[openssl-users] General approach for keeping a client cert from openssl

Kyle Hamilton aerowolf at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 18:21:08 UTC 2016

You cannot keep the certificate from OpenSSL, as that's the piece that you
share with the remote side.  This contains the public key, and the
information bound to that public key by the CA.

However, you can keep the private key from being seen by OpenSSL.  There
exists what is called an ENGINE interface to offload cryptographic
operations to a container.  Right now,
seems to be the best documentation available to explain the process of
creating it.  Obviously, depending on the type of key you're using, you
will probably need to figure out the differences.

-Kyle H

On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 3:22 AM, Andy Green <andy at warmcat.com> wrote:

> Hi -
> I have a situation coming up that is similar to a client cert being
> held on a secure key store, like a key vault.
> We need to be able to perform TLS communication with a remote server
> using the key, but without giving the key to OpenSSL.
> The "other side" of the "key vault" is smart, and we can run code
> there, and communicate with it.  So we need to basically proxy OpenSSL
> operations on the "other side".
> I guess this is nothing new under the sun... what's the general
> approach to integrating this to OpenSSL?
> Thanks for any advice.
> -Andy
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