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Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:09:48 +0100
From: Hannes Frederic Sowa <>
To: "Jason A. Donenfeld" <>
Cc: Netdev <>,,
 LKML <>,
 Linux Crypto Mailing List <>,
 Jean-Philippe Aumasson <>,
 "Daniel J . Bernstein" <>,
 Linus Torvalds <>,
 Eric Biggers <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 1/4] siphash: add cryptographically secure hashtable


On 14.12.2016 14:10, Jason A. Donenfeld wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 12:21 PM, Hannes Frederic Sowa
> <> wrote:
>> Can you show or cite benchmarks in comparison with jhash? Last time I
>> looked, especially for short inputs, siphash didn't beat jhash (also on
>> all the 32 bit devices etc.).
> I assume that jhash is likely faster than siphash, but I wouldn't be
> surprised if with optimization we can make siphash at least pretty
> close on 64-bit platforms. (I'll do some tests though; maybe I'm wrong
> and jhash is already slower.)

Yes, numbers would be very usable here. I am mostly concerned about
small plastic router cases. E.g. assume you double packet processing
time with a change of the hashing function at what point is the actual
packet processing more of an attack vector than the hashtable?

> With that said, siphash is here to replace uses of jhash where
> hashtable poisoning vulnerabilities make it necessary. Where there's
> no significant security improvement, if there's no speed improvement
> either, then of course nothing's going to change.

It still changes currently well working source. ;-)

> I should have mentioned md5_transform in this first message too, as
> two other patches in this series actually replace md5_transform usage
> with siphash. I think in this case, siphash is a clear performance
> winner (and security winner) over md5_transform. So if the push back
> against replacing jhash usages is just too high, at the very least it
> remains useful already for the md5_transform usage.

MD5 is considered broken because its collision resistance is broken?
SipHash doesn't even claim to have collision resistance (which we don't
need here)?

But I agree, certainly it could be a nice speed-up!

>> This pretty much depends on the linearity of the hash function? I don't
>> think a crypto secure hash function is needed for a hash table. Albeit I
>> agree that siphash certainly looks good to be used here.
> In order to prevent the aforementioned poisoning attacks, a PRF with
> perfect linearity is required, which is what's achieved when it's a
> cryptographically secure one. Check out section 7 of
> .

I think you mean non-linearity. Otherwise I agree that siphash is
certainly a better suited hashing algorithm as far as I know. But it
would be really interesting to compare some performance numbers. Hard to
say anything without them.

>> I am pretty sure that SipHash still needs a random key per hash table
>> also. So far it was only the choice of hash function you are questioning.
> Siphash needs a random secret key, yes. The point is that the hash
> function remains secure so long as the secret key is kept secret.
> Other functions can't make the same guarantee, and so nervous periodic
> key rotation is necessary, but in most cases nothing is done, and so
> things just leak over time.
>> Hmm, I tried to follow up with all the HashDoS work and so far didn't
>> see any HashDoS attacks against the Jenkins/SpookyHash family.
>> If this is an issue we might need to also put those changes into stable.
> jhash just isn't secure; it's not a cryptographically secure PRF. If
> there hasn't already been an academic paper put out there about it
> this year, let's make this thread 1000 messages long to garner
> attention, and next year perhaps we'll see one. No doubt that
> motivated government organizations, defense contractors, criminals,
> and other netizens have already done research in private. Replacing
> insecure functions with secure functions is usually a good thing.

I think this is a weak argument.

In general I am in favor to switch to siphash, but it would be nice to
see some benchmarks with the specific kernel implementation also on some
smaller 32 bit CPUs and especially without using any SIMD instructions
(which might have been used in paper comparison).


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