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In addition, wolfSSL now has a support-specific blog page dedicated to answering some of the more commonly received support questions.

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.

wolfSSL Yocto Project Recipe

The wolfSSL embedded SSL/TLS library is highly portable, and easy to build on many different platforms. One of these platforms includes 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 (wolfSSL, wolfSSH, wolfMQTT, wolfTPM) and wolfSSL example applications. It also includes .bbappend files, which can be used to configure the cURL open-source project with support with the wolfSSL 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.

wolfSSL 24×7 support

wolfSSL provides support on four levels, one of which is the 24x7 support level. This support level includes many key features not available on the others, such as an unlimited number of support incidents, around-the-clock support from dedicated members of the wolfSSL support team, and remains in effect for an entire year.

wolfSSL provides three other levels of paid support, which also include some of the same features provided by 24x7 support. More details on the wolfSSL support packages and levels can be viewed here: https://www.wolfssl.com/products/support-packages-options/

wolfSSL also provides support for the latest version of the TLS protocol, TLS 1.3! Read more about wolfSSL's implementation and the protocol itself here: https://www.wolfssl.com/docs/tls13/

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

TLS 1.3 combined with FIPS (#FIPS #TLS13)

wolfSSL is a lightweight TLS/SSL library that is targeted for embedded devices and systems. It has support for the TLS 1.3 protocol, which is a secure protocol for transporting data between devices and across the Internet. In addition, wolfSSL uses the wolfCrypt encryption library to handle its data encryption.

Because there is a FIPS 140-2 validated version of wolfCrypt, this means that wolfSSL not only has support for the most current version of TLS, but it also has the encryption backbone to support your FIPS 140-2 needs if required.

Some key benefits of combining TLS 1.3 with FIPS validated software include:

  1. Software becomes marketable to federal agencies - without FIPS, a federal agency is not able to use cryptographic-based software
  2. Single round trip
  3. 0-RTT (a mode that enable zero round trip time)
  4. After Server Hello, all handshake messages are encrypted.

And much more! For more information regarding the benefits of using TLS 1.3 or using the FIPS validated version of wolfCrypt, check out wolfSSL's TLS 1.3 Protocol Support and our wolfCrypt FIPS page.

FIPS 140-2 is a government validation that certifies that an encryption module has successfully passed rigorous testing and meets high encryption standards as specified by NIST. For more information or details on FIPS 140-2, it may be helpful to view this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIPS_140-2

For more details about wolfSSL, TLS 1.3, or if you have any other general inquiries please contact info@wolfssl.com

To find out more about FIPS, check out the NIST FIPS publications or contact fips@wolfssl.com

wolfSSL Asynchronous release 3.15.7 features

Release 3.15.7 of wolfSSL Async has bug fixes and new features including:

Summary

  • All wolfSSL v3.15.7 fixes and features.
  • Fixes for additional static analysis warnings and async edge cases (https://github.com/wolfSSL/wolfssl/pull/2003).
  • Added QAT v1.7 driver support including support for QAT 8970 hardware.
  • Added QAT SHA-3 support.
  • Added QAT RSA Key Generation support.
  • Added support for new usdm memory driver.
  • Added support for detecting QAT version and features.
  • Added `QAT_ENABLE_RNG` option to disable QAT TRNG/DRBG.
  • Added alternate hashing method to cache all updates (avoids using partial updates).

Here are the latest benchmarks with various build configurations:

Asymmetric ops/sec SW (CPU) SW (SP) HW QAT HW Nitrox V Symmetric MB/sec SW (CPU) SW (AESNI) HW QAT HW Nitrox V
RSA 2048 key gen 12 12 147 AES-128-CBC Enc 939 5,028 3,454 238
RSA 2048 public 10,679 118,922 271,142 140,699 AES-128-CBC Dec 926 5,585 3,464 238
RSA 2048 private 866 3,767 42,460 8,266 AES-128-GCM 22 5,517 3,341 133
DH 2048 key gen 2,915 7,559 48,931 MD5 608 3,257 2,095
DH 2048 key agree 3,026 7,477 68,351 SHA 394 1,533 2,225
ECDHE 256 agree 4,376 54,119 56,805 10,503 SHA-224 157 1,003 2,400
ECDSA 256 sign 4,153 140,668 60,038 22,165 SHA-256 152 1,003 2,401
ECDSA 256 verify 5,404 43,689 32,853 7,361 SHA-384 256 1,458 2,343
SHA-512 263 1,458 2,314
SHA3-256 742 860 2,565

Performed on an Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz, 16GB RAM, 8 threads, wolfSSL v3.15.7, QuickAssist v1.7 8970 PCIe 16x OR Cavium Nitrox V CNN5560-900-C45

CPU: ./configure --enable-keygen --enable-sha3
SP/AESNI: ./configure --enable-sp --enable-sp-asm --enable-aesni --enable-intelasm --enable-intelrand --enable-keygen --enable-sha3
QAT: ./configure --with-intelqa=../QAT1.7 --enable-asynccrypt --enable-keygen --enable-sha3
Nitrox V: ./configure --with-cavium-v=../CNN55XX-SDK --enable-asynccrypt

If you are interested in evaluating the wolfSSL Asynchronous support for Intel QuickAssist or Cavium Nitrox, please email us at info@wolfssl.com.

wolfSSL Embedded SSL for Bare Metal and No OS Environments

Are you looking for an SSL/TLS library which will seamlessly integrate into your bare metal or No-OS environment? If so, continue reading to learn why the wolfSSL lightweight SSL library is a perfect fit for such environments.

wolfSSL has been designed with portability and ease of use in mind, allowing developers to easily integrate it into a bare metal or operating systemless environment. As a large percentage of wolfSSL users are running the library on small, embedded devices, we have added several abstraction layers which make tying wolfSSL into these types of environments an easy task.

Available abstraction layers include:

  • Custom Input/Output
  • Standard C library / Memory
  • File system (Able to use cert/key buffers instead)
  • Threading
  • Operating System

In addition to abstraction layers, we have tried to keep wolfSSL’s memory usage as low as possible. Build sizes for a complete SSL/TLS stack range from 20-100kB depending on build options, with RAM usage between 1-36kB per connection.

To learn more about how to integrate wolfSSL into your environment or get more information about reducing wolfSSL’s memory usage, please see the wolfSSL Manual or contact us directly.

wolfSSL FAQ page

The wolfSSL FAQ page can be useful for information or general questions that need need answers immediately. It covers some of the most common questions that the support team receives, along with the support team's responses. It's a great resource for questions about wolfSSL, embedded TLS, and for solutions to problems getting started with wolfSSL.

To view this page for yourself, please follow this link here.

Here is a sample list of 5 questions that the FAQ page covers:

  1. How do I build wolfSSL on ... (*NIX, Windows, Embedded device) ?
  2. How do I manage the build configuration of wolfSSL?
  3. How much Flash/RAM does wolfSSL use?
  4. How do I extract a public key from a X.509 certificate?
  5. Is it possible to use no dynamic memory with wolfSSL and/or wolfCrypt?

Have a  question that isn't on the FAQ? Feel free to email us at support@wolfssl.com.

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