SSL/TLS Vulnerability 'FREAK'

Number: AV15-019
Date: 9 March 2015


The purpose of this advisory is to bring attention to an SSL/TLS vulnerability, Factoring RSA-EXPORT Keys “FREAK”.


This vulnerability can be used to allow attackers to intercept and interpret HTTPS traffic between a server and client originally using a strong cipher, by making the server use an export cipher with a downgraded/weak RSA key. Once the weak RSA key is cracked, the malicious actor can act as a man-in-the-middle between the server and its clients.

Suggested Action

CCIRC recommends that system administrators identify their affected assets and potential interdependencies with their organization's critical services, and follow their patch management process accordingly or consider applying the work-arounds.




Open SSL:


Note to Readers

In support of Public Safety's mission to build a safe and resilient Canada, CCIRC's mandate is to help ensure the security and resilience of the vital non-federal government cyber systems that underpin Canada's national security, public safety and economic prosperity. As Canada's computer security incident response team, CCIRC is Canada's national coordination centre for the prevention and mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from cyber incidents on non-federal government systems. It does this by providing authoritative advice and support, and coordinating information sharing and incident response.

Please note, CCIRC PGP key has recently been updated.

For general information, please contact Public Safety Canada's Public Affairs division at:

Telephone: 613-944-4875 or 1-800-830-3118
Fax: 613-998-9589

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