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Old 14th December 2010
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Default Allegations regarding OpenBSD IPSEC

A mail from Theo to the OpenBSD tech mailing list:

Quote:
I have received a mail regarding the early development of the OpenBSD
IPSEC stack. It is alleged that some ex-developers (and the company
they worked for) accepted US government money to put backdoors into
our network stack, in particular the IPSEC stack. Around 2000-2001.

Since we had the first IPSEC stack available for free, large parts of
the code are now found in many other projects/products. Over 10
years, the IPSEC code has gone through many changes and fixes, so it
is unclear what the true impact of these allegations are.

The mail came in privately from a person I have not talked to for
nearly 10 years. I refuse to become part of such a conspiracy, and
will not be talking to Gregory Perry about this. Therefore I am
making it public so that
(a) those who use the code can audit it for these problems,
(b) those that are angry at the story can take other actions,
(c) if it is not true, those who are being accused can defend themselves.

Of course I don't like it when my private mail is forwarded. However
the "little ethic" of a private mail being forwarded is much smaller
than the "big ethic" of government paying companies to pay open source
developers (a member of a community-of-friends) to insert
privacy-invading holes in software.

----

From: Gregory Perry <Gregory.Perry@GoVirtual.tv>
To: "deraadt@openbsd.org" <deraadt@openbsd.org>
Subject: OpenBSD Crypto Framework
Thread-Topic: OpenBSD Crypto Framework
Thread-Index: AcuZjuF6cT4gcSmqQv+Fo3/+2m80eg==
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 23:55:25 +0000
Message-ID: <8D3222F9EB68474DA381831A120B1023019AC034@mbx021-e2-nj-5.exch021.domain.local>
Accept-Language: en-US
Content-Language: en-US
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X-MS-TNEF-Correlator:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
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MIME-Version: 1.0
Status: RO

Hello Theo,

Long time no talk. If you will recall, a while back I was the CTO at
NETSEC and arranged funding and donations for the OpenBSD Crypto
Framework. At that same time I also did some consulting for the FBI,
for their GSA Technical Support Center, which was a cryptologic
reverse engineering project aimed at backdooring and implementing key
escrow mechanisms for smart card and other hardware-based computing
technologies.

My NDA with the FBI has recently expired, and I wanted to make you
aware of the fact that the FBI implemented a number of backdoors and
side channel key leaking mechanisms into the OCF, for the express
purpose of monitoring the site to site VPN encryption system
implemented by EOUSA, the parent organization to the FBI. Jason
Wright and several other developers were responsible for those
backdoors, and you would be well advised to review any and all code
commits by Wright as well as the other developers he worked with
originating from NETSEC.

This is also probably the reason why you lost your DARPA funding, they
more than likely caught wind of the fact that those backdoors were
present and didn't want to create any derivative products based upon
the same.

This is also why several inside FBI folks have been recently
advocating the use of OpenBSD for VPN and firewalling implementations
in virtualized environments, for example Scott Lowe is a well
respected author in virtualization circles who also happens top be on
the FBI payroll, and who has also recently published several tutorials
for the use of OpenBSD VMs in enterprise VMware vSphere deployments.

Merry Christmas...

Gregory Perry
Chief Executive Officer
GoVirtual Education

"VMware Training Products & Services"
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Old 14th December 2010
J65nko J65nko is offline
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The mail has turned up in the mailing list archives. See http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=129236621626462&w=2
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Old 15th December 2010
J65nko J65nko is offline
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For those wishing to waste their time on slashdot : http://bsd.slashdot.org/story/10/12/...Ds-IPSEC-Stack
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Old 15th December 2010
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It's sure spreading, people tossing around a lot of FUD as usual.. several developers have stated that there isn't probably any FBI tainted "code" per se but perhaps something more sinister, like IPSEC protocol flaws that governments may be able to exploit.

I personally think what Theo did was warranted, he's disclosing an accusation so it can be discussed openly, so it can be audited by those who make use of it on a daily basis.. and go from there.

Personally, I don't use IPSEC.. I would probably use SSH for tunnelling information securely.
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Old 15th December 2010
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Scott Lowe denies any relation to the FBI.
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Old 15th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backrow View Post
Just a case of identical names, and overlapping hobbies, the other "Scott Lowe" might be indeed implicated.
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Old 15th December 2010
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And REALLY denial means nothing. "They" do that all the time.

I don't know what to think about this. On one hand, it won't be the first time something similar happens. I may be wrong, and it may have been debunked since then, but there was an NSA backdoor inside Windows' advapi.dll. On the other hand, I doubt such backdoor would be left undetected in OpenBSD for a decade when closed source applications get dissected like they do by security experts/hackers. It doesn't seem plausible.

Anyway, like BSDfan666 said, Theo de Raadt made the right decision.
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Old 15th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
For those wishing to waste their time on slashdot : http://bsd.slashdot.org/story/10/12/...Ds-IPSEC-Stack
Funny that no one mentioned there that SELinux is NSA 'toy': http://www.nsa.gov/research/selinux/
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Old 15th December 2010
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More details from the author of the mail:

http://blogs.csoonline.com/1296/an_f...oor_in_openbsd

Quote:

I did not really intend for Theo to cross post that message to the rest of the Internet, but I stand by my original email message to him in those regards.



The OCF was a target for side channel key leaking mechanisms, as well as pf (the stateful inspection packet filter), in addition to the gigabit Ethernet driver stack for the OpenBSD operating system; all of those projects NETSEC donated engineers and equipment for, including the first revision of the OCF hardware acceleration framework based on the HiFN line of crypto accelerators.



The project involved was the GSA Technical Support Center, a circa 1999 joint research and development project between the FBI and the NSA; the technologies we developed were Multi Level Security controls for case collaboration between the NSA and the FBI due to the Posse Commitatus Act, although in reality those controls were only there for show as the intended facility did in fact host both FBI and NSA in the same building.
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Old 15th December 2010
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DAG-ERLING SMØRGRAV: OpenBSD IPSec backdoor allegations: triple $100 bounty

http://maycontaintracesofbolts.blogs...legations.html

Quote:
I'll put my money where my mouth is, and post a triple bounty:

I pledge USD 100 to the first person to present convincing evidence showing:

that the OpenBSD Crypto Framework contains vulnerabilities which can be exploited by an eavesdropper to recover plaintext from an IPSec stream,
that these vulnerabilities can be traced directly to code submitted by Jason Wright and / or other developers linked to Perry, and
that the nature of these vulnerabilities is such that there is reason to suspect, independently of Perry's allegations, that they were inserted intentionally—for instance, if the surrounding code is unnecessarily awkward or obfuscated and the obvious and straightforward alternative would either not be vulnerable or be immediately recognizable as vulnerable.
I pledge an additional USD 100 to the first person to present convincing evidence showing that the same vulnerability exists in FreeBSD.

Finally, I pledge USD 100 to the first person to present convincing evidence showing that a government agency successfully planted a backdoor in a security-critical portion of the Linux kernel.
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Old 16th December 2010
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The award has jumped $2400 last I checked.
Only opposition is a dystopian theorist who like to argue.
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Old 17th December 2010
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Some comments from Theo:
Quote:
We’ve been auditing since the mail came in! We have already found two bugs in our cryptographic code. We are assessing the impact. We are also assessing the ‘archeological’ aspects of this…
source
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Old 17th December 2010
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Bugs ≠ Backdoors
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Old 17th December 2010
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Maybe intentional "bugs" and/or obfuscation.
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Old 17th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
Bugs ≠ Backdoors
An intentional bug can be a backdoor.
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Old 17th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver_H View Post
An intentional bug can be a backdoor.
I think what carpetsmoker was getting at is that the presence of bugs doesn't prove the presence of a backdoor...but I'm with you in that in an information leak scenario like this prime for an "accidental" bug leaking critical bits of information...

But that begs the question...Wouldn't it be easier to just insert a backdoor into something like GCC? It would be virtually impossible to detect (without auditing the compiler...and gcc's a big beast) because you wouldn't have to alter the source of the program you're attempting to backdoor. Even OpenBSD's code-correctness approach could be undermined by a compromised compiler...and compromising GCC would have the added benefit of affecting many other operating systems. Seems that would give more bang for the buck, you know?
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Old 17th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket357 View Post
But that begs the question...Wouldn't it be easier to just insert a backdoor into something like GCC? It would be virtually impossible to detect (without auditing the compiler...and gcc's a big beast) because you wouldn't have to alter the source of the program you're attempting to backdoor. Even OpenBSD's code-correctness approach could be undermined by a compromised compiler...and compromising GCC would have the added benefit of affecting many other operating systems. Seems that would give more bang for the buck, you know?
Yes, as seen in the well‐known Reflections on Trusting Trust.

But just because a compiler would be a great target doesn’t mean that an IPSEC stack would not be a target.

I’m not suggesting that there is a backdoor in OpenBSD; in fact, I think it’s extremely unlikely. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to audit—constant auditing is a good thing whether we believe in backdoors or not. And this is proven by the fact that the audit has already fixed two bugs that were not backdoors.

I think this is the view that Theo holds as well:
Quote:
It is an allegation in a world where we audit whether there is an allegation or not.

If I read you right, what you are saying can be simplified to this:

“Because this is an allegation, we need not audit. Hey, let’s post instead!”

I am sorry, but even if you don’t mean it exactly like that, what you said will be interpreted by many people to mean that. What I see you say above [is] ridiculous.
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Old 17th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backrow View Post
just because a compiler would be a great target doesn’t mean that an IPSEC stack would not be a target.
My point is that while the ipsec stack was written by and peer-reviewed by the OpenBSD team members, GCC, sadly, is not. It would be considerably more difficult to inject malicious code into a peer-review software system than it would be to hide code in a bloated suite of tools like GCC.

I don't trust GCC, but until PCC takes over, it's the best we've got...so I use it.

And even though it'd be "more difficult", I'm not implying it couldn't be done...
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Old 17th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket357 View Post
My point is that while the ipsec stack was written by and peer-reviewed by the OpenBSD team members, GCC, sadly, is not. It would be considerably more difficult to inject malicious code into a peer-review software system than it would be to hide code in a bloated suite of tools like GCC.

I don't trust GCC, but until PCC takes over, it's the best we've got...so I use it.

And even though it'd be "more difficult", I'm not implying it couldn't be done...
GCC uses different enhancements in GCC like ProPolice etc.:

http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.c...86&format=html
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Old 17th December 2010
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Bruce Schneier: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...e_fbi_pla.html

Quote:
I doubt this is true. One, it's a very risky thing to do. And two, there are more than enough exploitable security vulnerabilities in a piece of code that large. Finding and exploiting them is a much better strategy than planting them. But maybe someone at the FBI is that dumb.
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