TLS 1.3: The Most Superior Cryptographic Protocol is Here

The Long-awaited TLS 1.3 is Finally Approved by IETF | Learn Why It’s Superior to Its Predecessors

Last week, the cyber security enthusiasts around the world took a big sigh of relief. The reason? TLS 1.3, the most advanced cryptographic protocol till date got approved by IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). TLS 1.3 brings a host of improvements over TLS 1.2 – the most recent web cryptographic protocol. TLS 1.2 has served us pretty well, and it’ll still serve us for some years, but it was time for an overhaul. With TLS 1.3, we’re about to see that.

Fundamentally, there are two main things by which a protocol is judged, and they’re: Security and Latency. It’s fair to say that the TLS 1.3 proves its metal in both departments.

tls 1.3

Improved Security

Have you heard of vulnerabilities such as POODLE, Heartbleed, or ROBOT? If not, just google them. The amount of havoc caused by these vulnerabilities/attacks was mind-boggling, to say the least. All of these vulnerabilities had one thing in common: past weaknesses.

TLS 1.2, as secure as it is, has some vulnerabilities that could be exploited. It doesn’t mean that it’s insecure. TLS 1.2 comprises several outdated ciphers and algorithms that could be ill-used by cyber criminals. They could perform a downgrade attack to steal and tamper with the transmitting information. TLS 1.3 eliminates this possibility as it has ditched these vulnerable entities and it has introduced secure ciphers and algorithms.

TLS 1.3 has discontinued the following ciphers and algorithms:

 

  • RC4 Steam Cipher
  • RSA Key Transport
  • SHA-1 Hash Function
  • CBC Mode Ciphers
  • MD5 Algorithm
  • Various Diffie-Hellman groups
  • EXPORT-strength ciphers
  • DES
  • 3DES

Improved Latency

Almost everyone is well aware of the fact that HTTPS is excellent, and it should be practiced. But when it comes to the against arguments, there’s only one thing that goes against HTTPS, and that is speed. Due to its authentication and encryption involved in SSL/TLS handshake, the time taken to establish a connection between server and client increases significantly. The difference might be less than half a second, but this half a second can make a substantial impact when it comes to vectors such as stock trading.

TLS 1.3, with its improvised handshake, reduces the latency to a great extent. That’s because the handshake comprises only one round-trip of communication between client and server when compared to two round-trips in TLS 1.2. As a result, the TTFB (time to the first byte) gets reduced drastically.

Another excellent feature that is set to be rolled is the 0-RTT handshake. In simple terms, this handshake will have zero round-trips. Yes, zero round-trips! If the client and the server have come across each other, there will be no round trips.

 

Enable TLS 1.3 in Chrome

  • Search for chrome://flags/ in the address bar and hit enter
  • Go to Maximum TLS version enabled, and choose TLS 1.3
  • Relaunch the Chrome
  • Now go to https://istlsfastyet.com/
  • Press F12 and go to the Security tab
  • Now reload the website
  • Click on the link listed under Main origin

Congratulations! Your connection is now protected through TLS 1.3.

Enable TLS 1.3 in Firefox

  • First, search for about:config in the address bar and press enter
  • In the search space, search for tls.version.max
  • Change the value from 3 to 4
  • Now restart your Firefox
  • Go to https://istlsfastyet.com/
  • Click on the padlock in the URL bar

Done! You’re now using TLS 1.3!

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