OpenSSL Blog

Spectre and Meltdown Attacks Against OpenSSL

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The OpenSSL Technical Committee (OTC) was recently made aware of several potential attacks against the OpenSSL libraries which might permit information leakage via the Spectre attack.1 Although there are currently no known exploits for the Spectre attacks identified, it is plausible that some of them might be exploitable.

Local side channel attacks, such as these, are outside the scope of our security policy, however the project generally does introduce mitigations when they are discovered. In this case, the OTC has decided that these attacks will not be mitigated by changes to the OpenSSL code base. The full reasoning behind this is given below.

Starting the QUIC Design

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The OTC recently agreed a new design process that needs to be followed for future releases. See here for details. Moving forward designs for significant features should be captured and stored alongside the documentation in our main source code repository and updated if necessary during the development process.

OpenSSL Update

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The OpenSSL community is a diverse group, ranging from those that use applications that depend on OpenSSL (effectively end-users) to operating system distributions, application developers, embedded devices, layered security libraries, and cryptographic algorithm and protocol researchers. Each of these subsets of our community have different needs and different priorities.

Making Changes to OpenSSL Technical Policies More Open

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The OpenSSL Technical Committee decided to have a more formal but also a more open process on establishing changes to OpenSSL technical policies and other technical decisions made by the OpenSSL Technical Committee. We would like to invite the broad community of OpenSSL developers and users to participate in our decision making process.

Community Maintainers: How to Get Support for Your Platform

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The OpenSSL project is seeking community maintainers to assist with supporting platforms that the project is unable to.

If you have a platform that you’d like to see supported which isn’t a primary or secondary platform as per our platform policy, you should consider stepping up as a community maintainer.

Old Let’s Encrypt Root Certificate Expiration and OpenSSL 1.0.2

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The currently recommended certificate chain as presented to Let’s Encrypt ACME clients when new certificates are issued contains an intermediate certificate (ISRG Root X1) that is signed by an old DST Root CA X3 certificate that expires on 2021-09-30. In some cases the OpenSSL 1.0.2 version will regard the certificates issued by the Let’s Encrypt CA as having an expired trust chain.