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From Stefan Eissing <>
Subject Re: can we haz backports?
Date Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:58:14 GMT
I try a high level, short summary of the current ACME "TLS-SNI" issue:

1. There are 3 basic ways to verify domain ownership:
  a) "http-01" on port 80
     requests /.well-known/acme-challenge/<SomeChallengeToken>
     response: signed token as base64url
  b) "tls-sni-01" on port 443
     client hello with SNI for "<ChallengeToken>.acme.invalid"
     serverhello with matching, self-signed certificate
  c) "dns-01" where you provide a signed challenge at a
     acme-challenge.your-domain TEXT entry underneath your

a) and b) are supported by mod_md. Which method is actually used
depends on 
  - what the ACME server offers, for each dns ownship check it
    sends the list of available challenges
 - what the local Apache instance can do, e.g. does it listen
   on the ports required

This week, Lets Encrypt got informed by a security researcher
that challenge b) "tls-sni-01" can be exploited in several shared
hosting environments where customer are allowed to upload self-signed
certificates for domain names of their choice.

Let's Encrypt then immediately disabled "tls-sni-01" and informed
the people on various list and social media about it. Mitigations
are currently discussed. There is a good chance that it might stay
disabled in general, but kept available for already existing accounts.

"Disabled" here means that when asked to verify, the LE ACME server
will no longer offer "tls-sni-01" as challenge method. mod_md
scans this and will use the alternative "http-01", if offered, and
if local port 80 is listened to. If no usable challenge method is
found, an ERROR is logged.

This means that mod_md continues to work for people with port 80
open and will ERROR for instances where only port 443 is available.
There is no way around this.

Other ACME clients can only work around this, when they open port
80 themselves and listen for challenges. Some do, some don't. If
your firewall is blocking 80, none will succeed.

Note, some clients need updates as they do not scan the list 
returned by the server. Some ACM enabled server say they do
not care either but try randomly all methods they know, so eventually
it will succeed. *shrug*

So, our users, if they had the module, would have survived this
quite well, I think. Which is no guarantuee for the future, but still...



> Am 12.01.2018 um 13:22 schrieb Eric Covener <>:
> On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 6:32 AM, Steffen <> wrote:
>> Now mod_md contains features which are not supported anymore !
>> For SSL only config mod_md is not usable anymore, see
>> Propose to change mod_md regarding above, now I vote -1.
> What do you propose to be changed?  Most of us aren't following this
> space very closely.

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