|Developer(s)||The OpenSSL Project|
|Stable release||) [±]|
|Preview release||1.0.2 Beta 1 (24 February 2014) [±]|
|Written in||C, assembly|
|License||Apache License 1.0 and 4-clause BSD License|
||This article's introduction section may not adequately summarize its contents. (April 2014)|
OpenSSL is an open-source implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols. The core library, written in the C programming language, implements the basic cryptographic functions and provides various utility functions. Wrappers allowing the use of the OpenSSL library in a variety of computer languages are available.
Versions are available for most Unix-like operating systems (including Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X and the various open source BSD operating systems), OpenVMS and Microsoft Windows. IBM provides a port for the System i (OS/400). OpenSSL is based on SSLeay by Eric Andrew Young and Tim Hudson, development of which unofficially ended on December 17, 1998, when Young and Hudson both started to work for RSA Security.
History of the OpenSSL project
The OpenSSL project was founded in 1998 to invent a free set of encryption tools for the code used on the Internet. As of 2014 two thirds of all webservers use it. The OpenSSL project management team consists of 4 Europeans. The entire group consists of 11 members, of which 10 are volunteers, with only one full-time employee, Stephen Henson, the lead developer. The project has a budget of less than $1 million a year and relies in part on donations. Steve Marquess, a former military consultant in Maryland started the foundation for donations and consultancy contracts and garnered sponsorship from the Department of Homeland Security and the DoD.
Major version releases
|Version||Original release date||Comment||Last minor version|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.1||December 23, 1998||
||0.9.1c (December 23, 1998)|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.2||March 22, 1999||
||0.9.2b (April 6, 1999)|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.3||May 25, 1999||
||0.9.3a (May 27, 1999)|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.4||August 9, 1999||
||0.9.4 (August 9, 1999)|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.5||February 28, 2000||
||0.9.5a (April 1, 2000)|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.6||September 24, 2000||
||0.9.6m (March 17, 2004)|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.9.7||December 31, 2002||
||0.9.7m (February 23, 2007)|
|Older version, yet still supported: 0.9.8||July 5, 2005||
||0.9.8y (February 5, 2013)|
|Older version, yet still supported: 1.0.0||March 29, 2010||
||1.0.0l (January 6, 2014)|
|Current stable version: 1.0.1||March 14, 2012||
||1.0.1g (April 7, 2014)|
|Future release: 1.0.2||February 24, 2014 (beta)||
||1.0.2 BETA 1 (February 24, 2014)|
|Future release: 1.1.0|
OpenSSL supports a number of different cryptographic algorithms:
- AES, Blowfish, Camellia, SEED, CAST-128, DES, IDEA, RC2, RC4, RC5, Triple DES, GOST 28147-89
- Cryptographic hash functions
- MD5, MD4, MD2, SHA-1, SHA-2, RIPEMD-160, MDC-2, GOST R 34.11-94
- Public-key cryptography
- RSA, DSA, Diffie–Hellman key exchange, Elliptic curve, GOST R 34.10-2001
FIPS 140-2 compliance
As of December 2012[update], OpenSSL is one of two open source programs to be involved with validation under the FIPS 140-2 computer security standard by the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP). (OpenSSL itself is not validated, but a component called the OpenSSL FIPS Object Module, based on OpenSSL, was created to provide many of the same capabilities).
A certificate was first awarded in January 2006 but revoked in July 2006 "when questions were raised about the validated module’s interaction with outside software." The certification was reinstated in February 2007.
OpenSSL is "dual licensed" under the OpenSSL License and the SSLeay License. The OpenSSL License is Apache License 1.0 and SSLeay License is a 4-clause BSD License. The common usage of the term dual-license is that the user may pick which license they wish to use. However, OpenSSL documentation uses the term dual-license to mean that both licenses apply.
As the OpenSSL License is Apache License 1.0, but not Apache License 2.0, it requires the phrase This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit. (http://www.openssl.org/) to appear in advertising material and any redistributions (Sections 3 and 6 of the OpenSSL License). Due to this restriction, the OpenSSL License and the Apache License are incompatible with the GPL. Some GPL developers have added an OpenSSL exception to their licenses specifically allowing OpenSSL to be used with their system. GNU Wget and climm both use such exceptions. Some packages (like Deluge) explicitly modify the GPL license by adding an extra section at the beginning of the license documenting the exception. Other packages use the LGPL licensed GnuTLS which performs the same task.
Vulnerability in the Debian implementation
In order to keep a warning from being issued by the Valgrind analysis tool, a maintainer of the Debian distribution applied a patch to the Debian implementation of the OpenSSL suite, which inadvertently broke its random number generator in the process. The broken version was included in the Debian release of September 17, 2006 (version 0.9.8c-1). Any key generated with the broken random number generator, as well as data encrypted with such a key, was compromised. The error was reported by Debian on May 13, 2008.
On the Debian 4.0 distribution (etch), these problems were fixed in version 0.9.8c-4etch3 and for the Debian 5.0 distribution (lenny), these problems were fixed in version 0.9.8g-9.
OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f had a severe memory handling bug in their implementation of the TLS Heartbeat Extension that could be used to reveal up to 64 kilobytes of the application's memory with every heartbeat. By reading the memory of the web server, attackers could access sensitive data, including the server's private key. This could allow attackers to decode earlier eavesdropped communications if the encryption protocol used does not ensure Perfect Forward Secrecy. Knowledge of the private key could also allow an attacker to mount a man-in-the-middle attack against any future communications. The vulnerability might also reveal unencrypted parts of other users' sensitive requests and responses, including session cookies and passwords, which might allow attackers to hijack the identity of another user of the service.
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- OpenSSL (2014-04-07). "TSL heartbeat read overrun (CVE-2014-0160)". Retrieved 2014-04-08.
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- Mutton, Paul (8 April 2014). "Half a million widely trusted websites vulnerable to Heartbleed bug". Netcraft Ltd. Retrieved 8 April 2014.