Linux-Crypto Archive on
 help / color / Atom feed
From: Pascal Van Leeuwen <>
To: Eric Biggers <>
Cc: "" <>,
	Herbert Xu <>,
	"" <>
Subject: RE: AEAD question
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2019 22:26:31 +0000
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20190722162240.GB689@sol.localdomain>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric Biggers <>
> Sent: Monday, July 22, 2019 6:23 PM
> To: Pascal Van Leeuwen <>
> Cc:; Herbert Xu <>;
> Subject: Re: AEAD question
> On Mon, Jul 22, 2019 at 12:55:39PM +0000, Pascal Van Leeuwen wrote:
> > Eric & Herbert,
> >
> > I noticed the testmgr fuzz tester generating (occasionally, see previous mail) tests cases with
> > authsize=0 for the AEAD ciphers. I'm wondering if that is intentional. Or actually, I'm wondering
> > whether that should be considered a legal case.
> > To me, it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to do *authenticated* encryption and then
> > effectively throw away the authentication result ... (it's just a waste of power and/or cycles)
> >
> > The reason for this question is that supporting this requires some specific workaround in my
> > driver (yet again). And yes, I'm aware of the fact that I can advertise I don't support zero length
> > authentication tags, but then probably/likely testmgr will punish me for that instead.
> >
> As before you're actually talking about the "authenc" template for IPSec and not
> about AEADs in general, right?
Hmmm .... for the time being yes. At the time I wrote that, I was still expecting all AEAD's to be
somewhat consistent in this respect (as our hardware is), but actually I've just been trying to 
reverse engineer the GCM template and IIRC it indeed does not allow an authsize of 0.
Or anything below 4 bytes, actually.

>  I'm not familiar with that algorithm, so you'll
> have to research what the specification says, and what's actually using it.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no formal specification of any such thing. There are
protocols that use it (e.g. IPsec) which have restrictions but other protocols beyond my 
knowledge may have other restrictions ... 0 seems very unlikely though ...

> Using an AEAD with authsize=0 is indeed silly, but perhaps someone using that in
> some badly designed protocol where authentication is optional.  Also AFAICS from
> the code, any authsize fits naturally into the algorithm; i.e., excluding 0
> would be a special case.
Again, looking at the GCM template, excluding certain authsizes is certainly not
something out of the ordinary.

> But again, someone actually has to research this.  Maybe
> crypto_aead_setauthsize() should simply reject authsize=0 for all AEADs.
IMHO that would make sense. Without authentication, it's not an AEAD.
And actually executing the MAC and then throwing away the *full* result is really
silly. More likely to be some programming mistake than actually intended use.
(but if someone knows of an actual use case for that, please do correct me)

> What we should *not* do, IMO, is remove it from the tests and allow
> implementations to do whatever they want.  If it's wrong we should fix it
> everywhere, so that the behavior is consistent.
Oh, I fully agree there. All implementations should still respond the same.

> - Eric

Pascal van Leeuwen
Silicon IP Architect, Multi-Protocol Engines @ Verimatrix

  reply index

Thread overview: 8+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-07-22 12:55 Pascal Van Leeuwen
2019-07-22 16:22 ` Eric Biggers
2019-07-22 22:26   ` Pascal Van Leeuwen [this message]
2019-08-06  9:20     ` Pascal Van Leeuwen
2019-08-09  2:57       ` Herbert Xu
  -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2016-10-26 16:17 AEAD Question Juan Pablo Nariño Mendoza
2016-10-26 16:32 ` Stephan Mueller
2016-10-27  8:05   ` Juan Pablo Nariño Mendoza

Reply instructions:

You may reply publically to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link

Linux-Crypto Archive on

Archives are clonable:
	git clone --mirror linux-crypto/git/0.git

	# If you have public-inbox 1.1+ installed, you may
	# initialize and index your mirror using the following commands:
	public-inbox-init -V2 linux-crypto linux-crypto/ \
	public-inbox-index linux-crypto

Example config snippet for mirrors

Newsgroup available over NNTP:

AGPL code for this site: git clone