[openssl-users] libtlssep

W. Michael Petullo mike at flyn.org
Tue Jun 30 13:55:06 UTC 2015

Dear OpenSSL community,

I am writing to introduce a new TLS library which presently makes use
of OpenSSL: libtlssep. Libtlssep has two aims: (1) to provide a simpler
API to application developers and (2) to encourage the decomposition of
applications into at least two processes, one of which isolates access
to secret cryptographic keys.

Georgiev et al., Fahl et al., and other researchers have shown that
application developers often misuse existing APIs [e.g., 1, 2].  This work
informs aim (1).

Aim (2) attempts to bring the privilege separation work of Provos et
al. [3] to the domain of TLS in an easy-to-use way.

The current implementation of libtlssep sits between an application
and OpenSSL. Using libtlssep requires modifying an application to use
the API, but we found the amount of work nominal while we ported wget
and lighttpd. Of course, new applications could benefit from libtlssep
right away.

If you are interested in libtlssep, you can find more information at:

        A paper in submission with SPACE 2015 that includes a description
        of libtlssep along with performance measurements and other

and a research prototype at:

        The libtlssep website.

We would love to hear any constructive comments you might have, and would
be interested in hearing about any possibility for future collaboration.

Thank you,

Mike Petullo

[1] Georgiev et al.: The most dangerous code in the world: validating
SSL certificates in non-browser software. CCS (2012)

[2] Fahl et al.: Why Eve and Mallory love Android: an analysis of Android
SSL (in)security. CCS (2012)

[3] Provos et al.: Preventing privilege escalation. USENIX Security (2003)


More information about the openssl-users mailing list