GSoC 2017 – wlan slovenija – Report 2 – HMAC signing of Nodewatcher data

What’s been done

The first blog post that describes the idea and goals can be read here and the first update here.

The data that the nodewatcher receives from nodes had no signature, so anyone could intercept the packets, change the content and send them on their merry way. Authentication using SSL certificates was already implemented, but a lightweight, fast solution, that doesn’t require the use of big libraries like OpenSSL and any extra dependencies on nodes was desired. That means two things. First finding a good sha256 implementation or writing my own. Some libraries implement extra precautions to prevent side-channel attacks, which take advantage of some physical characteristic of the implementation. Even then not all implementations are safe depending on the system on which the algorithms run. It was decided that in this context these attacks don’t bother us too much and the attacker would need physical access to the device anyway. Therefore Brad Conte’s open source implementation was used.

The second part involved writing the hash-based message authentication code. I tried to optimize the algorithm as much as possible saving space and time. After combining both parts the correctness of implemented HMAC-sha256 was thoroughly tested using official test vectors.

The extra option to select the desired authentication was added to nodewatcher-agent, with SSL certificates being the default. If HMAC signing was selected, a HMAC signing key needs to be provided. The signature converted to base64 is then inserted in to the message header and checked when received by the nodewatcher.

What’s next

Now I will start working on IPv6 support for the Tunneldigger.

I am contributing using my github account.

Forward! Good luck!