path: root/crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c
diff options
authorJames Yonan <>2013-09-26 02:20:39 -0600
committerHerbert Xu <>2013-10-07 14:17:06 +0800
commit6bf37e5aa90f18baf5acf4874bca505dd667c37f (patch)
tree7972d4009f662cf78abdbea3b4040316d46503c1 /crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c
parentd319fe2a0af3509f959d5195fb8916accbf14857 (diff)
crypto: crypto_memneq - add equality testing of memory regions w/o timing leaks
When comparing MAC hashes, AEAD authentication tags, or other hash values in the context of authentication or integrity checking, it is important not to leak timing information to a potential attacker, i.e. when communication happens over a network. Bytewise memory comparisons (such as memcmp) are usually optimized so that they return a nonzero value as soon as a mismatch is found. E.g, on x86_64/i5 for 512 bytes this can be ~50 cyc for a full mismatch and up to ~850 cyc for a full match (cold). This early-return behavior can leak timing information as a side channel, allowing an attacker to iteratively guess the correct result. This patch adds a new method crypto_memneq ("memory not equal to each other") to the crypto API that compares memory areas of the same length in roughly "constant time" (cache misses could change the timing, but since they don't reveal information about the content of the strings being compared, they are effectively benign). Iow, best and worst case behaviour take the same amount of time to complete (in contrast to memcmp). Note that crypto_memneq (unlike memcmp) can only be used to test for equality or inequality, NOT for lexicographical order. This, however, is not an issue for its use-cases within the crypto API. We tried to locate all of the places in the crypto API where memcmp was being used for authentication or integrity checking, and convert them over to crypto_memneq. crypto_memneq is declared noinline, placed in its own source file, and compiled with optimizations that might increase code size disabled ("Os") because a smart compiler (or LTO) might notice that the return value is always compared against zero/nonzero, and might then reintroduce the same early-return optimization that we are trying to avoid. Using #pragma or __attribute__ optimization annotations of the code for disabling optimization was avoided as it seems to be considered broken or unmaintained for long time in GCC [1]. Therefore, we work around that by specifying the compile flag for memneq.o directly in the Makefile. We found that this seems to be most appropriate. As we use ("Os"), this patch also provides a loop-free "fast-path" for frequently used 16 byte digests. Similarly to kernel library string functions, leave an option for future even further optimized architecture specific assembler implementations. This was a joint work of James Yonan and Daniel Borkmann. Also thanks for feedback from Florian Weimer on this and earlier proposals [2]. [1] [2] Signed-off-by: James Yonan <> Signed-off-by: Daniel Borkmann <> Cc: Florian Weimer <> Signed-off-by: Herbert Xu <>
Diffstat (limited to 'crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c')
1 files changed, 3 insertions, 2 deletions
diff --git a/crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c b/crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c
index 4a6a0696f8a3..1912b9be5043 100644
--- a/crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c
+++ b/crypto/asymmetric_keys/rsa.c
@@ -13,6 +13,7 @@
#include <linux/module.h>
#include <linux/kernel.h>
#include <linux/slab.h>
+#include <crypto/algapi.h>
#include "public_key.h"
@@ -189,12 +190,12 @@ static int RSA_verify(const u8 *H, const u8 *EM, size_t k, size_t hash_size,
- if (memcmp(asn1_template, EM + T_offset, asn1_size) != 0) {
+ if (crypto_memneq(asn1_template, EM + T_offset, asn1_size) != 0) {
kleave(" = -EBADMSG [EM[T] ASN.1 mismatch]");
return -EBADMSG;
- if (memcmp(H, EM + T_offset + asn1_size, hash_size) != 0) {
+ if (crypto_memneq(H, EM + T_offset + asn1_size, hash_size) != 0) {
kleave(" = -EKEYREJECTED [EM[T] hash mismatch]");