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Entry  09 Sep 2015, Thomas Lindner, Info, mhttpd/SSL error message on MacOS 
    Reply  11 Sep 2015, Konstantin Olchanski, Info, mhttpd/SSL error message on MacOS 
Message ID: 1111     Entry time: 11 Sep 2015     In reply to: 1108
Author: Konstantin Olchanski 
Topic: Info 
Subject: mhttpd/SSL error message on MacOS 
> On my macbook (OS X 10.10.3) I get this error message when starting mhttpd with mongoose-SSL:
> [mhttpd,ERROR] [mhttpd.cxx:17092:mongoose,ERROR] mongoose web server error: set_ssl_option: 
> openssl "modern cryptography" ECDH ciphers not available

It means what it says - "modern cryptography" is not available (in google-chrome terms), different browsers report this 
differently, same (apple safari) do not seem to care.

In practice if ECDH ciphers are not available, the https connection uses "obsolete cryptography" and (depending) it 
probably not actually secure (might even be using RC4 ciphers).

The reason you get this error is the obsolete OpenSSL library shipped with MacOS (all version). (same on SL4 and SL5).

Reasonably up-to-date OpenSSL library that has ECDH support can be installed using MacPorts, this step should be 
added to the MIDAS documentation.

> mhttpd seems to start fine anyway and safari connects to the secure midas page without complaining 
> about the SSL (it complains about the certificate of course).  So maybe this error message is 
> relatively harmless?

Some browsers do not care about the quality of the connection - google-chrome seems to be the most conservative 
and flags anything that is less than "most state of the art encryption".

Some browsers seem to be happy even if the connection is SSLv2 with RC4 encryption, even though it is not secure at 
all by current thinking.

Is that harmless? (browser says "secure" when it is not?)

> I don't get this error message with Scientific Linux 6.7.

el6 has a reasonably recent OpenSSL library which supports "modern cryptography".

The best guide to this is to run the SSLlabs scanner and read through it's report.


P.S. All this said, I hope my rationale to switching away from OpenSSL makes a bit more sense. If we use something 
like PolarSSL, at least we get the same behaviour on all OSes.

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