We're using lighttpd 1.5.0-2349 which unfortunately doesn't support the option to disable SSLv3. I think a potential workaround would be to only allow it to use some cipher which has already been disabled in most browsers, so that if SSLv3 is used, there is no cipher overlap between server and client.

Is this a good idea? Which cipher would be suitable for this purpose?

  • 5
    I would recomend you upgrading lighttpd. The version you are using have published vulnerabilities and exploits worse than Poodle.
    – ThoriumBR
    Oct 17, 2014 at 15:34
  • I'll definitely try to upgrade it, but I'd like to apply a workaround in the meantime. BTW, which vulnerabilities are you talking about? I only found a couple and those only allowed DoS attacks.
    – JohnEye
    Oct 17, 2014 at 16:14
  • I think DoS is a good enough reason to upgrade.
    – ThoriumBR
    Oct 17, 2014 at 17:00
  • 1
    Of course it is, but it cannot leak any sensitive information, which is what I'm currently worried about.
    – JohnEye
    Oct 17, 2014 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


There are secure non-POODLE-vulnerable ciphers which you can use with SSLv3 - POODLE only impacts variants with CBC. The RC4 ciphers, for example, are not vulnerable to POODLE. Now, RC4 is a tricky thing. It's considered breakable (but not really actively broken), but since it's the best workaround for things like BEAST and POODLE, it's heavily used and probably secure enough for some small window of time ahead.

Since you're going to upgrade lighttpd anyway, RC4 should be fine until you get that done :)

  • Please note that using RC4 cipher with SSL may open you up to a lawsuit, so tread carefully with this one.
    – user41341
    Oct 17, 2014 at 20:34
  • 1
    That article is from 2012. Since then they've robbed Newegg but lost to Intuit. I think it's clear that only people with really deep sue-worthy pockets need to worry about this patent troll, and even those people can leaven their fear with assurance that it's just a troll.
    – gowenfawr
    Oct 17, 2014 at 21:06
  • Oh great! I remember the Newegg deal, but didn't see the Intuit one.
    – user41341
    Oct 17, 2014 at 22:42
  • I ended up completely disabling all configurations which used CBC, so when SSLv3 is used it only uses RC4.
    – JohnEye
    Oct 21, 2014 at 12:47

I see where you are going with this, and it's good, out of the box thinking. Unfortunately it isn't likely to work in many cases - if a browser supports SSLv3 chances are it supports bad ciphers too.

My advice would be to put this system behind a web proxy where you can control the ciphers and protocols, and let the client connections terminate there. The client connects to the proxy using secure protocols and then the proxy connects to the insecure box.

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