[cryptography] Just how bad is OpenSSL ?

Solar Designer solar at openwall.com
Tue Oct 30 11:28:59 EDT 2012

On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:29:17AM -0400, Thierry Moreau wrote:
> Isn't memory-space cleanse() isolated from file system specifics except 
> for the swap space?

Normally yes, but the swap space may be in a file (rather than a disk
partition), or the swap partition may be in a virtual machine, which may
reside in a file.

> Is the SSD technology used for swap state in any of the OS distributions?

It depends on how the OS is installed.  Plenty of installs have swap on SSD.

> Assuming that cleanse() as to deal only with L1 CPU cache, L2 CPU cache, 
> main memory, and swap space, I considered a periodical "swap space 
> sanitation" operation to be useful: add a new swap space partition, 
> remove an existing one, sanitize the removed one (low-level, below file 
> system), put it back into the available set of partitions. I did not 
> experiment in practice.
> But that "partition sanitation" strategy ought to be part of an "open 
> HSM" type of project.

What kind of HSM is that where you expect to need swap at all?  Just
disable swap, unless you're using an OS that can't live without swap.


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