Google develops own 'boring' version of OpenSSL

A Google engineer wrote the project isn't designed to replace OpenSSL

Google is developing its own version of OpenSSL that will be more appropriate for its own software products, which have been using the critical encryption component for years with customized patches.

The project, tentatively dubbed "BoringSSL," isn't designed to replace OpenSSL, wrote Adam Langley, a Google software engineer, on his personal blog. Google will contribute its changes to the OpenSSL open-source project and use bug fixes from that team, he wrote.

OpenSSL is widely used software code that encrypts content between a client and a server. OpenSSL's code is undergoing a close examination after a vulnerability nicknamed "Heartbleed" was disclosed on April 7 that could potentially allow hackers to steal data or compromise the encrypted connection.

Google has developed its own patches for OpenSSL, but those patches weren't always compatible with APIs (application programming interfaces) and ABIs (application binary interfaces), Langely wrote.

Products such as Android and Chrome have needed subsets of those patches, and now there are as many as 70 patches across multiple code bases which has become too complex, Langley wrote.

"So we're switching models to one where we import changes from OpenSSL rather than rebasing on top of them," he wrote. "The result of that will start to appear in the Chromium repository soon and, over time, we hope to use it in Android and internally too."

Google's version of OpenSSL still won't necessarily support the APIs and ABIs in OpenSSL, he wrote.

The company will also incorporate code changes from LibreSSL, a fork of OpenSSL started after the Heartbleed by some developers dissatisfied with OpenSSL. LibreSSL has undertaken a large project examining OpenSSL's code for flaws and making improvements.

Concern was raised following the Heartbleed flaw about the dependence of many operating systems and software products on OpenSSL and the relative little funding behind the project. Since then, major technology companies launched the Core Infrastructure Initiative, which is aimed at shoring up underfunded open-source projects and employing full-time developers.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesoftware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?