[cryptography] Best practices for paranoid secret buffers

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Wed May 7 00:46:34 EDT 2014


On Tue, 6 May 2014, Tony Arcieri wrote:

> Should finalizers be explicit or implicit? (or should an implicit finalizer
> try to make sure buffers are finalized if you don't do it yourself?)

I've never trusted OSs that cleared buffers in the finaliser.  Do it
yourself, then you know it's done.  For that matter, I've never trusted
malloc() either, but at least calloc() promises to clear it.

> Are paranoid buffers worth the effort? Are the threats they'd potentially
> mitigate realistic? Are there too many other things that can go wrong (e.g.
> rewindable VMs) for this to matter?

Even paranoids have enemies :-)

-- Dave


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