[Cfrg] Introduction, and some concerns regarding draft-irtf-cfrg-argon2

Gwynne Raskind <gwynne@darkrainfall.org> Sun, 26 April 2020 13:40 UTC

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From: Gwynne Raskind <gwynne@darkrainfall.org>
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Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2020 08:40:06 -0500
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Subject: [Cfrg] Introduction, and some concerns regarding draft-irtf-cfrg-argon2
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My name is Gwynne Raskind; I'm a software engineer with a fairly wide range of technical experience and interests. I'm new to this mailing list, and to the IRTF in general - a colleague suggested that I subscribe to this working group's community to bring up an issue of concern to me with regards to the currently published draft of the specification of the Argon2 key derivation function (formally draft-irtf-cfrg-argon2-10).

In the course of both my work and general interest, I had occasion to investigate this algorithm and to attempt to build an implementation natively in the Swift language. Unfortunately, I found the draft in its present form to be less helpful than I had hoped. After a considerable amount of time spent studying the C reference implementation and comparing it with the specification, I was able to derive a nearly complete and partially functional implementation of my own. It was a fascinating learning experience, but I also noted a significant number of typographical errors, incomplete descriptions, missing elements, and other problems in the spec itself.

As I have an active interest in the cryptography space, as well as plenty of experience as both a technical writer and as a systems engineer, I took it upon myself to write up a somewhat exhaustive list of the various issues I encountered in the spec, ranging from technical analysis to grammatical concerns: I would be very pleased to contribute it (along with some accompanying suggestions of potential corrections) if it would be welcomed. I apologize if I'm in any way out of line; I couldn't find any kind of guidelines for how to approach this sort of problem, short of doing exactly this, so here I am.

Thanks for reading through this, and I hope to get the chance to help out!

-- Gwynne Raskind