the root of all mistake: the overgeneralization

Yes, it's me again with this DSA-1571 exploitation issue. The discovery, explanation and exploitation of the bug is now part of my final coursework for my postgraduate degree career. So, yes... sorry.

Some weeks ago I started suspecting about the attack to PFS in SSL with EDH. The key point is: the key space is dependent of the PRNG state. The bug affects the initialization of the PRNG, but the random string has not a pattern by it self. If you ask for many random numbers to the PRNG, you gonna get numbers that differ among them, since they are the output of a hash function of them self. So each random number depends on, besides the PID, the state of the PRNG pool in the moment (in other words, amount of bytes that you already pull from the PRNG pool before)

The explained attack was based in a fixed list of private exponents (which are selected randomly during the DHE handshake), presupposing that all the application call RAND_bytes() the same number of times before get it. To make the list of exponent I ran the openssl s_client with all the possible PIDs, hoping that all the applications behaves the same way.

After more tests I notice that that was an overgeneralization. The proof is in the pudding: wget and cURL, two simple CLI file retrievers, gets different exponent between them, even running with the same PID.

I was working on this when I accidentally found a really nice Eric Rescorla's post which is deeply related with this. The post goes further and analyzes the interaction between how Apache forks off and how it generates SSL handshakes.

So, I made lists of secret exponents for wget, curl, openssl s_client and openssl s_server with a modification version of libssl (appling this messy patch) and running scripts like this:

for i in $(seq $((2**15)));
do
  export MAGICPID=$i;
  LD_LIBRARY_PATH="openssl.broken/" LD_PRELOAD="./getpid.so" \
     wget --no-check-certificate https://localhost/ -q  -O /dev/null ;
  echo $i ;
done

As you can see, I used the HD Moore's GetPID faker shared library and a normal local Apache with mod_ssl. The broken libssl (which is in .openssl.broken/) store up in /tmp/data.key a csv with command name, PID and all the DH components (g, x, y and p).

But this way is farly unconfortable for others SSL deamon servers. Have you got any better idea?

3 thoughts on “the root of all mistake: the overgeneralization”

  1. Una pregunta que siempre hago a otros blogger informáticos: ¿por qué en inglés? Con la carencia actual de buen material que hay, no contribuye.

    Solo eso.

    Muy interesantes tus post :)

    Saludos!

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