RECENT BLOG NEWS

So, what’s new at wolfSSL? Take a look below to check out the most recent news, or sign up to receive weekly email notifications containing the latest news from wolfSSL. wolfSSL also has a support-specific blog page dedicated to answering some of the more commonly received support questions.

MySQL SSL Performance Benchmarking

Have you ever been curious about what performance impact SSL has when used with MySQL? We recently benchmarked SSL vs non-SSL performance in MySQL using yaSSL. yaSSL is bundled with source distributions of MySQL by default. We compared both the footprint size as well as average query times for SELECT queries (measured with the sysbench tool).

Our findings were part of a presentation on MySQL security practices along with an introduction to SSL and TLS. It was titled “Securing MySQL with a Focus on SSL“, and was recently presented at the 2011 O`Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo. If you missed our presentation, or if you would like to download the slides as a reference, you can find them in PDF format on our Media Page.

Our benchmark machine was an Apple Macbook Pro, with the following specs:

Apple Macbook Pro
Intel Core 2 Duo
2.33 GHz
4 MB L2 Cache, 2GB Memory, 667 MHz Bus Speed

FOOTPRINT SIZE

The difference in footprint size between an installation of MySQL with SSL support versus one without SSL is very small (about 5%). There are two directories containing size differences: the `lib` and `bin` directories, with size comparisons as shown in Figure 1, below.

Figure 1
Footprint size comparison of MySQL with SSL (Green) and MySQL without SSL (Red). This was calculated by running the “du” command inside the MySQL installation directory after a new install.

AVERAGE SELECT QUERY TIMES
Looking at average query times, Figure 2 shows a breakdown of average query time (ms) comparisons for varying number of concurrent client connections. Looking at one sample specifically, we can see that for a client concurrency of eight, there is a 16.9% increase in the average query time when connections are using SSL.

Figure 2
Average query times (in ms) for varying number of concurrent client connections. Results were obtained by using the sysbench tool on a new MySQL installation.


CONCLUSION
These tests were run on a laptop using the sysbench tool. Speeds on enterprise platforms will vary. If you have any questions about our findings or methodology for testing, please email us directly at info@yassl.com.

Securing MySQL with a Focus on SSL

As you may know, we recently gave a presentation titled “Securing MySQL with a Focus on SSL” at the 2011 O`Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo. We had a great time, met a bunch of awesome people, and learned a lot. Now that the conference is over, we`ve posted our slides to our Media page as a resource, here.

Our presentation covers the basics of securing a new MySQL installation, goes over an introduction of how SSL and TLS work, and touches on data encryption as well. A general outline is below:

MySQL Security
– Common Attacks & Vulnerabilities
– Good Security Practices for MySQL

SSL/TLS
– Overview of SSL and TLS
– Configuring and Building MySQL with SSL
– MySQL SSL Command Options
– SSL Certificate Creation
– Performance Comparison
 
Additional Security Concerns
– Data Storage and Encryption

If you find any errors in our presentation, or see things that you think should be added, please let us know. Stay tuned for a summary of our SSL performance results.

Thanks,
Team yaSSL

yaSSL 2011 Q1 Report

yaSSL has made substantial progress in Q1 of 2011, including improvements and expansions in the areas of standards support, new ciphers, code repositories, and new community activity. We like to keep our users up to date about our progress. An overview of yaSSL accomplishments and activities for Q1 can be seen below:

wolfSSL
– SHA-256 Cipher Suites
– PKCS8 Private Key Encryption Support
– Password-based key derivation function 2
– Better TLS 1.2 support

yaSSL Embedded Web Server
– Release 0.2. Added increased documentation, bug fixes, and examples.

Porting
– Mbed Release. wolfSSL is now ported to mBed and available for their cloud compiler.
– CURL port. wolfSSL can now be built with CURL (as a build option).
– memcached patch. wolfSSL now provides SSL security for memcache.
– reSIPprocate port
– Haiku OS. wolfSSL now works with the Haiku Operating System.

Code & Community
– Migrated wolfSSL code to GitHub
– Introduced the yaSSL Support Forums
– Added BMX6 to the wolfSSL Community
– Expanded and Grew our Partnership with Intel
– Revived and updated our Freshmeat Accounts

Conference & Expo`s
– FOSDEM
– RSA Conference
– O`Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo
(Presentation: Securing MySQL with a Focus on SSL)

If you have questions about items in the above list, or would like more information on yaSSL products, please contact directly at info@yassl.com, or through our support forums (http://wolfssl.com/forums).

Team yaSSL

Keep Updated on yaSSL News

The yaSSL crew believes that keeping our users up to date on company and product news is very important. With this in mind, we have tried to offer many forms and outlets for you to follow our news. Currently, you can read our news and keep up to date in any of the following ways:

1. Reading the yaSSL Blog – News directly from the source
2. Follow us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/wolfSSL
3. Like us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/YaSSL/147081235315602
4. Use the yaSSL Blog RSS Feed in your favorite RSS reader – http://www.wolfssl.com/feed
5. Follow us on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/wolfssl/

If there is a different method that you think would be more beneficial for you to receive our news, please let us know, and we’ll think about implementing it. As always, we love to hear feedback from our users about our products, website, or news we’ve posted. Please send any comments or suggestions to info@yassl.com.

Thanks!
The yaSSL Team

Security of SCADA Programs

A post that recently caught our eye, titled “Dozens of exploits released for popular SCADA programs” by Dan Goodin at theregister.co.uk, reveals that SCADA systems may not be as secure as some people think.  In the article, Luigi Auriemma, one of the researchers who released the vulnerabilities, stated that “SCADA is a critical field but nobody really cares about it.”

SCADA, or “Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition”, refers to industrial control systems which monitor, control and collect data from industrial, infrastructure, or facility-based processes.  SCADA systems are found at the heart of many industries including Water Management Systems, Electric Power, Traffic Signals, Mass Transit Systems, and Manufacturing Systems.  As you could guess, an exploit in one of these areas’ industrial processes could have an immense impact, and should be taken seriously.

Not only do SCADA systems need to be concerned with remote code execution, but the security of data being transferred between the SCADA sensor and the host computer is very important as well.  To secure this data link, SCADA systems may use SSL/TLS to encrypt all traffic between the sensor and server.  CyaSSL is an ideal SSL/TLS solution for this type of system.  The CyaSSL embedded ssl library has been optimized for embedded environments and devices, and is able to provide the best possible SSL/TLS encryption while offering a small footprint and fast speeds.

For more information about the released SCADA vulnerabilities, see the links below.  For information regarding the CyaSSL embedded SSL/TLS library, please contact us at info@yassl.com.

Wikipedia (SCADA): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCADA

theregister.co.uk Article:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/scada_exploits_released/

Luigi Auriemma’s Post Listing Vulnerabilities: http://seclists.org/bugtraq/2011/Mar/187

wolfSSL Build Option in CURL

With the next release of CURL and libcurl, 7.21.5, there will be support for the wolfSSL Embedded SSL Library. This allows CURL to leverage the benefits of the wolfSSL library – including its small footprint, optimizations for embedded environments, and support for TLS 1.2.

First released in 1997, CURL (“Client for URLs”) is a command line tool (along with libcurl, a library) for transferring data using various protocols with URL syntax. Some of the supported protocols include DICT, FILE, FTP(S), GOPHER, HTTP(S), IMAP(S), LDAP(S), POP3(S), RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMTP(S), TELNET, AND TFTP. Being extremely portable, free, feature rich, supported, and fast, it is a go-to tool and library for a large number of users.

Basic CURL syntax simply involves typing “curl” at the command line followed by the URL of the output to retrieve. For example, to retrieve yaSSL’s home page, the following command could be issued:

shell> curl www.yassl.com/yaSSL/Home.html

After downloading the CURL source (see link below), wolfSSL support can be enabled by building CURL using the “–with-cyassl” build option. While enabling wolfSSL, OpenSSL must be disabled by using the “–without-ssl” build option in addition:

shell> ./configure –without-ssl –with-cyassl

This assumes that wolfSSL has been installed in the default directory (/usr/local/cyassl). If wolfSSL has been installed in a different directory, it can be specified by appending it to the wolfSSL build option: “–with-cyassl=PATH”. For more information about wolfSSL and CURL, please email info@yassl.com.

CURL GitHub Page: https://github.com/bagder/curl

Born in the USA!

Hi!  We’ve received a lot of questions recently about the origins of the wolfSSL software package.  We get asked where was it developed, and by who?  The questions usually come from US government agencies and their contractors.  Simply stated, mes amis, wolfSSL was Born in the USA and written by US citizens

Encrypted PKCS#8 Support in wolfSSL

PKCS (Public Key Cryptography Standards) refers to a group of standards created and published by RSA Security, Inc. PKCS#8 is designed as the Private-Key Information Syntax Standard, which is used to store private key information – including a private key for some public-key algorithm and set of attributes.

The PKCS#8 standard has two versions which describe the syntax to store both encrypted private keys and non-encrypted keys.

wolfSSL has had support for non-encrypted PKCS#8 for about a year. We`re currently in the process of adding support for encrypted PKCS#8. If you have any comments or questions about using PKCS#8 with wolfSSL, please let us know at info@yassl.com.

To learn more about the PKCS standards, or PKCS#8, please see the links below

PKCS (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PKCS
RFC 5208: PKCS#8 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5208)
RSA Labs: PKCS#8 (http://www.rsa.com/rsalabs/node.asp?id=2130)

Seeking Collaborators for Secure Firmware Update System

One of the upcoming projects on our list is a Secure Firmware Update System. As we have stated before, we believe that digitally signing the firmware that is loaded onto your devices is a very high priority. Digitally signing your firmware updates offers several benefits, including:

– Protecting against updates from unauthorized parties
– Enabling a secure method for allowing third parties to load files to your device
– Ensuring against malicious files finding their way onto your device

For a more detailed explanation of our thoughts surrounding this Secure Firmware Update System as well as a general outline of how setting up code and file signing on an embedded device works, please see our previous blog post.

We would like this system to be as robust and useful as possible to our community and customers. As such, we are seeking collaborators on this project who would be willing to give their feedback and help make this the best product it can be. If you are interested in collaborating with us on our Secure Firmware Update System, please email us at info@yassl.com.

Answers to Common Questions from RSA – Part 5

Welcome to part five, the final post in our series of commonly-asked questions that we were asked at the 2011 RSA conference.  In this post, we will be covering the following questions:

Where is yaSSL located?

Does the yaSSL Embedded Web Server compete with nginx?

Q:  Where is yaSSL located?

yaSSL is based out of Bozeman, MT (Google Maps) with staff in both Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.

Q:  Does the yaSSL Embedded Web Server compete with nginx?

The yaSSL Embedded Web Server is designed for embedded platforms and environments, and as such does not compete directly with nginx.  These two web servers have several differences which make them both optimal for different environments:

  1. The yaSSL Embedded Web Server is smaller and more portable than nginx, making it ideal for resource-constrained embedded platforms. nginx is is around 700kB, whereas the yaSSL Embedded Web Server can be built as small as 100kB.

  2. nginx has more features than the yaSSL Embedded Web Server, but they come at the expense of size.

  3. nginx is ideal for handling high loads in enterprise environments, whereas the yaSSL Embedded Web Server has been optimized for speed and size on embedded devices.

As you can see by the list above these two web servers are not in direct competition – nginx is catered to enterprise and non-embedded platforms while the yaSSL Embedded Web Server has been optimized for embedded environments.

If you would like more information on our products, or have any questions or comments, please contact us at info@yassl.com.

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