[openssl-users] Checksum for openssl-1.0.2p download

Jakob Bohm jb-openssl at wisemo.com
Thu Sep 13 17:55:54 UTC 2018

On 13/09/2018 03:24, Michael Wojcik wrote:
>> From: openssl-users [mailto:openssl-users-bounces at openssl.org] On Behalf
>> Of Jakob Bohm
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 17:18
>> Testing your OpenSSL download with the HTTPS security bites its
>> own tail, especially if your download tool uses an (older) version
>> of OpenSSL to check the connection.
> And as I noted in my previous email, the HTTPS PKI is rubbish. Historically there have been numerous successful attacks on it, even in modes that do not involve user intervention.
> It's better than nothing, but checking the PGP signature is defense in depth that does not rely solely on the integrity of the HTTPS PKI.
>> But unless you have an established personal list of GPG/PGP keys
>> you have checked against their holders in person yourself, checking
>> the HTTPS certificate of the OpenSSL.org web server is pretty much
>> all you can do to distinguish between a genuine and a fake first time
>> OpenSSL download (signatures on later downloads can be compared to
>> previous downloadsfor some degree of signature consistency).
> There are plenty of other channels that can be used to validate the PGP public key used to confirm the signature of the OpenSSL tarball. None of them are secure in themselves, but by using multiple channels, the defender greatly increases the attacker's work factor and risk of discovery. That's the whole point of defense in depth.
> It's not hard to learn how to install an OpenPGP implementation (most likely gpg) and use it to verify a detached signature. There are many tutorials available online. I don't think a lack of experience with PGP or gpg is a valid excuse for not validating the signature.
>> Of cause some real knowledge is needed to not use the OpenSSL source
>> code incorrectly, unless you are merely compiling other peoples
>> software exactly as instructed.
> Yes. And this is a much more likely source of problems than a counterfeit OpenSSL distribution.
To make it clear, I am very experienced and do in fact check the gpg 
if possible.  I was trying to give good advice to the OP based on my 
checking the only ways that the OpenSSL foundation provides.

The OpenPGP/GPG key servers that you suggested, by design, accept any 
made up
key identity and thus provide no indication of validity, so just 
the key from there is a non-solution to the problem of bootstrapping 
trust in
someones first OpenSSL download.

To my knowledge the only ways to check that the .asc file was signed 
with an
authorized release key are:

A) Trusting that the HTTPS connection to the download server is 
   essentially treating at least the first such signature as a glorified
   .sha256 file.

B) Checking doc/fingerprints.txt in the previous tarball and hoping the 
   foundation double checks the correctness of that file before signing 
a new

C) Using the text (BUT NOT THE INSECURE LINKS) on
    But this lists some unauthorized keys, and also relies on that same 


Jakob Bohm, CIO, Partner, WiseMo A/S.  https://www.wisemo.com
Transformervej 29, 2860 Søborg, Denmark.  Direct +45 31 13 16 10
This public discussion message is non-binding and may contain errors.
WiseMo - Remote Service Management for PCs, Phones and Embedded

More information about the openssl-users mailing list