Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

It would not be unreasonable for a runtime or VM (like a JVM for example) to use a native library for TLS (performance reasons). It would also not be unreasonable for a VM to use clone() directly, maybe it's part of how it implements its own threading or co-routines for example.

Combine those two reasonable patterns with LibreSSL, and suddenly you have a vulnerability. This is even more likely when you take into consideration that LibreSSL is intended as a direct replacement for OpenSSL; callers are even less likely to examine the fine print of the documentation for undefined and unsupported behaviour.

Still, the LibreSSL work is commendable and should be appreciated. The real problem is a lack of good regression tests - and there may be a messy future of niggly issues because of that. I've already had to deal with some.

I'll give another tricky example. One of the earliest pieces of functionality LibreSSL ripped out was an in-library DNS cache. It was poorly documented and the assumption was that it was there as a crutch for shoddy OS-level DNS caching. But I think this cache also played another role; it helped certificate validation workflows function. Sometimes endpoints bind different certificates to different IP addresses for the same DNS-name that uses DNS-level load balancing. If you don't make the name resolve to the same IP address consistently, then what can happen is that the first connect() gets certificate "A" and some user-facing UI or validation process authenticates it, but then then another connect() gets certificate "B" and the caller logic gets confused.

Of course we could blame the caller; or the folks mixing certificates for the same name, but it doesn't really help; users still experience these problems. Just one example of why it is very hard to remove code in fully backwards compatible ways, even if the change seems very innocuous.




There is a test for this in the test suite so you get a warning.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: