Encryption Protocols and Ciphers
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One of the Best Practices for Pleasant Password Server is to disable methods of SSL/TLS encryption that are found to be insecure.
Pleasant Password Server negotiates the best connection possible between your server and client in order to communicate in the most secure protocol & cipher available on your browser/machine/device. However, it is important to ensure that the best and most secure lines of communication are available and that the insecure ones are not.
This is best accomplished by:
- Keep Machine, OS, & Browsers are updated regularly: helps to automatically keep pace with the ever-changing security / protocol algorithm improvements, as these get reviewed and updated often
- Disable Insecure Protocols: ensure that insecure clients will not communicate with us in vulnerable protocols / algorithms
- Keep Password Server up-to-date: ensure the latest security patches, fixes, & configurations are applied
- Use Secure Certificates: will help to ensure the connection uses the best encryption strength possible
- SSL/TLS Versions
- 1. Test Your Encryption
- 2. Use the Strongest Encryption
- 3. How To Disable Insecure Server Ciphers
- Recommended Algorithms & Ciphers
- TLS 1.3 is faster, more secure, default in browsers
- TLS 1.2 has been a long held standard
- TLS 1.1 reached end of life in 2018
- TLS 1.0 protocols are insecure
- SSL 1.0, 2.0, 3.0; PCT 1.0 are all deprecated and should not be used
- QUIC (in HTTP/3): intended to replace TLS
You can test the connection your Browser, Mobile Device, or External-Facing website, and see the protocols & ciphers being used here:
For an internal server: see the next sections (below).
You can also see the specific negotiated connection protocols for the current website you are viewing:
- Chrome: Type F12 -> Click Security tab -> View the Connection details
- FireFox: Click the lock next to your URL -> Click Show Connection Details -> View the Technical Details
Password Server negotiates the strongest encryption communication supported by both the server and client. Making registry setting changes enables specific versions of TLS on a machine, for example, TLS 1.3 or TLS 1.2:
At the same time, you do not want to leave old, outdated encryption protocols or ciphers enabled. Keep reading below.
To protect against using outdated communication protocols and ciphers, then it is advisable to disable insecure protocols on the Server machine. This will protect the communications the server has to other machines.
On older Windows Server machines some older protocols are still enabled by default and should be disabled.
Below are some nice methods to manage these listed by category. These are the easiest/most comprehensive:
- The easiest method is the IISCrypt 2 tool (by Nartac, for Windows Server machines only). It provides a simple visibility to manage these.
- Alternatively a comprehensive is using Windows Registry settings:
Also note that by keeping the machine OS updated, it helps to stay on top of the right encryption protocols for your connections.
All Windows Versions
- Manage the specific cipher algorithms your machine uses:
- Cipher Suites in TLS/SSL (Schannel SSP)
Machine Registry Settings
- Microsoft: Enable & Disable TLS protocols in .NET Framework
- TLS Registry Settings
- PowerShell examples from the community (unvalidated)
- Older Microsoft reference page
Windows 11, 10, 8, 7:
- "To add cipher suites, use the group policy setting SSL Cipher Suite Order under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > SSL Configuration Settings to configure a priority list for all cipher suites you want enabled."
By Group Policy
- TLS Cmdlets
- PowerShell examples from the community (Note: these are scripts have not been validated by us, but are provided for your convenience)
By Internet Explorer
- Open IE > Click Settings > Internet Options > Advanced tab:
- Select Use TLS 1.2, TLS 1.3 (experimental)
- Unselect SSL 3.0, TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1
- Restart the machine
- Windows Server 2019: Add to your site binding, check "Disable Legacy TLS", then click OK
- Turn Off SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 In Your Browser
Mozilla publishes an updated recommendation list:
SSL Labs publishes an updated recommendation list, and are a well-known authoritative site.
Their suggestions include: first making changes in a test environment, and ensuring that compatibility is maintained for all your required applications on the machine.
They also include a general explanation and a discussion of the theory.
Insecure Algorithms & Ciphers
Legacy TLS (a setting from Microsoft):
- SSL2, SSL3, TLS1.0 and TLS1.1
- Encryption Ciphers:
- DES, 3DES, and RC4 (so only AES should be used)
- AES with CBC chaining mode (so only AES GCM should be used)
- Key Exchanges:
- DH key sizes < 2048
- ECDH key size < 224
Transport Layer Security (TLS) - Wikipedia:
Hardening Your Web Server’s SSL Ciphers (Rationale section)
A short technical explanation guide for network administrators regarding encryption/protocol can be found here:
SSL and TLS Deployment Best Practices by SSL Labs
Relevant sections: Certificates, Secure Protocols, & Secure Cipher Suite
- Microsoft: Solving TLS Problem
- Microsoft: Disable Legacy TLS
- Microsoft: How to determine which .NET versions are installed
- MakeUseOf: Common Encryption Types
- FestyDuck: History of SSL/TLS
- ScottHelme: Getting an A+ on the Qualys SSL Test
- IETF: HTTP over QUIC
- IETF: TLS 1.2 Cipher Suite Black List
Browser indicates Site URL is Insecure
- This could indicate a problem with the certificate
- This could indicate a problem with using older protocols on the server machine
Connection error: ERR_SPDY_INADEQUATE_TRANSPORT_SECURITY