The FINANCIAL — Oracle, OpenSSL and SafeLogic on August 3 announced a seed investment in developing the next generation open source OpenSSL 1.1 FIPS 140-2 module, and called for others to join the effort. OpenSSL is the most widely used and respected cryptographic library protecting data transfers across computer networks.
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 is a joint U.S. and Canadian government security standard for testing cryptographic modules, the objective of which is to ensure the use of strong and validated cryptographic protection in U.S. and Canadian government systems. However, it’s also widely respected and informally accepted by other countries and non-government industries as a strong and trustworthy standard for cryptographic modules used within commercial products. The current FIPS module for OpenSSL has not had a significant upgrade since 2012, during which time encryption standards have significantly evolved. Helping drive the updated OpenSSL FIPS project forward, Oracle has made a $50,000 seed investment to start the project, with another $50,000 to follow based on the progress of the effort, according to Oracle.
“Ensuring that OpenSSL maintains an up to date FIPS implementation is critical to helping maintain the security posture of sensitive data on government systems and the continuous safety of millions of transactions performed daily. We as a community have a responsibility to maintain the confidence of users in these systems,” said Jim Wright, Chief Architect, Open Source Policy, Strategy, Compliance and Alliances at Oracle. “Given the complexity of the task at hand, we encourage other software vendors to join us in and donate to this project to deliver a free, open-source FIPS module that will benefit everyone.”
In addition to working closely with the OpenSSL Foundation’s team, Oracle and SafeLogic have worked closely on both investments in and the project framework of this effort. SafeLogic has been actively working with OpenSSL on this project since July 2016.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for—getting this effort off to a good strong start—and with a few more partners from the community, we’ll be on our way toward a complete FIPS 140-2 solution for OpenSSL releases 1.1 and later,” said Steve Marquess, President of OpenSSL Validation Services, Inc. “We’re already hard at work on the initial stage of designing a new module to accommodate the many changes in FIPS 140 validations over the past five years, and looking forward to a modernized implementation that can support the community for years to come.”
“Oracle has made a significant pledge, underscoring their crucial role in the future of open source FIPS 140-2 capabilities,” said SafeLogic CEO Ray Potter. “Other sponsors with a vested interest should get in touch with SafeLogic to arrange their own donations, as we are administering contributions to directly fund both the hard and soft costs of the OpenSSL 1.1 FIPS Module project.”