Intermittent SSL Handshake Errors

tempspace nginx-forum at
Fri Mar 20 18:15:42 UTC 2015

I had to start looking at this issue again now that yet another openssl
security issue. Now that I know I can go back to a working setup just by
downgrading SSL, I am able to gather more information.

This morning, I updated the libssl libraries and restarted nginx, and the
errors started flooding back. This time, I took a packet capture to see what
was happening and what I could correlate.  I run a set of servers that
handle API requests from a mobile phone application, and every single client
that produced this error was running iOS.

In the packet capture, we offer the same cipher that the clients always use
without a problem, but for some reason, some of our iPhone clients have
issues (not all.) I have been unable to discern a pattern, but it's always
iPhones and doesn't seem to have anything to do with the device model or the
OS version. I haven't found a single Android instance of the IP's that show
up in our error logs, and we have slightly more Android devices than iOS

We get the Client Hello which has a list of 37 potential ciphers for TLS
1.2. We send the server hello and offer the normal cipher. The client,
instead of continuing on, immediately sends a FIN, ACK. It then tries to
connect again over TLS 1.0, gives the client hello, we send the ACK and
almost immediately, WE send a FIN, ACK to the client.

Since it's an API and there are multiple requests being made from the
client, not every one will fail. Some negotiate SSL just fine, others do

I'm still digging through the packet captures to try and figure out any
other patterns.

As soon as I downgrade libssl, everything works fine.

Posted at Nginx Forum:,256373,257499#msg-257499

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