[cryptography] IETF Working Group Charter on Common Interface to Cryptographic Modules (CICM)

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Tue Jun 21 16:28:47 EDT 2011


On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 2:10 PM, Marsh Ray <marsh at extendedsubset.com> wrote:
> On 06/21/2011 10:27 AM, Nico Williams wrote:
>>
>> Martin Rex found the TLS renegotiation bug independently from Marsh
>> Ray by thinking of how the SSPI is used to interface to TLS.  The SSPI
>> was so faithful to TLS that it really exposed the bug.
>
> Right, so one of the lessons learned here was that if IETF had considered
> APIs and not just protocols those bugs in TLS would have been found long
> ago.

+1e6.

Note that I don't mean that we need to standardize APIs for every
programming language, or even any -- just abstract APIs would go a
great distance in terms of security analysis not just of the protocol
but how it's used.

There are folks who look at the GSS-API and disdainfully think "oh my
gawd, that's so complex", when in fact most GSS apps use a very simple
subset of the API.  By having an API we gained a lot.

> This gets back to the idea of a protocol being developed and blessed as
> "secure" from a crypto perspective, but those who go to implement it do so
> primarily with the goals of simplicity, efficiency, interoperability,
> functionality, and security. There's sometimes a huge DMZ between the two
> mindsets which makes a nice playground for attackers, hackers, and Murphy's
> Law.

Yes.  We must look at whole-system security.

Nico
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