[cryptography] Just how bad is OpenSSL ?

Patrick Mylund Nielsen cryptography at patrickmylund.com
Tue Oct 30 10:39:36 EDT 2012


I would be happy to volunteer to move everything to Github. But it really
is really, really easy to do, and the maintenance required is minimal. That
or git+redmine or git+JIRA would be my suggestion.

On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Ben Laurie <ben at links.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:21 PM, Matthew Green <matthewdgreen at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > So:
> >
> > 1. What is the process by which you get OpenSSL contributors to notice a
> serious issue and apply a patch?
>
> I wouldn't know, I haven't tried :-)
>
> In my case, just ask (me, that is, not some mailing list). If the
> issue is serious, I will likely apply the patch.
>
> > 2. What are the criteria for applying a patch? Is it just 'whatever
> interests the devs'? It seems that publishing an exploit works, but is that
> necessary?
>
> I think it can be taken as read that the devs are interested in the
> security and stability of OpenSSL.
>
> > 3. It's 2012 -- why the **** is OpenSSL running its own ticket tracker
> and source control servers??? (RT is a disaster.)
>
> Damn good question. Probably because we don't have a volunteer to move
> everything somewhere else and keep it running.
>
> > 4. What does it take to become an OpenSSL volunteer?
>
> :-) Like most (good) open source projects: sustained contribution.
>
> >
> > Matt
> >
> > On Oct 30, 2012, at 10:12 AM, Ben Laurie <ben at links.org> wrote:
> >
> >> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM, Jeffrey Walton <noloader at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 5:03 AM, Ben Laurie <ben at links.org> wrote:
> >>>> On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:34 PM, Jeffrey Walton <noloader at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>>> On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM, John Case <case at sdf.org> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> [SNIP]
> >>>>
> >>>> Apparently you think the best way to get a secure platform is to apply
> >>>> pressure through pointless security standards. I'd suggest your
> >>>> efforts might be better spent supplying patches instead. Or, y'know,
> >>>> talking to the authors of the s/w in question. You never know, they
> >>>> might care.
> >>> Ah, OK. My bad.
> >>>
> >>> I've tried supplying patches and filing bug report/enhancement
> requests.
> >>>
> >>> Here was a gentle patch for spelling corrections in a README -
> >>> rejected.
> http://rt.openssl.org/Ticket/Display.html?user=guest&pass=guest&id=2401.
> >>
> >> AFAICS that is not rejected, it is ignored. There's a difference.
> >>
> >> Also, your patch appears to be reversed. Or your spelling is terrible
> :-)
> >>
> >>> Here was a patch for Xcode awareness - rejected (is it fair to say
> >>> when its sites for years without acknowledgement?).
> >>>
> http://rt.openssl.org/Ticket/Display.html?user=guest&pass=guest&id=2402.
> >>
> >> Also not rejected.
> >>
> >> Now, I agree that having patches ignored isn't so great either, but
> >> the problem is:
> >>
> >> * RT doesn't actually work, the guy who allegedly maintains our
> >> infrastructure doesn't, and the team can't agree what to do about it
> >> (not that its tried very hard).
> >>
> >> * OpenSSL is mostly maintained by volunteers, who may not have felt
> >> particularly inspired by your patches, or may just have missed them.
> >>
> >> * When people are paid, they're generally paid to do specific things,
> >> not to trawl through RT (if they even could) looking for patches to
> >> adopt. I'm sure someone could pay for that if they want to, though.
> >>
> >> * CVS is a shit tool, too, making it hard to deal with patches - we've
> >> even agreed as a team to move off it, but see above about
> >> infrastructure :-)
> >>
> >>> I can't locate a bug report on the use of the uninitialized data.
> >>> Perhaps I had the discussion on the developer's mailing list (I know
> >>> I'm not imagining it, so my apologies).
> >>>
> >>> I am also aware that patches existed for some time for CCM mode, GCM
> >>> mode, and SRP. In the case of GCM, IBM supplied the patches 5 or 10
> >>> years earlier. None were acted upon.
> >>
> >> It always amuses me when bigcorp pays to have a patch made, but
> >> somehow manages to fail to understand that the guy applying the patch
> >> has to eat, too. Plus, ISTR the IP situation is none too clear on all
> >> of these.
> >>
> >> This reminds me of the first attempt to FIPSify OpenSSL, where there
> >> was zero budget for the developer - just money for test labs and the
> >> like ("what do you mean you want money to work on it? I thought it was
> >> free software!").
> >>
> >>> The project does not appear to want outside help. If I am drawing the
> >>> wrong conclusion, please forgive me.
> >>
> >> I'll grant you that your very small patches could be considered help,
> >> and it is a little unfortunate they they were ignored, but like I say,
> >> RT is a shit tool, at least as implemented at OpenSSL, as is CVS (I
> >> notice you didn't supply the needed 4 patches, just a single one) and
> >> no-one's paying anyone to pick patches up from it, particularly.
> >>
> >> The rest of your "help" appears to be specifying flags you'd like to
> >> be used and expecting us to do the work for you. Which I actually
> >> might, I find that kind of thing therapeutic, but you get my point.
> >>
> >> I think the project would welcome help - but it needs to be useful help
> :-)
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