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Zombie POODLE and GOLDENDOODLE Vulnerabilities

Recently new vulnerabilities like Zombie POODLE, GOLDENDOODLE, 0-Length OpenSSL and Sleeping POODLE were published for websites that use CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) block cipher modes. These vulnerabilities are applicable only if the server uses TLS 1.2 or TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.0 with CBC cipher modes.

SSL Labs identifies cipher suites using CBC with orange color and with text WEAK. This change won’t have any effect on the grades, as it only means that SSL Labs discourages the use of CBC-based cipher suites further.

SSL Labs will start giving “F” grade to the server affected by these vulnerabilities from end of May 2019. For now, SSL Labs will give only a warning for affected servers:

  • Zombie POODLE (Invalid padding with valid MAC)
  • GOLDENDOODLE (Valid padding with an invalid MAC)
  • 0-Length OpenSSL (Invalid Mac/Valid Pad, 0-length record)
  • Sleeping POODLE (invalid padding with valid MAC)

SSLLabs UI Changes


Limitation in SSL Labs Detections

  • These tests are specific to protocol/cipher suite, SSL Labs only checks with preferred Protocol and CBC Cipher suite. There is a probability that the server could be vulnerable with other set of protocol/cipher suite.
  • SSL Labs only checks with a limited set of CBC cipher suite

More Information

Update April 26, 2019: The warning is live on and As stated above, the grade change will be live by the end of May.

26 responses to “Zombie POODLE and GOLDENDOODLE Vulnerabilities”

  1. There doesn’t seem to be a reference to Sleeping POODLE, nor have I easily found a paper or article on it. The description is the same as Zombie. What’s different about it?


    • Sleeping POODLE is similar to POODLE TLS. There is no vendor advisory for Sleeping POODLE, you can get information in Researcher’s Blackhat presentation.

      Yash K.S

  2. So if this is the new grading, This means for
    win2012R2 servers only
    TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 (0x9f) DH 2048 bits FS 256
    TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 (0x9e) DH 2048 bits FS 128
    and tor windows 2016 and 2019 only
    TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 (0xc030) ECDH secp384r1 (eq. 7680 bits RSA) FS 256
    TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 (0xc02f) ECDH x25519 (eq. 3072 bits RSA) FS 128
    TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 (0x9f) DH 2048 bits FS 256
    TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 (0x9e) DH 2048 bits FS 128
    are considered safe.
    disabling all CBC cipher suites would mean that we are limited to to cipher suites above,
    this might conflict with some old browsers or server to server connections with 3th party companies.

    • We are only encouraging to move away from CBC based cipher suits after 4 new CBC based vulnerabilities. As of now, there is no grade change for CBC and servers can continue to use.

      Yash K.S

    • The concerns Bart has raised are genuine. The problem is if we disable the CBC ciphers then Internet Explorer on Windows 7 will not be able to communicate as Windows 7 does not support GCM ciphers. We raised the issue with Microsoft but they have refused to add GCM support as according to them Windows 7 is near to EOL. Only option on Win 7 is to use a different browser like Chrome or Firefox.

  3. “SSL Labs will identify cipher suites using CBC with orange color and with text WEAK”

    are there any plans to do the same thing on the client test?

  4. The downside of this change is that several ciphers are now “equally” marked “WEAK”, although their weakness is of a totally different magnitude; 3DES, any static RSA (non-FS), and now any CBC.

    Shouldn’t they be marked WEAK with a different color or score per cipher?

    • We got 4 new vulnerability based on CBC cipher, we are marking it as Orange to say it is Weak, but without a grade change. Since we got 4 new vulnerability, we are encouraging users to move away from CBC gradually.

      Yash K.S

  5. These newly-discovered vulnerabilities regarding CBC variable Padding oracles are pretty bad news for literally all CBC-based ciphersuites IMHO, It does no longer make sense to filter some which may not be vulnerable, but it is now time and a target for further improving TLS security, to get entirely rid of them asap.
    The tests are currently capable to deliver numerous server anaylsis results with exactly zero “good” ciphersuites being used (all marked at least “weak”).
    For my part I have tested various servers already and found out that especially not most current versions of MS-based IIS server softwares are often badly configured, concerning ciphers. This accounts also for the more complicated configurability of ciphers in the server and MS should do something about it to make this much easier. They even have not yet implemented TLS 1.3 as well into their core crypto of Windows 10 and 8.1. (what I call a really bad case of just intentional lagging around for whichever reason. It is time yet to get such in place finally, plus a complete overworking of which ciphers are now due to be implemented and which are due to be finally kicked off forever. MS also lacks chacha20 yet.)

    • There will be no Grade change even if you are using CBC ciphers, grade change applies only if Server is vulnerable.

      Yash K.S

      • Yash …. you made the statement to Dimitry that there will be no grade change if you are using CBC ciphers, grade change applies only if server is vulnerable but prior to that it stated that you are flagging a server as vulnerable based on protocol and cipher…so which is it? If its not by cipher/protocol, how are you determining the vulnerability?

        • John,

          This Vulnerability is applicable to a Server which uses CBC cipher. Grade will be impacted only if server uses CBC cipher + Vulnerable.

          Yash K.S

  6. Only to be sure, have a ZOMBIE POODLE – YES on TLS 1.2 will be a PCI-DSS fail?
    From the Qualys last update I can see that

    -QID 42366 “SSLv3.0/TLSv1.0 Protocol Weak CBC Mode Server Side Vulnerability (BEAST)”

    will be a PCI fail, but this not include TLS1.1/1.2.

  7. The article mentions that it is vulnerable when using TLS 1.2 & CBC Ciphers. Wouldn’t that make all servers vulnerable if you want legacy browser support?

    My scan states that i am not vulnerable to Zombie Poodle or GOLDENDOODLE, however I do see that I am using TLS1.2 with CBC Ciphers with IE11 & some Safari versions. Are there better Ciphers to use or are my setting secure?

    IE 11 / Win 7 R RSA 2048 (SHA256) TLS 1.2 TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384 ECDH secp256r1 FS
    IE 11 / Win 8.1 R RSA 2048 (SHA256) TLS 1.2 > http/1.1 TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384 ECDH secp256r1 FS
    IE 11 / Win Phone 8.1 R RSA 2048 (SHA256) TLS 1.2 > http/1.1 TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256 ECDH secp256r1 FS
    IE 11 / Win Phone 8.1 Update R RSA 2048 (SHA256) TLS 1.2 > http/1.1 TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384 ECDH secp256r1 FS

    My current settings. TLS 1.0 & 1.1 are disabled.

    • Detection of Vulnerability is not based only on TLS 1.2 + CBC, we do probing for each of these 4 vulnerability separate. More info on Payload, you can check out links of Researcher in blog.

      Yash K.S

    • Hi Frank,

      Unknown is the default value when the test starts and it is equivalent to Failed

      Nauman Shah

  8. Dear SSLLabs-Team,

    thanks a lot for all your explanations. I need some more ;-)

    Having tested a server via your website the results show the current grade A but also the warning that the server is vulnerable to Zombie POODLE and the grade will be set to F. Accordingly, some CBC-ciphers are marked as WEAK.

    Thus, using your REST-API to test the same server I would expect to find futureGrade: “F” and hasWarnings: true in the result. However, that is not the case. futureGrade is not present at all and hasWarnings is false although the same result contains zombiePoodle: 3.

    Do I misunderstand your API ( or is futreGrade/hasWarnings just not yet implemented to be aware of These new 4 vulnerabilities? Do you have any plans to do so?

    By the way, is there any way to receive the “WEAK”-label for cyphers also via the REST API? Or do you “statically” publish a list of cyphers that you consider weak?

    Thanks a lot for your support,
    kind gegards

    • Windows 7 doesn’t support GCM ciphers by design. You can check the supported ciphers by different Microsoft OS on Microsoft website.

  9. Hi – I’m getting this on our Citrix Netscaler, we are almost on the latest firmware.

    This server is vulnerable to the Zombie POODLE vulnerability. Grade will be set to F from May 2019. M

    Do I need to harden the netscaler or the servers? anyone?

    Thank You

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