RUSTSEC-2024-0344: Vulnerability in curve25519-dalek

Rust Crates.io Security Advisory


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RUSTSEC-2024-0344

Timing variability in curve25519-dalek‘s Scalar29::sub/Scalar52::sub


Reported
Issued

Package

curve25519-dalek
(crates.io)

Type

Vulnerability

Categories
References
Patched
  • >=4.1.3

Description

Timing variability of any kind is problematic when working with potentially secret values such as
elliptic curve scalars, and such issues can potentially leak private keys and other secrets. Such a
problem was recently discovered in curve25519-dalek.

The Scalar29::sub (32-bit) and Scalar52::sub (64-bit) functions contained usage of a mask value
inside a loop where LLVM saw an opportunity to insert a branch instruction (jns on x86) to
conditionally bypass this code section when the mask value is set to zero as can be seen in godbolt:

A similar problem was recently discovered in the Kyber reference implementation:

https://groups.google.com/a/list.nist.gov/g/pqc-forum/c/hqbtIGFKIpU/m/cnE3pbueBgAJ

As discussed on that thread, one portable solution, which is also used in this PR, is to introduce a
volatile read as an optimization barrier, which prevents the compiler from optimizing it away.

The fix can be validated in godbolt here:

The problem was discovered and the solution independently verified by
Alexander Wagner alexander.wagner@aisec.fraunhofer.de and Lea Themint lea.thiemt@tum.de using
their DATA tool:

https://github.com/Fraunhofer-AISEC/DATA

Advisory available under CC0-1.0
license.

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