[cryptography] Just how bad is OpenSSL ?

Patrick Mylund Nielsen cryptography at patrickmylund.com
Tue Oct 30 10:55:03 EDT 2012


Hopefully somebody's doing some kind of integrity check pre-release no
matter where it's hosted... :)

In either case, happy to help if it is manhours you need, and I'm sure
others on this list are as well.

On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM, Aaron Grattafiori <
aaron at digitalinfinity.net> wrote:

> Thank god...
> On Oct 30, 2012 7:50 AM, "Ben Laurie" <ben at links.org> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM, Patrick Mylund Nielsen
>> <cryptography at patrickmylund.com> wrote:
>> > 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.
>>
>> The team has ruled out having the master at github.
>>
>> >
>> >
>> > 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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