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Windows 7 hardening

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Chrysalis:
I am going to post some hardening guides for all versions of windows, but to start with here is how to harden the ciphers in windows 7.

Each version of windows has its own API that controls encrypted connections, generally microsoft software such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office uses these API's so e.g. the ciphers available to Microsoft browsers and office app's is determined by the OS version rather than the app itself.

To adjust the ciphers available to such software and the order the ciphers are prioritised.  You need Windows 7 pro or higher.  The instructions are as follows.

Open group policy editor.
Expand computer configuration.
Expand administrative templates
Expand network
Select SSL configuration settings.
Double click ssl cipher suite order.

It will be unconfigured if its in default state which means it uses the default shipped ciphers and the default order.  Now one cannot add new ciphers that dont ship with the OS, but one can remove obselete ciphers and change the preference order.

Here is the default list and order.


--- Code: ---TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA_P384,TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384,TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384_P384,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256_P256,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256_P384,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P384,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P384,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P384,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA_P384,TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256,TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256,TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA,TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA,TLS_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA,TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA,TLS_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_SHA,TLS_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_MD5,TLS_RSA_WITH_NULL_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_NULL_SHA,SSL_CK_RC4_128_WITH_MD5,SSL_CK_DES_192_EDE3_CBC_WITH_MD5
--- End code ---

Without boring people, there is obsolete RC4 ciphers in the list as well as MD5, NULL and DES.
In addition GCM is not at the top of the order and aes256 are prioritised over aes128 which is currently considered bad practice.

To use my recommended list, select enable, and then copy and paste the following into the box over the existing contents.


--- Code: ---TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256,TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA_P384,TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P384,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA,TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256_P256,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256,TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P256,TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256

--- End code ---

Sadly windows 7 has no ECDHE GCM.  But DHE GCM still beats ECDHE CBC.

After this is done reboot to apply the change, apps such as outlook and IE will then use the new list.  Software such as chrome and firefox dont use this list and ship with their own ciphers which are much more secure out of the box.

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