Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2013 14:23:14 -0800 From: Tim <tim-security@...tinelchicken.org> To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: cryptographic primitive choices [was: Re: Microsoft Warns Customers Away From RC4 and SHA-1] > You cannot easily update an openssl 0.x version to 1.0.x if you ahd > no symbol versioning set up as the symbols overlap and you would need > to rebuild _all_ software using libssl, inlcuding libcrypto. These are all good points. SSL/TLS truly are used all over the place and updating is not easy. But I don't think the act of assigning a CVE has anything to do with "is it hard to fix?", does it? In assigning CVEs for weak crypto, MITRE and the community is saying "there's a problem here". Vendors don't *have* to fix it. Users don't *have* to listen to MITRE. Will it put pressure on vendors and users to fix? Sure, of course, and that's a good thing. But difficulty of providing backward compatibility should not be a consideration in my view. With that said, I still stand by previous argument that we must assign CVEs for this kind of thing judiciously, and only when there's a demonstrable attack. At least a sound argument must exist, in theory, that a real attack could be conducted. And a final note about backward compatibility: If I use an SSL/TLS library that supports RC4, but only chooses RC4 as a last resort during negotiation, aren't I ok? I was under the impression that the SSL/TLS handshake validated that no one could tamper with the list of supported cipher suites advertised by each end of the conversation. So, if a library only falls back to RC4 for compatibility, then I don't think such a thing deserves a CVE. The CVEs should be assigned to implementations that *prefer* weak ciphers or support *only* weak ciphers. Cheers, tim
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