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A downgrade attack or version rollback attack is a form of cryptographic attack on a computer system or communications protocol that makes it abandon a high-quality mode of operation (e.g. an encrypted connection) in favor of an older, lower-quality mode of operation (e.g. cleartext) that is typically provided for backward compatibility with older systems. An example of such a flaw was found in OpenSSL that allowed the attacker to negotiate the use of a lower version of TLS between the client and server. This is one of the most common types of downgrade attacks. Another example is intercepting web traffic and redirecting the user from the secure, HTTPS version of a website to an unencrypted HTTP version.
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