OpenSSH use of OpenSSL in FIPS Mode

Joshua Hill josh-lists at
Fri Mar 2 15:36:22 EST 2007

On Thu, Mar 01, 2007 at 12:25:08PM -0700, Bill Colvin wrote:
> Now that OpenSSL has received FIPS 140-2 certification, does anyone know
> if the work started a couple of years ago to allow OpenSSH to use
> OpenSSL in FIPS mode will be reactivated?

Does it much matter?  The portion of OpenSSL included within the FIPS
validation boundary (that is, the part that was actually validated,
and is covered under the certificate) is just a hair more than
the algorithms.  (It's the algorithms, along with some self test and
state logic).  You can verify this fact by reading the security policy:

Using any additional functionality that is relevant to FIPS 140 (which
would certainly include any key management process, for example, the
SSL or TLS protocol implemented within OpenSSL, or the SSH v2 protocol
present for OpenSSH) necessitates a separate validation process and a
separate certificate.

For the FIPS 140 validation scheme, using a validated sub-module is
a significant advantage for closed source software, but it's a fairly
small advantage for an open-source library.


More information about the openssh-unix-dev mailing list