|4.2TLS/SSL Functionality Sources|
|4.3WASD SSL Quick-Start|
|4.5.7Strict Transport Security|
|4.5.8SSL Server Certificate|
|4.5.9SSL Private Key|
|4.5.10SSL Virtual Services|
|4.5.11SSL Access Control|
|4.5.12Authorization Using X.509 Certification|
|4.5.13X.509 Certificate Renegotiation|
|4.5.15Subject Alternative Name and Other Extensions|
|4.5.17Certificate Authority Verification File|
|4.5.18X.509 Authorization CGI Variables|
|4.6.2Certificate Signing Request|
|4.7SSL CGI Variables|
|4.8SSL Service Evaluation|
Transport Layer Security (TLS), and its predecessor Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communication privacy over a network, in the case of HTTP between the browser (client) and the server. It also authenticates server and optionally client identity. TLS/SSL operates by establishing an encrypted communication path between the two applications, "wrapping" the entire application protocol inside the secure link, providing complete privacy for the entire transaction. In this way security-related data such as user identification and password, as well as sensitive transaction information can be protected from unauthorized access while in transit. This section is not a tutorial on TLS/SSL. It contains only information relating to WASD's use of it. See 4.9 SSL References for further information on TLS/SSL technology.
|WASD implements SSL using a freely available software toolkit supported by the OpenSSL Project.|
OpenSSL licensing allows unrestricted commercial and non-commercial use. This toolkit is in use regardless of whether the WASD OpenSSL package, HP SSL for OpenVMS product, or other stand-alone OpenSSL environment is installed. It is always preferable to move to the latest support release of OpenSSL as known bugs in previous versions are progressively addressed (ignoring the issue of new bugs being introduced ;-)
Be aware that export/import and/or use of cryptography software, or even just providing cryptography hooks, is illegal in some parts of the world. When you re-distribute this package or even email patches/suggestions to the author or other people, please PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO ANY APPLICABLE EXPORT/IMPORT LAWS. The author of this package is not liable for any violations you make here.
Ralf S. Engelschall (email@example.com) is the author of the popular Apache mod_ssl package. This section is taken from the mod_ssl read-me and is well-worth some consideration for this and software security issues in general.
Have (or want) a TLS/SSL secured site?
Using self-signed or commercial server certificate(s)?
Let's Encrypt makes it possible to obtain and maintain browser-trusted certificates, simply, automatically and at no cost.
See WASD Certificate Management Environment (wuCME) on the WASD download page at https://wasd.vsm.com.au/wasd/
Secure Sockets Layer functionality is easily integrated into WASD and is available from one (or more) of the following sources. See for the basics of installing WASD SSL and for configuration of various aspects.
This is provided from the directory SYS$COMMON:[SSL111] containing shared libraries, executables and templates for certificate management, etc. If this product is installed and started the WASD installation and update procedures should detect it and provide the option of compiling and/or linking WASD against its shareable libraries.
WASD OpenSSL installation creates an OpenSSL directory in the source WASD_ROOT:[SRC.OPENSSL-n_n_n] (look for it here) containing the OpenSSL copyright notice, object libraries, object modules for building executables, example certificates, and some other support files and documentation.
The OpenSSL v1.1.1 code stream is supported. WASD requires a 32 bit OpenSSL build (the default).
To change linkage use step 2 described in selecting the alternate toolkit build.
OpenSSL v1.1.1 uses the naming schema OSSL$… for logical and file names. It also provides object libraries for a static linked executable, as well as shareable images, for the two main APIs (SSL and crypto). In common with the VSI SSL111 product, the shareable images must be installed to be used with the WASD server privileged executable. The WASD STARTUP.COM procedure will undertake this when directed (see immediately below).
There is one other consideration. For a privileged executable to activate a shareable image, not only must the image be installed but any associated logical names must be defined in executive (or kernel) mode. When executing the OpenSSL v1.1.1 startup procedure P1 must be "SYSTEM/EXECUTIVE" as in the following example:
SSL functionality can be installed with a new package, or with an update, or it can be added to an existing non-SSL enabled site. The following steps give a quick outline for support of SSL.
It is also possible to check the SSL package at any other time using the server demonstration procedure. It is necessary to specify that it is to use the SSL executable. Follow the displayed instructions.
The OPENSSL.EXE application is a command line tool for using the various cryptography functions of OpenSSL's crypto library from the shell. It is described being used several times in this section of the documentation. Refer to the OpenSSL Man page for descriptions of the various commands and their syntax.
It is commonly used as a foreign verb on VMS systems and assigned during SYLOGIN.COM or LOGIN.COM and depends on the distribution and version in use. For example:
A simple addition to SYLOGIN.COM or LOGIN.COM for WASD-specific OpenSSL kits to assign the OPENSSL verb is:
The example server startup procedure already contains support for the SSL executable. If this has been used as the basis for startup then an SSL executable will be started automatically, rather than the standard executable. The SSL executable supports both standard HTTP services (ports) and HTTPS services (ports). These must be configured using the [service] parameter. SSL services are distinguished by specifying "https:" in the parameter. The default port for an SSL service is 443.
WASD can configure services using the WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL [SSL..] directives, the per-service WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE [ServiceSSL..] directives, or the /SSL= qualifier. Configuration precedence is WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE, /SSL= and finally WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL.
SSL service configuration using the WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE configuration is slightly simpler, with a specific configuration directive for each aspect. (see Service Configuration of WASD Configuration). This example illustrates configuring the same services as used in the previous section.
As WASD uses the OpenSSL package in one distribution or another it largely supports all of the capability of that underlying package. The obsolete SSLv2, and the deprecated SSLv3 are no longer accepted by default. WASD default comprise the TLS family of protocols, at the time of writing, TLSv1, TLSv1.1, TLSv1.2 and TLSv1.3.
Some older clients employing SSLv3 may fail. Symptoms are dropped connection establishment and WATCH [x]SSL variously showing "SSL routines SSLn_GET_RECORD wrong version number", "SSL routines SSLn_GET_CLIENT_HELLO unknown protocol", possibly others. It is generally considered SSL best-practice not to have SSLv3 enabled but if required may be supported by configuring WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL [SSLversion] with "SSLv3,TLSvALL", the per-service WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE equivalent, or using the /SSL=(SSLv3,TLSvALL) command line parameter during server startup.
TLSv1.3 perhaps should have been designated TLSv2.0 and not be considered as an incremental improvement over earlier versions of TLS but a significant upgrade!
TLSv1.3 can be tested for as demonstrated at ‘test TLS Version 1.3’ in 4.8 SSL Service Evaluation.
Ciphers are the algorithms, designed and implemented on mathematical computations, that render the readable plaintext into unreadable ciphertext. Ciphers tend to be available in suites (or families) where variants, usually based on key size and therefore resistence to decryption without a known key, that browsers and otheragents negotiate on and accept when setting up a secure (encrypted) network transports with servers.
Cipher selection is important to the overall security of the supported environment as well as the range of clients and servers that can establish communication due to shared cipher suites. Including only more recent (and technically secure) ciphers can preclude older clients from establishing secure connection, and including older (and perhaps more susceptible to modern attack) ciphers increases site vunerability. Some environments, for example HTTP/2, are quite prescriptive regarding the secure connection, to the point of blacklisting protocol versions and cipher suites no longer considered secure enough.
Fortunately a number of sites provide cipher guidelines based on requirements. The Mozilla Developer Network provides these amongst other useful information on security and server side TLS.
WASD has a default (built-in) functional cipher list that is general in application and relevant to when it was compiled. This in particular and site cipher lists in general, should be reviewed from time to time as opinions and requirements do change.
Many agents (browsers) require the elliptic curve ciphers provided by Forward Secrecy elements (4.5.5 Forward Secrecy) to negotiate later TLS versions.
The OpenSSL package provides for various options to be flagged against an TLS/SSL service. WASD sets the (OpenSSL) default options and then allows these to be overwitten/set/reset using hexadecimal values representing bit patterns. OpenSSL defaults are suitable for most sites.
The SSL options directives in global and per-service configuration, and the OPTIONS= keyword for the /SSL= qualifier, accept
Alternatively, the following OpenSSL option mnemonics can be used with a leading "+" to enable, or "-" to disable
Forward secrecy, sometimes known as perfect forward secrecy (PFS), is a property of key-agreement protocols ensuring that a session key derived from a set of long-term keys cannot be compromised if one of the long-term keys is compromised in the future.
OpenSSL supports forward secrecy using Diffie-Hellman key exchange with elliptic curve cryptography and this relies on generating emphemeral keys based on unique, safe prime numbers. These are expensive to generate and so this is done infrequently, often during software build or installation. In the case of WASD, to maximise flexibility, these numbers are stored in external PEM-format files, by default located in the WASD_ROOT:[LOCAL] directory. These files are only briefly accessed during server startup SSL initialisation and the content later used during network connection SSL negotiation to generate the required ephemeral keys.
PFS requires a small number of elements working in concert
The detail is described in these references
Executing the WASD OpenSSL procedure
Alternatively, generated directly at the command-line using the OpenSSL dhparam utility, as in these examples;
Alternatively, files containing emphemeral keys generated freshly with each release, may be copied from the WASD OpenSSL package using
When a TLS/SSL connection is initiated an expensive handshake (in terms of time and compute) is required to establish the cryptographic and other elements of the connection. Mitigation of this expense is undertaken by allowing the resumption of a previous session (abbreviating the handshake exchanges) using connection state stored either at the server or at the client.
This TLS extension provides the connection state to the client, encrypted with keys available only to the server. The client stores the (encrypted) state and when (re-)connecting to the server provides that ticket in the initial part of the handshake. The server decrypts the ticket and if valid expedites the connection by resuming the previously negotiated session. This is the more modern, almost universally supported mechanism and is generally enabled by default.
Session tickets introduce a potential vulnerability to TLS security, in particular to the benefits of Forward Secrecy (PFS). If the ticket can be compromised, through theft of the keys or brute-force decryption attack, the entire session becomes vulnerable to attack. It is therefore advised to periodically rotate (change) the keys used by the server to encrypt the tickets. WASD does this every (RFC recommended) 24 hours, at midnight (local time).
Where a site is provided by multiple servers and connections distributed between these, session resumption using tickets relies on each server using the same keys. The current keys must be distributed to each server (using a secure mechanism) and this performed every time the keys are rotated. WASD uses the DLM to perform this for multiple per-node and cluster-wide instances as applicable.
In a full handshake the server sends a Session ID (unique, non-repeating value) as part of the handshake. On a subsequent connection the client can pass this session ID back to the server when connecting. To support session resumption via session IDs the server must maintain a cache that maps past session IDs to those sessions' states. The cache has limited capacity and is expensive for the server to maintain. If the session ID is still available in the cache the session can be resumed. This is the original session resumption mechanism.
Where a single WASD instance is involved the session cache is implemented in-memory. With multiple instances on a single node it is provided across those instances using a shared global section. The cacpacity of this shared cache is determined by the WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL directives [SSLinstanceCacheMax] and [SSLinstanceCacheSize] directives. There is no cluster-wide session cache. When multiple instances are in use the shared session cache is enabled by default. Session ID caching may be globally disabled by setting [SSLsessionCacheMax] to -1.
With Session Tickets being the more modern, flexible and efficient solution to session resumption (and being available cluster-wide) it is recommended that WASD sites disable Session ID caching.
The default maximum period for session reuse is five minutes. This may be set globally using the [SSLsessionLifetime] directive or on a per-service basis using [ServiceSSLsessionLifetime].
To some extent, the relatively long-lived connections and lower concurrency with HTTP/2 means the importance of session resumption in improving request latency and connection overhead is reduced.
HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a security policy mechanism which helps protect sites against protocol downgrade attack and cookie hijacking. It allows web servers to declare that browsers and other complying agents should only interact using secure (TLS) HTTP connections and never via clear-text HTTP. HSTS is an IETF standard specified in RFC 6797.
When global configuration directive [SSLstrictTransSec] is non-zero, or per-service configuration directive [ServiceSSLstrictTransSec] is non-zero, or a path is SET response=sts=<value>, TLS/SSL HTTP responses include a "Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=seconds" header field. Conforming agents note this period and refuse to communicate with the site via clear-text HTTP for the period represented by the integer number of seconds specified.
The server certificate is used by the browser to authenticate the server against the server certificate Certificate Authority (CA), in making a secure connection, and in establishing a trust relationship between the browser and server. By default this is located using the WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL [SSLcert] or WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE [ServiceSSLcert] configuration directive, the WASD_CONFIG_SSL_CERT logical name, or using the /SSL= command-line qualifier, however if required. Each SSL service can have an individual certificate configured as in the example above.
The private key is used to validate and enable the server certificate. A private key is enabled using a secret, a password. It is common practice to embed this (encrypted) password within the private key data. This private key can be appended to the server certificate file, or it can be supplied separately. If provided separately it can be located using the WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL [SSLkey] or WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE [ServiceSSLkey] configuration directive, tor using the WASD_CONFIG_SSL_KEY logical. When the password is embedded in the private key information it becomes vulnerable to being stolen as an enabled key. For this reason it is possible to provide the password separately and manually.
If the password key is not found with the key during startup the server will request that it be entered at the command-line. This request is made via the HTTPDMON "STATUS:" line (see OPCOM Logging of WASD Configuration), and if any OPCOM category is enabled via an operator message. If the private key password is not available with the key it is recommended that OPCOM be configured, enabled and monitored at all times.
When a private key password is requested by the server it is supplied using the /DO=SSL=KEY=PASSWORD directive (9.7 HTTPd Command Line). This must be used at the command line on the same system as the server is executing. The server then prompts for the password.
Multiple virtual SSL services (https:) sharing the same or individual certificates (and other characteristics) can essentially be configured against any host name (unique IP address or host name alias) and/or port in the same way as standard services (http:).
WASD SSL implements Server Name Indication (SNI), an extension to the TLS protocol that indicates what hostname the client is attempting to connect to at the start of the handshaking process. This allows a server to present multiple certificates on the same IP address and port number and hence allows multiple secure (HTTPS) websites (or any other Service over TLS) to be served off the same IP address without requiring all those sites to use the same certificate.
When the client presents an SNI server name during SSL connection establishment, WASD searches the list of services it is offering for an SSL service (the first hit) operating with a name matching the SNI server name. If matched, the SSL context (certificate, etc.) of that service is used to establish the connection. If not matched, the service the TCP/IP connection originally arrived at is used.
When authorization is in place (3. Authentication and Authorization) access to username/password controlled data/functionality benefits enormously from the privacy of an authorization environment inherently secured via the encrypted communications of SSL. In addition there is the possibility of authentication via client X.509 certification (4.5.12 Authorization Using X.509 Certification). SSL may be used as part of the site's access control policy, as whole-of-site, see 3.2 Authentication Policy, or on a per-path basis (see Request Processing Configuration of WASD Configuration).
The server access control functionality (authentication and authorization) allows the use of public key infrastructure (PKI) X.509 v3 client certificates for establishing identity and based on that apply authorization constraints. See 3. Authentication and Authorization for general information on WASD authorization and 3.4 Authorization Configuration File for configuring a X509 realm. 4. Transport Layer Security provides introductory references on public-key cryptography and PKI.
A client certificate is stored by the browser. During an SSL transaction the server can request that such a certificate be provided. For the initial instance of such a request the browser activates a dialog requesting the user select one of any certificates it has installed. If selected it is transmitted securely to the server which will usually (though optionally not) authenticate its Certificate Authority to establish its integrity. If accepted it can then be used as an authenticated identity. This obviates the use of username/password dialogs.
The initial negotiation and verification of a client certificate is a relatively resource intensive process. Once established however, OpenSSL sessions are usually either stored in a cache or stored encrypted withing the client, reducing subsequent request overheads significantly. Each session has a specified expiry period after which the client is forced to negotiate a new session. This period is adjustable using the "[LT:integer]" and "[TO:integer]" directives described below.
An X.509 client certificate is requested at either TLS/SSL connection establishment (WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL [SSLverifyPeer], WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE [ServiceSSLverifyPeer]) or once the request has been made and assessed against authorisation rules. If an X509 realm controls access to the resources then the TLS/SSL connection is queried for an X.509 client certificate to authenticate the client and authorise the access.
This is performed via a TLS/SSL renegotiation and for this the connection must have been cleared of request data. In the case of a HEAD, GET, OPTIONS, etc. request, this already has implicitly occurred by there being no request body. For POST, PROPFIND, PUT, etc. requests, the client most likely already will be transmitting the request body. This (application data) must be absorbed before the client certificate renegotiation can be performed.
In avoiding disruption to the current request, any request body must be buffered (in full, based on the content length specified in the header) before issuing the renegotiation. This consumes memory and potentially large quantities. The default maximum buffer space is 1MB. The maximum request body size and hence maximum memory accomodated can be configured using the per-service WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE [ServiceSSLverifyDataMax] directive, or the global WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL configuration directive [SSLverifyDataMax].
Where a request with a body exceeds the maximum allowed buffer space the authorisation fails. This can be observed using WATCH. Where very large files are being sent the only solution is to first authenticate with a request without a body (e.g. using OPTIONS) then using the persistent connection and associated X.509 authentication perform the PUT or POST.
WASD provides a range of capabilities when using X.509 client certificates.
The basic syntax for this field is the full extension name, and the short-hand equivalent.
The Subject Alternative Name (SAN) extension (in common with many others) may contain multiple data elements, each with a leading name, a colon, and a (if multi line) carriage-control terminated value. WASD parses these into unqiue fields using keywords fixed in function SesolaCertKeyword() and the site configurable logical name WASD_X509_EXTENSION_KEYWORDS value. To select one of these fields, for example the common (Microsoft) user principal name (UPN), append the required field name to the extension name as shown in the following example (includes "shorthand" equivalents, along with the underscore and equate variants). Note that the identifying name match is not case sensitive.
Object Identifiers (OIDs) may be used for either record and field name (if an unknown otherName) by prefixing with "OID_". For example, the SAN may be alternatively selected, and the (Microsoft) UPN, as in the following examples.
X509 certificate extensions are in general visible from WATCH and accessible via CGI variables (when enabled using SET SSLCGI=apache_mod_ssl_extens and SSLCGI=apache_mod_ssl_client path mappings). The identifying names derived from X509 extensions are built of the alphanumerics in the element names. Non-alphanumerics (e.g. spaces) have underscores substituted. Multiple underscores are compressed into singles. Where elements have identical names the first multiple has TWO underscores and the digit two appended, the second mutiple, two underscores and three appended, etc.
Of course, the WASD OpenSSL component must be installed and in use to apply client X.509 certificate authorization. There is general server setup, then per-service and per-resource configuration.
Client certificate authorization has reasonable defaults. If some aspect requires site refinement the WASD_CONFIG_GLOBAL [SSL..] directives (see WASD Configuration) or command-line /SSL= qualifier parameters can provide per-server defaults.
The location of the CA verification file can also be determined using the logical name WASD_CONFIG_SSL_CAFILE. The order of precedence for using these specifications is
The WASD_CONFIG_SERVICE directive is provided for per-service CA file specification, if necessary allowing different services to accept a different mix of CAs.
Client certificate authorization is probably most usefully applied on a per-resource (per-request-path) basis using WASD_CONFIG_AUTH configuration file rules. Of course, per-resource control also applies to services that always require a client certificate (the only difference is the certificate has already been negotiated for during the initial connection handshake). The reserved realm name "X509" activates client certificate authentication when a rule belonging to that realm is triggered. The following example shows such a rule providing read access to those possessing any verified certificate.
Optional directives may be supplied to the X.509 authenticator controlling what mode the certificate is accepted in, as well a further access-restriction rules on specifically which certificates may or may not be accepted for authorization. Such directives are passed via the "param=" mechanism. The following real-life example shows a script path requiring a mandatory certificate, but not necessarily having the CA verified. This would allow a certificate display service to be established, the "[to:EXPIRED]" directive forcing the client to explicitly select a certificate with each access.
A number of such directives are available controlling some aspects of the certificate negotiation and verification. The "[LT:integer]" directive causes a verified certificate selection to continue to be valid for the specified period as long as requests continue during that period (lifetime is reset with each access).
Optional "param=" passed conditionals may also be used to provide additional filtering on which certificates may or may not be used against the particular path. This is based on pattern matching against client certificate components.
These functions can be used in a similar fashion to mapping rule conditionals (see Conditional Configuration of WASD Configuration). This includes the logical ORing, ANDing and negating of conditionals. Asterisk wildcards match any zero or more characters, percent characters any single character. Matching is case-insensitive.
Note that the "IS:" and "SU:" conditionals each have a specific-record and an entire-field mode. If the conditional string begins with a slash then it is considered to be a match against a specified record contents within the field. If it begins with a wildcard then it is matched against the entire field contents. Certificate DN records recognised by WASD,
The following (fairly contrived) examples provide an illustration of the basics of X509 conditionals. When matching against Issuer and Subject DNs some knowlege of their contents and structure is required (see 4. Transport Layer Security for some basic resources).
Of course, access control via group membership is also available. The effective username for the list is the 32 digit fingerprint of the client certificate (shown as REMOTE_USER IN the first example of 4.5.18 X.509 Authorization CGI Variables), or the Subject DN record as specified using the [RU:/record=] directive. This may be entered into simple lists as part of a group of which membership then controls access to the resource. The following examples show the contents of simple list files containing the X.509 fingerprints, derived remote-user names, and the required WASD_CONFIG_AUTH realm entries.
In a similar fashion the effective username can be placed in an access restriction list. The following configuration would only allow the user of the certificate access to the specified resources. Other verified certificate holders would be denied access.
For the CA certificate component of the client certificate to be verified as being what it claims to be (and thus establishing the integrity of the client certificate) a list of such certificates must be provided for comparison purposes. For WASD this list is contained in a single, plain-text file variously specified using either the WASD_CONFIG_SSL_CAFILE logical or per-service "[ServiceSSLclientCAfile]" directives, or the global [SSLverifyPeerCAFile] directive.
Copies of CA certificates are available for such purposes. The PEM copies (base-64 encoded versions of the binary certificate) can be placed into this file using any desired text editor. Comments may be inserted by prefixing with the "#" character. For WASD this would be best stored in the WASD_ROOT:[LOCAL] directory, or site equivalent.
An example of how such a file appears is provided below (bulk of the file has been 8< snipped 8< for bevity).
The WASD OpenSSL package provides an example CA verification file. The exact date and source can be found in the opening commentary of the file itself. The contents of this file easily can be pared down to the minimum certificates required for any given site.
The bundle may be refreshed at any time using any reliable source. The cURL project provides such a resource suitable for its own use, Apache mod_ssl and WASD. This is sourced from the root certificates used by the Mozilla Foundation for its Firefox product (and others). Mozilla uses a non-PEM format source which must be converted before use by WASD. The cURL site provides this already converted for use with its own utility and made available as a general resource.
Download the bundle using a command-line tool as in this example
CGI variables specific to client certificate authorization are always generated for use by scripts and SSI documents. These along with the general WASD authorization variables are shown in the example below. Note, that due to length of particular items some in this example are displayed wrapped.
Other CGI variables optionally may be enabled using WASD_CONFIG_MAP mapping rules. See 4.5.18 X.509 Authorization CGI Variables. Specific client certificate variables providing the details of such certificates are available with SSLCGI=apache_mod_ssl. These are of course in addition to the more general apache_mod_ssl variables described in the above section. Note that where some ASN.1 records are duplicated (as in SSL_CLIENT_S_DN) some variables will contain newline characters (0x10) between those elements (e.g. SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU). The line breaks in this example do not necesarily reflect those characters.
This is not a tutorial on X.509 certificates and their management. Refer to the listed references, 4. Transport Layer Security, for further information on this aspect. It does provide some basic guidelines.
Certificates identify something or someone, associating a public cryptographic key with the identity of the certificate holder. It includes a distinguished name, identification and signature of the certificate authority (CA, the issuer and guarantor of the certificate), and the period for which the certificate is valid, possibly with other, additional information.
The three types of certificates of interest here should not be confused.
The various OpenSSL tools are available for management of all of these certificate types in each of the three SSL environments.
XCA is a GUI application intended for creating and managing X.509 certificates, certificate requests, RSA, DSA and EC private keys, Smartcards and CRLs. It uses the OpenSSL library for the cryptographic operations. The application is available for Linux, macOS and Windows, as well as source code.
The server uses a certificate to establish its identity during the initial phase of the SSL protocol exchange. Each server should have a unique certificate. An example certificate is provided with the WASD OpenSSL package. If this is not available (for instance when using the VSI SSL111 product) then the server will fallback to an internal, default certificate that allows SSL functionality even when no external certification is available. If a "live" SSL site is required a unique certificate issued by a third-party Certificate Authority is desirable.
See wuCME on the WASD download page at https://wasd.vsm.com.au/wasd/
A less satisfactory alternative to obtaining one of these certificates is provided by the WASD support DCL procedures, which are quick hacks to ease the production of certificates on an ad hoc basis. In all cases it is preferable to directly use the utilities provided with OpenSSL, but the documentation tends to be rather sparse.
The VSI SSL111$COM:SSL111$CERT_TOOL.COM described above can create self-signed certificates.
Also note that the WASD server dynamically generates a self-signed certificate for TLS services that otherwise do not have a configured server certificate. This is largely for testing a server immediately after installation (e.g. using @WASD_ROOT:[INSTALL]DEMO SSL at the command-line). This certificate suffers all the short-comings of self-signed certificates with modern browsers (post-2019) but is better than no certificate all all. Interestingly, Incognito/[In]Private instances of a browser are often more relaxed about accepting certificates with recognised security deficiencies (e.g. unknown Certificate Authority signing). At least at the time of writing.
The first requirement may be a tailored "Certificate Authority" certificate. As the Certificate Authority is non-authoritative (not trying to be too oxymoronic, i.e. not a well-known CA) these certificates have little value except to allow SSL transactions to be established with trusting clients. More commonly "Server Certificates" for specific host names are required.
CA certificates can be loaded into browsers to allow sites using that CA to be accessed by that browser without further dialog. Browsers commonly invoke a server certificate load dialog when encountering a site using a valid but unknown server certificate.
A manual load is accomplished by requesting the certificate in a format appropriate to the particular browser. This triggers a browser dialog with the user to confirm or refuse the loading of that certificate into the browser Certificate Authority database.
To facilitate loading CA certificates into a browser ensure the following entries are contained in the HTTP$CONFIG configuration file:
Then just provide a link to the required certificate file(s), and click.
If a site's server (or CA certificate) is changed and the server restarted any executing browsers will probably complain (Netscape Navigator reports an I/O error). In this case open the browser's certificate database and delete any relevant, permanently stored certificate entry, then close and restart the browser. The next access should initiate the server certificate dialog, or the CA certificate may be explicitly reloaded.
Recognised Certificate Authorities (CAs) such as Thawte and VeriSign publish lists of requirements for obtaining a server certificate. These often include such documents required to prove organisational name and the right to use the domain name being requested. Check the particular vendor for the exact requirements.
In addition, a document containing the site's private key is required. This is known as the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and must be generated digitally at the originating site.
Using the VSI SSL111 for OpenVMS product "SSL Certificate Tool" described in 4.6 Certificate Management a CSR can easily be generated using its menu-driven interface. The alternative is using a command-line interface tool.
The following instructions provide the basics for generating a CSR at the command-line in the WASD and generally the any OpenSSL environment (including the VSI SSL111 for OpenVMS product).
Keep the SERVER.KEY file secure. You'll need it when you receive the certificate back from the CA.
The SERVER.CSR is what you send to the CA (usually by mail or Web form). It looks something like the following
You can see the details of this file using
Once the signed certificate has been issued by the Certificate Authority it can be placed directly into the server configuration directory, usually WASD_ROOT:[LOCAL], and configured for use from there. Using the certificate direct from the CA requires that the private key password be given to the server each time (4.5.9 SSL Private Key). It is possible to embed the password into the certificate key so that this is not required.
Remember to keep original files secure, only work on copies!
When using the VSI SSL111 product or other OpenSSL toolkit the verb may already be available.
Using an editor, ensure the header/trailer looks this:
CGI variables specific to SSL transactions optionally may be enabled using WASD_CONFIG_MAP mapping rules. (See Request Processing Configuration of WASD Configuration). The may be done on a specific per-path or general CGI basis. In the following examples, due to length of particular items, some in this example are displayed wrapped. Also, where some ASN.1 records are duplicated (as in SSL_CLIENT_S_DN), some variables will contain newline characters (0x10) between those elements (e.g. SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU). The line breaks in the examples do not necesarily reflect those characters.
The Apache mod_ssl client certificate details described in 4.5.18 X.509 Authorization CGI Variables above are not shown in the above example but would be included if the request was X.509 authenticated.
X509 certificate extensions are in general visible from WATCH and accessible via CGI variables when enabled using SET SSLCGI=apache_mod_ssl_extens and SSLCGI=apache_mod_ssl_client path mappings.
This section is just the barest introduction to a significant topic.
"How well do you know SSL? If you want to learn more about the technology that protects the Internet, you've come to the right place."
Not necessarily an endorsement by WASD but a useful resource in itself.
Provides a free and unencumbered, comprehensive SSL Server test service
reporting on certificate status, protocol version, cipher suites, handshakes with various simulated clients, and protocol details including known vulnerabilities. It also summarises the report with a colour-coded rating.
So to speak.
The OPENSSL command-line application (4.4 OPENSSL.EXE Application) provides a configurable client for checking and testing various aspects of server configuration and behaviour. The basic operation represented by the command-line
A "bad select 38" is a VMS (C-RTL) limitation of earlier versions of OpenSSL and is not present in later versions or on other platforms, and the default use of -s_client will prompt for an HTTP request line, send that to the server, and report the response.
Checking whether a specific protocol version is enabled on a site:
The following example shows a server test where the protocol version is NOT supported.
Server TLSv1.3 response may be checked using an OPENSSL.EXE v1.1.1 or later.
The following provide a starting-point for investigating SSL and OpenSSL further (verified available at time of publication).