iOS 15 and macOS 12: Old TLS versions have had their day


Version 1.0 and 1.1 of the encryption protocol Transport Layer Security (TLS) is on Apple’s hit list: In all new operating systems – iOS and iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15 – the manufacturer now lists the two original versions as outdated, respectively discontinued (“deprecated”). So they are still working for the time being to give developers time to customize their apps. The support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be removed in “future versions” stressed Apple in a messagewithout giving an exact date for it.

Apple thus follows the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF), which declared the forefathers of the encryption protocol for secure data transmission to be out of date in March. TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have been considered insecure for years; modern cryptographic algorithms are not supported.

Support for the old versions has already been removed from the major browsers, including Apple’s Safari. At the same time, Apple pushed ahead with a shorter term for TLS certificates in spring 2020: SSL / TLS certificates issued from September 1, 2020 may not be valid for longer than 398 days, as the group has now announced – other browser manufacturers have followed suit .

Apps that still use TLS 1.0 or 1.1 should plan to switch to version 1.2 or, better still, version 1.3, says Apple – the latter is faster and safer. Appropriate adjustments must also be made in the backend on the server side.

Apps that use Apple’s App Transport Security (ATS) security technology for all connections do not need to do anything else; at least TLS 1.2 is required there. Years ago, Apple actually wanted to make ATS mandatory for all apps in order to eliminate problems with unsecured connections – but extended the original deadline indefinitely. Two years ago, a security company pointed out that a large number of iOS apps apparently switched off the Apple security technology that was active by default in order not to hinder advertising and tracking.

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