Openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak

You’re cruising along in your coding journey, fingers flying over the keyboard, the hum of your computer in the background. Everything seems perfect. Suddenly, the calm rhythm of your work is interrupted by a harsh, unwelcoming sight: an error message. But it’s not just any error message; it’s ‘openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak’. If you’re like most developers, your heart sinks a little. The sheer unfamiliarity of the error can be a bit daunting.

This OpenSSL error message, though cryptic and mildly unsettling, is a hurdle many have faced. Often, it’s an indication that the Cipher Algorithm or Message Digest (MD) in your OpenSSL setup is not robust enough, and it leaves you questioning the strength and security of your entire system. It’s a familiar roadblock, a universal experience that has left even seasoned professionals scratching their heads, questioning where they could have possibly gone wrong. But remember, every issue has a resolution and this OpenSSL error is no exception.

Don’t let this stumble stop your progress or diminish the joy coding brings you. Like a cryptic crossword or a challenging puzzle, it’s all about finding the right pieces and making them fit. So take a deep breath, brush off the initial shock and confusion, because there’s no need to worry. You’re not alone on this path, and I’m here to guide you through it.

Openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak

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What are the possible reasons for Openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak

Outdated OpenSSL Version

Updating software components regularly is of the utmost importance. An outdated version of OpenSSL can lead to the occurrence of the error: openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak. How? Old versions of OpenSSL may lack the necessary security updates to adequately protect your system. Hence, this error surfaces as an indicator of weak security measures. You can often fix this by simply updating OpenSSL to the latest version. The new version will likely have advanced security enhancements. This protects your system from potential threats.

Weak Message Digest Algorithm

The strength of the message digest algorithm plays a crucial role in the security of your network. Using a weak message digest algorithm can trigger this error. A message digest algorithm that doesn’t adhere to the latest cryptographic standards is like a weak link in a chain. It jeopardizes the whole system’s security. Therefore, selecting an up-to-date and strong message digest algorithm is key to avoid this issue. Always choose algorithms that meet the most recent security standards.

Unsupported Cipher Suite

An unsupported cipher suite is another potential cause of this error. The cipher suite in OpenSSL combines various cryptographic algorithms. These include an encryption algorithm, a key exchange algorithm, and a MAC algorithm. If any component of the cipher suite is unsupported or outdated, the error might occur. Therefore, ensure that your cipher suite is not only supported but also up-to-date. This will enhance your system’s security and prevent the error.

Improper Configuration

Sometimes, the issue might not be with OpenSSL itself, but with its configuration. A misconfigured SSL/TLS setup can lead to the error. In such cases, you may have to revisit your OpenSSL configuration. You may have to reassess and adjust your settings to rectify the issue. Proper configuration can help prevent not only this error but also other potential issues that might arise due to misconfiguration.

Subpar System Security Measures

When addressing the openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak issue, it’s vital to consider your overall system’s security measures. An OpenSSL error might be a symptom of an underlying security problem. Even the slightest weakness in your system can expose vulnerabilities. Hence, regularly reviewing and strengthening your system’s security protocol can prevent such errors from arising.

Incompatibility between OpenSSL and Operating System

Sometimes, the OpenSSL error may be due to incompatibility issues between OpenSSL and your operating system. It’s crucial to ensure that your OpenSSL version is fully compatible with your operating system. Also, consistently check for system updates to keep your OS and OpenSSL functioning smoothly together.

Faulty or Outdated Libraries

Libraries play a crucial role in OpenSSL’s functioning. They provide functions and routines required for cryptographic operations. Outdated or faulty libraries can lead to weak message digest errors, signaling an urgent need for an update or fix. Regularly maintaining and updating libraries can prevent such issues.

Incorrect Implementation of Cryptographic Protocols

Cryptographic protocols are foundational to OpenSSL operations. However, incorrect implementation can cause the error to surface. Understanding and correctly implementing these protocols are paramount to prevent such issues. It might seem daunting at first, but with a little patience and practice, one can master the art of cryptographic protocol implementation.

Insufficient System Resources

Lastly, insufficient system resources can also cause OpenSSL errors. The system must have adequate resources to support OpenSSL operations effectively. Insufficient processing power, memory, or storage could potentially lead to issues like openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak. Regularly monitoring and upgrading system resources, when necessary, is a good preventive measure.

 How to fix openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak

Fix 1: Revise Your Cipher List

  1. Open your OpenSSL configuration and locate the cipher list.
  2. Review the ciphers currently included. Remove any deprecated or weak ciphers.
  3. Regularly check for updates in cipher standards.
  4. Adjust your cipher list according to the latest standards to maintain optimal security.

Fix 2: Employ Diagnostic Tools

  1. Utilize diagnostic tools to troubleshoot the OpenSSL error.
  2. Tools like ‘openssl s_client’ or ‘openssl s_server’ can provide insights into connection issues.
  3. Analyze the diagnostic report and address any flagged issues.
  4. Monitor your OpenSSL operation to check if the error has been resolved.

Fix 3: Harden System Security

  1. Apart from OpenSSL, review the overall security measures of your system.
  2. Employ strong firewalls, regularly update anti-virus software, and enable automatic security updates.
  3. Regular security audits can also help identify potential vulnerabilities.
  4. Address any identified vulnerabilities promptly to avoid recurrence of the OpenSSL error.

Fix 4: Upgrade Hardware Resources

  1. Evaluate your current hardware resources.
  2. If you find repeated OpenSSL issues, consider upgrading your system’s processing power, memory, or storage.
  3. Purchase and install necessary hardware upgrades.
  4. Monitor system performance to ensure the upgrades facilitate smoother OpenSSL operations.

Fix 5: Review and Reset OpenSSL Configuration

  1. Open your OpenSSL configuration file.
  2. Review each line to check for potential errors or misconfigurations.
  3. Reset or correct any settings that appear to be incorrect or problematic.
  4. Save the changes and restart the OpenSSL service to ensure the new configuration is effective.

Fix 6: Perform System-Wide Updates

  1. Navigate to your system settings and look for the option to check for updates.
  2. Ensure to update your operating system, libraries, and OpenSSL.
  3. Download and install any available updates.
  4. Regularly check for updates to maintain a robust and secure digital environment.

Fix 7: Verify Certificate Authority (CA) Certificates

  1. Check the CA certificates used by OpenSSL for validity and security.
  2. Ensure that the CA certificates are up-to-date and issued by trusted authorities.
  3. Validate the certificate chain and ensure it is intact.
  4. If any CA certificate is found to be weak or compromised, replace it with a trusted one.

Fix 8 : Enable Stronger SSL/TLS Protocols

  1. Update your OpenSSL configuration to enable stronger SSL/TLS protocols.
  2. Disable any outdated or weak protocols such as SSLv2 or SSLv3.
  3. Enable protocols like TLS 1.2 or TLS 1.3 that provide better security.
  4. Restart the OpenSSL service for the changes to take effect.

Fix 9 : Implement Secure Key Exchange Algorithms

  1. Review the key exchange algorithms used by OpenSSL.
  2. Ensure that secure algorithms like Diffie-Hellman (DH) or Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) are utilized.
  3. Disable any weak or deprecated key exchange algorithms.
  4. Update your OpenSSL configuration to reflect the desired key exchange algorithms and restart the service.

Fix 10: Monitor and Analyze OpenSSL Logs

  1. Enable detailed logging in your OpenSSL configuration.
  2. Monitor the OpenSSL logs for any recurring patterns or error messages.
  3. Analyze the logs to identify potential causes or triggers for the openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak error.
  4. Use the insights gained from the logs to implement targeted fixes or optimizations.

Fix 11 : Conduct Security Audits and Penetration Testing

  1. Periodically perform security audits and penetration testing on your system.
  2. Hire professional security experts to identify vulnerabilities in your OpenSSL setup.
  3. Address the identified weaknesses promptly and ensure robust security measures.
  4. Regular testing and auditing can help proactively mitigate potential issues and prevent the openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak error.

Fix 12: Reinstall OpenSSL

  1. If the problem persists, consider uninstalling and reinstalling OpenSSL.
  2. Back up any crucial data before proceeding with the uninstallation.
  3. After successful uninstallation, download the latest version of OpenSSL and install it.
  4. Verify that the newly installed OpenSSL works without the previous error.

Fix 13: Maintain Regular Backups

  1. Regular backups can save you from a lot of trouble in case of persistent OpenSSL errors.
  2. Establish a routine for regular system backups, preferably automatic.
  3. Ensure that your backup includes OpenSSL configurations, so you can restore them if needed.
  4. If an OpenSSL error causes significant disruption, you can restore your system from a recent backup to regain normal function quickly.

Fix 14: Seek Professional Guidance

  1. If the OpenSSL error persists, consider reaching out to a cybersecurity expert or professional network administrator.
  2. Clearly explain the issue you’re facing.
  3. Implement the solutions they recommend.
  4. Monitor the system to see if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 15: Engage in Continuous Learning and Adaptation

  1. Stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in cryptography.
  2. Regularly read articles, join forums, and attend webinars to understand the evolving digital security landscape.
  3. Use this knowledge to pre-empt and solve potential OpenSSL issues.
  4. Understand that tackling OpenSSL errors is not just about quick fixes, but also about adapting to the dynamic world of digital security.


The openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak error can be resolved by implementing a series of preventive measures. From updating OpenSSL and revising cipher lists to seeking professional guidance and maintaining system resources, these steps can enhance the security and functionality of your OpenSSL setup. Regular monitoring, continuous learning, and adaptation are essential in staying ahead of potential issues and ensuring a secure digital environment. Remember, OpenSSL errors are not insurmountable challenges; they are opportunities to strengthen your knowledge and fortify your system’s security.


Q: What does the error message “openssl: error:0a00018e:ssl routines::ca md too weak” mean? 

A: This error indicates that the Cipher Algorithm or Message Digest (MD) in your OpenSSL setup is not strong enough, potentially compromising your system’s security.

Q: How can I fix the OpenSSL “ca md too weak” error? 

A: There are several steps you can take to resolve this error, including updating OpenSSL, revising cipher lists, ensuring compatibility, and seeking professional guidance if needed.

Q: Why is it important to update OpenSSL regularly? 

A: Regular updates ensure that OpenSSL incorporates the latest security patches and enhancements, guarding against vulnerabilities and potential errors.

Q: How can I improve the security of my OpenSSL setup? 

A: You can enhance OpenSSL security by enabling stronger protocols, implementing secure key exchange algorithms, validating CA certificates, and conducting regular security audits.

Q: What should I do if the error persists despite troubleshooting? 

A: If the error persists, consider seeking assistance from cybersecurity experts who can provide specialized insights and solutions tailored to your specific setup.