Re: [TLS] Comments on nonce construction and cipher text size restriction.

Martin Thomson <> Tue, 24 May 2016 16:13 UTC

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Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 09:13:45 -0700
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From: Martin Thomson <>
To: "Dang, Quynh (Fed)" <>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] Comments on nonce construction and cipher text size restriction.
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On 24 May 2016 at 08:20, Dang, Quynh (Fed) <> wrote:
> 1. For this text:  "plus the length of the output of the signing algorithm.
> " in the last paragraph of Section 4.8.1, did you mean "plus the output of
> the signing algorithm.” ?

The text is correct.  It is talking about the length of the structure,
not its contents.

> 2. "The length (in bytes) of the following TLSCiphertext.fragment. The
> length MUST NOT exceed 2^14 + 256. An endpoint that receives a record that
> exceeds this length MUST generate a fatal "record_overflow" alert. " . There
> could be a cipher that generates ciphertext longer than plaintext in some
> cases plus the tag. If the tag was 256 bits, then this requirement would
> disallow that cipher unnecessarily when a record size is 2^14.

The value 256 is octets, not bits.  If you are aware of a need for an
authentication tag longer than 256 octets, now would be a great time
to tell all of us.

> 3. "The padded sequence number is XORed with the static client_write_iv or
> server_write_iv, depending on the role.” I think the ivs are not needed.

We discussed this at quite some length.  I originally took your
position, but the IVs add an extra layer of safety at very little