Apache - Disable SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0

Last updated on 28 Sep 2023, 10:23:07.
Category: All about SSL certificates | SSL configuration

Apache SSL SSL v2 SSL v3

This article shows you how to disable the SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0 protocols on your Apache web server

Why disable SSL v2 en SSL v3?

SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0 are obsolete versions of the SSL protocol that have long since been superseded by the more secure Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, dat betere beveiliging biedt. In addition, a SSL 3.0 security flaw nicknamed POODLE was discovered in 2014, allowing an attacker to completely circumvent SSL security. Your Apache web server shouldn't be serving those protocols for better security.

Step 1: Find all SSL sites on Apache

Unless you only need to modify one site, in which case you can just open the virtual hosts file you need, try to find all SSL websites with the following command, executed in the root directory of your Apache installation:

grep -r SSLEngine *

This will list all SSL VirtualHost blocks you need to modify. Note that your Apache installation directory may differ according to you distribution. The most common locations are:

  • /etc/httpd for Red Hat, CentOs, Fedora and many other distributions
  • /etc/apache2 for Debian, Ubuntu and Debian derivates

Step 2: Modify the virtual hosts

Using vi or your favourite text editor, add or modify the following line in each VirtualHost block that needs updating:

SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3

Step 3: Restart Apache

Restart Apache with one of the following commands:

/etc/init.d/httpd restart
service httpd restart
apachectl -k restart

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