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Date:   Fri, 14 Jan 2022 16:08:14 +0100
From:   Ard Biesheuvel <>
To:     "Jason A. Donenfeld" <>
Cc:     Alexei Starovoitov <>,
        Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>,
        Network Development <>,
        LKML <>,
        Geert Uytterhoeven <>,
        Herbert Xu <>,
        Jean-Philippe Aumasson <>,
        Linux Crypto Mailing List <>,
        bpf <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH RFC v1 1/3] bpf: move from sha1 to blake2s in tag calculation

On Fri, 14 Jan 2022 at 15:12, Jason A. Donenfeld <> wrote:
> Hi Alexei,
> On Thu, Jan 13, 2022 at 11:45 PM Alexei Starovoitov
> <> wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 13, 2022 at 4:27 AM Jason A. Donenfeld <> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi Alexei,
> > >
> > > On 1/13/22, Alexei Starovoitov <> wrote:
> > > > Nack.
> > > > It's part of api. We cannot change it.
> > >
> > > This is an RFC patchset, so there's no chance that it'll actually be
> > > applied as-is, and hence there's no need for the strong hammer nack.
> > > The point of "request for comments" is comments. Specifically here,
> > > I'm searching for information on the ins and outs of *why* it might be
> > > hard to change. How does userspace use this? Why must this 64-bit
> > > number be unchanged? Why did you do things this way originally? Etc.
> > > If you could provide a bit of background, we might be able to shake
> > > out a solution somewhere in there.
> >
> > There is no problem with the code and nothing to be fixed.
> Yes yes, my mama says I'm the specialist snowflake of a boy too. That
> makes two of us ice crystals, falling from the winter heavens,
> blessing vim with our beautiful shapes and frosty code.

Can we please keep it professional, guys?

> Anyway, back to reality, as Geert points out, we're hoping to be able
> to remove lib/sha1.c from vmlinux (see 3/3 of this series) for
> codesize, and this bpf usage here is one of two remaining usages of
> it. So I was hoping that by sending this RFC, it might elicit a bit
> more information about the ecosystem around the usage of the function,
> so that we can start trying to think of creative solutions to sunset
> it.

Yeah, so the issue is that, at *some* point, SHA-1 is going to have to
go. So it would be helpful if Alexei could clarify *why* he doesn't
see this as a problem. The fact that it is broken means that it is no
longer intractable to forge collisions, which likley means that SHA-1
no longer fulfills the task that you wanted it to do in the first

And just dismissing the issue every time it comes up won't make the
problem go away. There are people on this thread that have a much
better handle on how to use crypto safely and responsibly, and it is
in everybody's interest if we can come to an agreement about when and
how SHA-1 will be phased out.

> I started trying to figure out what's up there and wound up with some
> more questions. My primary one is why you're okay with such a weak
> "checksum" -- the thing is only 64-bits, and as you told Andy Polyakov
> in 2016 when he tried to stop you from using SHA-1, "Andy, please read
> the code. \ we could have used jhash there just as well. \ Collisions
> are fine."
> Looking at
> I see:
>   err = bpf_prog_compute_tag(insns, prog_len, &tag1);
>   if (err)
>     return err;
>   err = bpf_prog_get_tag(prog_fd, &tag2);
>   if (err)
>     return err;
>   if (tag1 != tag2) {
>     fprintf(stderr, "prog tag mismatch %llx %llx\n", tag1, tag2);
> So it's clearly a check for something. A collision there might prove pesky:
>   char buf[128];
>   ::snprintf(buf, sizeof(buf), BCC_PROG_TAG_DIR "/bpf_prog_%llx", tag1);
>   err = mkdir(buf, 0777);
> Maybe you don't really see a security problem here, because these
> programs are root loadable anyway? But I imagine things will
> ultimately get more complicated later on down the road when bpf
> becomes more modular and less privileged and more namespaced -- the
> usual evolution of these sorts of features.
> So I'm wondering - why not just do this in a more robust way entirely,
> and always export a sufficiently sized blake2s hash? That way we'll
> never have these sorts of shenanigans to care about. If that's not a
> sensible thing to do, it's likely that I _still_ don't quite grok the
> purpose of the program tag, in which case, I'd be all ears to an
> explanation.
> Jason
> [ PS: As an aside, I noticed some things in the userspace tag
> calculation code at
> - you probably shouldn't use AF_ALG for things that are software based
> and can be done in userspace faster. And the unconditional
> __builtin_bswap64 there means that the code will fail on big endian
> systems. I know you mostly only care about x86 and all, but <endian.h>
> might make this easy to fix. ]

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