Wordfence reports OpenSSL version too old [Fix]

Updated on May 8, 2018

Here’s a question from one of our regular reader Manish. He sees notification on WordPress dashboard as “WARNING: Your site is using an OpenSSL version (0.9.8b) that is no longer supported by Wordfence and needs to be updated. We recommend using the newest version of OpenSSL but will currently support OpenSSL versions as old as 1.0.1. Version checks are run regularly, so if you have successfully updated, you can dismiss this notice or check that the update has taken effect later”. According to the warning, it’s clear that Wordfence reports OpenSSL version too old. So how to fix this issue? Read below.

Wordfence reports OpenSSL version too old

The Wordfence warning message says it all. The server on which the website is running seems to have a older version of OpenSSL and Wordfence plugin does not support any OpenSSL version that are 5 years old. So to fix this issue OpenSSL has to be upgraded to the latest version and at least to the version that Wordfence starts supporting.

Why does Wordfence need latest OpenSSL?

In order for the plugin to work properly, it needs to connect to the Wordfence cloud servers. And those servers uses latest  SSL/TLS technologies. If Wordfence reports that your site is using older version of OpenSSL then you need to check if Wordfence is able to connect to its cloud servers. To do that, go to Wordfence > Tools and click on "Diagnostics" tab.  Lookout for "Connecting to Wordfence servers" under "Connectivity" tab. If you see message as below, then Wordfence is having some issue in connecting to its cloud servers.

wp_remote_post() test to noc1.wordfence.com failed! Response was: cURL error 35: Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to noc1.wordfence.com:443

Wordfence openssl error

Check the OpenSSL version under "PHP Environment" section.

Wordfence reports OpenSSL version too old

You can also scroll down to "Other tests" section in the diagnostics page and click "Click to view your system’s configuration in a new window“. This will open a new tab displaying system configurations. Lookout for the OpenSSL version listed on the page.  If you see OpenSSL version is more than five years old, then you need to update OpenSSL to make Wordfence to work properly.

Click on this link to know how old your OpenSSL version is.

How to upgrade OpenSSL?

In most cases, OpenSSL should get upgraded when PHP or cURL is updated. You can manually upgrade OpenSSL by clicking on this link.

In case, if your website is running on a shared hosting, then you need to contact the hosting provider to upgrade the OpenSSL version.

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