There is a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack making news this week called THC-SSL-DOS, and it’s stirring up some discussion about the renegotiation feature of SSL. Some are saying this is a flaw in SSL. It is not. SSL renegotiation is a feature; not a flaw to be fixed. The attack is primarily another DDOS attack.
A better user experience
Renegotiation is a feature that makes it possible to adjust the parameters of an SSL handshake without requiring an entirely new SSL session. This allows for an improved user experience, a must have for most Ecommerce, media, cloud providers, and SaaS sites.
Here is just one example: a web user visits a web site that is SSL encrypted. After spending some time shopping on that site anonymously the user decides to purchase or log in. Renegotiation will allow the SSL connection with that site to adjust to authenticate the user without requiring a break in the user experience. This way, all the...