wolfSSL Support for OCSP and NGINX

With each release of the wolfSSL embedded SSL/TLS library, new improvements and feature additions are always included. With recent releases, the wolfSSL team has improved existing Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) support when using wolfSSL with NGINX. These improvements include items such as more detailed/stronger error reporting and updated certificate management.

NGINX is a high-performance, high-concurrency web server, that is increasing in popularity. Like wolfSSL, it is also compact, fast, and highly scalable. OCSP is an alternative to Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL), and is used to validate certificates for HTTPS connections. OCSP addresses problems involving Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and typically has improved speed over CRL. Combining two high-performance aspects - NGINX and OCSP - yields another high-performance mark for wolfSSL. Additionally, wolfSSL also provides support for the latest and most secure TLS protocol, TLS 1.3. NGINX servers can use OCSP with wolfSSL while also providing TLS 1.3 support.

For more information on wolfSSL updates, the wolfSSL changelog can be viewed here: https://www.wolfssl.com/docs/wolfssl-changelog/. For any other questions, feel free to contact info@wolfssl.com.

wolfSSL Support Statistics

wolfSSL provides one of the most secure embedded SSL/TLS libraries, a high-powered and lightweight encryption engine, and other products. wolfSSL also provides various services, one of which is the exemplary support offered by the wolfSSL support team.

wolfSSLs' support is continuously improving in its quality and speed. This is shown by the average customer ratings that the wolfSSL support team receives, and through other additional feedback. When wolfSSL support closes a ticket, customers are given the option to either rate the support received as "Good, I'm satisfied," or "Bad, I'm unhappy,". For the year 2018, wolfSSL received a 98.6% overall satisfaction rating from hundreds of support cases. The average satisfaction rating for wolfSSL has been improving over the years, as a result of our continued efforts to provide not only the best tested cryptography in the world, but also the best customer support available from any crypto provider. We will continue to strive and deliver the best possible customer experience via our support department and look forward to assisting all of our users in any way we can.

To have your own questions answered by the wolfSSL support team, please contact support@wolfssl.com. We also provide some more general information about wolfSSL products which can be obtained by contacting info@wolfssl.com.

Did you know that wolfSSL supports TLS 1.3!? More information can be found here: https://www.wolfssl.com/docs/tls13/.

wolfSSH Supported Platforms

wolfSSL offers many different products, including the wolfSSH Lightweight SSH Library. The wolfSSH library is ideal for both IoT embedded devices and desktop use cases. It is an implementation of the SSHv2 protocol and features a small footprint size, an extensive feature set, and excellent cross platform support. A list of some of these supported platforms are listed below:

  • Cavium NITROX
  • STM32F2, STM32F4
    • With hardware cryptography support
  • FreeScale CAU, mmCAU, SEC
  • Microchip PIC32MZ
  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Microsoft Windows

Additionally, wolfSSH also provides support for many of its example applications on these platforms. For example, the wolfSSH SFTP client example can be run on Microsoft Windows and also on macOS.

To test the wolfSSH library and its applications on your platform, wolfSSH can be downloaded by cloning the wolfSSH repository (here: https://github.com/wolfSSL/wolfssh), or by visiting the wolfSSL download page (here: https://www.wolfssl.com/download/).

For more information on wolfSSH or its supported platforms, please contact info@wolfssl.com.

OpenSSL Compatibility Layer Expansion

As many of our readers know, the wolfSSL embedded SSL/TLS library includes an OpenSSL compatibility layer. This layer makes it easier to replace OpenSSL with wolfSSL in applications that have previously been using OpenSSL.

As wolfSSL is ported into more and more projects that have previously used OpenSSL, our compatibility layer expands.  As new versions of wolfSSL are released, the OpenSSL compatibility layer continues to expand. The following list some recent additions, along with other OpenSSL compatibility layer functions:

 

  • OpenSSL_add_all_algorithms_noconf()
  • RAND_poll()
  • d2i_X509_fp()
  • X509_check_ca()
  • X509_CRL_free()
  • X509_STORE_add_crl()
  • d2i_X509_CRL_fp()
  • PEM_read()
  • PEM_write()
  • PEM_read_X509_CRL()
  • ASN1_GENERALIZEDTIME_free()
  • ASN1_STRING_print_ex()
  • ASN1_TIME_to_generalizedtime()
  • d2i_PKCS12_fp()
  • i2d_RSAPublicKey()
  • d2i_RSAPublicKey()
  • i2c_ASN1_INTEGER()
  • d2i_ECDSA_SIG()
  • i2d_ECDSA_SIG()
  • EVP_DigestVerifyInit()
  • EVP_DigestVerifyUpdate()
  • EVP_DigestVerifyFinal()
  • EVP_PKEY_id()
  • PEM_read_bio_PUBKEY()

There are several reasons that users switch from OpenSSL to wolfSSL, including memory usage, portability, algorithm support, CAVP and FIPS 140-2 validations, and the availability of excellent commercial support.  To learn more about the advantages of using wolfSSL, visit our page on “wolfSSL vs. OpenSSL”.

If you have any questions about using wolfSSL in your application, or replacing OpenSSL with wolfSSL, please reach out to our support team at support@wolfssl.com!

wolfSSH Yocto Project Recipe

The wolfSSH library is a lightweight implementation of the SSHv2 protocol written in ANSI C and targeted for embedded devices, use with an RTOS, and resource-constrained environments - primarily because of its small size, speed, and feature set. It is commonly used in standard operating environments as well because of its royalty-free pricing and excellent cross platform support. As part of the excellent cross platform support, one of these is platforms is the Yocto Project, a project that assists developers with creating Linux-based systems on any architecture.

wolfSSL also includes many recipes and projects that make it easy to build on various platforms, and is maintained in the meta-wolfSSL GitHub repository. This repository contains both Yocto and OpenEmbedded recipes for wolfSSL products, such as wolfSSH. It also includes .bbappend files, which can be used to configure many open-source projects and packages for support with the wolfSSH library.

More information about Yocto Linux and wolfSSL can be found in the meta-wolfssl readme, located in the GitHub repository here: https://github.com/wolfSSL/meta-wolfssl/blob/master/README.md

For more information on using wolfSSL, please contact info@wolfssl.com.

wolfBoot Upcoming Feature Additions

Thanks to the hard work at wolfSSL, the wolfBoot Secure Bootloader will soon be obtaining some new features that are currently under evaluation. These features include more options and additions, and will also improve the performance of the wolfBoot library. The following chart shows how these new features can impact the bootloader:

More information on the features listed in the chart will be coming in the future, when they have been fully merged into the wolfBoot Secure Bootloader.

For more information, please contact info@wolfssl.com.

Differences between SSL and TLS Protocol Versions

Have you heard talk about SSL 3.0, TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, TLS 1.2, and TLS 1.3 but never really knew the differences between the different versions? Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Security Layer (TLS) are both cryptographic protocols which provide secure communication over networks. These different versions are all in widespread use today in applications such as web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging and VoIP, and each is slightly different from the others.

wolfSSL’s embedded SSL/TLS library supports all of these protocols to best suit your needs and requirements. Below you will find lists comparing each version of the SSL/TLS protocols, detailing major changes and updates from version to version.

 

SSL 3.0

This protocol was released in 1996, but first began with the creation of SSL 1.0 developed by Netscape. Version 1.0 wasn`t released, and version 2.0 had a number of security flaws, thus leading to the release of SSL 3.0. Some major improvements of SSL 3.0 over SSL 2.0 are:

  • Separation of the transport of data from the message layer
  • Use of a full 128 bits of keying material even when using the Export cipher
  • Ability of the client and server to send chains of certificates, thus allowing organizations to use certificate hierarchy which is more than two certificates deep.
  • Implementing a generalized key exchange protocol, allowing Diffie-Hellman and Fortezza key exchanges as well as non-RSA certificates.
  • Allowing for record compression and decompression
  • Ability to fall back to SSL 2.0 when a 2.0 client is encountered

 

TLS 1.0

This protocol was first defined in RFC 2246 in January of 1999. This was an upgrade from SSL 3.0 and the differences were not dramatic, but they are significant enough that SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 don`t interoperate. Some of the major differences between SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 are:

  • Key derivation functions are different
  • MACs are different – SSL 3.0 uses a modification of an early HMAC while TLS 1.0 uses HMAC.
  • The Finished messages are different
  • TLS has more alerts
  • TLS requires DSS/DH support

 

TLS 1.1

This protocol was defined in RFC 4346 in April of 2006, and is an update to TLS 1.0. The major changes are:

  • The Implicit Initialization Vector (IV) is replaced with an explicit IV to protect against Cipher block chaining (CBC) attacks.
  • Handling of padded errors is changed to use the bad_record_mac alert rather than the decryption_failed alert to protect against CBC attacks.
  • IANA registries are defined for protocol parameters
  • Premature closes no longer cause a session to be non-resumable.

 

TLS 1.2

This protocol was defined in RFC 5246 in August of 2008. Based on TLS 1.1, TLS 1.2 contains improved flexibility. The major differences include:

  • The MD5/SHA-1 combination in the pseudorandom function (PRF) was replaced with cipher-suite-specified PRFs.
  • The MD5/SHA-1 combination in the digitally-signed element was replaced with a single hash. Signed elements include a field explicitly specifying the hash algorithm used.
  • There was substantial cleanup to the client`s and server`s ability to specify which hash and signature algorithms they will accept.
  • Addition of support for authenticated encryption with additional data modes.
  • TLS Extensions definition and AES Cipher Suites were merged in.
  • Tighter checking of EncryptedPreMasterSecret version numbers.
  • Many of the requirements were tightened
  • Verify_data length depends on the cipher suite
  • Description of Bleichenbacher/Dlima attack defenses cleaned up.

 

TLS 1.3

This protocol is currently being revised, and is in its 28th draft. The major differences from TLS 1.2 include:

  • The list of supported symmetric algorithms has been pruned of all legacy algorithms. The remaining algorithms all use Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data (AEAD) algorithms.
  • A zero-RTT (0-RTT) mode was added, saving a round-trip at connection setup for some application data at the cost of certain security properties.
  • Static RSA and Diffie-Hellman cipher suites have been removed; all public-key based key exchange mechanisms now provide forward secrecy.
  • All handshake messages after the ServerHello are now encrypted.
  • Key derivation functions have been re-designed, with the HMAC-based Extract-and-Expand Key Derivation Function (HKDF) being used as a primitive.
  • The handshake state machine has been restructured to be more consistent and remove superfluous messages.
  • ECC is now in the base spec and includes new signature algorithms. Point format negotiation has been removed in favor of single point format for each curve.
  • Compression, custom DHE groups, and DSA have been removed, RSA padding now uses PSS.
  • TLS 1.2 version negotiation verification mechanism was deprecated in favor of a version list in an extension.
  • Session resumption with and without server-side state and the PSK-based ciphersuites of earlier versions of TLS have been replaced by a single new PSK exchange.

 

Resources:

If you would like to read more about SSL or TLS, here are several resources that might be helpful:
TLS Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security
TLS 1.3 overview: https://www.wolfssl.com/docs/tls13/

As always, if you have any questions or would like to talk to the wolfSSL team about more information, please contact info@wolfssl.com.

Differences between TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.3 (#TLS13)

wolfSSL's embedded SSL/TLS library has included support for TLS 1.3 since early releases of the TLS 1.3 draft. Since then, wolfSSL has remained up-to-date with the TLS 1.3 specification. In this post, the major upgrades of TLS 1.3 from TLS 1.2 are outlined below:

TLS 1.3

This protocol is defined in RFC 8446. TLS 1.3 contains improved security and speed. The major differences include:

  • The list of supported symmetric algorithms has been pruned of all legacy algorithms. The remaining algorithms all use Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data (AEAD) algorithms.
  • A zero-RTT (0-RTT) mode was added, saving a round-trip at connection setup for some application data at the cost of certain security properties.
  • Static RSA and Diffie-Hellman cipher suites have been removed; all public-key based key exchange mechanisms now provide forward secrecy.
  • All handshake messages after the ServerHello are now encrypted.
  • Key derivation functions have been re-designed, with the HMAC-based Extract-and-Expand Key Derivation Function (HKDF) being used as a primitive.
  • The handshake state machine has been restructured to be more consistent and remove superfluous messages.
  • ECC is now in the base spec  and includes new signature algorithms. Point format negotiation has been removed in favor of single point format for each curve.
  • Compression, custom DHE groups, and DSA have been removed, RSA padding now uses PSS.
  • TLS 1.2 version negotiation verification mechanism was deprecated in favor of a version list in an extension.
  • Session resumption with and without server-side state and the PSK-based ciphersuites of earlier versions of TLS have been replaced by a single new PSK exchange.

More information about the TLS 1.3 protocol can be found here: https://www.wolfssl.com/docs/tls13/. Additionally, please contact info@wolfssl.com for any questions.

Configuring the wolfSSH Lightweight SSH Library

wolfSSL provides many different embedded libraries and products, one of which is the wolfSSH Lightweight SSH library. wolfSSH is a lightweight SSHv2 server library written in ANSI C and targeted for embedded, RTOS, and resource-constrained environments - primarily because of its small size, speed, and feature set. It also includes many different example applications, such as an example client, echoclient, server, echoserver, and a port forwarding example.

To configure the library when downloading it from GitHub (https://github.com/wolfSSL/wolfssh), the first step required is to run the autogen.sh script from within the root directory of wolfSSH. This script sets up the library for use with autotools. Once the autogen.sh script has been run, the library can be configured as desired and then built. If downloaded from the wolfSSL website (https://www.wolfssl.com/download/)  use of autogen.sh is not required. The configure script can take many features, some of which are outlined below:

--enable-debug Add debug code - this turns off optimizations

(default: disabled)

--enable-keygen Enable key generation

(default: disabled)

--enable-scp Enable scp support

(default: disabled)

--enable-sftp Enable SFTP support

(default: disabled)

--enable-fwd Enable TCP/IP forwarding support

(default: disabled)

All of the wolfSSH configure options can be viewed by running the configure script with the "-h" option. These configure options may also be prefixed with "--disable" as well, to disable features that are enabled by default.

The wolfSSH library can be downloaded by either cloning the wolfSSH GitHub repository (https://github.com/wolfssl/wolfssh.git), or by viewing the wolfSSL download page. For more information about using wolfSSH, please contact info@wolfssl.com.

wolfSSL PKCS#11 Support

The wolfSSL embedded SSL/TLS library has support for PCKS#11! The PKCS#11 standard defines an API for using cryptographic tokens. The API added to wolfSSL will work with the most commonly used cryptographic object types (RSA keys, X.509 Certificates, DES/Triple DES keys, etc.) and all the functions needed to use, create, modify and delete those objects.

Using wolfSSL on your application or your device will now allow you to utilize PKCS#11 for access to hardware security modules, smart cards, and other cryptographic tokens. Interoperability of wolfSSL's PKCS#11 implementation has been tested against both OpenCryptoki, and SoftHSM2.

To build wolfSSL with PKCS#11 support, the library needs to be downloaded and then built with a specific configure flag or macro define. The library can be downloaded from the wolfSSL website, located here: https://www.wolfssl.com/download/. The steps to build and install with PKCS#11 are detailed below:

# From within wolfSSL's root directory
./autogen.sh
./configure --enable-pkcs11
make
sudo make install

If the library is being built in a non-standard environment or autotools are not being used, then the macros HAVE_PKCS11 and HAVE_WOLF_BIGINT (used for some fastmath and ECC operations) need to be defined.

Documentation and more information about the PKCS#11 additions to wolfSSL  arelocated within on the doxygen pages, here: https://www.wolfssl.com/doxygen/group__PKCS11.html

More information about the new release of wolfSSL v3.15.7 can be found here: https://www.wolfssl.com/wolfssl-3-15-7-now-available/

Wikipedia article on PKCS#11: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKCS_11

For more information about wolfSSL and PKCS#11 use contact us at info@wolfssl.com.

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