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From "Stefan Podkowinski (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Created] (CASSANDRA-10508) Remove hard-coded SSL cipher suites and protocols
Date Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:35:06 GMT
Stefan Podkowinski created CASSANDRA-10508:

             Summary: Remove hard-coded SSL cipher suites and protocols
                 Key: CASSANDRA-10508
             Project: Cassandra
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: Core
            Reporter: Stefan Podkowinski

Currently each SSL connections will be initialized using a hard-coded list of protocols ("SSLv2Hello",
"TLSv1", "TLSv1.1", "TLSv1.2") and cipher suites. We now require Java 8 which comes with solid
defaults for these kind of SSL settings and I'm wondering if the current behavior shouldn't
be re-evaluated. 

In my impression the way cipher suites are currently whitelisted is problematic, as this will
prevent the JVM from using more recent and more secure suites that haven't been added to the
hard-coded list. JVM updates may also cause issues in case the limited number of ciphers cannot
be used, e.g. see CASSANDRA-6613.

Looking at the source I've also stumbled upon a bug in the {{filterCipherSuites()}} method
that would return the filtered list of ciphers in undetermined order where the result is passed
to {{setEnabledCipherSuites()}}. However, the list of ciphers will reflect the order of preference
([source|]) and therefore you may end up with
weaker algorithms on the top. Currently it's not that critical, as we only whitelist a couple
of ciphers anyway. But it adds to the question if it still really makes sense to work with
the cipher list at all in the Cassandra code base.

Another way to effect used ciphers is by changing the security properties. This is a more
versatile way to work with cipher lists instead of relying on hard-coded values, see [here|]
for details.

The same applies to the protocols. Introduced in CASSANDRA-8265 to prevent SSLv3 attacks,
this is not necessary anymore as SSLv3 is now blacklisted anyway and will stop using safer
protocol sets on new JVM releases or user request. Again, we should stick with the JVM defaults.
Using the {{jdk.tls.client.protocols}} systems property will always allow to restrict the
set of protocols in case another emergency fix is needed. 

You can find a patch with where I ripped out the mentioned options here:
[Diff trunk|]

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