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OpenSSL 1.1.1 Nears End of Life: Security Updates Only Until September 2023

OpenSSL 1.1.1 will reach EoL in six months and users are instructed to either upgrade to a newer version or pay for extended support to continue receiving security patches.

OpenSSL security updates

OpenSSL 1.1.1 will reach end of life (EoL) in less than six months and users have been instructed to either upgrade to a newer version or pay for extended support to continue receiving security patches. 

The OpenSSL Project has reminded users of the open source cryptography and secure communication toolkit that OpenSSL 1.1.1 will reach EoL on September 11, 2023, exactly five years after its release. 

After this date, OpenSSL 1.1.1 users will no longer receive security updates, unless they pay for a premium support plan, which provides extended support beyond the EoL date. 

Premium level support is designed for large enterprises and it costs $50,000 per year. 

“There is no defined end date for this extended support and we intend to continue to provide it for as long as it remains commercially viable for us to do so (i.e. for the foreseeable future),” the OpenSSL Project explained in a blog post on Tuesday. 

Users who want to continue receiving security updates without paying for a premium plan will have to upgrade to a newer version. The most recent, OpenSSL 3.1, will be supported until March 2025. OpenSSL 3.0, which is a long term support (LTS) release, will be supported until September 2026.

LTS releases are supported for five years — this is the case of OpenSSL 1.1.1 — and during the last year the project’s maintainers typically only backport security fixes to a release.

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OpenSSL has evolved significantly in terms of security since the disclosure of the Heartbleed vulnerability back in 2014. 

Since the beginning of 2022, two dozen vulnerabilities have been found in the project, including five high-severity issues that could lead to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks or arbitrary code execution. One of the high-severity flaws was patched in February 2023. 

Related: ICS Patch Tuesday: Siemens Fixes 80 OpenSSL, OpenSSH Flaws in Switches

Related: Anxiously Awaited OpenSSL Vulnerability’s Severity Downgraded From Critical to High

Related: Cybersecurity Vendors Assessing Impact of Recent OpenSSL Vulnerability

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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