[openssl-project] to fully overlap or not to

Andy Polyakov appro at openssl.org
Wed Feb 28 10:39:14 UTC 2018


I'd like to request more opinions on
https://github.com/openssl/openssl/pull/5427. Key dispute question is
whether or not following fragment should work

    unsigned char *inp = buf, *out = buf;

    for (i = 0; i < sizeof(buf); i++) {
        EVP_EncryptUpdate(ctx, out, &outl, inp++, 1);
	out += outl;

[Just in case, corresponding corner case is effectively exercised in
evp_test.] Bernd argues that this is unreasonable, which I counter with
assertion that it doesn't matter how unreasonable this snippet is,
because since we support in-place processing, it's reasonable to expect
stream-cipher-like semantic as above to work even with block ciphers. As
it stands now, suggested modified code would accept in-place calls only
on block boundaries. Collateral question also is whether or not it would
be appropriate to make this kind of change in minor release.

Just in case, to give a bit of more general background. Benrd has shown
that current checks are not sufficient to catch all corner cases of
partially overlapping buffers. It was discussed that partially
overlapping is not same as fully overlapping, a.k.a. in-place
processing, with latter being in fact supported. And even though above
snippet can be formally viewed as a stretch, it's argued that it does
exhibit "legitimate intention" that deserves to be recognized and
supported. At least it was so far, in sense that it's not exactly a
coincidence that it currently works. [The fact that other corner cases
are not recognized as invalid is of course a bug, but there is no
contradiction, as fixing the bug doesn't have to mean that specific
corner case is no longer recognized.]

Thanks in advance.

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