Apple to stop SSL 3.0 support for push notifications soon

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Apple will stop support next week for an encryption protocol found to contain a severe vulnerability, the company said on Wednesday.

Support for SSL 3.0 will cease as of Oct. 29, it said.

"Providers using only SSL 3.0 will need to support TLS as soon as possible to ensure the Apple Push Notification service continues to perform as expected," according to a note to developers. "Providers that support both TLS and SSL 3.0 will not be affected and require no changes."

Google researchers revealed last week they found a flaw in SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) version 3.0, which was released more than 15 years ago. SSL has been replaced by TLS (Transport Layer Security), but the old versions are still used by some servers across the Internet and are supported by web browsers.

The researchers found it was possible using a man-in-the-middle attack -- nicknamed "POODLE" -- to downgrade the SSL/TLS connection to the less-secure 3.0 version, where the flaw could allow an attacker to steal a person's authentication cookies. The attacker and victim must be on the same network, posing a risk to people using public Wi-Fi.

Apple said it has already disabled SSL 3.0 on the Provider Communication interface in its developer environment, which will let developers test to make sure push notifications will still reach their applications.

Many companies have moved to stop supporting SSL 3.0 because of the flaw, one of three this year found to affect a wide variety of products across the Internet, including the "Shellshock" Bash vulnerability and "Heartbleed" in OpenSSL.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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