No more security fixes for older OpenSSL branches

Support for the 0.9.8 and 1.0.0 branches of OpenSSL will end on Dec. 31

The OpenSSL Software Foundation has released new patches for the popular open-source cryptographic library, but for two of its older branches they will likely be the last security updates.

This could spell trouble for some enterprise applications that bundle the 0.9.8 or 1.0.0 versions of OpenSSL and for older systems -- embedded devices in particular -- where updates are rare.

OpenSSL 1.0.0t and 0.9.8zh, which were released Thursday, are expected to be the last updates because support for these these two branches will end on Dec. 31, as listed in the organization's release strategy document.

Both the 1.0.0t and 0.9.8zh versions contain a fix for memory leak vulnerability of moderate severity that can be triggered with malformed X509_ATTRIBUTE structures. Version 0.9.8zh also fixes a low-impact race condition when handling PSK identity hints that has previously been fixed in older 1.0.0, 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 versions.

Versions 1.0.2e and 1.0.1q were also released Thursday, to fix two other moderate vulnerabilities, one that affects only the 1.0.2 branch and one that affects both.

Support for the 1.0.1 branch is expected to end on Dec. 31, 2016 and for the 1.0.2 branch on Dec. 31, 2019. Applications and systems that still rely on OpenSSL 0.9.8 or 1.0.0 should be updated as soon as possible to one of these versions, but this might not be easy.

Previous research has shown that many companies using in-house built software keep poor records of which library versions their developers used in which of their applications. Such companies might have trouble identifying where the soon-to-be-unsupported OpenSSL versions are used in their organizations.

When the critical Heartbleed vulnerability was announced in April 2014, even large software and hardware vendors took months to identify which of their products contained vulnerable versions of OpenSSL.

This makes it very likely that some systems and applications with OpenSSL 0.9.8 and 1.0.0 will never be updated, leaving them exposed to any critical vulnerabilities found in the library in the future.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?