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Cipherscan: An Open Source and Fast SSL Scanner for Windows Platforms

- How Cipherscan works and what it tests - Use cases and scenarios for Cipherscan H2: How to Download and Install Cipherscan on Windows - Prerequisites and requirements - Downloading Cipherscan from GitHub - Installing OpenSSL for Windows - Running Cipherscan from command line H2: How to Use Cipherscan to Test SSL/TLS Configuration - Basic usage and syntax of Cipherscan - Examples of testing different targets and protocols - Understanding and interpreting the output of Cipherscan - Tips and best practices for using Cipherscan H2: How to Compare Cipherscan with Other SSL/TLS Scanning Tools - Overview of some popular alternatives to Cipherscan - Pros and cons of each tool - How to choose the best tool for your needs H1: Conclusion - Summary of the main points of the article - Call to action and further resources Article: What is Cipherscan and Why You Need It

If you are a web developer, a system administrator, a security professional, or a curious user, you may have wondered how secure your website or server is when it comes to SSL/TLS encryption. SSL/TLS is the protocol that enables secure communication over the internet, protecting your data from eavesdropping, tampering, and impersonation. However, not all SSL/TLS configurations are created equal. Some are more secure than others, depending on the supported protocols, ciphers, certificates, and options.

This is where Cipherscan comes in handy. Cipherscan is a simple and powerful tool that tests the ordering and support of SSL/TLS ciphers on a given target, for all major versions of SSL and TLS. It also extracts some certificate information, TLS options, OCSP stapling, and more. Cipherscan is a wrapper around the openssl s_client command line utility, which means it uses the OpenSSL library to perform the tests.

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Cipherscan can help you with several tasks, such as:

  • Checking if your website or server supports the latest and most secure versions of SSL/TLS, such as TLS 1.3

  • Checking if your website or server supports strong and modern ciphers, such as AES-GCM or ChaCha20-Poly1305

  • Checking if your website or server has a valid and trusted certificate, with proper signature algorithm and key size

  • Checking if your website or server has any weak or insecure configurations, such as RC4 cipher, SSLv3 protocol, or SHA-1 certificate

  • Checking if your website or server has any extra features or options that enhance security, such as TLS ticket lifetime hint or OCSP stapling

Cipherscan can also help you compare your website or server with other targets, such as competitors or industry standards, to see how you stack up against them. You can also use Cipherscan to test other services that use SSL/TLS encryption, such as SMTP, IMAP, POP3, FTPS, XMPP, etc.

How to Download and Install Cipherscan on Windows

Cipherscan is meant to run on all flavors of Unix, such as Linux or MacOS. However, you can also run it on Windows with some extra steps. Here is how to download and install Cipherscan on Windows:

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Prerequisites and requirements

To run Cipherscan on Windows, you will need:

  • A Windows machine with administrator privileges

  • A command line tool, such as Command Prompt or PowerShell

  • A Git client, such as Git for Windows

  • An OpenSSL binary for Windows

Downloading Cipherscan from GitHub

The first step is to download the latest version of Cipherscan from its GitHub repository. You can do this by using the Git client or by downloading the ZIP file directly from the website.

To use the Git client, open your command line tool and navigate to the folder where you want to save Cipherscan. Then run the following command:

git clone

This will create a folder named cipherscan with all the files and folders of the project.

To download the ZIP file, go to the GitHub website and click on the green Code button. Then select Download ZIP and save the file to your desired location. Then extract the contents of the ZIP file to a folder named cipherscan.

Installing OpenSSL for Windows

The next step is to install OpenSSL for Windows, which is required by Cipherscan to perform the tests. You can download the latest version of OpenSSL for Windows from this website:

Choose the appropriate installer for your system, either 32-bit or 64-bit, and run it as administrator. Follow the instructions on the screen and accept the default options. Make sure to install OpenSSL in the same drive as Cipherscan, for example C:\OpenSSL-Win64.

After the installation is complete, you need to add OpenSSL to your system path, so that Cipherscan can find it. To do this, open your command line tool and run the following command:

setx path "%path%;C:\OpenSSL-Win64\bin"

Replace C:\OpenSSL-Win64\bin with the actual path where you installed OpenSSL. You may need to restart your command line tool for the changes to take effect.

Running Cipherscan from command line

Now you are ready to run Cipherscan from your command line tool. To do this, navigate to the folder where you saved Cipherscan, for example C:\cipherscan. Then run the following command:


This will display the usage and options of Cipherscan. You can also run python -h for more help.

How to Use Cipherscan to Test SSL/TLS Configuration

Cipherscan is very easy to use and has a simple syntax. The basic usage is:

python [options] target[:port]

The target can be a hostname or an IP address of the website or server you want to test. The port is optional and defaults to 443 for HTTPS. You can also specify a protocol prefix, such as smtp, imap, pop3, ftps, xmpp, etc., to test other services that use SSL/TLS encryption.

The options are optional and allow you to customize the behavior and output of Cipherscan. Some of the most useful options are:

  • -o filename: Save the output to a file instead of printing it on the screen

  • -j filename: Save the output in JSON format instead of plain text

  • -v: Increase verbosity level (can be used multiple times)

  • -b: Show local cipher preference order instead of remote cipher preference order

  • -s: Show only supported ciphers instead of all possible ciphers

  • -a: Show all results, including errors and warnings

  • -u: Check for updates and upgrade Cipherscan if needed

You can also use -h or --help to see all the available options and their descriptions.

Examples of testing different targets and protocols

Here are some examples of how to use Cipherscan to test different targets and protocols:

# Test with default options python # Test with SMTP protocol on port 25 python # Test with IMAP protocol on port 993 python # Test with XMPP protocol on port 5222 python # Test with FTPS protocol on port 990 python # Test your own website or server with HTTPS protocol on port 443 python

Understanding and interpreting the output of Cipherscan

The output of Cipherscan consists of several sections, each providing different information about the target's SSL/TLS configuration. Here is an example of the output of Cipherscan when testing



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