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LibreSSL's PRNG is Unsafe on Linux [Update: LibreSSL fork fix]

Comment by Andrew Ayer

Posted in reply to Comment by Reader x.

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pthread_atfork() requires linking with libpthread, which a single-threaded program would not normally do. Otherwise, it's not a bad suggestion. Checking process creation time is a very interesting suggestion (not perfect due to clock changes but still pretty darn good). Can it be done without needing to read /proc, which wouldn't exist in a chroot jail?

Still, on top of everything LibreSSL does to automatically detect forks, it should still expose a way to explicitly reseed the PRNG in an OpenSSL-compatible way, since OpenSSL has made guarantees that certain functions will re-seed the PRNG, and there may be some scenarios where even the best automatic fork detection fails (imagine a program calling the clone syscall directly for whatever reason, in which case pthread_atfork handlers won't be called). Since LibreSSL is billed as a drop-in replacement for OpenSSL, you should not be able to write a valid program that's safe under OpenSSL's guarantees but not when linked with LibreSSL.

| Posted on 2014-07-15 at 01:15:53 UTC by Andrew Ayer | Parent | Reply to This

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