JDK-8238555 : Allow initialization of SunPKCS11 with NSS when there are external FIPS modules in the NSSDB
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Component: security-libs
  • Sub-Component: javax.crypto:pkcs11
  • Affected Version: 8,11
  • Priority: P4
  • Status: Resolved
  • Resolution: Fixed
  • OS: generic
  • CPU: generic
  • Submitted: 2020-02-05
  • Updated: 2021-01-18
  • Resolved: 2020-03-02
The Version table provides details related to the release that this issue/RFE will be addressed.

Unresolved : Release in which this issue/RFE will be addressed.
Resolved: Release in which this issue/RFE has been resolved.
Fixed : Release in which this issue/RFE has been fixed. The release containing this fix may be available for download as an Early Access Release or a General Availability Release.

To download the current JDK release, click here.
JDK 11 JDK 15 JDK 8 Other
11.0.12-oracleUnresolved 15 b13Fixed 8u301Unresolved openjdk8u262Fixed
Sub Tasks
JDK-8240191 :  
The goal of this enhancement is to allow the initialization of the SunPKCS11 security provider with an NSS backend when there are external modules configured in FIPS mode in the NSSDB.

sun.security.pkcs11.Secmod is the class responsible for managing NSS and its configuration stored in the NSSDB database. Since the early days of OpenJDK in 2007, there is a check in-place [1] that prevents initialization when the database contains external "FIPS" modules.

The error stack trace may look like the following:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.RuntimeException: FIPS flag set for non-internal module: p11-kit-proxy.so, p11-kit-proxy
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.Secmod$Module.<init>(Secmod.java:418)
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.Secmod.nssGetModuleList(Native Method)
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.Secmod.getModules(Secmod.java:258)
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.SunPKCS11.<init>(SunPKCS11.java:219)
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.SunPKCS11$1.run(SunPKCS11.java:112)
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.SunPKCS11$1.run(SunPKCS11.java:109)
	at java.base/java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(AccessController.java:554)
	at jdk.crypto.cryptoki/sun.security.pkcs11.SunPKCS11.configure(SunPKCS11.java:109)
	at PKCS11Test.getSunPKCS11(PKCS11Test.java:160)
	at PKCS11Test.testNSS(PKCS11Test.java:580)
	at PKCS11Test.main(PKCS11Test.java:220)
	at PKCS11Test.main(PKCS11Test.java:196)
	at ExternalFipsModules.main(ExternalFipsModules.java:31)

Example of an NSSDB that caused the previous error:

[user@vmrheltarget ~]# modutil -dbdir /etc/pki/nssdb -list

Listing of PKCS #11 Modules
  1. NSS Internal Crypto Services
	   uri: pkcs11:library-manufacturer=Mozilla%20Foundation;library-description=NSS%20Internal%20Crypto%20Services;library-version=3.44
	 slots: 1 slot attached
	status: loaded

	 slot: NSS FIPS 140-2 User Private Key Services
	token: NSS FIPS 140-2 Certificate DB
	  uri: pkcs11:token=NSS%20FIPS%20140-2%20Certificate%20DB;manufacturer=Mozilla%20Foundation;serial=0000000000000000;model=NSS%203

  2. p11-kit-proxy
	library name: p11-kit-proxy.so
	   uri: pkcs11:library-manufacturer=PKCS%2311%20Kit;library-description=PKCS%2311%20Kit%20Proxy%20Module;library-version=1.1

Behavior exposure was increased by recent NSS changes. When the system-wide FIPS policy is set in Linux operating systems such as Fedora (see /proc/sys/crypto/fips_enabled), NSS sets "isFIPS" attribute in "struct SECMODModuleStr" to True [2] [3] [4] for every module installed in the NSSDB (whether external or internal). In addition, these systems automatically add an external p11-kit-proxy PKCS#11 module to the NSSDB (which may have slots opened).

In general, there are 3 pre-conditions to trigger this behavior: 1) there has to be an external module in the NSSDB, 2) the external module has to be configured in FIPS mode, and 3) the external module has at least 1 slot.

See previous discussion and more information here:
 * https://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/security-dev/2019-December/021077.html
 * https://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/security-dev/2020-January/021155.html

Due to external NSS dependencies and complex configurations, it's not in the scope of this enhancement to develop an automated regression test. With that said, we aim to provide manual configuration and testing steps.

[1] - http://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk/jdk/file/9e54ea7d9cd9/src/jdk.crypto.cryptoki/share/classes/sun/security/pkcs11/Secmod.java#l417
[2] - https://github.com/nss-dev/nss/blob/c1ff439ca931f53c318e7381636ed5889b3d66f1/lib/pk11wrap/secmodt.h#L49
[3] - https://github.com/nss-dev/nss/blob/a141cd68ece76118aebf8033c06d46a3692b55fe/lib/pk11wrap/pk11pars.c#L49
[4] - https://github.com/nss-dev/nss/blob/a141cd68ece76118aebf8033c06d46a3692b55fe/lib/pk11wrap/pk11pars.c#L819
Yeah, I've encountered things like that before, where the history is lost pre-Dec 2007. Approved.

We don't know the reason why it was currently blocked (I asked that when working for the baseline patch: https://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/security-dev/2020-January/021155.html ). The involved files log hasn't been much useful because this configuration has been there since the initial (OpenJDK) commit. I've not noticed any regression by allowing the new configuration. In addition, the old configuration will cause trouble when using new NSS libraries in FIPS configurations (as discussed above and in the referred mailing-list discussions).

Can you explain a little more why allowing such a configuration is ok (and why it is currently blocked)? Thanks.

Fix request (8u) JDK-8 is affected by this issue that prevents proper FIPS-NSS configuration in Linux distributions that ship newer releases of NSS. Baseline change applies cleanly to 8u modulo paths. Patch is minimal and risk is reasonably low. No regressions in sun/security/pkcs11 testing category.

Fix request (11u) JDK-11 is affected by this issue that prevents proper FIPS-NSS configuration in Linux distributions that ship newer releases of NSS. Baseline change applies cleanly to 11u. Patch is minimal and risk is reasonably low. No regressions in jdk/sun/security/pkcs11 testing category.

URL: https://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk/jdk/rev/387369ff21a4 User: mbalao Date: 2020-03-02 15:03:41 +0000

Discussion thread: http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/security-dev/2020-February/021212.html