Additional material for the publication DissecTLS: A Scalable Active Scanner for TLS Server Configurations, Capabilities, and TLS Fingerprinting and acces to measruemnt data and code.

The paper was published at the at the PAM 2023


Abstract Collecting metadata from TLS servers on a large scale allows to draw conclusions about their capabilities and configuration. This provides not only insights into the Internet but it enables use cases like detecting malicious C&C servers. However, active scanners can only observe and interpret the behavior of TLS servers, the underlying configuration and implementation causing the behavior remains hidden. Existing approaches struggle between resource intensive scans that can reconstruct this data and light-weight fingerprinting approaches that aim to differentiate servers without making any assumptions about their inner working. With this work we propose DissecTLS, an active TLS scanner that is both light-weight enough to be used for Internet measurements and able to reconstruct the configuration and capabilities of the TLS stack. This was achieved by modeling the parameters of the TLS stack and derive an active scan that dynamically creates scanning probes based on the model and the previous responses from the server. We provide a comparison of five active TLS scanning and fingerprinting approaches in a local testbed and on toplist targets. We conducted a measurement study over nine weeks to fingerprint C&C servers and analyzed popular and deprecated TLS parameter usage. Similar to related work, the fingerprinting achieved a maximum precision of 99% for a conservative detection threshold of 100%; and at the same time, we improved the recall by a factor of 2.8.

Paper Read the final version of our paper at Springer [ONLINE]

Authors Markus Sosnowski, Johannes Zirngibl, Patrick Sattler, and Georg Carle


We provide an extended ranking of TLS patameters as introduces in the paper.

Referencing our Work

If you are referring to our work or use the collected data in your publication, please refer to it with the following reference [bib]::

  author = {Sosnowski, Markus and Zirngibl, Johannes and Sattler, Patrick and Carle, Georg},
  editor = {Brunstrom, Anna and Flores, Marcel and Fiore, Marco},
  title = {{DissecTLS: A Scalable Active Scanner for TLS Server Configurations, Capabilities, and TLS Fingerprinting}},
  booktitle = {Proc. Passive and Active Measurement (PAM)},
  year = {2023},
  publisher = {Springer Nature Switzerland},
  pages = {110--126},
  isbn = {978-3-031-28486-1},
  doi = {10.1007/978-3-031-28486-1_6},

Experiment Setup and Scanner Software

For the paper we have used the open-source TUM Goscanner for our Internet measurements. We extended it with the DissecTLS functionality and JARM fingerprinting. The scammer is open-sourced in the official repository.

The experiment setup used to compare the TLS scanner and fingerprinting tools can be found under: experiment-setup


Our data are published at TUM University Library to enable reproducible analyses and to guarantee long-term availability.
Dataset DOI: 10.14459/2023mp1695491

Details of the data are described here.