[openssl-users] FIPS mode restrictions and DES

Steve Marquess marquess at openssl.com
Mon Apr 13 16:48:21 UTC 2015

On 04/13/2015 12:14 PM, Jakob Bohm wrote:
> On 13/04/2015 17:48, Salz, Rich wrote:
>>> In other words, is the only
>>> practical and viable option regarding this to re-implement crypt()
>>> using EVP
>>> methods ?  - thanks.
>> Yes.  That would be so much easier than anything you can imagine.
> Yes, the only thing easier would be if someone (maybe Red Hat)
> already has a FIPS validatedopen source implementation of
> crypt().

And even if Red Hat does, you would be limited to using the specific
commercial versions of RHEL that included that specific validated binary

With the very unique exception of the OpenSSL FIPS Object Module, there
are no FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic modules that can be obtained
in source form and compiled by the end user. The fact that Red Hat (or
whomever) has taken open source code and obtained a FIPS 140-2
validation of binaries generated from that code does you no good unless
you have those specific binaries, which is to say you're a commercial
customer paying for a commercial license from that vendor.

Then, even for the OpenSSL FIPS module the validation imposes some
pretty perverse constraints (from the usual software engineering
perspective). You have to start with a snail-mailed CD, you have to
build the binary module in a very special way that will conflict with
whatever configuration management you use, etc.; you have to treat it
differently that all the other software components of your product. FIPS
140-2 is the tail that wags the dog.

-Steve M.

Steve Marquess
OpenSSL Software Foundation, Inc.
1829 Mount Ephraim Road
Adamstown, MD  21710
+1 877 673 6775 s/b
+1 301 874 2571 direct
marquess at opensslfoundation.com
marquess at openssl.com
gpg/pgp key: http://openssl.com/docs/0x6D1892F5.asc

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