EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

The TLS 1.3 Protocol
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 4:30pm to 5:45pm
Gates B03
Eric Rescoria (RTFM, Inc.)
Abstract / Description: 

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is used for securing everything from Web transactions (HTTPS) to voice and video calls (DTLS-SRTP). However, the basic design of TLS dates back to the mid 1990s and the protocol is starting to show its age: TLS contains a number of features which no longer seem desirable and recent analytic work has discovered a number of protocol vulnerabilities (Triple Handshake, Logjam, etc.). In addition, as cryptographic algorithms have gotten faster, handshake latency has become a higher priority and TLS's current handshake does not reflect the state of the art.

In order to address these issues, the IETF TLS Working Group is currently developing a major revision of TLS, dubbed "TLS 1.3". TLS 1.3 has five major objectives:

  1. Clean up: Remove unused or unsafe features
  2. Security: Improve security by using modern security analysis techniques
  3. Privacy: Encrypt more of the protocol
  4. Performance: Our target is a 1-RTT handshake for naive clients; 0-RTT handshake for repeat connections
  5. Continuity: Maintain existing important use cases

In this talk, we will cover the TLS 1.3 protocol itself, its design process, and current status.


The Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium (EE380) meets on Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 throughout the academic year. Talks are given before a live audience in Room B03 in the basement of the Gates Computer Science Building on the Stanford Campus. The live talks (and the videos hosted at Stanford and on YouTube) are open to the public.


Eric Rescorla works at Mozilla, where he focuses on networking, security, voice, and video. He is presently the document editor for TLS 1.3 and is working on the TLS 1.3 implementation for Firefox.