routines:ssl3_read_bytes:
     sslv3 alert handshake failure:s3_pkt.c:1493:SSL alert number 40
140304709433232:error:1409E0E5:SSL routines:ssl3_write_bytes:
     ssl handshake failure:s3_pkt.c:659:

and similar for testing TLS protocol 1.0

 openssl s_client -connect test.example.com:443 -tls1

we should again see a handshake failure:

 routines:ssl3_read_bytes:tlsv1 alert protocol version:s3_pkt.c:1493:SSL alert number 70
 ssl handshake failure:s3_pkt.c:659:
 openssl s_client -connect test.example.com:443 -tls1_1
139920359683984:error:1409442E:SSL routines:ssl3_read_bytes:
tlsv1 alert protocol version:s3_pkt.c:1493:SSL alert number 70
ssl handshake failure:s3_pkt.c:659:

When testing the allowed TLS protocol level 1.2

  openssl s_client -connect test.example.com:443 -tls1_2

one should see a successful connection and a the details of a TLS certificate:

depth=2 O = Digital Signature Trust Co., CN = DST Root CA X3
 verify return:1
 depth=1 C = US, O = Let's Encrypt, CN = Let's Encrypt Authority X3
 verify return:1
 depth=0 CN = test.example.com
 verify return:1
 Certificate chain
 0 s:/CN=test.example.com
   i:/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
 1 s:/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
   i:/O=Digital Signature Trust Co./CN=DST Root CA X3
Server certificate

A useful cheat sheet for good TLS settings for a number of of different servers is: https://cipherli.st/

  • All good info, thanks! I was trying already the curl command. From the CURL of your example and the log on my server, the cipher suite match. Means that my tests were right. What I don't understand is why both of my servers accept these HIGH ciphers, which is correct, while I was told to upgrade them on the PROD server because are weak, saying that those that I use are TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256. I can not see anywhere these last cipher suite used in my server(s). I just see the HIGH one. – aPugLife Oct 23 '18 at 14:45
  • Yes, checked (and done) everything that you said. It totally match with my settings. I am not sure now why I was told that my server uses those weak cipher suite while indeed it is not. I am confused. At least I know that all the tests that I have run are correct – aPugLife Oct 23 '18 at 14:47
  • I think I will accept your answer because I like how you wrote it. It's helpful. I am still confused because I do not know where this client of mine got that cipher suite list though. – aPugLife Oct 23 '18 at 14:49

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