The web will soon be a little safer with TLS 1.3
Transport Layer Security version 1.3 promises to make encrypted connections on the web faster and more resistant to snooping.

The approval of TLS 1.3 has been long in coming for four years.

The IETF approval is a big step towards the standard being adopted by big companies, web services, and other, higher-level standards.

You as normal user probably won’t even notice when it does come into play when everything goes as planned.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IETF Approves TLS 1.3

    The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) last week announced the approval of version 1.3 of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic encryption protocol. The Internet standards organization has been analyzing proposals for TLS 1.3 since April 2014 and it took 28 drafts to get it to its current form.

    TLS is designed to allow client and server applications to communicate over the Internet securely. It provides authentication, confidentiality, and integrity mechanisms that should prevent eavesdropping and tampering, even by an attacker who has complete control over the network.

    There are nearly a dozen major functional differences between TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.3

    The most controversial of these changes is related to the introduction of the 0-RTT (zero round trip time resumption) mode. This feature brings significant improvements in terms of speed, particularly in the case of resumed connections, but it makes the connection slightly less secure.

    Cloudflare announced support for TLS 1.3 in September 2016, but the company reported in late December 2017 that major web browsers had yet to enable the new version of the protocol by default, with only 0.06% of the traffic passing through its network leveraging TLS 1.3.

    Poor implementation of TLS 1.3 has been known to cause serious problems.

    The OpenSSL Project announced support for TLS 1.3 in February when it unveiled OpenSSL 1.1.1, which is currently in alpha.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IETF Approves TLS 1.3 As Internet Standard

    The protocol has several advantages over its previous version — TLS 1.2. The biggest feature is that TLS 1.3 ditches older encryption and hashing algorithms (such as MD5 and SHA-224) for newer and harder to crack alternatives (such as ChaCha20, Poly1305, Ed25519, x25519, and x448). Second, TLS 1.3 is also much faster at negotiating the initial handshake between the client and the server, reducing the connection latency that many companies cited when justifying not supporting HTTPS over HTTP.

    Browsers like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Pale Moon have already rolled out support for earlier versions of the TLS 1.3 draft, and are now expected to update this support to the official standard.

    IETF Approves TLS 1.3 as Internet Standard

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hurrah! TLS 1.3 is here. Now to implement it and put it into software
    Which won’t be terrifyingly hard: it’s pretty good at making old kit like the way it moves

    The ink has dried, so to speak, on TLS 1.3, so it’s time for work developing software to implement the standard to begin in earnest.

    As we reported last week, now that the protocol’s received the necessary consensus in the IETF, implementation “will require people to put in some effort to make it all work properly.”

    Vulture South talked to one of the people involved in that implementation, Mauritian developer Loganaden Velvindron, who said the biggest change he’s seen since the Singapore IETF 100 last October is that developers no longer seem so wary of the protocol.

    “What was interesting to me is that finally, open source developers are no longer saying ‘wait and see’ about TLS 1.3,” said Velvindron, who participated in the TLS 1.3 hackathon for IETF 101 in London*.

    Along the way, Velvindron said, the team discovered a misconstruction in how servers construct the CLIENT HELLO that other app maintainers should watch out for.

    He said some applications “don’t work with 1.3 because … the CLIENT HELLO is not constructed correctly, it causes handshake failures”, he said.

    The IETF decided that systems like OpenSSL should ship with “middlebox compatibility” enabled by default. In this mode, the TLS 1.3 connection looks like TLS 1.2, Velvindron said.

    What’s next: DNS privacy

    TLS 1.3 implementation is along way from finished, but with the project well begun, the group behind it is branching out.

    One project that’s caught their eye is the IETF’s work on DNS privacy, making sure that encrypted DNS sessions don’t leak information.

    “You still need RFC 7830, DNS padding”, Velvindron told Vulture South.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android Q Enables TLS 1.3 Support by Default

    The latest Android iteration (Android Q) arrives with TLS 1.3 support enabled by default, as well as with other security improvements, Google announced this week.

    At Google I/O, the Internet search giant reiterated its commitment to building a more secure Android platform through better encryption, platform hardening, improved authentication, and more.

    Google has been requiring full-disk encryption on new devices since 2015, but only this year the company released a solution to enable storage encryption on all devices. Called Adiantum, it can run efficiently without specialized hardware, meaning that it can be used on a broader range of devices.

    Additionally, the company is enabling TLS 1.3 support by default in Android Q. Finalized in August 2018, the latest major revision to the TLS standard is faster, more secure, and more private, as it removes support for weaker cryptographic algorithms and some insecure or obsolete features and encrypts more of the handshake.


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