SSL Vulnerable to BEAST attack

A vulnerability exists in SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 that could allow information disclosure if an attacker intercepts encrypted traffic served from an affected system. The weakness is down to insufficiently randomised data being used for the Initialisation Vectors (IV) within the CBC-mode encryption algorithms. The exploit can be performed through multiple injection points, both native to the browser’s functionality.

This issue is reduced in risk by the fact that the attacker is required to have a Man-in-the-Middle position for this exploit whereby traffic interception can be performed, and with this position obtained it is generally easier to attack the victim through other methods (SSL-stripping, mixed-scripting [requesting HTTP resources from an HTTPS connection], etc…) which do not require complex cryptanalysis such as BEAST to execute.

TestSSLServer.exe (43.00 kb)


Supported versions:
 SSLv2 SSLv3 TLSv1.0
Deflate compression: no
Supported cipher suites (ORDER IS NOT SIGNIFICANT):
Server certificate(s):
Minimal encryption strength:     strong encryption (96-bit or more)
Achievable encryption strength:  strong encryption (96-bit or more)
BEAST status: vulnerable
CRIME status: protected



Various browsers are introducing or have introduced mitigations for the issue which make exploitation less likely. There are also steps which can be taken on the server side to make exploitation impossible.


Enabling and prioritising TLS 1.1/1.2 would be advised where possible although removing support for TLS1.0 is impractical at this time.

In the short-term due to the lack of wide-scale support by browsers and servers alike, prioritising the use of a stream cipher (such as RC4-SHA) instead of a CBC-mode cipher is recommended in order to maintain compatibility with browsers (see note).

Migration away from TLS 1.0 and below to TLS 1.1/1.2 should considered as a medium-term option for secure applications.

SSL Best Practice Guide:

BEAST attack

On September 23, 2011 researchers Thai Duong and Juliano Rizzo demonstrated a “proof of concept” called BEAST (“Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS”) using a Java applet to violate same origin policy constraints, for a long-known Cipher block chaining (CBC) vulnerability in TLS 1.0.[44][45] Practical exploits had not been previously demonstrated for this vulnerability, which was originally discovered by Phillip Rogaway[46] in 2002. The vulnerability of the attack had been fixed with TLS 1.1 in 2006, but TLS 1.1 had not seen wide adoption prior to this attack demonstration.

Mozilla updated the development versions of their NSS libraries to mitigate BEAST-like attacks. NSS is used by Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome to implement SSL. Some web servers that have a broken implementation of the SSL specification may stop working as a result.

Microsoft released Security Bulletin MS12-006 on January 10, 2012, which fixed the BEAST vulnerability by changing the way that the Windows Secure Channel (SChannel) component transmits encrypted network packets.

Users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 can enable use of TLS 1.1 and 1.2, but this work-around will fail if it is not supported by the other end of the connection and will result in a fall-back to TLS 1.0.