#MatrixSSL Developer’s Guide


Version 3.9
© INSIDE Secure - 2017 - All Rights Reserved


This developer’s guide is a general SSL/TLS overview and a MatrixSSL specific integration reference for adding SSL security into an application.
This document is primarily intended for the software developer performing MatrixSSL integration into their custom application but is also a useful reference for anybody wishing to learn more about MatrixSSL or the SSL/TLS protocol in general.
For additional information on the APIs discussed here please see the MatrixSSL API document included in this package.

##1.1 Nomenclature
MatrixSSL supports both the TLS and SSL protocols. Despite the difference in acronym, TLS 1.0 is simply version 3.1 of SSL. There are no practical security differences between the protocols, and only minor differences in how they are implemented. It was felt that ‘Transport Layer Security’ was a more appropriate name than ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ going forward beyond SSL 3.0. In this documentation, the term SSL is used generically to mean SSL/TLS, and TLS is used to indicate specifically the TLS protocol. SSL 2.0 is deprecated and not supported. MatrixSSL supports SSL 3.0, TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 protocols. In addition, the DTLS protocol is based closely on TLS 1.1 and beyond.

##1.2 Supported RFCs

The following TLS RFCs are implemented by MatrixSSL.

RFC 3749 Transport Layer Security Protocol Compression Methods
Supported. Disabled by default due to security issues. See CRIME below.
RFC 4162 Addition of SEED Cipher Suites to Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Supported. Disabled by default at compile time.
RFC 4279 Pre-Shared Key Ciphersuites for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
RFC 4492 Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Cipher Suites for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Supported Elliptic Curves:
secp192r1, secp224r1, secp256r1, secp384r1, secp521r1
Supported Point Formats:
RFC5077 Transport Layer Security (TLS) Session Resumption without Server-Side State
Supported (Session Tickets).
RFC5246 The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2.
Supported, including TLS 1.1 and 1.0.
RFC 5288 AES Galois Counter Mode (GCM) Cipher Suites for TLS
RFC 5289 TLS Elliptic Curve Cipher Suites with SHA-256/384 and AES Galois Counter Mode (GCM)
RFC 5430 Suite B Profile for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Supported via compile time configuration.
RFC 5469 DES and IDEA Cipher Suites for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
These ciphers are removed per spec:

…the single-DES cipher suites SHOULD NOT be implemented by TLS libraries …the IDEA cipher suite SHOULD NOT be implemented by TLS libraries and SHOULD be removed from existing implementations.

RFC 5487 Pre-Shared Key Cipher Suites for TLS with SHA-256/384 and AES Galois Counter Mode
RFC 5746 Transport Layer Security (TLS) Renegotiation Indication Extension
Supported. Extension required by compile time default.
RFC 6066 Transport Layer Security (TLS) Extensions: Extension Definitions
server_name Server Name Indication Supported
max_fragment_length Supported
client_certificate_url Unsupported (denial of service risk)
trusted_ca_keys Unsupported
truncated_hmac Supported
status_request OCSP Supported
RFC 6176 Prohibiting Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Version 2.0
Supported. SSL 2.0 (including ClientHello) deprecated.
RFC 6347 Datagram Transport Layer Security Version 1.2
Supported, including DTLS 1.0.
RFC 7027 Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Brainpool Curves for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Supported Curves:
brainpoolP224r1, brainpoolP256r1, brainpoolP384r1, brainpoolP512r1
RFC 7301 Transport Layer Security (TLS) Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation Extension
RFC 7457 Summarizing Known Attacks on Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram TLS (DTLS)
Supported. See Security Considerations below.
RFC 7465 Prohibiting RC4 Cipher Suites
Supported. RC4 ciphers are disabled by default at compile time.
RFC 7507 TLS Fallback Signaling Cipher Suite Value (SCSV) for Preventing Protocol Downgrade Attacks
RFC 7525 Recommendations for Secure Use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS)
Supported. See Security Considerations below.
RFC 7568 Deprecating Secure Sockets Layer Version 3.0
Supported. SSL 3.0 is disabled by default at compile time.
RFC 7627 Transport Layer Security (TLS) Session Hash and Extended Master Secret Extension
draft-ietf-dice-profile-17 TLS/DTLS Profiles for the Internet of Things
Supported via compile time configuration.
draft-ietf-tls-chacha20-poly1305 ChaCha20-Poly1305 Cipher Suites for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
draft-ietf-tls-falsestart Transport Layer Security (TLS) False Start
Supported. Disabled by default due to security concerns. See False Start below.

##1.3 Currently Unsupported RFCs
The following “Proposed Standard RFCs” for TLS are not currently supported. Numerous “Experimental” and “Informational” RFCs are not listed here.
RFC 2712 Addition of Kerberos Cipher Suites to Transport Layer Security (TLS)
RFC 4785 Pre-Shared Key (PSK) Ciphersuites with NULL Encryption for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
RFC 5705 Keying Material Exporters for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
RFC 5929 Channel Bindings for TLS
RFC 5932 Camellia Cipher Suites for TLS
RFC 6520 Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) Heartbeat Extension
RFC 6655 AES-CCM Cipher Suites for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
RFC 6961 The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Multiple Certificate Status Request Extension
RFC 7250 Using Raw Public Keys in Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS)
RFC 7366 Encrypt-then-MAC for Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS)
RFC 7633 X.509v3 Transport Layer Security (TLS) Feature Extension
RFC 7685 A Transport Layer Security (TLS) ClientHello Padding Extension

##1.4 Supported Cipher Suites
Supported suites in priority order (not all suites are enabled by default):


Deprecated, disabled by default:


Prior to working directly with the MatrixSSL library there are some critical SSL security concepts that application integrators should be familiar with.

##2.1 SSL/TLS Version Security
Although TLS 1.0 and above can be considered secure if configured correctly, several weaknesses have been discovered in some versions and cipher combinations. For an overview, see:
RFC7457 Summarizing Known Attacks on Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram TLS (DTLS)

Timing and Power Attacks
While attempts are made for constant-time operation, the MatrixSSL crypto library is not explicitly designed to be resilient to every type of timing, cache and power attack. If these are a concern, MatrixSSL TLS protocol library has support for hardware crypto, DPA resistant tokens, and hardened software crypto implementations.

All of the issues discovered below are mitigated by default in MatrixSSL. Additionally, SSL 3.0 and weak ciphers and key strengths are disabled by default in MatrixSSL to reduce version downgrade attacks and the padding oracle attack (POODLE). TLS 1.0 is also disabled by default at compile time in an effort to move protocol support forward.

USE_BEAST_WORKAROUND enabled by default for SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0. Some implementations of TLS are not compatible with this workaround.
TLS 1.1 and above are not vulnerable to this attack. By default TLS 1.1 is the minimum compiled-in version for MatrixSSL.
Bleichenbacher Type Attacks
Private RSA key information can be leaked if libraries aren’t careful in their implementation of RSA PKCS#1 padding. MatrixSSL has been analyzed as secure by internal and 3rd party security researchers. Additionally, the more secure RSA-PSS signatures are supported, however TLS 1.2 and below allows only PKCS#1v1.5 signatures.
USE_ZLIB_COMPRESSION disabled and deprecated by default.
Application code should not compress frequently used headers.
SSLv2 and export ciphers are not part of the MatrixSSL codebase so this attack cannot be applied.
Lenstra Type Attacks
Private RSA key information can be leaked if a hardware error or memory overrun occurs on the private key, or on intermediate results of the RSA signature operation. MatrixSSL verifies all RSA private key signatures before they are transmitted, so these rareerrors will be caught before they can be exploited.
Internal blinding for block cipher padding automatically applied.
Stream and AEAD ciphers are not affected.
SSL 3.0 disabled by default with DISABLE_SSL3 since version 3.3.1 as per RFC 7568
TLS 1.0 and above are not affected.
MatrixSSL has never supported weak, export grade ciphers.
USE_DH is disabled by default. In addition, MIN_DH_BITS can be increased from the default 1024 bits to reduce the feasibility of this attack. Custom Diffie-Hellman parameters are loaded by the API pkcs3ParseDhParam.
MatrixSSL does not support the Heartbeat extension.
MatrixSSL was tested against this PKCS#1 v1.5 RSA parsing bug and is not vulnerable.
MatrixSSL was tested against state machine attacks where are messages are missing or out of order and is not vulnerable. MatrixSSL tracks both the current state and the expected state of the state machine against incoming handshake messages.
Renegotiation Attacks
REQUIRE_SECURE_REHANDSHAKES enabled by default, as per RFC 5746.
TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV always enabled as per RFC7507.
False Start Weakness
ENABLE_FALSE_START disabled and deprecated by default.
RC4 Weakness
USE_SSL_RSA_WITH_RC4_128 disabled and deprecated by default. If enabled, internal code limits the number of bytes RC4 will encode. RFC 7465 proposes to remove these suites from TLS.
MD5 MAC Weakness, SLOTH
USE_MD5 and USE_SSL_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_MD5 cipher disabled by default.
All other MD5 based ciphers disabled by default.
MD5 Certificate Weakness
ENABLE_MD5_SIGNED_CERTS disabled by default.
SHA1 Certificate Weakness
ENABLE_SHA1_SIGNED_CERTS can be disabled. Many certificates still use SHA1, so enabling may introduce compatibility issues with certain hosts.

##2.2 Selecting Cipher Suites
The strength of the secure communications is primarily determined by the choice of cipher suites that will be supported. A cipher suite determines how two peers progress through an SSL handshake as well as how the final application data will be encrypted over the secure connection. The four components of any given cipher suite are key exchange, authentication, encryption and digest hash.

Key exchange mechanisms refer to how the peers agree upon a common symmetric key that will be used to encrypt data after handshaking is complete. The two common key exchange algorithms are RSA and Diffie-Hellman (DH or ECDH). Currently, when Diffie-Hellman is chosen it is used almost exclusively in ephemeral mode (DHE or ECDHE) in which new private key pairs are generated for each connection to allow perfect forward secrecy. The trade-off for DHE is a much slower SSL handshake as key generation is a relatively processor-intensive operation. Some older protocols also specify DH, as it was the first widely publicized key exchange algorithm. The elliptic curve variations on the Diffie-Hellman algorithms are denoted ECDH or ECDHE in the cipher suite name.

Authentication algorithms specify how the peers will prove their identities to each other. Authentication options within cipher suites are RSA, DSA, Elliptic Curve DSA (ECDSA), Pre-shared Key (PSK), or anonymous if no authentication is required. RSA has the unique property that it can be used for both key exchange and authentication. For this reason, RSA has become the most widely implemented cipher suite mechanism for SSL communications. RSA key strengths of between 1024 and 2048 bits are the most common.

The encryption component of the cipher suite identifies which symmetric cipher is to be used when exchanging data at the completion of the handshake. The AES block cipher is recommended for new implementations, and is the most likely to have hardware acceleration support.

Finally, the digest hash is the choice of checksum algorithm used to confirm the integrity of exchanged data, with SHA-1 being the most common and SHA256 recommended for new implementations. Here is a selection of cipher suites that illustrate how to identify the four components.

Cipher Suite Key Exchange Auth Type Encryption MAC
SSL_DH_anon_WITH_RC4_128_MD5 DH Anon RC4-128 MD5

The AES_GCM and CHACHA20_POLY1305 are AEAD ciphers that combine the encryption and digest hash components so a dedicated hash algorithm is not used in these suites. The hash algorithm that is specified is the hash to use for the handshake hash in TLS 1.2 and greater.

Symmetric Algorithms Supported by MatrixSSL

Algorithm Ok? Typical Risks
RC4 No Several known weaknesses. Can be OK for small amounts of data. All RC4 ciphersuites disabled by default.
3DES No Theoretical weaknesses due to key strength. AES typically a better candidate. 3DES ciphersuites disabled by default.
SEED No Standard usage only in Korea. AES is a better candidate. Disabled by default.
IDEA No Disabled by default.
AES-CBC Yes AES-256 preferred over AES-192 and AES-128. Lucky13 Attack mitigated internally, but all block ciphers are vulnerable.
AES-GCM Yes AES-256 preferred over AES-192 and AES-128. Not vulnerable to Lucky13 Attack. Without hardware acceleration, can be slower than AES-SHA. Risk that an as-yet undiscovered AES attack will compromise both encryption and record validation.
ChaCha20 Yes Stream cipher with 256 bit equivalent security. Supported as per IETF Draft

Hash Algorithms Supported by MatrixSSL

Algorithm Ok? Typical Risks
MD2 No Known weak. Used only for legacy certificate signatures. USE_MD2 disabled by default.
MD4 No Known weak. Used only for legacy certificate signatures. USE_MD4 disabled by default.
MD5 No Proven attacks. SSL 3.0 through TLS 1.1 require MD5 in combination with SHA-1 for their internal protocol (and therefore are at least as strong as SHA-1). TLS 1.2 does not require MD5. All MD5 based cipher suites disabled by default. ENABLE_MD5_SIGNED_CERTS disabled by default.
SHA-1 Deprecate SHA-1 is still widely deployed despite recent collision attacks. Only TLS 1.2 and newly issued certificates using SHA-2 are able to remove SHA-1 completely from the TLS protocol.
SHA-256 Yes Assumed secure.
SHA-384 Yes Assumed secure.
SHA-512 Yes Assumed secure.
Poly1305 Yes Supported as per IETF Draft

Key Exchange Algorithms Supported by MatrixSSL

Algorithm Key Size Ok? Typical Risks
RSA < 1024 No Weak. Below MIN_RSA_SIZE connections will be refused.
RSA 1024 No In wide usage. Recommended to not use going forward
RSA > 1024 Yes Recommend at least 2048 bit keys, per NIST and FIPS.
DH < 1024 No Weak. Below MIN_DH_SIZE connections will be refused.
DH 1024 No In wide usage. Recommended to not use going forward
DH > 1024 Yes Recommend at least 2048 bit DH group per NIST and FIPS.
DHE > 1024 Yes See chart below. Ephemeral cipher suites provide perfect forward secrecy, and are generally the strongest available, although they are also the slowest performing for key exchange.
ECDHE >= 192 Yes See chart below. Ephemeral cipher suites provide perfect forward secrecy, and are generally the strongest available, although they are also the slowest performing for key exchange. 224 and greater required by FIPS.
ECDH >= 192 Yes 192 bit DH group and above is currently assumed secure. Smaller groups are not supported in MatrixSSL. Below MIN_ECC_SIZE connections will be refused. 224 and greater required by FIPS.
PSK >= 128 Yes Pre-shared Key ciphers rely on offline key agreement. They avoid any weaknesses of Key Exchange Algorithms, however, it is not easy to change keys once they are installed when used as session keys. When PSK is used only for authentication (DHE_PSK and ECDHE_PSK cipher suites), the session encryption keys are generated each connection.

Authentication Methods Supported by MatrixSSL

Suite Type Auth Exchange Ok? Typical Risks
RSA_WITH_NULL RSA none No No encryption. Authentication via RSA. Typically used for debugging connections only.
DH_anon none Diffie-Hellman No No Authentication. Key exchange only. If this ciphersuite is used, authentication MUST be done by direct comparison of remote DH key ID to trusted key ID, similar to SSH authentication. If DH key ID authentication is done, this is similar in strength to DHE_PSK ciphers, although the keys exchanged are not ephemeral. Authentication to a trusted key ID can mitigate many attacks related to X.509 PKI infrastructure.
PSK Pre-shared Key Pre-shared Key Yes Pre-shared Keys can be used for authentication, since the same secret must be shared between client and server. DHE_PSK suites use PSK only for authentication, while PSK suites use PSK for authentication and session keys. PSK keys are difficult to change in the field, however authentication with PSK can mitigate many attacks related to X.509 PKI infrastructure.
RSA RSA RSA Yes The most commonly used authentication method. Supported by X.509 PKI infrastructure. Additional security can be had by directly comparing RSA key IDs to trusted Key Ids (similar to Certificate Pinning). Usually faster than ECC based authentication.
DHE_RSA RSA Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral Yes RSA for authentication, Ephemeral DH for key exchange. Provides perfect forward secrecy.
DHE_PSK PSK Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral Yes PSK for authentication, Ephemeral DH for key exchange. Does not rely on X.509.
ECDH_ECDSA ECC DSA ECC Diffie-Hellman Yes ECC DSA for authentication, ECC for key exchange. Most commonly used in embedded devices supporting hardware based ECC support.
ECDH_RSA RSA ECC Diffie-Hellman Yes ECC key exchange, with RSA authentication. Uses widely deployed X.509 RSA certificate infrastructure, but ECC for key exchange. Not often deployed due to the implementation having to support ECC and RSA.
ECDHE_ECDSA ECC DSA ECC Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral Yes ECC key exchange with ephemeral keys, ECC DSA authentication. Most commonly used in embedded devices supporting hardware based ECC support.
ECDHE_RSA RSA ECC Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral Yes Ephemeral counterpart to ECDH_RSA.

##2.3 Authentication Mode
By default in SSL, it is the server that is authenticated by a client. It is easiest to remember this when thinking about purchasing a product online with a credit card over an HTTPS (SSL) connection. The client Web browser must authenticate the server in order to be confident the credit card information is being sent to a trusted source. This is referred to as one-way authentication or server authentication and is performed as part of all standard SSL connections (unless, of course, a cipher suite with an authentication type of anonymous has been agreed upon).

However, in some use-case scenarios the user may require that both peers authenticate each other. This is referred to as mutual authentication or client authentication. If the project requires client authentication there is an additional set of key material that must be used to support it as described in the next section.

Client authentication is also done inherently in Pre-shared Key cipher suites, as both sides of a connection must have a common shared secret.

##2.4 Authentication and Key Exchange

###2.4.1 Server and Client Authentication
With a cipher suite and authentication mode chosen, the user will need to obtain or generate the necessary key material for supporting the authentication and key exchange mechanisms. X.509 is the standard for how key material is stored in certificate files.

The peer that is being authenticated must have a private key and a public certificate. The peer performing the authentication must have the Certificate Authority (CA) certificate that was used to issue the public certificate. In the standard one-way authentication scenario this means the server will load a private key and certificate while the client will load the CA file.

If client authentication is needed the mirror image of CA, certificate, and private key files must also be used. This chart shows which files clients and server must load when using a standard RSA based cipher suite such as TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384.

Authentication Mode Server Key Files Client Key Files
One-way server authentication RSA server certificate file and corresponding RSA private key file. Certificate Authority certificate file that issued the server certificate
Additions for client authentication Certificate Authority certificate file that issued the client certificate RSA client certificate file and corresopnding RSA private key file.

###2.4.2 Certificate Validation and Authentication
Authentication in SSL is most often based on X.509 Certificate chain validation.
Example Equifax GeoTrust trusted root certificate loaded by a MatrixSSL client with matrixSslLoadRsaKeys.

Subject: C=US, O=Equifax, OU=Equifax Secure Certificate Authority
Authority KeyId:48:E6:68:F9:2B:D2:B2:95… [Valid, self-signed OK for root]
Subject KeyId: 48:E6:68:F9:2B:D2:B2:95…
Basic Constraints: critical CA:TRUE [Valid, this certificate can sign others]
Key Usage: critical Certificate Sign, CRL Sign [Valid, able to sign certificates]
Validity: (Aug 22 16:41:51 1998 GMT to Aug 22 16:41:51 2018 GMT) [Valid]

Certificate chain sent to a MatrixSSL client during SSL handshake Certificate message by remote server https://www.google.com.

C=US, O=GeoTrust Inc., CN=GeoTrust Global CA
Issuer: C=US, O=Equifax, OU=Equifax Secure Certificate Authority [Valid, matches a loaded trusted root subject]
Authority KeyId: 48:E6:68:F9:2B:D2:B2:95… [Valid, matches the Issuer Subject KeyId]
Subject KeyId: C0:7A:98:68:8D:89:FB:AB…
Basic Constraints: critical CA:TRUE [Valid, this certificate can sign others]
Key Usage: critical Certificate Sign, CRL Sign [Valid, able to sign certificates]
Validity: (May 21 04:00:00 2002 GMT to Aug 21 04:00:00 2018 GMT) [Valid]

C=US, O=Google Inc, CN=Google Internet Authority G2
Issuer: C=US, O=GeoTrust Inc., CN=GeoTrust Global CA [Valid, matches parent subject]
Authority KeyId: C0:7A:98:68:8D:89:FB:AB… [Valid, matches the Issuer Subject KeyId]
Subject KeyId: 4A:DD:06:16:1B:BC:F6:68…
Validity: (Apr 5 15:15:55 2013 GMT to Apr 4 15:15:55 2015 GMT) [Valid]
Basic Constraints: critical CA:TRUE, pathlen:0 [Valid, this certificate can sign others and the signed certificate is not also a CA]
Key Usage: critical Certificate Sign, CRL Sign [Valid, able to sign certificates]
Version: 3 [Valid]

*C=US, ST=California, L=Mountain View, O=Google Inc, CN=.google.com**
Issuer: C=US, O=Google Inc, CN=Google Internet Authority G2 [Valid, matches parent subject]
X509v3 Basic Constraints: critical CA:FALSE [Valid, this is a leaf cert]
Extended Key Usage: TLS Web Server Authentication, TLS Web Client Authentication [Valid]
X509v3 Subject Alternative Name: DNS:.google.com, DNS:.android.com… [Valid, matches expected DNS name]
Validity: (Mar 12 09:53:40 2014 GMT to Jun 10 00:00:00 2014 GMT) [Valid]

Validity checks that are done on all certificates

X.509 Field Validation Performed
Version Must be a version 3 certificate.
Serial Used for lookup in a CRL, if USE_CRL defined.
Signature Algorithm RSA or ECDSA algorithms. Should be SHA256, SHA384 or SHA512. SHA1 enabled by default with ENABLE_SHA1_SIGNED_CERTS. MD2 and MD5 support for RSA signatures is disabled by default by ENABLE_MD5_SIGNED_CERTS.
Issuer In a chain, issuer must match the subject of the immediate (following) parent certificate. Self-signed certificates (Issuer == Subject) are allowed as loaded root certificates, but not as part of a chain. Common name must contain only printable characters.
Validity Current date must be within notBefore and notAfter range on all certs in the chain. Time is not currently validated. On platforms without a date function, the range check is always flagged as failed and must be handled by the Certificate Validation Callback. For platforms without a date API, validation must be done within the user Certificate Validation Callback.
Subject Common name must contain only printable characters. Common name will be validated via full match to expectedName, if provided in matrixSslNewClientSession. Partial match not allowed. Wildcard match is allowed for the first segment of a DNS name. More complex validation must be done within the user Certificate Validation Callback.
Subject Public Key Info RSA and ECC keys supported. RSA public key modulus must be at least MIN_RSA_SIZE bits. ECC public key must be at least MIN_ECC_SIZE bits.
Signature The hash of the certificate contents must match the hash that is signed by the Issuer Public Key.
Basic Constraints For Root or intermediate certs, must be marked Critical with CA:TRUE. Path Length constraints are validated.
Key Usage For Root or intermediate certs, must be marked for use as CertificateSign. For CRL checks, CrlSign flag must be set.
Extended Key Usage If marked Critical, must have TLS Web Server Authentication or TLS Web Client Authentication set in the leaf certificate.
Subject Alternative Name If an expectedName is specified in matrixSslNewClientSession and does not match Subject Common Name, or any printable Subject Alternative Name of type DNS, Email or IP, validation will fail.
Authority Key Identifier If specified, the direct Issuer of the certificate must have a defined, matching Subject Key Identifier.
Subject Key Identifier If specified, any direct children of the Issuer must have a defined, matching Authority Key Identifier.
CRL Distribution Points If USE_CRL is defined, matrixSslGetCRL will download the CRL files from each URI type distribution point provided for each trusted root certificate (Note: not intermediate certificates).
CRL Validation CRL file must be signed by certificate with CrlSign Basic constraints. MD5 signatures not supported by default.
Unknown Extensions Unknown extensions are ignored, unless flagged as Critical. Validation will fail for any Critical extension unrecognized by MatrixSSL.

In MatrixSSL Commercial Edition, Certificate Authority root and child certificates can be created using the provided command-line tools and API. For more information, please consult the Matrix Key and Cert Generation Utilities and MatrixSSL Certificates and Certificate Revocation Lists documents.

MatrixSSL is a C code library that provides a security layer for client and server applications allowing them to securely communicate with other SSL enabled peers. MatrixSSL is transport agnostic and can just as easily integrate with an HTTP server as it could with a device communicating through a serial port. For simplicity, this developer’s guide will assume a socket-based implementation for all its examples unless otherwise noted.

The term application in this document refers to the peer (client or server) application the MatrixSSL library is being integrated into.

This section will detail the specific points in the application life cycle where MatrixSSL should be integrated. In general, MatrixSSL APIs are used for initialization/cleanup, when new secure connections are being established (handshaking), and when encrypting/decrypting messages exchanged with peers.

Refer to the MatrixSSL API document to get familiar with the interface to the library and with the example code to see how they are used at implementation. Follow the guidelines below when using these APIs to integrate MatrixSSL into an application.

##3.1 ssl_t Structure
The ssl_t structure holds the state and keys for each client or server connection as well as buffers for encoding and decoding SSL data. The buffers are dynamically managed internally to make the integration with existing non-secure software easier. SSL is a record based protocol, and the internal buffer management makes a better ‘impedance match’ with classic stream based protocols. For example, data may be read from a socket, but if a full SSL record has not been received, no data is available for the caller to process. This partial record is held within the ssl_t buffer. The MatrixSSL API is also designed so there are no buffer copies, and the caller is able to read and write network data directly into the SSL buffers, providing a very low memory overhead per session.

##3.2 Initialization
MatrixSSL must be initialized as part of the application initialization with a call to matrixSslOpen. This function sets up the internal structures needed by the library.

In most cases, the application will subsequently load the key material from the file system. RSA or EC certificates, Diffie-Hellman parameters, and Pre-Shared Keys for the specific peer application must be parsed before creating a new SSL session. The matrixSslNewKeys function is used to allocate the key storage and matrixSslLoadRsaKeys, matrixSslLoadEcKeys, matrixSslLoadDhParams, and matrixSslLoadPsk are used to parse the key material into the sslKeys_t structure during initialization. The populated key structure will be used as an input parameter to matrixSslNewClientSession or matrixSslNewServerSession.
The allocation and loading of the sslKeys_t structure is most commonly done a single time at start and the application uses those keys for each connection. Alternatively, a new sslKeys_t structure can be allocated once for each secure connection and freed immediately after the connection is closed. This should be done if the application has multiple certificate files depending on the identity of the connecting entity or if there is a security concern with keeping the RSA keys in memory for extended periods of time.
Once the application is done with the keys, the associated memory is freed with a call to matrixSslDeleteKeys.

##3.3 Creating a Session
The next MatrixSSL integration point in the application is when a new session is starting. In the case of a client, this is whenever it chooses to begin one because SSL is a client-initiated protocol (like HTTP). In the case of a server, a new session should be started when the server accepts an incoming connection from a client on a secure port. In a socket based application, this would typically happen when the accept socket call returns with a valid incoming socket. The application sets up a new session with the API matrixSslNewClientSession or matrixSslNewServerSession. The returned ssl_t context will become the input parameter for all public APIs that act at a per-session level.

The required input parameters to the session creation APIs differ based on whether the application is assuming a server or client role. Both require a populated keys structure (discussed in the previous section) but a client can also nominate a specific cipher suite or session ID when starting a session. The ciphers that the server will accept are determined at compile time.
The client should also always nominate a certificate callback function during matrixSslNewClientSession. This callback function will be invoked mid-handshake to allow the user to inspect the key material, date and other certificate information sent from the server. For detailed information on this callback function, see the API documentation for the Certificate Validation Callback Function section.

The server may also choose to nominate a certificate callback function if client authentication is desired. The MatrixSSL library must have been compiled with USE_CLIENT_AUTH defined in order to use this parameter in the matrixSslNewServerSession function.

For clients wishing to quickly (and securely) reconnect to a server that it has recently connected to, there is an optional sessonId parameter that may be used to initiate a faster resumed handshake (the cpu intensive public key exchange is omitted). To use the session parameter, a client should allocate a sslSessionId_t structure with matrixSslNewSessionId and pass it to matrixSslNewClientSession during the initial connection with the server. Over the course of the session negotiation, the MatrixSSL library will populate that structure behind-the-scenes so that during the next connection the same sessionId parameter address can be used to initiate the resumed session.

##3.4 Handshaking
During client session initialization with matrixSslNewClientSession the SSL handshake message CLIENT_HELLO is encoded to the internal outgoing buffer. The client now needs to send this message to the server over a communication channel.
The sequence of events that should always be used to transmit pending handshake data is as follows:

  1. The user calls matrixSslGetOutdata to retrieve the encoded data and number of bytes to be sent
  2. The user sends the number of bytes indicated from the out data buffer pointer to the peer
  3. The user calls matrixSslSentData with the actual number of bytes that were sent
  4. If more data remains (bytes sent < bytes to be sent), repeat the above 3 steps when the transport layer is ready to send again

When the server receives notice that a client is starting a new session the matrixSslNewServerSession API is invoked and the incoming data is retrieved and processed.
The sequence of events that should always be used when expecting handshake data from a peer is as follows:

  1. The application calls matrixSslGetReadbuf to retrieve a pointer to available buffer space in the ssl_t structure.
  2. The application reads (or copies) incoming data into that buffer
  3. The application calls matrixSslReceivedData to process the data
  4. The application examines the return code from matrixSslReceivedData to determine the next step

All incoming messages should be copied into the provided buffer and passed to matrixSslReceivedData, which processes the message and drives the handshake through the built-in SSLv3 or TLS state machine. The parameters include the SSL context and the number of bytes that have been received. The return code from matrixSslReceivedData tells the application what the message was and how it is to be handled:

Success. The processing of the received data resulted in an SSL response message that needs to be sent to the peer. If this return code is hit the user should call matrixSslGetOutdata to retrieve the encoded outgoing data.
Success. More data must be received and this function must be called again. User must first call matrixSslGetReadbuf again to receive the updated buffer pointer and length to where the remaining data should be read into.
Success. The SSL handshake is complete. This return code is returned to client side implementation during a full handshake after parsing the FINISHED message from the server. It is possible for a server to receive this value if a resumed handshake is being performed where the client sends the final FINISHED message.
Success. The data that was processed was an SSL alert message. In this case, the ptbuf pointer will be two bytes (ptLen will be 2) in which the first byte will be the alert level and the second byte will be the alert description. After examining the alert, the user must call matrixSslProcessedData to indicate the alert was processed and the data may be internally discarded.
Success. The data that was processed was application data that the user should process. In this return code case the ptbuf and ptLen output parameters will be valid. The user may process the data directly from ptbuf or copy it aside for later processing. After handling the data the user must call matrixSslProcessedData to indicate the plain text data may be internally discarded
Success. This return code will be returned if the bytes parameter is 0 and there is no remaining internal data to process. This could be useful as a polling mechanism to confirm the internal buffer is empty. One real life use-case for this method of invocation is when dealing with a Google Chrome browser that uses False Start.
< 0
Failure. See API documentation

##3.5 Communicating Securely With Peers

###3.5.1 Encrypting Data
Once the handshake is complete, the application wishing to encrypt data that will be sent to the peer has the choice between two encoding options.

In-Situ Encryption
An in-situ encryption occurs when the outputted cipher text overwrites the plain text during the encoding process. In this case, the user will retrieve an allocated buffer from the MatrixSSL library, populate the buffer with the desired plaintext, and then notify the library that the plaintext is ready to be encoded. The API steps for the in-situ method are as follows:

  1. The application first determines the length of the plaintext that needs to be sent
  2. The application calls matrixSslGetWritebuf with that length to retrieve a pointer to an internally allocated buffer.
  3. The application writes the plaintext into the buffer and then calls matrixSslEncodeWritebuf to encrypt the plaintext
  4. The application calls matrixSslGetOutdata to retrieve the encoded data and length to be sent (SSL always adds some overhead to the message size)
  5. The application sends the out data buffer contents to the peer.
  6. The application calls matrixSslSentData with the number of bytes that were actually sent

User provided plaintext data location
The alternative to in-situ encryption is to allow the user to provide the location and length of the plaintext data that needs to be encoded. In this case, the encrypted data is still written to the internal MatrixSSL out data buffer but the user provided plaintext data is left untouched. The API steps for this method are as follows:

  1. The user passes the plaintext and length to matrixSslEncodeToOutdata
  2. The application calls matrixSslGetOutdata to retrieve the encoded data and length to be sent (SSL always adds some overhead to the message size)
  3. The application sends the out data buffer contents to the peer.
  4. The application calls matrixSslSentData with the # of bytes that were actually sent

###3.5.2 Decrypting Data
The sequence of events that should always be used when expecting application data from a peer is as follows:

  1. The application calls matrixSslGetReadbuf to retrieve an allocated buffer
  2. The application copies the incoming data into that buffer
  3. The application calls matrixSslReceivedData to process the data
  4. The application confirms the return code from matrixSslReceivedData is MATRIXSSL_APP_DATA and parses ptLen bytes of the returned plain text
  5. If the return code does not indicate application data, handle the return code as described in the handshaking section above.
  6. The application calls matrixSslProcessedData to inform the library it is finished with the plaintext and checks to see if there are additional records in the buffer to process.

##3.6 Ending a Session
When the application receives notice that the session is complete or has determined itself that the session is complete, it should notify the other side, close the socket and delete the session. Calling matrixSslEncodeClosureAlert and matrixSslDeleteSession will perform this step.

A call to matrixSslEncodeClosureAlert is an optional step that will encode an alert message to pass along to the other side to inform them to close the session cleanly. The closure alert buffer is retrieved and sent using the same matrixSslGetOutdata then matrixSslSentData mechanism that all outgoing data uses. Since the connection is being closed, the application shouldn’t block indefinitely on sending the closure alert.

##3.7 Closing the Library
At application exit the MatrixSSL library should be un-initialized with a call to matrixSslClose. If the application has called matrixSsNewKeys as part of the initialization process and kept its keys in memory it should call matrixSslDeleteKeys before calling matrixSslClose. Also, any existing SSL sessions should be freed by calling matrixSslDeleteSession before calling matrixSslClose.

Example implementations of MatrixSSL client and server applications integration can be found in the apps subdirectory of the distribution package.

MatrixSSL contains a set of optional features that are configurable at compile time. This allows the user to remove unneeded functionality to reduce code size footprint and disable potentially insecure features. Each of these options are pre-processor defines that can be disabled by simply commenting out the #define in the header files or by using the -D compile flag during build. APIs with dependencies on optional features are highlighted in the Define Dependencies sub-section in the API documentation for that function.

Not all configurable options are listed below. See comments directly in configuration header files for more fine-tuning.

##4.1 Protocol and Performance

matrixsslConfig.h - Enables client side SSL support
matrixsslConfig.h - Enables server side SSL support
Enable one of these settings to specify which versions are compiled in. Clients or servers can select between compiled in versions at runtime if desired. Defaults to TLS 1.1 and above.
Support DTLS connections (TLS over UDP) in addition to TLS. DTLS version support is based on the underlying level of TLS support.
matrixsslConfig.h – Applicable to servers only. The size of the session resumption table for caching session identifiers. Old entries will be overwritten when size is reached
matrixsslConfig.h – Applicable to servers only. The time in seconds that a session identifier will be valid in the session table. A value of 0 will disable SSL resumption. Also applies to the lifetime of Stateless Session Tickets, below.
matrixsslConfig.h – Enable stateless session tickets as defined in RFC 5077
matrixsslConfig.h - Enable secure rehandshaking as defined in RFC 5746.
Legacy (insecure) rehandshaking is no longer supported.
Disabled by default.
matrixsslConfig.h – Enable the “max_fragment_length” TLS extension defined in RFC 4366. Value of #define determines fragment length (server may reject)
matrixsslConfig.h - Enables two-way(mutual) authentication
matrixsslConfig.h - Enables client authentication using an external module. See the MatrixSSL External Module Integration manual for details.
matrixsslConfig.h – A client authentication feature. Allows the server to send an empty CertificateRequest message if no CA files have been loaded
matrixsslConfig.h – A client authentication feature. Allows the server to ‘downgrade’ a client authentication handshake to a standard handshake if client does not provide a certificate
matrixsslConfig.h - Enable Application Level Protocol Negotiation. Also must be enabled via runtime option for new client sessions.
matrixsslConfig.h - Enable the Trusted CA Indication extension defined in RFC 6066.
cryptoConfig.h and matrixsslConfig.h respectively. Enable OCSP and require OCSP stapling.
cryptoConfig.h - Enables basic support for X.509 certificates.
cryptoConfig.h - Enables X.509 certificate parsing.
cryptoConfig.h - Enables the parsing of some additional certificate extensions, such as nameConstraints and authorityInfoAccess.
cryptoConfig.h - (MatrixSSL Commercial Edition only:) Enables X.509 certificate generation.
cryptoConfig.h – Support MD5 or SHA1 signature algorithm in X.509 certificates and Certificate Revocation Lists.
cryptoConfig.h - When parsing certificates, always also retain the unparsed DER data in the psX509Cert_t structure.
cryptoConfig.h - Enable Certificate Revocation List APIs.
cryptoConfig.h - Compatibility option. Allows CRL authentication to succeed when signer CA’s cert does not have the keyUsage extension.
cryptoConfig.h - (MatrixSSL FIPS Edition only:) Enable using the FIPS 140-2 validated SafeZone CL/FIPSLib 1.1 as the cryptographic library in MatrixSSL. For more information on FIPS 140-2 specific configuration options, please consult the MatrixSSL with CL Library document, included with the MatrixSSL FIPS Edition.
cryptoConfig.h - (MatrixSSL Commercial Edition only:) Enable support for Cryptographic Messaging Syntax (CMS).
cryptoConfig.h - Enable RSA, ECC and DH support, respectively.
cryptoConfig.h - (MatrixSSL FIPS Edition only:) Enable verification of DSA signatures in certificate validation.
cryptoConfig.h – The minimum size in bits that MatrixSSL will accept for key exchange for each algorithm. Prevents weak keys from being used or downgraded to.
cryptoConfig.h - Enables X.509 private key parsing
cryptoConfig.h - Enables the parsing of password protected private keys
cryptoConfig.h - Enables the parsing of PKCS#8 formatted private keys
cryptoConfig.h - Enables the parsing of PKCS#12 formatted certificate and key material
matrixssllib.h – Enabled by default. See code comments in file.
matrixsslConfig.h - Disabled by default. See code comments in file.
matrixsslConfig.h - By default, MatrixSSL caches the ECDHE keys it generates and re-uses the cached keys for connections within a certain time frame and a certain usage count. This improves performance of ECDHE suites, and is in line with the configuration current web browsers. Enabling NO_ECC_EPHEMERAL_CACHE disables the key caching and forces new ECDHE keys to be created for every TLS connection. Note that caching ECDHE keys is against some standards such as NIST SP 800-56A, and disallowed in the FIPS 140-2 mode of operation. NO_ECC_EPHEMERAL_CACHE is disabled by default.
matrixssllib.h - The maximum time period and usage count of a cached ECDHE key. After these limits have been exceeded, the key will be removed from the cache.
crypto/layer/layer.h - RSA and Diffie-Hellman speed vs. runtime memory tradeoff. By default these will be enabled if the compiler is invoked with optimization that is not for size (eg. -O1 to -O3). They will be disabled for -O0 and -Os.
crypto/layer/layer.h - Optionally enable for selected algorithms to improve performance at the cost of increased binary code size. By default these will be enabled if the compiler is invoked with optimization that is not for size (eg. -O1 to -O3). They will be disabled for -O0 and -Os.
Determined automatically in core/osdep.h. Enables keys to be read from a filesystem, in addition to in-memory keys.
coreConfig.h: Enable if using MatrixSSL with a multithreading client or server, where session cache may be shared between threads simultaneously.

##4.2 Public Key Math Assembly Optimizations
Optimizing assembly code for low level math operations is available for many common processor architectures. The files pstm_montgomery_reduce.c, pstm_mul_comba.c, and pstm_sqr_comba.c in the crypto/math directory implement the available assembly optimizations. These following defines are set in the osdep.h header file by detecting the platform. These should be set accordingly when porting to an unsupported platform.

32-bit x86 processor
64-bit x86 processor
ARMv4 or greater processor
32 bit MIPS processor
32 bit PowerPC processor
None of the above
Standard C code implementation

##4.3 Debug Configuration
MatrixSSL contains a set of optional debug features that are configurable at compile time. Each of these options are pre-processor defines that can be disabled by simply commenting out the #define in the specified header files.

coreConfig.h - Enables the osdepBreak platform function whenever a psError trace function is called. Helpful in debug environments.
coreConfig.h - Enables the psTraceCore family of APIs that display function-level messages in the core module. Disabling these can reduce static code size significantly, as the trace strings will not be included in the final binary.
cryptoConfig.h - Enables the psTraceCrypto family of APIs that display function-level messages in the crypto module.
matrixsslConfig.h - Enables SSL handshake level debug trace for troubleshooting connection problems.
matrixsslConfig.h - Enables SSL function level debug trace for troubleshooting connection problems.
matrixsslConfig.h - Enables DTLS-specific trace messages for troubleshooting connection problems.
matrixsslConfig.h - If enabled, each DTLS handshake message will be returned individually when matrixDtlsGetOutdata is called. When left disabled, the default behaviour of matrixDtlsGetOutdata is to return as much data as possible that fits within the maximum PMTU.

##4.4 Minimum Firmware Configuration
MatrixSSL can be built to a minimum size using TLS 1.2, PSK cipher with AES128 and SHA256. If interoperability with OpenSSL is desired, then a few changes are necessary, since the USE_TLS_PSK_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256 ciphersuite is not implemented by OpenSSL (as of 1.0.2d). In this case, USE_SHA1 and USE_HMAC_SHA1 must also be defined and the cipher suite changed to

To enable minimal configuration, all options in core/coreConfig.h, crypto/cryptoConfig.h and matrixssl/matrixsslConfig.h should be commented out, except for the following:

Optional: __AES__ block to enable AESNI on Intel platforms.
Optional: For OpenSSL compatibility, also enable USE_SHA1 and USE_HMAC_SHA1
Optional: SSL_DEFAULT_IN_BUF_SIZE, SSL_DEFAULT_OUT_BUF_SIZE set to 1500 for reduced RAM footprint.
Optional for Server: SSL_SESSION_TABLE_SIZE as low as 1 for reduced RAM footprint.
Optional: USE_DTLS
Optional: For OpenSSL compatibility, enable:

Code + Data Size ARM Thumb 2 Results:

24,108 B 25,771 B

##4.5 Example configurations

MatrixSSL ships with a few example configurations, which are described here. MatrixSSL FIPS edition contains additional example configurations; these are described in the MatrixCrypto CL document included in that distribution.

default|The default configuration
nonfips|Same as default
noecc|Disables ECC support
rsaonly|Disables ECC and DH support
tls|The recommended configuration for TLS
nonfips-psk|The minimal PSK configuration described in the last subsection, except that both server- and client side support are enabled.
These configurations can be applied with the commands make all-nonfips, make all-noecc, make all-rsaonly, make all-tls, make all-nonfips-psk respectively. Applying a new configuration will override the existing ./core/coreConfig.h, ./crypto/cryptoConfig.h, and ./matrixssl/matrixsslConfig.h files. After applying the configuration, these files can be further adapted per specific needs and the MatrixSSL can be compiled as usual, via the make commands described in the MatrixSSL Getting Started document.

The core of SSL security is the handshake protocol that allows two peers to authenticate and negotiate symmetric encryption keys. A handshake is defined by the specific sequence of SSL messages that are exchanged between the client and server. A collection of messages being sent from one peer to another is called a flight.

##5.1 Standard Handshake
The standard handshake is the most common and allows a client to authenticate a server. There are four flights in the standard handshake.

Participant Client as c
Participant Server as s
Title: Standard TLS Handshake
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over c,s: APP_DATA
Note over s,c:

Client Notes
The client is the first to send and the last to receive. Therefore, a MatrixSSL implementation of a client must be testing for the MATRIXSSL_HANDSHAKE_COMPLETE return code from matrixSslReceivedData to determine when application data is ready to be encrypted and sent to the server. When a client wishes to begin a standard handshake, matrixSslNewClientSession will be called with an empty sessionId.

##5.2 Client Authentication Handshake
The client authentication handshake allows a two-way authentication. There are four flights in the client authentication handshake.

Participant Client as c
Participant Server as s
Title: Client Auth TLS Handshake
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over c,s: APP_DATA
Note over s,c:

Client Notes
The client is the first to send and the last to receive. Therefore, a MatrixSSL implementation of a client must be testing for the MATRIXSSL_HANDSHAKE_COMPLETE return code from matrixSslReceivedData to determine when application data is ready to be encrypted and sent to the server.

In order to participate in a client authentication handshake, the client must have loaded a Certificate Authority file during the call to matrixSslLoadRsaKeys.

Server Notes
To prepare for a client authentication handshake the server must nominate a certificate and private key during the call to matrixSslLoadRsaKeys. The actual determination of whether or not to perform a client authentication handshake is made when nominating a certificate callback parameter when invoking matrixSslNewServerSession. If the callback is provided, a client authentication handshake will be requested.

##5.3 Session Resumption Handshake
Session resumption enables a previously connected client to quickly resume a session with a server. Session resumption is much faster than other handshake types because public key authentication is not performed (authentication is implicit since both sides will be using secret information from the previous connection). This handshake types has three flights.

Participant Client as c
Participant Server as s
Title: Resumed TLS Handshake
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over s,c:
Note over c,s: APP_DATA
Note over s,c:

Client Notes
The client is the first and the last to send data. Therefore, a MatrixSSL implementation of a client must be testing for the MATRIXSSL_HANDSHAKE_COMPLETE return code from matrixSslSentData to determine when application data is ready to be encrypted and sent to the server.
The client initiates a session resumption handshake by reusing the same sessionId_t structure from a previously connected session when calling matrixSslNewClientSession.

Server Notes
The MatrixSSL server will cache a SSL_SESSION_TABLE_SIZE number of session IDs for resumption. The length of time a session ID will remain in the case is determined by SSL_SESSION_ENTRY_LIFE. Also, the server sends the FINISHED message first in this case, which is different from the standard handshake.

##5.4 Other Handshakes
Other cipher suites can require variations on the handshake flights. PSK cipher suites do not use any key exchange. DSA cipher suites do not use certificates, and DH/DHE/ECDH/ECDHE cipher suites may or may not use certificates for authentication.

##5.5 Re-Handshakes
A re-handshake is a handshake over a currently connected SSL session. A re-handshake may take the form of a standard handshake, a client authentication handshake, or a resumed handshake. Either the client or server may initiate a re-handshake.

Re-handshaking is not often used and can be the source of cross protocol attacks and implementation bugs. MatrixSSL by default disables the USE_REHANDSHAKING option at compile time to reduce code size and complexity.

The matrixSslEncodeRehandshake API is used to initiate a re-handshake. The three most common reasons for initiating re-handshakes are:

  1. Re-key the symmetric cryptographic material
    Re-keying the symmetric keys adds an extra level of security for applications that require the connection be open for long periods of time or transferring large amounts of data. Periodic changes to the keys can discourage hackers who are mounting timing attacks on a connection.
  2. Perform a client authentication handshake
    A scenario may arise in which the server requires that the data being exchanged is only allowed for a client whose certificate has been authenticated, but the original negotiation took place without client authentication. In order to do a client authenticated re-handshake the server must call matrixSslEncodeRehandshake with a certificate callback parameter.
  3. Change cipher spec
    The cipher suite may be changed on a connected session using a re-handshake if needed. The client must call matrixSslEncodeRehandshake with the new cipherSpec.

###5.5.1 Disable Re-Handshaking At Runtime
Global disabling of re-handshakes can be controlled at compile time using the USE_REHANDSHAKING define but sometimes a per-session control of the feature is required. In these cases, the matrixSslDisableRehandshakes and matrixSslReEnableRehandshakes APIs are used.

###5.5.2 The Re-Handshake Credit Mechanism
The re-handshake feature has been used at the entry point in a couple TLS attacks. In an effort to combat these attacks, MatrixSSL has incorporated a mechanism that prevents a peer from continually re-handshaking. This “re-handshake credit” mechanism is simply a count of how often the MatrixSSL-enabled application will allow a peer to request a re-handshake before sending the NO_RENEGOTIATION alert. The default number of credits is set using the DEFAULT_RH_CREDITS define in matrixssllib.h. The shipped default is 1.

In order to allow real-life conditions of re-handshakes, a single credit will be added after transmitting a given number of application data bytes. The default count of bytes that have to be sent before gaining a credit is set using the BYTES_BEFORE_RH_CREDIT define in matrixssllib.h. The shipped default is 20MB.

This section describes some of the optional SSL handshake features. Additional details can be found in the API documentation for the specific functions that are referenced here.

##6.1 Stateless Session Ticket Resumption
RFC 5077 defines an alternative method to the standard server-cached session ID mechanism. The stateless ticket mechanism allows the server to send an encrypted session ticket to the client that the client can use in a later connection to speed up the handshake process. The server does not have to store a large number of session ID entries when this stateless mechanism is used.

Servers and Clients
The feature is made available with the USE_STATELESS_SESSION_TICKETS define in matrixsslConfig.h.

Clients that wish to use the stateless session resumption mechanism must set the ticketResumption member of the sslSessOpts_t structure to 1 when calling matrixSslNewClientSession.
With that session option set, the client only has to use the standard session resumption API, matrixSslNewSessionId, to complete the use of the feature. If a server does not support stateless session tickets, the standard resumption mechanism will still work.

The server must load at least one session ticket key using matrixSslLoadSessionTicketKeys to enable the feature. A user callback can optionally be registered that will be called each time a session ticket is received from a client. The callback will indicate to the user whether or not the server already has the correct ticket key cached. The callback can be used to locate a ticket key or to void the ticket and revert to a full handshake. The matrixSslSetSessionTicketCallback API is used to register this function.
The MatrixSSL implementation for resumption does not renew the session ticket as described in section 3.1 of the RFC (Figure 2). If the ticket is valid, the server progresses with the standard resumed handshake without a NewSessionTicket handshake message. If the server is unable to decrypt the session ticket, a full handshake will take place and a new session ticket will be issued. The MatrixSSL library also handles the expiration of a session ticket based on the value of the SSL_SESSION_ENTRY_LIFE in matrixsslConfig.h.

##6.2 Server Name Indication Extension
RFC 6066 defines a TLS hello extension to allow the client to send the name of the server it is trying to securely connect to. This allows “virtual” servers to locate the correct server with the expected key material to complete the connection.

Server applications should register the SNI callback using matrixSslRegisterSNICallback. This function must be called immediately after matrixSslNewServerSession before the first incoming flight from the client is processed. The callback will be invoked during the processing of the CLIENT_HELLO message if the client has included the SNI extension. The callback will use the incoming hostname to locate the correct key material and return them in the sslKeys_t structure format.

Clients must include the SNI extension in the CLIENT_HELLO message. The utility function matrixSslCreateSNIext is provided to help format the extension given a hostname and hostname length. Once the extension format has been created it will be loaded into the tlsExtension_t structure with the matrixSslLoadHelloExtension API (matrixSslNewHelloExtension must first be called). The tlsExtension_t type is then passed to matrixSslNewClientSession to complete the client side SNI integration.

##6.3 Extended Master Secret
The “extended master secret” as specified in RFC 7627 is an important security feature for TLS implementations that use session resumption. The extended master secret feature associates the internal TLS master secret directly to the connection context to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks during session resumption. One such attack is a synchronizing triple handshake as described in Triple Handshakes and Cookie Cutters: Breaking and Fixing Authentication over TLS.

This feature is always enabled by default in both MatrixSSL clients and servers. The peer agreement mechanism is the CLIENT_HELLO and SERVER_HELLO extended_master_secret extension.

A client will always include the extended_master_secret extension when creating the CLIENT_HELLO message. If the server replies with an extended_master_secret, the upgraded master secret generation will be used. If the server does not reply with an extended_master_secret, the standard master secret generation will be used for the connection.

A client may REQUIRE that a server support the extended_master_secret feature by setting the extendedMasterSecret member of sslSessOpts_t to 1. The sslSessOpts_t structure is passed to matrixSslNewClientSession when starting a TLS session. If extendedMasterSecret is set, the client will send a fatal handshake_failure alert to the server if the extended_master_secret extension is not included in the SERVER_HELLO.

A server will always reply with the extended_master_secret extension if the client includes it in the CLIENT_HELLO message.

A server may require that a client support the extended_master_secret feature by setting the extendedMasterSecret member of sslSessOpts_t to 1. The sslSessOpts_t structure is passed to matrixSslNewServerSession when starting a TLS session. If extendedMasterSecret is set, the server will send a fatal handshake_failure alert to the client if the extended_master_secret extension is not included in the CLIENT_HELLO.

When creating the session resumption information (either the standard session table or the stateless session ticket) the server will flag whether the extended master secret was used for the initial connection. When a client attempts session resumption, the CLIENT_HELLO must include the extended_master_secret extension if it was used in the initial connection. Likewise, if the initial connection did not use the extended_master_secret the session resumption CLIENT_HELLO must also exclude that extension. If there is a mismatch, the server will not allow the session resumption and a full handshake will occur instead.

##6.4 Maximum Fragment Length
RFC 6066 defines a TLS extension for negotiating a smaller maximum message size. The default maximum is 16KB (and can’t be set larger). The only allowed sizes that may be negotiated are 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096 bytes. The client requests the feature in a CLIENT_HELLO extension and if the server agrees to the new maximum fragment length it will acknowledge that in the SERVER_HELLO reply.

To request a smaller maximum fragment length the user sets the maxFragLen member of the sslSessOpts_t * options parameter to 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096 when calling matrixSslNewClientSession. The server is free to deny the request.

Servers will agree to the maximum fragment length request by default. To disable the feature for a session, the user may set the maxFragLen member of the sslSessOpts_t * options parameter to -1 when calling matrixSslNewServerSession.

##6.5 Truncated HMAC
RFC 6066 defines a TLS extension for negotiating an HMAC length of 10 bytes. The client requests the feature in a CLIENT_HELLO extension and if the server agrees to the truncation it will acknowledge that in the SERVER_HELLO reply.

To request a truncated HMAC session the user sets the truncHmac member of the sslSessOpts_t * options parameter to PS_TRUE when calling matrixSslNewClientSession. The server is free to deny the request.

Servers will agree to HMAC truncation by default. To disable the feature for a session, the user may set the truncHmac member of the sslSessOpts_t * options parameter to -1 when calling matrixSslNewServerSession.

##6.6 Application Layer Protocol Negotiation Extension
RFC 7301 defines a TLS hello extension that enables servers and client to agree on the protocol that will be used after the TLS handshake is complete. The idea is to embed the negotiation in the TLS handshake to save any round trips that might be needed to negotiate the protocol after the handshake. The extension works the same as any extension by the client sending a list of protocols it wishes to use in the CLIENT_HELLO and the server replying with an extension in the SERVER_HELLO. The trade-off for negotiating the protocol during the handshake is that both MatrixSSL servers and clients must be prepared to intervene in the middle of the handshake process via registered callback functions.

Servers and Clients
The ALPN extension APIs will be available only if the USE_ALPN define in matrixsslConfig.h is enabled at compile-time. The define MAX_PROTO_EXT is the maximum number of protocols that can be expected in the list of protocols. The default is 8 and can be found in matrixssllib.h.

Servers that wish to process ALPN extensions sent from a client must call the matrixSslRegisterALPNCallback function immediately after the session is created with matrixSslNewServerSession. The timing of the registration is important so that the callback can be associated with the proper session context before the first handshake message from the client is passed to matrixSslReceivedData.

The server ALPN callback that is registered with matrixSslRegisterALPNCallback must have a prototype of:

void ALPN_callback(void *ssl, short protoCount,	char *proto[MAX_PROTO_EXT], int32_t protoLen[MAX_PROTO_EXT], int32_t *index)
parameter is the session context and may be typecast to an ssl_t * type if access is required.
is the number of protocols that the client has sent in the CLIENT_HELLO extension. It is the count of the number of array entries in the proto and protoLen parameters to follow.
parameter is the priority-ordered list of string protocol names the client wants to communicate with following the TLS handshake. The protoLen parameter holds the string lengths of the proto counterpart parameter for each protocol.
parameter is an output that the callback logic will assign based on the desired action:
  • The index of the proto array member the server has agreed to use. The index is the zero-based index to the array so a return value of 0 will indicate the first protocol in the list. This selection will result in the server including its own ALPN extension in the SERVER_HELLO message with the chosen protocol.
  • A negative value assigned to index indicates the server is not willing to communicate using any of the protocols. A fatal “no_application_protocol” alert will be sent to the client and the handshake will terminate.
  • If the callback does not assign any value to the outgoing parameter, the server will not take any action. That is, neither a reply ALPN extension nor an alert will be sent to the client and the handshake will continue normally.

To support this feature, clients must be able to generate the ALPN extension and also receive the server reply.

To generate the ALPN extension, the API matrixSslCreateALPNext is used in conjunction with the matrixSslNewHelloExtension or matrixSslLoadHelloExtension framework.

The matrixSslCreateALPNext API accepts an array of unsigned char * string values (array length of MAX_PROTO_EXT) along with a companion array that hold the string lengths for the protocol list. The function will format the protocols into the specified ALPN extension format and return that to the caller in the output parameters. Once the extension has been created the client must load the extension using the matrixSslLoadHelloExtension API (matrixSslNewHelloExtension must have been called as well). Finally, the extension must be passed to matrixSslNewClientSession in the extensions parameter. Here is what the ALPN extension creation and session start might look like:

tlsExtension_t * extension;
unsigned char	*alpn[MAX_PROTO_EXT];
int32_t			alpnLen[MAX_PROTO_EXT];


alpn[0] = psMalloc(NULL, strlen("http/1.0"));
memcpy(alpn[0], "http/1.0", strlen("http/1.0"));
alpnLen[0] = strlen("http/1.0");
alpn[1] = psMalloc(NULL, strlen("http/1.1"));
memcpy(alpn[1], "http/1.1", strlen("http/1.1"));
alpnLen[1] = strlen("http/1.1");

matrixSslCreateALPNext(NULL, 2, alpn, alpnLen, &ext, &extLen);
matrixSslLoadHelloExtension(extension, ext, extLen, EXT_ALPN);


matrixSslNewClientSession(&ssl, keys, sid, g_cipher, g_ciphers, certCb, g_ip, extension, extensionCb, &options);


To receive the server reply to the ALPN extension the client must register an extension callback routine using the extCb parameter when calling matrixSslNewClientSession. The callback will be invoked with the ALPN extension ID of EXT_ALPN (16) with a format of a single byte length followed by the protocol string value the server has agreed to.
See the example in apps/ssl/client.c for full implementation details.

##6.7 TLS Fallback SCSV
RFC 7507 defines a method to prevent protocol downgrade attacks. Such an attack is illustrated below:

Participant Client as c
Participant Attacker as a
Participant Server as s
Title: Protocol Downgrade Attack
Note over s,c: Attacker changes server response
a-c: SSL_ALERT_PROTOCOL_VERSION\n(1.2 unsupported)
Note over s,c: (Client retries lower versions)
Note over s,c: Attacker exploits SSL3.0 Vulnerabilities

MatrixSSL does not automatically do such version fallback, but client software using MatrixSSL may choose to do this for compatibility with unknown servers. In this case, the TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV option flag MUST be set for each connection attempt at a lower protocol version. This will mitigate the attack as follows:

Participant Client as c
Participant Attacker as a
Participant Server as s
Title: Protocol Downgrade Prevention
Note over s,c: Attacker changes server response
a-c: ALERT_PROTOCOL_VERSION\n(1.2 unsupported)
Note over s,c: (Client retries lower versions)
Note over s,a: Server supports 1.2,\nclient should not\nindicate fallback

The client indicates that the lower version being requested is due to a previous response from the server that it was not supported. If the server sees this flag, but supports a higher version, it will recognize that something is amiss and return an alert, rather than a valid SERVER_HELLO.

Note that if the attacker attempted to remove the TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV indication from the message, the tampering would be detected by the server and client later, as part of the FINISHED message handshake hash validation. The indication is specified by the RFC as a special ciphersuite value, rather than a TLS extension for maximum compatibility.

If the client connection is being made at a lower protocol level because the server indicated it did not support the desired level, the fallbackScsv member of the sslSessOpts_t * options parameter must be set to PS_TRUE when calling matrixSslNewClientSession to prevent this type of attack.

Servers will evaluate the FALLBACK_SCSV indication automatically as per RFC:

If TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV appears in ClientHello.cipher_suites and the highest protocol version supported by the server is higher than the version indicated in ClientHello.client_version, the server MUST respond with a fatal inappropriate_fallback alert

##6.8 OCSP
The Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is an alternative to the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) mechanism for performing certificate revocation tests on server keys. TLS integrates with OCSP in a mechanism known as OCSP stapling. This feature allows the client to request that the server provide a time-stamped OCSP response when presenting the X.509 certificate during the TLS handshake. The primary goal for this method is to allow resource constrained clients to perform certificate revocation tests without having to communicate with an OCSP Responder themselves. The general process is illustrated below. The MatrixSSL also
supports OCSP request generation, to do revocation tests on certificates without
TLS server supporting OCSP stapling.

OCSP stapling is specified in Section 8 (Certificate Status Request) of the TLS Extensions RFC 6066. The USE_OCSP define in cryptoConfig.h must be enabled for these features to be available.

Participant Client as c
Participant Server as s
Participant Responder as r
Title: OCSP Stapling
s-r: OCSPRequest
r-s: OCSPResponse
Note over s: matrixSslLoadOCSPResponse()
Note over s,c: ...
c-s: CLIENT_HELLO (+status_request)
s-c: SERVER_HELLO (+status_request)
Note over s,c: ...

A client application can request OCSP stapling by setting the OCSPstapling member of the sslSessOpts_t structure when invoking matrixSslNewClientSession. This flag will trigger the creation of the Certificate Status Request extension in the CLIENT_HELLO message. The resulting status_request extension will not specify any responder identification hints or request extensions. This indicates that the server is free to provide whatever OCSP response is relevant to its identity certificate.

In order to validate the signature of provided OCSP response, the client will have to verify the Certificate Authority of the OCSP responder. There are two places the MatrixSSL library will search for this CA file. The first place the library will look is in the CA material that is loaded in the standard matrixSslLoadRsaKeys (or matrixSslLoadEcKeys) API. If the CA file is not located in this pre-loaded key material, the library will next look to the server’s certificate chain. In practice, many TLS servers that implement OCSP stapling will create a certificate chain in which the parent certificate of the primary identity certificate also acts as the OCSP responder. At the time of the OCSP validation test, the CERTIFICATE message will have already been processed and validated. If the client has confirmed the server to have a valid chain of trust, it is appropriate to trust that same certificate chain to provide the OSCP response. If the client is unable to locate the CA file for the public key of the OCSP responder, the handshake will fail.

In order to validate the time stamp of the OCSP response the client library will invoke the checkOCSPtimestamp function in crypto/keyformat/x509.c. The default time window for accepting an OCSP response is 1 week and can be changed using the OCSP_VALID_TIME_WINDOW define in cryptolib.h.

The OCSP stapling specification does not have guidance on how a client should behave if a server does not provide a CERTIFICATE_STATUS message when requested. The USE_OCSP_MUST_STAPLE define in matrixsslConfig.h is included to allow the client application to require that the server provide the message. If USE_OCSP_MUST_STAPLE is enabled and the client has requested CERTIFICATE_STATUS, the handshake will abort if the server does not provide one.

A server application wishing to support OCSP stapling must communicate out of band with an OCSP responder to periodically update the signed OCSP response, as defined in RFC 6960. The response is loaded into MatrixSSL by calling matrixSslLoadOCSPResponse. This function takes a fully formed OCSPResponse ASN.1 buffer as defined in RFC6960 section 4.2 and loads it into the provided sslKeys_t structure. Whenever the server application gets a new OCSP response, the same matrixSslLoadOCSPResponse API can be called to update the sslKeys_t structure.

When a client sends the status_request extension the server will look to see if an OCSP response is available in the sslKeys_t structure and reply with a status_request extension and the CERTIFICATE_STATUS message that holds the OCSP response for the client to validate.

Configuring OCSP Feature for Use

The OCSP functionality depends on definitions in cryptoConfig.h. Full read/write functionality and server features requires following defines:

#define USE_X509
#define USE_CRL
#define USE_OCSP

The standard configurations like default on MatrixSSL FIPS and Commercial releases have already neccessary features enabled.

Invoking OCSP Manually

OCSP Example Application

OCSP use has example application ocsp.c in apps/crypto subdirectory of MatrixSSL. The compiled application will be known as matrixOCSP.
This application can be used to create OCSP requests and get responses. The easiest way to study OCSP functionality is to use and examine this application. The application provides usage instructions when invoked without parameters. Some of most interesting options include -requestand -reply which allow storing requests and responses for examination with various other tools supporting OCSP and/or ASN.1 DER/BER.
The most MatrixSSL supported functions are used by this program.

The most of functionality of ocsp.c program is found in OCSPRequestAndResponseTest() function, and this function is most useful to study for creating OCSP requests and validating OCSP responses.

Creating OCSP request data

In MatrixSSL, function matrixSslWriteOCSPRequestExt() is used to create OCSP requests.

The function is invoked as follows:

if (matrixSslWriteOCSPRequestExt(NULL, 
                                 &info) != PS_SUCCESS) {
    /* Error handling */
    return PS_FAILURE;

The memory pool is usually passed in as NULL. The certificates subject (certificate to check) and issuer (for issuer of certificate to check needs to be provided). New memory will be allocated for request and the pointer of request will be written to request, and the amount of memory allocated will be written to requestLen.

info is used to provide options for OCSP request. These options are discussed below. The memory allocated for OCSP request shall be freed after the request
is no longer needed.

Providing Nonce Extension

The MatrixSSL provides nonce for OCSP nonce extension via info.flags flag MATRIXSSL_WRITE_OCSP_REQUEST_FLAG_NONCE. The OCSP nonce extension provide unique nonce value, which can be used to the request is replied with a new (rather than cached) OCSP response.

Providing name for requestor (requestorName)

The MatrixSSL allows providing name for OCSP requestor. The name is represented
using X.509 GeneralName. matrixSslWriteOCSPRequestInfoSetRequestorId() function
is provided to help encoding the OCSP requestor name in suitable format for
OCSP request. Note: This option is relatively rarely used and some OCSP
Responders will reject requests with RequestorName.

Providing list of requests (requestList)

If matrixSslWriteOCSPRequestInfo_t flag MATRIXSSL_WRITE_OCSP_REQUEST_FLAG_CERT_LIST is specified,
then OCSP request is made concerning a list of certificates linked
(via subject->next). This is a convenient way to allow for less network
traffic when working with the certificates from the same issuer.
Note: Some OCSP responders only support single request, and will reject requests
concerning multiple certificates.

Interacting with OCSP server

The most OCSP servers use HTTP protocol. The MatrixSSL provides psUrlInteract() function, to create HTTP request and get HTTP response. When OCSP is used in SSL/TLS context, the most commonly subject certificate will contain AuthorityInfoAccess information regarding what server will provide OCSP information. It is accessed via authorityInfoAccess field of the Certificate structure psX509Cert_t.

You can see getOCSPResponse() function in ocsp.c for a concrete example on how to interact with the server.

To use HTTP protocol, it is necessary to know the correct URL. The URL is in practice commonly specified in AuthorityInfoAccess extensions of X.509 certificate. The following function will extract authority information from X.509 certificate.

static char *getAuthorityInfoOCSP_URI(const psX509Cert_t *subject)
    char *url = NULL;
    x509authorityInfoAccess_t *authInfo;
    authInfo = subject->extensions.authorityInfoAccess;

    /* Find the first AuthorityInfoAccess extension data with
       OCSP information. */
    while(authInfo != NULL) {
        if (authInfo->ocsp && authInfo->ocspLen > 0) {
            url = calloc(1, authInfo->ocspLen + 1);
            if (url) {
                memcpy(url, authInfo->ocsp, authInfo->ocspLen);
        authInfo = authInfo->next;
    return url;

The interaction will result in getting an HTTP error code or OCSP response. The OCSP response can be analyzed and verified using the functions described in the next chapter.

Working with OCSP response

Working with OCSP response actually consists of four phases:

  • Obtaining and checking issuer certificate
  • Parsing
  • Checking of time-stamps
  • Validation of response

The functions support both OCSP responses just retrieved as response to a constructed OCSP request and cached OCSP requests. One type of cache OCSP response often used in SSL/TLS is the ones used in OCSP stapling.

Obtaining and checking issuer certificate

To validate OCSP response, an issuer certificate is used. Many organizations use the same certificates to sign OCSP responses than are used to validate certificates themselves. In this case, the issuer certificate has been obtained and validated already as part of X.509 certificate validation. In case, OCSP responses have been signed with other keys designated for that purpose, then they shall be validated just like any other X.509 intermediate certificate, e.g. using psX509ParseCert() and psX509AuthenticateCert().

The certificate of keys intended to be used for OCSP may have been marked for that purpose. This can be checked e.g. with the following code:

bool gotEKU_OCSP = false;
bool gotKU_OCSP = false;
const x509v3extensions_t *ext = &issuer->extensions;
/* Specific flag for OCSP. */
if ((ext->ekuFlags & EXT_KEY_USAGE_OCSP_SIGNING) > 0)
    gotEKU_OCSP = true;
/* No OCSP specific flag, use generic digital signatures flag. */
if ((ext->keyUsageFlags & KEY_USAGE_DIGITAL_SIGNATURE) > 0)
    gotKY_OCSP = true;

Only if both key usage and extended key usage flags are found in the certificate, the key can be considered to be marked for OCSP usage. However, many of the keys used for OCSP do not have this purpose marked in their certificate, and the most important validity check for OCSP signers remains ensuring that they have been signed by (one of) the CA root(s).

Parsing OCSP response

OCSP response can be parsed using function parseOCSPResponse(). Parsing does not validate the response for correctness, but translates the response to internal form (mOCSPResponse_t), which allows easier working with the response.

Checking time-stamps

The times in OCSP response are validated with checkOCSPResponseDates() function. The function will check the times in the OCSP response with respect to the current time and provide struct tm field representing various times (ProducedAt, thisUpdate, nextUpdate) within OCSP response. If OCSP response has timed out the function will return PS_TIMEOUT_FAIL.

The time validation function allows some clock skew between server and client. The default value is provided by PS_OCSP_TIME_LINGER, it is two minutes. It is possible to provide different values depending on how well the clocks are expected to be synchronized.

If OCSP response is found to be no longer valid or there is another issue in timestamps, then the application should not accept the OCSP response or process it further.

Validating OCSP response

The purpose of OCSP is to check if a certificate is revoked. validateOCSPResponse_ex() function is (finally) provided for this purpose. The function supports many different arguments. The options are used to pass in optional arguments.

opts.knownFlag = &known;
opts.revocationFlag = &revocated;
opts.nonceMatch = &nonceOk;
opts.revocationTime = &revocationTime;
opts.revocationReason = &revocationReason;
opts.request = request;
opts.requestLen = requestLen;
if (validateOCSPResponse_ex(NULL,
                            &opts) != PS_SUCCESS) {
    /* Error handling */
    return PS_FAILURE;

The memory pool is usually passed in as NULL. The certificates subject (certificate to check) and issuer (for expected issuer of certificate needs to be provided). response is the response to work with. This function returns PS_SUCCESS only when validation has been deemed success, and the certificate has not been found to be revoked.

In the simplest usage of this function, only the return code is checked. The PS_SUCCESS return code is only gotten if certificate is not revoked and the response has been successfully validated.

opts is used to provide options for OCSP response parsing. These options will provide more information regarding successful and unsuccessful invocation of validateOCSPResponse_ex(). The options are discussed below.

Revocation status and reason

Flag pointed by opts.knownFlag will be set to true (1) if OCSP response contained information regarding this certificate (subject). Responses not containing information regarding the certificate should be dismissed.
If certificate has been revoked, flag pointed by opts.revocationFlag will be set to true (1). If available, variables pointed by opts.revocationReason and opts.revocationTime and will be set to indicate the revocation reason and time respectively. In OCSP protocol, revocation reasons are indicated by numbers between 1 and 10, the same codes used by CRL. (See function mapRevocationReason() in ocsp.c for mapping the numbers to various reasons).

Nonce validation

For validating OCSP nonce, it is necessary to provide the OCSP request as pointer and length pair to validateOCSPResponse_ex() function, using opts.request and opts.requestLen. If the same nonce is found in OCSP request and response, that is considered a match and flag pointed to by opts.nonceMatch is set to true (1).

Currently, OCSP nonce is not supported by many of the OCSP servers deployed in practice, and therefore, it is recommended to not rely on OCSP nonce feature to be provided by third party OCSP servers.

##6.9 MatrixSSL Statistics Framework
Implementations that wish to capture counts of SSL events can tap into the MATRIXSSL_STATS framework by enabling USE_MATRIXSSL_STATS during the compile. The mechanism is a very simple callback that can be registered to record whatever specific SSL event the user wants. The default set of events capture the following:

  • CLIENT_HELLO count (sent for clients and received for servers)
  • SERVER_HELLO count (sent for servers and received for clients)
  • Alerts sent
  • Resumed handshake count
  • Failed resumed handshake count
  • Number of application data bytes received
  • Number of application data bytes sent

To add an event to the framework the user must:

  1. Add a unique ID to the list of existing stats in matrixsslApi.h
  2. Add the call to matrixsslUpdateStat in the appropriate place in the MatrixSSL library

##6.10 Client Authentication using an External Security Token

MatrixSSL allows the TLS client to authenticate itself using an external security token. The external client authentication feature allows the client-side private key operation (i.e. the signing of the handshake_messages hash in the CertificateVerify handshake message) to be offloaded from MatrixSSL to an external module. Please consult the External Client Authentication section in MatrixSSL External Module Integration manual for details on how to use this feature.

#7 Deprecated Features
The features in this section are minimally supported and should only be used in cases where they are explicitly required for compatibility. Please be aware of any security implications of these features before enabling them.
##7.1 EAP_FAST Mode
EAP-FAST is an aging, proprietary EAP method that uses TLS to bootstrap a higher level EAP authentication method. It is supported by MatrixSSL for the client (EAP Supplicant) side only. Unlike EAP-TLS or EAP-TTLS, EAP-FAST requires modifications to the TLS protocol and therefore must be explicitly enabled with both a compile time define USE_EAP_FAST and a client side API matrixSslSetSessionIdEapFast in matrixssllib.h.

EAP-FAST requires a Protected Access Credential (PAC) to be provisioned between the peers out-of-band (see RFC5422 Dynamic Provisioning Using Flexible Authentication via Secure Tunneling Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP-FAST). Like the TLS_PSK cipher suites, this PAC consists of a secret key (pac-key) and a unique id associated with the key, both shared between the peers. However, the TLS_PSK ciphers are not used for this mechanism directly.

The PAC is exchanged between the peers by the client sending the Stateless Session Ticket Resumption specification: the CLIENT_HELLO SessionTicket Extension. However, a PAC explicitly cannot be received by a client in the corresponding NewSessionTicket handshake message from the server, and must be provisioned out-of-band. Unfortunately this requires alteration of the standard TLS state machine logic.

sslSessionId_t	*sid;
ssl_t 			*ssl;
rc = matrixSslNewSessionId(&sid, NULL);
matrixSslSetSessionIdEapFast(sid, pac_key, pac_opaque, pac_opaque_len);
rc = matrixSslNewClientSession(&ssl, keys, sid, ...);
/* When TLS session is successfully negotiated */
rc = matrixSslGetEapFastSKS(ssl, session_key_seed);

##7.2 ZLIB Compression
The TLS specification specifies a mechanism for peers to agree on an algorithm to compress data before being encrypted. Although the feature is not widely adopted and is deprecated due to the ‘CRIME’ attack, there is limited support in MatrixSSL for zlib compression for implementations that are sensitive to throughput.

To enable the feature, enable USE_ZLIB_COMPRESSION in matrixssllib.h. It will also be necessary to edit the development environment to link with a zlib library. For a standard GCC POSIX environment this should simply mean including –lz in the linker flags.

The built-in support for this feature is limited. The feature only supports the internal compression and decompression of the FINISHED handshake message for initial handshakes. This means re-handshaking is not supported and that the application MUST compress and decompress application data manually.

On the application data sending side:
After a successful handshake with USE_ZLIB_COMPRESSION enabled, the user should call matrixSslIsSessionCompressionOn to test whether that mode has been successfully negotiated. If PS_TRUE, the user must manually zlib deflate any application data before calling the Matrix encryption functions. Do not compress more plaintext data in a single record than the maximum allowed record size to remain compatible with 3rd party SSL implementations.

On the application data receiving side:
Applications must test for MATRIXSSL_APP_DATA_COMPRESSED as the return code from matrixSslReceivedData. If found, the data must be zlib inflated to obtain the plaintext data