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bug#22202: 24.5; SECURITY ISSUE -- Emacs Server vulnerable to random num

From: Demetrios Obenour
Subject: bug#22202: 24.5; SECURITY ISSUE -- Emacs Server vulnerable to random number generator attack on Windows systems
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2015 12:04:38 -0500

On Wed, 2015-12-30 at 20:47 +0000, Richard Copley wrote:
> > Can you audit the patch below?  I know next to nothing about
> > cryptography, and I'm not sure I understood all the flags involved
> > in
> > these APIs.
> Sure! But please bear in mind I'm not experienced in crypto
> either.
> With regard to API usage: The call to CryptAcquireContext looks good
> to me. (The comment about interoperability in the documentation for
> the parameter "pszProvider" does not apply as we are not inter-
> operating with anything. Setting "pszContainer" to NULL, as you have
> done, is explicitly recommended. The docs for the individual flags
> entail the very value of "dwFlags" that you use.) I can see nothing
> else to comment on.
> Re performance: using CryptGenRandom to provide a seed for srand
> is enough to address Demetri's concern. For performance reasons,
> as you said, implementing random() with CryptGenRandom is
> potentially bad. I think random() itself should not be changed.
> That said, rand() makes me uncomfortable (mostly because of bugs in
> long-gone implementations, and superstition). Given the chance I
> would
> replace it with an xorshift* generator. The generator at [1] seeded
> with 64 bits from CryptGenRandom should give good performance for
> random() and (I guess!) an effectively unassailable server secret.
> But I have no good reason to claim that rand() is not good enough.
> Thank you Eli.
> [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xorshift&oldid=697235
> 156#xorshift.2A
The server secret should be entirely obtained from CryptGenRandom (or
the function RtlGenRandom on which it is based).  The server secret is
a cryptographic key and should be generated as such.  Using the same
entropy to seed an insecure PRNG and the server secret is a bad idea --
the server secret could be guessed based on PRNG output.

It would also be nice to expose a CSPRNG to Lisp on all platforms.  I
know that SLIME could use it on Windows, and it would be nice if one
could have a just-do-it API for this purpose.  Speed does not matter
much here.


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