(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
An SSL Handshake failure error occurs when a secure connection between a server and a client fails to establish. If you are familiar with the SSL Handshake process or using an SSL certificate, you must understand why such an issue occurred on your system. In this article, we will not only outline an SSL handshake but also discuss why this error comes up and how to fix the SSL handshake failed error.
An SSL handshake establishes a secure connection between the web server and the client (such as a web browser). The initial stage in the SSL/TLS connection process enables two parties to communicate securely over the Internet.
During an SSL handshake, the client & server establish an encryption connection and use digital certificates to verify each other’s identities. There are multiple phases in the SSL handshake process, including:
Once the SSL handshake is complete, the browser and server can securely transmit the data; the process is secure against eavesdropping, manipulation of data, and other security concerns and is essential in ensuring a secure connection.
Learn how SSL Certificate Works.
The SSL Handshake error, also known as error 525, occurs when two endpoints (server and client) fail to establish a secure connection. There are many reasons the handshake gets failed from the client side as well as the server side. Les takes a look at the top reasons for this error.
An “SSL Handshake Failed” issue can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
SSL/TLS depends extensively on accurate system time settings. If the client or server device’s date and time are wrong, your system will encounter with “SSL Handshake Error.”
If the SSL/TLS certificate on the server or client side is expired, untrusted by the client, or incorrect, the connection cannot establish, resulting in SSL Handshake Error.
This error might occur if the server and client use different cipher suites for SSL/TLS connection.
Firewalls or proxies may block SSL handshake packets or attempt to “man-in-the-middle” the communication by substituting an incorrect SSL/TLS certificate.
An SSL handshake failure might occur if network communication between the client and server is disrupted.
If a configuration issue on the web server occurs, such as deactivating SSL or TLS, the SSL handshake may fail.
An SSL handshake could fail if the client and server use incompatible SSL/TLS protocol versions.
You can fix the Handshake Failed Error in many ways. Here are a few examples.
An incorrect date or time configuration is one of the most common reasons for SSL/TLS handshake problems. Since the system time is used to determine whether the certificate is valid or expired, a time or date difference between your device and the server might cause the certificates to seem expired.
Set the time and date to automatic, and then return to the site to verify whether the TLS handshake problem has been resolved.
A Windows user may take the following steps to reset the date and time:
The same thing may be done on a Mac by going to ‘Menu’ and then ‘System Preferences.’ All other operating systems provide similar settings.
You must always keep your operating system, browser & software programs current. Doing so can avoid such critical problems, including the ‘SSL handshake failed’ error.
Verify that your web browser holds the most recent TLS protocol. Due to browser issues with the TLS version, you may get the “SSL handshake failed” error in some circumstances. The most common problem is that your browser does not support the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol used by your certificate. SSL and TLS are both authentication methods, and your certificate may utilize either. Both protocols are supported by modern browsers, while some older ones may not. Using a different browser is the simplest approach to test whether your browser is causing the problem. If the “SSL handshake failed” message does not occur in other browsers, the issue might be with the original one.
To resolve this issue on Windows, go to the Start menu and search for Internet Options. Go to the Advanced tab after selecting the option that displays. Scroll down the list of choices until you reach the options for SSL and TLS settings:
If the SSL certificate is no longer valid or expired, you will immediately get an “SSL Handshake Error.” You will get the same error even if you do not buy SSL from a legit certificate authority such as Comodo, Sectigo, or Certera.
SSL establishes a secure link between the browser and the server. SSL ensures the privacy and security of any data transmitted between these two. As passionate internet users, we can navigate safe online environments thanks to SSL.
Security certificates do expire since they have a validity period. These dates are essential for maintaining SSL security. The validity period regulates and validates server legitimacy, letting your web browser identify the server. Users must know what happens when SSL Certificate expires.
Unidentified people generate most browser plugins and extensions and may contain malicious software. If you recently installed one of these and are experiencing SSL handshake issues, consider removing it as well as cleaning your cache and cookies. Reconnect to the same website to test whether you can establish a secure connection.
Chrome users can remove the extension by following the steps outlined below:
Firefox Users can remove the Addon using the following steps
One of the primary reasons for TLS issues is incorrect server name indication (SNI) settings. The SNI enables the server to securely host several TLS certificates/protocols for a single IP address.
Each website on a server has its certificate. So, if the server isn’t SNI-enabled, there’s a good chance the TLS handshake will fail since the server won’t recognize the current certificate.
You can use any “SSL Checker Tool” to determine whether the site uses SNI. You’ll need to enter your website’s domain name, then click Submit and wait for the results.
Incompatible cipher suites can potentially cause the SSL/TLS handshake to fail. To resolve this, the site administrator should verify that the server is configured with cipher suites that the web browser recognizes. This may be accomplished by either changing the cipher suite list or activating and disabling individual ciphers in the server settings.
Since the SSL Handshake plays an essential part in ensuring the security of data in transit, users must understand “what exactly the SSL Handshake failed error means” and “how to resolve it”. We’ve gone through some of the most efficient fixes for the SSL handshake problem, which might be caused by browser or system settings.
This typical problem may be resolved by performing the appropriate measures. By following the procedures outlined above, you can ensure that your website users may access your site securely and without trouble.
The most common reasons for SSL handshake failure are certificate errors, incompatible protocols or cipher suites, incorrect server name indication (SNI), Firewall or NAT issues, time synchronization errors, new plugins or extensions that have been installed, and Malware or virus infections, etc.
Yes, a firewall may block an SSL handshake. Firewalls can analyze SSL traffic and block connections to certain locations based on the network administrator’s security policies or rules. These rules can be based on various traits, such as source and destination IP addresses, port numbers, domain names, and SSL certificates. If the SSL traffic does not comply with these requirements, the firewall might block it, preventing the SSL handshake from occurring.
A high response time for an SSL handshake can vary based on factors such as server load, network latency, and client configuration, but anything greater than one second is considered high.
Usually, for persistent sessions, partial handshakes, and complete handshakes, the average CPU per request is 0.339 ms, 0.505 ms, and 0.652 ms, respectively.
Hardcoded certificates, custom trust stores, or other temporary challenges might cause client-side SSL handshake failures. If you check the SSL failed handshake reason and count, you will find the cause for the failure (based on TLS RFC alert codes)
The SSL handshake processes normally consist of two packets: the Client Hello and the Server Hello. However, depending on the protocol and encryption parameters used, more packets may be transmitted during the handshake phase.