Product Documentation

Configuring SSL Protocol Settings

May 20, 2015

The NetScaler appliance supports the SSLv2, SSLv3, TLSv1, TLSv1.1, and TLSv1.2 protocols. Each of these can be set on the appliance as required by your deployment and the type of clients that will connect to the appliance.

TLS protocol versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 are more secure than older versions of the TLS/SSL protocol. However, to support legacy systems, many TLS implementations maintain backward compatibility with the SSLv3 protocol. In an SSL handshake, the highest protocol version common to the client and the SSL virtual server configured on the NetScaler appliance is used.

In the first handshake attempt, a TLS client offers the highest protocol version that it supports. If the handshake fails, the client offers a lower protocol version. For example, if a handshake with TLS version 1.1 is not successful, the client attempts to renegotiate by offering the TLSv1.0 protocol. If that attempt is unsuccessful, the client reattempts with the SSLv3 protocol. A “man in the middle” (MITM) attacker can break the initial handshake and trigger renegotiation with the SSLv3 protocol, and then exploit a vulnerability in SSLv3. To mitigate such attacks, you can disable SSLv3 or not allow renegotiation using a downgraded protocol. However, this might not be practical if your deployment includes legacy systems. An alternative is to recognize a signaling cipher suite value (TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV) in the client request.

A TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV value in a client hello message indicates to the virtual server that the client has previously attempted to connect with a higher protocol version and that the current request is a fallback. If the virtual server detects this value, and it supports a version higher than the one indicated by the client, it rejects the connection with a fatal alert. If a TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV is not included in the client hello message, or if the protocol version in the client hello is the highest protocol version supported by the virtual server, the handshake succeeds.

To configure SSL protocol support by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type the following commands to configure SSL protocol support and verify the configuration:

  • set ssl vserver <vServerName> -ssl2 ( ENABLED | DISABLED ) -ssl3 ( ENABLED | DISABLED ) -tls1 ( ENABLED | DISABLED ) -tls11 ( ENABLED | DISABLED ) -tls12 ( ENABLED | DISABLED )
  • show ssl vserver <vServerName>


> set ssl vserver vs-ssl -tls11 ENABLED -tls12 ENABLED 
> sh ssl vs vs-ssl 
					   Advanced SSL configuration for VServer vs-ssl: 
        DH: DISABLED 
        Ephemeral RSA: ENABLED                            Refresh Count: 0 
        Session Reuse: ENABLED                              Timeout: 120 seconds 
        Cipher Redirect: DISABLED 
        SSLv2 Redirect: DISABLED 
        ClearText Port: 0 
        Client Auth: DISABLED 
        SSL Redirect: DISABLED 
        Non FIPS Ciphers: DISABLED 
        SNI: DISABLED 
        SSLv2: DISABLED        SSLv3: ENABLED    TLSv1.0: ENABLED  TLSv1.1: ENABLED  TLSv1.2: ENABLED 
        Push Encryption Trigger: Always 
        Send Close-Notify: YES 
        1 bound certificate: 
1)      CertKey Name: mycert  Server Certificate 
        1 configured cipher: 
1)      Cipher Name: DEFAULT 
        Description: Predefined Cipher Alias 

To configure SSL protocol support by using the configuration Utility

  1. Navigate to Traffic Management > Load Balancing > Virtual Servers, and open a virtual server.
  2. In the SSL Parameters section, select a protocol to enable.