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Burp does not set SNI on the outgoing connection to an SSL enabled web server

Zach Pigadas Feb 23, 2017 12:03PM UTC

Hi there,

We run into the following situation the other day:

We were testing an SSL enabled application and kept getting connection resets when accessing it via intercepting Burp and correct connections and interactions when accessing it outside a proxy.

Some trial error and troubleshooting later it was identified that the server was expecting an SNI to be set. This was validated by using OpenSSL:

openssl s_client -host ipaddress -port portnum was getting us connection reset again while openssl s_client -host ipaddress -port portnum -servername webservername established the connection OK and allowed us to interact with the application, well you can hardly call "GET / HTTP/1.1" interaction but it did the trick.

So now off to Burp. We restarted it with and watched the messages go by:

This was what got generated in the incoming connection to Burp (browser to Burp):
pool-5-thread-41, READ: TLSv1 Handshake, length = 219
*** ClientHello, TLSv1.2
RandomCookie: GMT: -883550241 bytes = { 127, 5, 35, 183, 229, 255, 215, 186, 4, 30, 203, 127, 136, 157, 80, 137, 108, 121, 187, 141, 80, 250, 139, 109, 133, 235, 127, 190 }
Session ID: {88, 173, 111, 129, 195, 169, 111, 184, 197, 235, 138, 144, 134, 120, 151, 186, 129, 179, 29, 66, 73, 18, 137, 234, 141, 101, 88, 13, 165, 215, 174, 179}
Cipher Suites: [...]
Compression Methods: { 0 }
Extension server_name, server_name: [host_name: webservername]
Unsupported extension type_23, data:
Extension renegotiation_info, renegotiated_connection: <empty>
Extension elliptic_curves, curve names: {secp256r1, secp384r1, secp521r1}
Extension ec_point_formats, formats: [uncompressed]
Unsupported extension type_35, data:
Unsupported extension type_13172, data:
Unsupported extension type_16, data: 00:15:02:68:32:08:73:70:64:79:2f:33:2e:31:08:68:74:74:70:2f:31:2e:31
Unsupported extension status_request, data: 01:00:00:00:00
Extension signature_algorithms, signature_algorithms: SHA256withRSA, SHA384withRSA, SHA512withRSA, SHA1withRSA, SHA256withECDSA, SHA384withECDSA, SHA512withECDSA, SHA1withECDSA, Unknown (hash:0x4, signature:0x2), SHA1withDSA

and this is what went out the other way (Burp to web site)
RandomCookie: GMT: 1470984080 bytes = { 115, 245, 215, 127, 203, 179, 2, 149, 152, 29, 47, 90, 211, 122, 100, 60, 121, 188, 157, 125, 204, 224, 38, 81, 89, 65, 124, 223 }
Session ID: {}
Cipher Suites: [...]
Compression Methods: { 0 }
Extension elliptic_curves, curve names: {secp256r1, sect163k1, sect163r2, secp192r1, secp224r1, sect233k1, sect233r1, sect283k1, sect283r1, secp384r1, sect409k1, sect409r1, secp521r1, sect571k1, sect571r1, secp160k1, secp160r1, secp160r2, sect163r1, secp192k1, sect193r1, sect193r2, secp224k1, sect239k1, secp256k1}
Extension ec_point_formats, formats: [uncompressed]
Extension signature_algorithms, signature_algorithms: SHA512withECDSA, SHA512withRSA, SHA384withECDSA, SHA384withRSA, SHA256withECDSA, SHA256withRSA, SHA224withECDSA, SHA224withRSA, SHA1withECDSA, SHA1withRSA, SHA1withDSA, MD5withRSA

which led to

pool-5-thread-42, handling exception: Connection reset
pool-5-thread-42, SEND TLSv1 ALERT: fatal, description = unexpected_message
pool-5-thread-42, WRITE: TLSv1 Alert, length = 2
pool-5-thread-42, Exception sending alert: Connection reset by peer: socket write error
pool-5-thread-42, called closeSocket()

The issue was resolved by hardsetting dns names in hosts file, using Burp in invisible proxy mode and sending it to stunnel upstream with a specific sni = webservername which again confirmed the issue.

The issue exists with SNI support at User options / SSL set both off and on and also set from the commandline since it is the server that appears to be imposing it.

I am running Windows 7 SP1
java version "1.7.0_13"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_13-b20)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.7-b01, mixed mode)
Burp 1.7.17


Dafydd Stuttard Feb 23, 2017 12:07PM UTC Support Center agent

Java ought to handle SNI automatically provided this is not disabled. Have you changed the option at User options / SSL / Java SSL options / Disable Java SNI extension?

Zach Pigadas Feb 23, 2017 12:12PM UTC
Yes, The issue exists with SNI support at User options / SSL set both off and on and also set from the commandline (-Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false) since it is the server that appears to be imposing it.

Dafydd Stuttard Feb 23, 2017 01:25PM UTC Support Center agent

It’s not clear why Burp/Java isn’t sending the SNI in the client hello if you haven’t disabled it. If other people run into this happening, we’ll investigate further. It sounds like the stunnel workaround will be good enough for this occasion.

HT Mar 24, 2017 05:32PM UTC
I'm also having this same issue.... The website has SNI enabled and there seems to be an error using burpsuite on it to conduct security testing.

cdhdt Apr 14, 2017 08:14AM UTC
Yeah, I am having the same issue when trying to chain proxy that need SNI information, burp is not sending the SNI information with the 'Client Hello'

Dafydd Stuttard Apr 18, 2017 08:01AM UTC Support Center agent

Burp relies on Java to deal with SNI, unless you have disabled this at User options / SSL / Java SSL options.

Perhaps this is due to an issue with a particular version of Java. Please can you try using the plain JAR file version of Burp with different versions of Java, and see if this makes any difference for you?

Steve Apr 26, 2017 11:31AM UTC
I'm also having the same issue with burp pro 1.7.21. The website has SNI enabled and there seems to be an error using burp-suite pro on it to conduct a web security testing.

John Jun 05, 2017 10:28PM UTC
I just want to echo that I am also experiencing this condition. I have a host that requires SNI (CloudFront domain), but the handshake fails in Burp under certain conditions.

The handshake fails when I have an upstream proxy configured. I confirmed the handshake will succeed through the same upstream proxy with proxytunnel+openssl (with SNI). But the same connection fails under Burp.

The connection succeeds with Burp when an upstream proxy is not configured.

Things I've tried:

- Multiple versions of Burp (including latest 1.7.21)
- Multiple versions of Java (including the packaged JRE)
- Forcing -Djsse.enableSNIExtension=true

Dafydd Stuttard Jun 06, 2017 07:55AM UTC Support Center agent

There is a known issue with SNI not working correctly with some upstream proxies, which we intend to fix at some point. In the meantime, it might be possible to use a different intercepting proxy upstream from Burp, before your normal upstream proxy, to see if that can workaround the issue.

CC Jun 13, 2017 03:40PM UTC
Tested Version: 1.7.23 Free
Tested Platform: Windows 7 SP1

What is holding up this fix???

The issue of Burp not sending SNI in SSL handshake can be consistently reproduced by configuring Burp to access a SNI enabled site through an upstream proxy. While it is true that Java 7+ will automatically add SNI hostnames to the handshake, there are situations where the destination hostname is not known to the SSLSocket, and hence, can't be automatically added.

The following steps describe how to repro the issue of Burp not sending SNI when an upstream proxy is used.

Repro Steps:
1. First, you need a NON-MITM upstream proxy. In this example, we'll use adamfisk/LittleProxy that is available from GitHub.

2. Download LittleProxy from GitHub and run it on port 9999 using the command below.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do this within a trusted network or others will be able to proxy through your machine.

java -jar littleproxy-1.1.2-littleproxy-shade.jar --port 9999

3. Configure your browser to proxy through port 9999.
4. Navigate to SSLLab's browser test site at the following URL.

5. After the page has loaded, scroll down to somewhere in the middle of the page and you should see "Server Name Indication (SNI) Yes"
6. This confirms that the browser can correctly access a SNI-enabled site through the LittleProxy upstream proxy.

7. DISABLE ALL upstream proxy configured in Burp, so Burp will connect directly to all sites.
8. Configure the browser to proxy through Burp.
9. Load the SSLLab's browser test page again.
10. After the page has loaded, scroll down to somewhere in the middle of the page, and you should see "Server Name Indication (SNI) Yes"
11. This confirms that Burp will send the SNI when it is configured not to use any upstream proxy.

12. Next, configure Burp to use LittleProxy as the upstream proxy for all sites.
13. Load the SSLLab's browser test page again.
14. After the page has loaded, scroll down to somewhere in the middle of the page, and you should see "Server Name Indication (SNI) No"
15. This confirms that Burp will NOT send the SNI if it is using an upstream proxy.

Possible Cause:
Below is a possible cause of the issue. Please double-check that Burp's code is not sending an empty string "" or some invalid values in the "destHostname" parameter mentioned below.

Typically, when an upstream proxy is used, a HTTPS connection is established to the destination host via the following steps.
1. A Normal non-SSL socket is used to connect to the upstream proxy.
2. A CONNECT command is then issued through this socket to request the upstream proxy to connect to the destination host.
3. After the proxy has acknowledged a successful connection, a new SSLSocket will be created to overlay over the non-SSL socket that is currently connecting to the upstream proxy.
4. This overlay is typically done using a call like the one below, where nonSSLsocket is the socket that is currently connected to the upstream proxy. Note that "destHostname" MUST be set to the hostname of the destination host. Otherwise, the SSLSocket will have NO way of knowing the hostname of the destination host, and hence, will not be sending the SNI.

localSSLSocketFactory.createsocket(nonSSLsocket, destHostname, destPort, true)

Paul Johnston Jun 14, 2017 12:56PM UTC Support Center agent

Hi Zach,

Thanks for providing such detailed information.

We have confirmed the problem and it appears we can do a change just like you suggest. This still needs to go through our QA process, but barring any unexpected side-effects, it should be in the next release.

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.

Dafydd Stuttard Jul 19, 2017 08:10AM UTC Support Center agent

Just to let you know that the latest release (1.7.24) fixes the SNI problem with upstream proxies.

Thanks again for your feedback, and let us know if you run into any other issues.

Gregory O'Connell Sep 14, 2017 04:05PM UTC

I am also experiencing some problems with this issue.

I just tested Burp 1.7.27 version.

-Djsse.enableSNIExtension=false passed to java
and Disable SNI unchecked and burp rebooted.

I get the same: connection reset.

Paul Johnston Sep 15, 2017 08:49AM UTC Support Center agent

Hi Gregory,

Thanks for your message. Can you please tell us:

1) Are you using an upstream proxy? If you are, try using Burp without the upstream proxy – does the issue still occur?
2) What options have you got in Project options > SSL ?
3) Does this happen with all sites you try to connect to, or just some?
4) If some – what are they? If they’re Internet-based, the URL is helpful. Otherwise, is it an IIS webserver? F5 SSL accelerator? etc.
5) What OS and Java versions are you using?

This should give us enough information to diagnose your issue.

Kelley Bryant Nov 15, 2017 03:17PM UTC
Just curious if the latest release fixed this issue or if folks are still having problems? I have an app test coming up that uses SNI.

Paul Johnston Nov 16, 2017 10:57AM UTC Support Center agent

Hi Kelley,

We’re not aware of any SNI issues in the latest version. The fix in 1.7.28 was for an extremely rare corner case. If you do encounter any issues, let us know.

Serkan Nov 17, 2017 06:33AM UTC
Still doesn't send server_name for the short domain names (without dot).

Paul Johnston Nov 17, 2017 09:49AM UTC Support Center agent

Hi Serkan,

What version of Java are you using? Only Oracle Java 8 and newer has the API to send SNI in this scenario. If you are on Oracle Java 8, we’d be interested to know more about your setup, as it should be sending SNI.

Serkan Nov 20, 2017 07:53AM UTC
Hi Paul,

Only installed Oracla Java is 8 and last version used. I tested both with 32 bit and 64 bit java version.

Additionally we also running the setup version of Windows, so it should use its own Java in the package shouldn't it?

All scenarios, i have traced the network traffic with wireshark and no SNI is sent to the server.

Paul Johnston Nov 20, 2017 05:26PM UTC Support Center agent

Hi Serkan,

Thanks for reporting this. I’ve investigated some more and you are correct – SNI is not being sent. After we did our initial version, we put in sanity checks for illegal characters. Turns out these were not quite right. This will be corrected in the next version of Burp.

Serkan Nov 30, 2017 07:03AM UTC
Hi Paul,

Thank you for the update. We are waiting for the next version.

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