On 22/2/09 23:09, R.A. Hettinga wrote:

This just emphasizes what we already knew about C, even the most
careful, security conscious developer messes up memory management.

No controversy there.

of you are saying, so what? These are reference implementations and this
is only Round 1. There are a few problems with that thought.
Reference implementations don't disappear, they serve as a starting
point for future implementations or are used directly. A bug in the RSA
reference implementation was responsible for vulnerabilities in OpenSSL
and two seperate SSH implementations. They can also be used to design
hardware implementations, using buffer sizes to decide how much silicon
should be used.

It is certainly appreciated that work is put in to improve the implementations during the competition (my group did something similar for the Java parts of AES, so I know how much work it can be).

However I think it is not really efficient at this stage to insist on secure programming for submission implementations. For the simple reason that there are 42 submissions, and 41 of those will be thrown away, more or less. There isn't much point in making the 41 secure; better off to save the energy until "the one" is found. Then concentrate the energy, no?


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