Everybody seems to be talking about the POODLE vulnerability today. And everybody recommends disabling SSLv3 in Apache using the following configuration directive:

SSLProtocol All -SSLv2 -SSLv3

instead of the default

SSLProtocol All -SSLv2

I've done that, and no joy – after testing repeatedly with various tools (here's a fast one), I find that SSLv3 is happily accepted by my server.

Yes, I did restart Apache. Yes, I did a recursive grep on all configuration files, and I don't have any override anywhere. And no, I'm not using some ancient version of Apache:

[root@server ~]# apachectl -v
Server version: Apache/2.2.15 (Unix)
Server built:   Jul 23 2014 14:17:29

So, what gives? How does one really disable SSLv3 in Apache?

migrated from security.stackexchange.com Oct 16 '14 at 11:30

This question came from our site for information security professionals.

  • Answered here: askubuntu.com/q/537196/7163 – Rory Alsop Oct 16 '14 at 7:58
  • 5
    As explained in the question, I have performed all steps indicated in that section and SSL3 is still available. I couldn't tell you which specific part of that section fails to disable SSL3, but the point is that it just doesn't, in its entirety. Having said that, I understand you have your moderator hat on at the moment, so please unhold the question — it might well prove that I'm a moron and I made an elementary mistake, but from a moderator's POV this is a legitimate question. – Gutza Oct 16 '14 at 11:12

I had the same problem... You have to include SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3 within every VirtualHost stanza in httpd.conf

The VirtualHost stanzas are generally towards the end of the httpd.conf file. So for example:

<VirtualHost your.website.example.com:443>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/directory
    ServerName your.website.example.com

    SSLEngine on
    SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3

Also check ssl.conf or httpd-ssl.conf or similar because they may be set there, not necessarily in httpd.conf

  • 3
    For the record, depending on your sysadmin/webmaster, VirtualHosts might just as well live within their own dedicated file in conf.d (that's how I like to keep house, and it's something I learned, not something I invented, so I expect I'm not the only one). – Bogdan Stăncescu Oct 17 '14 at 20:31
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    Note that as of at least Apache 2.4+ SSLProtocol configured outside of VirtualHost stanzas will apply to all virtual hosts. – nurikabe Jan 13 '15 at 14:01
  • 2
    I found this tool that will test, among other things, whether your server has SSLv3 disabled: ssllabs.com/ssltest/index.html – amphetamachine Mar 4 '15 at 16:59
  • 1
    This answer was very helpful for me when disabling TLSv1. To check if a given protocol is fully disabled, I found the following useful: nmap -sV --script ssl-enum-ciphers -p 443 <hostname>. – Luca Citi Jul 9 '18 at 16:29

I had the same problem on Ubuntu 14.04. After reading this, I edited the section "SSLProtocol" in /etc/apache2/mods-available/ssl.conf.

  • from: SSLProtocol all
  • to: SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3 -TLSV1

But it didn't work. So I edited the following section too "SSLCipherSuite" in /etc/apache2/mods-available/ssl.conf.

  • from: SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM:!aNULL:!MD5
  • to: SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM:!aNULL:!MD5:!SSLv3:!SSLv2:!TLSv1

And now it now works for me.

By the way, the Cipher Suites are not affected by POODLE, only the protocol -- but most browsers are okay with a disabled SSLv3 Cipher Suite.

Don't use this for a Mailserver! Or you will (maybe) face the problem of not being able to fetch your Mails on some devices.

  • Thank you. This answer worked in WHM/cPanel setup. I tried other methods suggested online and yours was the only one that worked. – Voitek Zylinski Oct 29 '14 at 15:59
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    This works, but it will disable access with IE 10, as it uses SSLv3 and TLS1.0 by default. – Erebus Feb 13 '15 at 21:27

For Ubuntu 10.04

To disable SSLv3 on all active vhosts you need the option in

/etc/apache2/mods-available/ssl.conf :

SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3

I had a similar problem this morning, and I found another virtualhost enabling SSLv3, so the entire server responds to SSLv3 connections.

So, make sure that none of your hosts has SSLv3 active.


Be sure the SSLCipherSuite does not contain !SSLv3. In that context, it also refers to TLS1.0 and TLS1.1.

For example, if your config is SSLProtocol All, only TLS1.2 will be available due to how SSLCipherSuite is configured with !SSLv3.


For CentOs users having trouble editing your SSL configuration file via SSH, try disabling SSLv3 via WHM:

Step 1: Navigate to the Include Editor

-Login to WHM -Open up the "Apache Configuration" screen, and click on "Include Editor"

Step 2: Edit the Includes

-Under "Pre Main Include", select "All Versions". This way your server will be protected if you change your version of Apache. When selected, enter the following into the text box:

On CentOS/RHEL 6.x:

SSLHonorCipherOrder On
SSLProtocol -All +TLSv1 +TLSv1.1 +TLSv1.2

On CentOS/RHEL 5.x:

SSLHonorCipherOrder On
SSLProtocol -All +TLSv1

…and then click Update.

Once you click update, you’ll be prompted to restart Apache; do so at this time.

original source: https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/how-to-disable-sslv3-and-protect-your-whmcpanel-server-from-poodle/

  • 1
    This answer is relevant for servers controlled via WHM/cPanel, not for servers running CentOS. – Bogdan Stăncescu Oct 20 '14 at 13:57

The method which you are using is for new version of Apache and Openssl. It might be possible that new version of these doesn't installed on your system, verify current installed version.

Since SSLv2 and SSLv3 both are vulnerable of some attacks, so it would be better to use only TLS. So modify your apache conf file as follows,

SSLProtocol TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2


SSLProtocol TLSv1
  • Yes, I also tried that – no joy. :-( – Gutza Oct 16 '14 at 6:59
  • can you please paste the output of "apachectl configtest" command. – P4cK3tHuNt3R Oct 16 '14 at 7:04

I had a similar issue and I had checked that I had all the appropriate apache settings correct.

However what I missed was that I had nginx as a reverse proxy in front of apache. I also happen to be using Plesk and this is from their POODLE fixes guide:

If you are running Nginx, include the following line in your configuration among the other SSL directives in the /etc/nginx/nginx.conf :

ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

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