Re: [saag] Algorithms/modes requested by users/customers

"Santosh Chokhani" <> Tue, 26 February 2008 12:40 UTC

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I do not think this is a forum for negotiations.  But, we will be happy
to do FIPS testing for your product for Level 1 for quoted price.

As to algorithms, all FIPS approved algorithms need to be tested.

As to key generation there are standards that come out of NIST and ANSI
X9 that IETF also takes its cue from, and FIPS process ensures that the
keys are generated in accordance with those standards.

Have you yourself participated in a FIPS evaluation or have you looked
at the NIST FIPS 140-2 DTR and FIPS 140-2 IG (i.e. Implementation
Guidance) available on the Web?

-----Original Message-----
From: pgut001 [] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:34 AM
To:;; Santosh Chokhani
Subject: RE: [saag] Algorithms/modes requested by users/customers

"Santosh Chokhani" <> writes:

>You are wrong about FIPS 140-1 costs being 100K for Level 1.  It is
more like

The figures I've been given, from numerous vendors going through
numerous labs
over a number of years, is that their all-up cost for a level 1 software
was around $100K (give or take a few tens of $K).  This isn't just the
cheque they cut to get the coloured piece of paper, this is the all-up
cost of
getting their product through a FIPS 140 eval.

I realise the following may be a bit unfair since you weren't intending
provide a price quote :-), but I'm willing to put my money where my
mouth is:
If Cygnacom can get me a FIPS 140 level 1 on my code for an all-up cost
$30K I'll send you a cheque and CDROM of the source within 24 hours (I
need to
get mgt.approval first).  Just let me know where to send it and who to
the payment out to.

>In terms of what FIPS buys is that you ensure that the algorithm is
>implemented correctly,

That a *subset* of the algorithms used are impemented correctly, in
words a subset of what you can get for $19.95 via a TLS connect to
And the actual crypto mechanisms don't get tested at all.

>keys will be generated in accordance with FIPS (meaning that the seed
>the PRNG will have requisite entropy and PRNG will be FIPS approved).

A nice circular definition: "A FIPS evaluation guarantees that keys will
generated as required in order to pass a FIPS evaluation".

>You also get the assurance that the keys are being managed properly in
>crypto module.

... unless the vendor has documented away the mismanagement, e.g.
plaintext private key export.

You're not making a very convincing argument here :-).