[openssl-users] FIPS 140-2 X9.31 RNG transition expenses

Imran Ali Imran.Ali at enghouse.com
Tue Dec 22 14:32:20 UTC 2015

Thanks Steve,

I was more concerned on the news that openssl may not be FIPS compliant because of:

'sunsetting' older FIPS validations  and the reasoning behind the change has to do with the Random Number Generators (RNG). As of December 31, 2015, ANSI X9.31 and X9.62 RNG's will no longer be allowed for use in FIPS mode, leaving us the Random Bit Generators (RBG) of NIST SP 800-90

My understanding based on this is that any applications using ANSI X9.31 and X9.62 functions under FIPS mode will no longer be compliant however the whole openssl will still be FIPS compliant but need paper-shuffle to mark these changes. Am I correct with my assumption on this?


-----Original Message-----
From: openssl-users [mailto:openssl-users-bounces at openssl.org] On Behalf Of Steve Marquess
Sent: 22 December 2015 13:08
To: openssl-users at openssl.org
Subject: Re: [openssl-users] FIPS 140-2 X9.31 RNG transition expenses

On 12/21/2015 09:32 PM, Salz, Rich wrote:
>> Just want to confirm on this item. Are we saying that to get openssl 
>> back to be FIPS compliance is just a paper shuffle. If so is there 
>> any expected eta on it as our team is using openssl version for a 
>> security project and we need a fips compliance library.
> No.
> We have answered this many times, but perhaps the messages were too 
> long and confusing.

Yes indeed (mea culpa). It's such a mess I don't know how to address it succinctly. Part of the problem is that there are multiple intertwined issues.

I think the term "paper shuffle" in this context refers to the "X9.31 RNG transition" issue which is (hopefully) a one shot aberration, one pothole in the vast wasteland of FIPS 140-2 validations. That is
(mostly) addressed, in that a benefactor has come forward (Datagravity,
Inc.) to pay the test lab fees necessary for filing the necessary paperwork. That has been done and now we are just waiting on the usual slow bureaucratic process. I'll make an announcement when that paper shuffle is complete.

> We are not doing any work on adding new platforms at this time.  If 
> you cannot use one of the existing platforms, then there is no FIPS 
> support available "for free."

No "freebies". However, we are continuing to perform *sponsored* (some one pays for it) "change letter" additions of new platforms to the
*existing* OpenSSL FIPS module (validations #1747/#2398/#2473). We will continue to do so for as long as such updates are technically and economically feasible. Just last week eleven new platforms were added to that module this way, and more platforms are pending.

Those aren't free in that some sponsor needs to fund them initially, but once done those platforms are available to everyone. That is the collaborative process by which the OpenSSL FIPS module has grown to support some 120 platforms, more by far than for any other FIPS 140-2 validated module.

> We are not taking on a new validation with new algorithms, etc., 
> unless we get one or more sponsors who are willing to contribute a 
> significant amount of money, among other things.

Correct ... we are eager to do so but lack the opportunity at present. I remain hopeful that we will be able to attempt this at some point.

-Steve M.

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