Take for example this major Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter (literally Today's News). Their web page is available over HTTPS at https://www.dn.se/ and, in Firefox, shows as "secure connection" using the TLS 1.2 cipher suite TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 when I tried it just now.

They also offer a RSS news feed at https://www.dn.se/nyheter/rss. When I browse to that URL with the exact same browser, it shows as "not secure", and Firefox reports "connection not encrypted" in the page information security tab.

How is this even possible? It's the same protocol (HTTPS), same host name (www.dn.se), same port (default 443), same (presumably!) certificate validation going on in the browser. The path portion of the URL isn't transmitted until after the TLS session has been set up. How can different paths on the same publicly-visible host name consistently result in different levels of TLS security like this?

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    That's a strange one but we can guess that the error message itself may be erroneous. With openssl s_client -connect www.dn.se:443 -cipher NULL we see that null cyphersuites are unsupported (little known fact but you can do TLS minus encryption). Bottom line is that this site has very poorly configured TLS support which fails many online tests. FWIW I see that same results as you so your observations are correct. Jan 22, 2017 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


It is possible in theory because each visit to a different URL may be a new TLS connection hence a new TLS handshake and exchange of certificates/keys/ciphers choices/etc... Also, even if not desirable of course, there is an existing mode of TLS setup with in fact no encryption at all.

My browser does in fact display also Insecure connection for the RSS feed, which makes me wonder as other low level tools do not. Also chromium shows the page as secure. So I more and more think it is a problem related to Firefox. Also SSLLabs gives an A+ to the site related to its TLS configuration, so I more and more think of a specific Firefox issue.

Found it, it is specific to Firefox: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=337897

In short, there is a smart included RSS reader into Firefox, it loads your URL just fine and securely but then use a local application in a jar file to display nicely the RSS output, and this specific module is deemed to be insecure. Hence the final error message from Firefox is completely misleading and it is a shame they are leaving it as is since so many years (see the bug report quoted above). They even decided they will not fix it at all, supposeddly because this feed reader is "demoted" inside Firefox since a long time ago.

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