The latest cyberattack to hit the news is POODLE (Padding Oracle on Downgraded Legacy Encryption). While POODLE wins points for both the cutest title and including Oracle in its name, I’m cheering it on for a different reason.
POODLE compromises the obsolete protocol SSL 3.0. That alone wouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s sneakier than that, since it tricks browsers and other applications that use more recent, more secure transport-layer security protocols to downgrade to SSL 3.0, thus becoming vulnerable to attack.
The best way to protect yourself from POODLE is to disable SSL 3.0 across your entire IT environment – servers, browsers, the lot.
And that’s why I’m cheering. You see, the bane of many an IT manager’s and web developer’s existence is Internet Explorer Version 6. This browser version has been obsolete for years, but numerous enterprises still insist on remaining standardized on it. It doesn’t support HTML 5, which is one of the many reasons web developers hate it. But that deficiency alone hasn’t forced shops to switch browsers.
The good news, however, is that IE 6 doesn’t support any transport-layer security protocol newer than SSL 3.0. So not only can POODLE drive a big truck through IE 6’s security defenses, but now every IT shop must disable all SSL 3.0 support to protect the rest of its applications. And that means finally getting rid of IE 6 once and for all.