OpenSSL shared library in FIPS mode

Dr Paul Dale paul.dale at
Tue Jul 7 07:47:35 UTC 2020

OpenSSL 1.0.2 ceased being supported at the beginning of this year.

If you are deviating in any way from the prescribed build instructions (you did read the security policy didn’t you?) you are not FIPS compliant.
Not using the OpenSSL Makefile is such a deviation.  My suspicion is that you are not and never have been FIPS compliant.

Dr Paul Dale | Distinguished Architect | Cryptographic Foundations 
Phone +61 7 3031 7217
Oracle Australia

> On 7 Jul 2020, at 3:36 pm, Shirisha Dasari via openssl-users <openssl-users at> wrote:
> Hi All,
> We have been trying to integrate FOM 2.0.13 with OpenSSL 1.0.2u for FIPS compliance. Post integration, we have been able to run in FIPS mode, with all self-tests passing as well. However, we seem to be encountering issues in creation and parsing of ECDSA keys.
> A little background on how we build the shared libcrypto library:
> TARGET: x86_64 
> BUILD HOST: x86_64
> We do not use the OpenSSL Makefile to build the OpenSSL source. Our build  infrastructure  creates multiple static archives from the OpenSSL crypto source and finally creates a libcrypto.a from these archives as required by fipsld. The fipscanister.o and libcrypto.a are archived to create the final libcrypto.a and passed onto fipsld for creation of a dynamic library, fips_premain_dso gets built as a part of the build process too for generation of signature. These steps mimic the OpenSSL opensource Makefile.
> fipsld embeds the signature into the final successfully and we are able to get into FIPS mode successfully at run time. Self-tests pass as well.
> Issue:
> While trying to use ECDSA host keys for OpenSSH, we noticed that parsing of ECDSA key fails. DSA and RSA key creation and parsing do not have this issue. Note that the ECDSA key was generated in FIPS mode and is being parsed in FIPS mode itself.
> root at localhost:/home/admin#  openssl ec -in ssh_host_key_ecdsa -text -noout
> read EC key
> unable to load Key
> 140020611143360:error:10067066:elliptic curve routines:ec_GFp_simple_oct2point:invalid encoding:../../../../vendor/openssl-fips/crypto/ec/ecp_oct.c:370:
> 140020611143360:error:10092010:elliptic curve routines:d2i_ECPrivateKey:EC lib:../../../../vendor/openssl-fips/crypto/ec/ec_asn1.c:1172:
> 140020611143360:error:100D508E:elliptic curve routines:ECKEY_PRIV_DECODE:decode error:../../../../vendor/openssl-fips/crypto/ec/ec_ameth.c:256:
> 140020611143360:error:0606F091:digital envelope routines:EVP_PKCS82PKEY:private key decode error:../../../../vendor/openssl-fips/crypto/evp/evp_pkey.c:92:
> 140020611143360:error:0907B00D:PEM routines:PEM_READ_BIO_PRIVATEKEY:ASN1 lib:../../../../vendor/openssl-fips/crypto/pem/pem_pkey.c:142:
> root at localhost:/home/admin# 
> A portion of the sample ECDSA key generated with curve secp384r1 via ssh-keygen with "ssh-keygen -t ecdsa -b 384 -f  ssh_host_key_ecdsa" is provided below:
> ........
> ........
> -----END PRIVATE KEY-----
>  A few questions related to this:
> 1) Is there a specific need to build the OpenSSL source only via the provided Makefile? 
> 2) FIPS self test for ECDSA passes but the key creation/parsing fails. Could this indicate that the FIPS module APIs are not getting invoked in the case of ECDSA?
> -- 
> Thanks & Regards,
> Shirisha.

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