[PATCH] Crypto EC - avoids possible memset compiler optimisation

Christopher Schultz chris at christopherschultz.net
Fri Jan 12 23:02:18 UTC 2018


Apologies... I had only read the top of the patch before replying.

All my comments had already been addressed in the actual patch.

Sorry for the noise.


On 1/12/18 6:00 PM, Christopher Schultz wrote:
> Adam and David,
> On 1/8/18 11:30 AM, Adam Petcher wrote:
>> On 1/8/2018 10:13 AM, David CARLIER wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> Here a little patch proposal which is usually relevant in
>>> cryptographics matters. Usually memset/bzero/... is used to clear
>>> private structures but the compiler can possibly optimize those calls
>>> but with this change we can unsure sensitive data is properly zero'ed
>>> using if possible native calls or memory fence.
>> SunEC doesn't really make an effort to zeroize sensitive data, and all
>> of the memset operations except for one (line 418) operate on memory
>> that is not sensitive. While the patch is a relatively simple change
>> that probably doesn't hurt anything, it doesn't seem to me like this
>> improvement is particularly valuable. Perhaps it would be more valuable
>> along with a larger improvement to make SunEC zeroize all intermediate
>> values. Though this would be a much larger undertaking, and it still may
>> not be useful on its own because the Java code in the provider also
>> holds some sensitive values.
> Also, if you want to "sanitize" memory, you ought to:
> 1. use explicit_bzero instead of bzero, as bzip may be optimized-away by
> the compiler[1]
> 2. use memset instead of bzero, as memset is POSIX[2] and bzero is not[3]
> 3. use memset_s instead of memset, since memset_s is guaranteed not to
> be optimized-away by the compiler[4]. Its presence is not guaranteed, so
> use compiler macros to ensure you have a backup plan if it is not
> available (e.g. use memset or manual memory-scrubbing).
> 4. On Windows, use SecureZeroMemory[5], for reasons similar to the above
> -chris
> [1] https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=explicit_bzero
> [2] https://linux.die.net/man/3/memset
> [3] https://linux.die.net/man/3/bzero
> [4] http://en.cppreference.com/w/c/string/byte/memset
> [5] https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366877.aspx

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