[openssl] OpenSSL_1_1_1-stable update

Dr. Paul Dale pauli at openssl.org
Thu Mar 12 03:09:14 UTC 2020

The branch OpenSSL_1_1_1-stable has been updated
       via  b69c7d352fad9f1b83eb6d86869f22885e1d6790 (commit)
      from  2cb5e08c2cc5217e41b0b22432293b72dcb234b9 (commit)

- Log -----------------------------------------------------------------
commit b69c7d352fad9f1b83eb6d86869f22885e1d6790
Author: Dr. Matthias St. Pierre <Matthias.St.Pierre at ncp-e.com>
Date:   Mon Mar 2 00:25:29 2020 +0100

    doc: document that 'openssl rand' is cryptographically secure
    (cherry picked from commit 88398d2a358f)
    Additionally, remove an outdated paragraph mentioning the .rnd
    file, which is obsolete in 1.1.1 since the RANDFILE entry was
    removed from openssl.cnf in commit 1fd6afb571e8.
    Also borrow some text from 'openssl(1)/Random State Options'
    on master (commit a397aca43598) to emphasize that it is not
    necessary anymore to restore and save the RNG state using the
    '-rand' and '-writerand' options.
    Reviewed-by: Paul Dale <paul.dale at oracle.com>
    (Merged from https://github.com/openssl/openssl/pull/11251)


Summary of changes:
 doc/man1/rand.pod       | 35 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++--------
 doc/man3/RAND_bytes.pod | 24 ++++++++++++++++++------
 2 files changed, 45 insertions(+), 14 deletions(-)

diff --git a/doc/man1/rand.pod b/doc/man1/rand.pod
index 5dd9e8e0a5..6b6c285248 100644
--- a/doc/man1/rand.pod
+++ b/doc/man1/rand.pod
@@ -18,12 +18,14 @@ I<num>
-The B<rand> command outputs I<num> pseudo-random bytes after seeding
-the random number generator once.  As in other B<openssl> command
-line tools, PRNG seeding uses the file I<$HOME/>B<.rnd> or B<.rnd>
-in addition to the files given in the B<-rand> option.  A new
-I<$HOME>/B<.rnd> or B<.rnd> file will be written back if enough
-seeding was obtained from these sources.
+This command generates I<num> random bytes using a cryptographically
+secure pseudo random number generator (CSPRNG).
+The random bytes are generated using the L<RAND_bytes(3)> function,
+which provides a security level of 256 bits, provided it managed to
+seed itself successfully from a trusted operating system entropy source.
+Otherwise, the command will fail with a nonzero error code.
+For more details, see L<RAND_bytes(3)>, L<RAND(7)>, and L<RAND_DRBG(7)>.
 =head1 OPTIONS
@@ -44,6 +46,8 @@ generator.
 Multiple files can be specified separated by an OS-dependent character.
 The separator is B<;> for MS-Windows, B<,> for OpenVMS, and B<:> for
 all others.
+Explicitly specifying a seed file is in general not necessary, see the
+L</NOTES> section for more information.
 =item [B<-writerand file>]
@@ -60,13 +64,28 @@ Show the output as a hex string.
+=head1 NOTES
+Prior to OpenSSL 1.1.1, it was common for applications to store information
+about the state of the random-number generator in a file that was loaded
+at startup and rewritten upon exit. On modern operating systems, this is
+generally no longer necessary as OpenSSL will seed itself from a trusted
+entropy source provided by the operating system. The B<-rand>  and
+B<-writerand>  flags are still supported for special platforms or
+circumstances that might require them.
+It is generally an error to use the same seed file more than once and
+every use of B<-rand> should be paired with B<-writerand>.
 =head1 SEE ALSO
-Copyright 2000-2016 The OpenSSL Project Authors. All Rights Reserved.
+Copyright 2000-2019 The OpenSSL Project Authors. All Rights Reserved.
 Licensed under the OpenSSL license (the "License").  You may not use
 this file except in compliance with the License.  You can obtain a copy
diff --git a/doc/man3/RAND_bytes.pod b/doc/man3/RAND_bytes.pod
index e2265d170a..63a2845205 100644
--- a/doc/man3/RAND_bytes.pod
+++ b/doc/man3/RAND_bytes.pod
@@ -19,8 +19,8 @@ Deprecated:
-RAND_bytes() puts B<num> cryptographically strong pseudo-random bytes
-into B<buf>.
+RAND_bytes() generates B<num> random bytes using a cryptographically
+secure pseudo random generator (CSPRNG) and stores them in B<buf>.
 RAND_priv_bytes() has the same semantics as RAND_bytes().  It is intended to
 be used for generating values that should remain private. If using the
@@ -31,10 +31,22 @@ and L<RAND_DRBG(7)>.
 =head1 NOTES
-Always check the error return value of RAND_bytes() and
-RAND_priv_bytes() and do not take randomness for granted: an error occurs
-if the CSPRNG has not been seeded with enough randomness to ensure an
-unpredictable byte sequence.
+By default, the OpenSSL CSPRNG supports a security level of 256 bits, provided it
+was able to seed itself from a trusted entropy source.
+On all major platforms supported by OpenSSL (including the Unix-like platforms
+and Windows), OpenSSL is configured to automatically seed the CSPRNG on first use
+using the operating systems's random generator.
+If the entropy source fails or is not available, the CSPRNG will enter an
+error state and refuse to generate random bytes. For that reason, it is important
+to always check the error return value of RAND_bytes() and RAND_priv_bytes() and
+not take randomness for granted.
+On other platforms, there might not be a trusted entropy source available
+or OpenSSL might have been explicitly configured to use different entropy sources.
+If you are in doubt about the quality of the entropy source, don't hesitate to ask
+your operating system vendor or post a question on GitHub or the openssl-users
+mailing list.

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