Feeds

Bored yet? Now there's ANOTHER OpenSSL fork – it's from Google

Because Heartbleed is the gift that keeps on giving

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

With developers still struggling to plug vulnerabilities in the open source OpenSSL crypto library, Google has spun off a new fork of the project based on its own, internal work with the code, dubbed BoringSSL.

"We have used a number of patches on top of OpenSSL for many years," Google dev Adam Langley said in a blog post announcing the effort. "Some of them have been accepted into the main OpenSSL repository, but many of them don't mesh with OpenSSL's guarantee of API and ABI stability and many of them are a little too experimental."

Google uses its hacked-on version of OpenSSL in Chrome, Android, and various other things, but that has meant maintaining and patching multiple code bases. BoringSSL marks the beginning of an attempt to unify Google's code into a single, consistent library that can be shared across many projects.

Complicating matters, this isn't the first fork of OpenSSL to be announced since all of the Heartbleed mess. In April, the OpenBSD project's Theo de Raadt announced LibreSSL, which aims to be a thoroughly cleaned-up version of a project de Raadt has described as being "not developed by a responsible team."

But Langley says BoringSSL isn't meant to compete with LibreSSL. In fact, due to the nature of Google's patches, it won't even be a drop-in replacement for OpenSSL, as LibreSSL aims to be.

And for that matter, Google kicks in money to both the OpenBSD Foundation and the Core Infrastructure Initiative, which is one of the groups working to clean up the original OpenSSL code base, rather than forking it.

Instead, Langley said, switching to a new development model will make it easier for the Chocolate Factory to maintain its custom crypto code in the long run, and it will even make it easier for it to import changes from LibreSSL, when that seems like a good idea.

"The result of that will start to appear in the Chromium repository soon and, over time, we hope to use it in Android and internally too," Langley wrote.

He added that Google will continue to contribute bug fixes to OpenSSL when it finds them.

If you'd like to take a peek at what Google's code gremlins have done so far, the BoringSSL source code is available on the company's public Git repository, here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.