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posted by NCommander on Wednesday July 05 2023, @02:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the ssl-negotations-are-complex dept.

So, I know its been a bit quiet here, but we're working through getting through the last few items relating to cutting over to newer infrastructure. As such, its been working through the bug list, and there's one issue I want to get some feedback on.

Back in November when the infrastructure was upgraded to Ubuntu 22.04, a few users with older devices stopped being able to connect to SoylentNews. This confused me, since we've been using the same NGINX SSL termination setup that has been in use since at least 2016. Well, I finally found the root cause, and as it turns out, Canonical bumped up the minimum OpenSSL security level, which disabled several ciphers, and broke devices not supporting TLS 1.2 or later.

By testing the site with the SSL Labs site checker, it appears anything older than Android 4.0, or iOS 5 is broken. This mostly seems to be devices that are over a decade old at this point, and won't be able to browse the vast majority of sites on the Internet as is. We discussed this internally a bit, and I'm of the opinion that its not worth re-enabling the older ciphers to allow these devices to reconnect, especially since we're working to modernize the stack, and get it as up to date as we can get it. I also believe we had very few users who were actually affected by this, however, as the editors did get a few emails about SN breaking after the site upgrade, I wanted to poll the community, and make sure this is not a more widespread issue than initially believed.

Ultimately, this is going to be part of a broader discussion on what we will and won't support on SoylentNews going forward, and this seems as good of place as any to get the ball rolling.

~ NCommander

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07 2023, @02:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07 2023, @02:33AM (#1314845)

    NOMORE was for TKIP and TLS and increasing the number of requests reduces the difficulty but is not a hard requirement. But things haven't stood still in the intervening years. Research still continued on RC varients and attacks. Plus the computing power has increased in the mean time.

    And they have more than just your password. They have access to an account linked to a particular person. That opens the door to all sorts of techniques they can use to do much worse than just post cat pictures.

    RC4 is just one example. There are plenty of other vulnerabilities in a number of cipher suites and TLS 1.0/1.1. There are ways to mitigate many, but not all, of them. But if your client is old enough not to support TLS 1.2 at all, then it is likely to also not mitigate them. And a larger problem is that leaving them enabled can put other users at risk thanks to various attacks on the protocols. Sure, the risk using them on SN is probably low (but not zero). But that really isn't the point. The point was that these ciphers are broken, many with relatively trivial effort, especially from those most important to protect against.