Integrating Code-Signing Tool (CST) with Hardware Security Module (HSM)

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Integrating Code-Signing Tool (CST) with Hardware Security Module (HSM)

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NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Hi,


How we can adapt Code-Signing Tool to work with Hardware Security Module in order to ensure higher level of security required for signing keys than what the CST reference implementation provides ?

Thanks

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NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Refereing to "Appendix B, Replacing the CST Backend Implementation” of Code-Signing Tool User’s Guide, NXP has architected the Code-Signing Tool in two parts a Front-End and a Back-End. The Front-End contains all the NXP proprietary operations, while the Back-End containing all standard cryptographic operations. Users can write a replacement for the reference backend to interface with a HSM.

 

The reference backend uses OpenSSL to perform HAB signature generation and encrypted data generation. OpenSSL in his turn, exposes an Engine API, which makes it possible to plug in alternative implementations for some of the cryptographic operations implemented by OpenSSL. We can take advantage of this to reuse the reference backend with a HSM by offloading cryptographic operations involved during signature generation to HSM.

 

The engine should re-write an implementation of RSA private encrypt function and how public certificates and private keys are loaded from the HSM to the appropriate data structure X509, RSA and EVP_PKEY. Optionally SHA digest functions can be re-written also to be performed at the HSM level.

 

PKCS#11 enabled HSM

 

PKCS#11 is a standardized interface for cryptographic tokens which exposes an API called Cryptoki. Cryptographic token manufacturers provide shared libraries (.so or .dll) which implements PKCS#11 standard. Those libraries can be used as bridge between the HSM and the CST Back-End. Typically the engine loads the shared PKCS#11 module and invoke the appropriate functions on it.

The following figure illustrates the architecture of Code-Signing Tool with a Backend replacement to interface with a PKCS#11 enabled HSM.

cst-hsm.png

The green part of the architecture represents a custom built-in OpenSSL engine which uses PKCS#11 interface to interact with HSM via PKCS#11 implementation library provided by the HSM vendor. It implements all required functions to manage session and tokens, load public certificates, private keys, sign and hash.

 

Slight modification should be done at the reference backend (blue part) to initialize the engine, perform control command and configuration.  In the reference backend public certificates and private keys are loaded from file system. This should be replaced respectively by ENGINE_load_certificate and ENGINE_load_private_key to load cryptographic material from HSM into appropriate data structures which can be used later. Those functions are bound to low-level functions implemented in the engine.

 

Below is a non-exhaustive list of well-known smartcards/tokens which support PKCS#11 and the suggested library filename to use.

- aetpkss1.dll (for G&D StarCos and Rainbow iKey 3000)

- cs2_pkcs11.dll (for Utimaco CryptoServer LAN)

- CccSigIT.dll (for IBM MFC)

- pk2priv.dll (for GemSAFE, old version)

- gclib.dll (for GemSAFE, new version)

- dspkcs.dll (for Dallas iButton)

- slbck.dll (for Schlumberger Cryptoflex and Cyberflex Access)

- SetTokI.dll (for SeTec)

- acpkcs.dll (for ActivCard)

- psepkcs11.dll (for A-Sign Premium)

- id2cbox.dll (for ID2 PKCS#11)

- smartp11.dll (for SmartTrust PKCS#11)

- pkcs201n.dll (for Utimaco Cryptoki for SafeGuard)

- dkck201.dll (for DataKey and Rainbow iKey 2000 series)

- cryptoki.dll (for Eracom CSA)

- AuCryptoki2-0.dll (for Oberthur AuthentIC)

- eTpkcs11.dll (for Aladdin eToken, and some Siemens Card OS cards)

- cknfast.dll (for nCipher nFast or nShield)

- cryst201.dll (for Chrysalis LUNA)

- cryptoki.dll (for IBM 4758)

- softokn3.dll (for the Mozilla or Netscape crypto module)

- iveacryptoki.dll (for Rainbow CryptoSwift HSM)

- sadaptor.dll (for Eutron CryptoIdentity or Algorithmic Research MiniKey)

- pkcs11.dll (for TeleSec)

- siecap11.dll (for Siemens HiPath SIcurity Card API)

- asepkcs.dll (for Athena Smartcard System ASE Card)

- /opt/SUNWconn/cryptov2/lib/libvpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 4000, 32-bit libraries)

- /opt/SUNWconn/cryptov2/lib/sparcv9/libvpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 4000, 64-bit libraries)

- /opt/SUNWconn/crypto/lib/libpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 1000, 32-bit libraries)

- /opt/SUNWconn/crypto/lib/sparcv9/libpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 1000, 64-bit libraries)

 

Client/Server based HSM

 

In case of Client/Server based HSM the built-in engine can be adapted to implement a client to consume a server exposed API for example.  The following requirement should be fulfilled:

 

  • Locate keys/certifcates on HSM by an identifier, name or label. This identifier will be kept across cryptographic operation.
  • Load parial attributes of private key. In case of RSA should be able to get the value of the modulus and the exponent. It is mandatory to populate RSA structure with those parametres for priuvate keys. OpenSSL uses that for consistency check between certificate and its corresponding private key. In case your HSM is not able to provide partial private keys paramateres, you should patch OpenSSL to ignore X509_check_private_key function.
  • Write an implemnetation for RSA init / finish methods and rsa_priv_encrypt method.
  • Optionally implement SHA diget methods if you want to perform digesting at HSM level. Methods are: digest_init, digest_update, digest_finish, digest_copy and digest_cleanup
  • Engine initialisation and destruction.
  • In case of statefull service, add a session manager to your implemnetation.

View solution in original post

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1 Reply
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NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Refereing to "Appendix B, Replacing the CST Backend Implementation” of Code-Signing Tool User’s Guide, NXP has architected the Code-Signing Tool in two parts a Front-End and a Back-End. The Front-End contains all the NXP proprietary operations, while the Back-End containing all standard cryptographic operations. Users can write a replacement for the reference backend to interface with a HSM.

 

The reference backend uses OpenSSL to perform HAB signature generation and encrypted data generation. OpenSSL in his turn, exposes an Engine API, which makes it possible to plug in alternative implementations for some of the cryptographic operations implemented by OpenSSL. We can take advantage of this to reuse the reference backend with a HSM by offloading cryptographic operations involved during signature generation to HSM.

 

The engine should re-write an implementation of RSA private encrypt function and how public certificates and private keys are loaded from the HSM to the appropriate data structure X509, RSA and EVP_PKEY. Optionally SHA digest functions can be re-written also to be performed at the HSM level.

 

PKCS#11 enabled HSM

 

PKCS#11 is a standardized interface for cryptographic tokens which exposes an API called Cryptoki. Cryptographic token manufacturers provide shared libraries (.so or .dll) which implements PKCS#11 standard. Those libraries can be used as bridge between the HSM and the CST Back-End. Typically the engine loads the shared PKCS#11 module and invoke the appropriate functions on it.

The following figure illustrates the architecture of Code-Signing Tool with a Backend replacement to interface with a PKCS#11 enabled HSM.

cst-hsm.png

The green part of the architecture represents a custom built-in OpenSSL engine which uses PKCS#11 interface to interact with HSM via PKCS#11 implementation library provided by the HSM vendor. It implements all required functions to manage session and tokens, load public certificates, private keys, sign and hash.

 

Slight modification should be done at the reference backend (blue part) to initialize the engine, perform control command and configuration.  In the reference backend public certificates and private keys are loaded from file system. This should be replaced respectively by ENGINE_load_certificate and ENGINE_load_private_key to load cryptographic material from HSM into appropriate data structures which can be used later. Those functions are bound to low-level functions implemented in the engine.

 

Below is a non-exhaustive list of well-known smartcards/tokens which support PKCS#11 and the suggested library filename to use.

- aetpkss1.dll (for G&D StarCos and Rainbow iKey 3000)

- cs2_pkcs11.dll (for Utimaco CryptoServer LAN)

- CccSigIT.dll (for IBM MFC)

- pk2priv.dll (for GemSAFE, old version)

- gclib.dll (for GemSAFE, new version)

- dspkcs.dll (for Dallas iButton)

- slbck.dll (for Schlumberger Cryptoflex and Cyberflex Access)

- SetTokI.dll (for SeTec)

- acpkcs.dll (for ActivCard)

- psepkcs11.dll (for A-Sign Premium)

- id2cbox.dll (for ID2 PKCS#11)

- smartp11.dll (for SmartTrust PKCS#11)

- pkcs201n.dll (for Utimaco Cryptoki for SafeGuard)

- dkck201.dll (for DataKey and Rainbow iKey 2000 series)

- cryptoki.dll (for Eracom CSA)

- AuCryptoki2-0.dll (for Oberthur AuthentIC)

- eTpkcs11.dll (for Aladdin eToken, and some Siemens Card OS cards)

- cknfast.dll (for nCipher nFast or nShield)

- cryst201.dll (for Chrysalis LUNA)

- cryptoki.dll (for IBM 4758)

- softokn3.dll (for the Mozilla or Netscape crypto module)

- iveacryptoki.dll (for Rainbow CryptoSwift HSM)

- sadaptor.dll (for Eutron CryptoIdentity or Algorithmic Research MiniKey)

- pkcs11.dll (for TeleSec)

- siecap11.dll (for Siemens HiPath SIcurity Card API)

- asepkcs.dll (for Athena Smartcard System ASE Card)

- /opt/SUNWconn/cryptov2/lib/libvpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 4000, 32-bit libraries)

- /opt/SUNWconn/cryptov2/lib/sparcv9/libvpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 4000, 64-bit libraries)

- /opt/SUNWconn/crypto/lib/libpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 1000, 32-bit libraries)

- /opt/SUNWconn/crypto/lib/sparcv9/libpkcs11.so (for SUN Crypto Accelerator 1000, 64-bit libraries)

 

Client/Server based HSM

 

In case of Client/Server based HSM the built-in engine can be adapted to implement a client to consume a server exposed API for example.  The following requirement should be fulfilled:

 

  • Locate keys/certifcates on HSM by an identifier, name or label. This identifier will be kept across cryptographic operation.
  • Load parial attributes of private key. In case of RSA should be able to get the value of the modulus and the exponent. It is mandatory to populate RSA structure with those parametres for priuvate keys. OpenSSL uses that for consistency check between certificate and its corresponding private key. In case your HSM is not able to provide partial private keys paramateres, you should patch OpenSSL to ignore X509_check_private_key function.
  • Write an implemnetation for RSA init / finish methods and rsa_priv_encrypt method.
  • Optionally implement SHA diget methods if you want to perform digesting at HSM level. Methods are: digest_init, digest_update, digest_finish, digest_copy and digest_cleanup
  • Engine initialisation and destruction.
  • In case of statefull service, add a session manager to your implemnetation.

View solution in original post

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