May 2, 2003

OpenSSL Enters Evaluation for FIPS 140-2 Certification

John Weathersby writes
"OpenSSL Enters Evaluation for FIPS 140-2 Certification. Oxford, MS May 01, 2003 - The Open Source Software Institute ( is leading an effort to secure National Institute of Standards and Technologys (NIST) FIPS 140-2 level 1 cryptographic certification for OpenSSL.

The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 validation specifies
security requirements necessary for a cryptographic module to be utilized
within government security systems protecting sensitive, but unclassified,

The OpenSSL software appears on the NIST Cryptographic Module Validation
Program Pre-Validation List ( as
OpenSSL FIPS Cryptographic Module by Open Source Software Institute. 
The Pre-Validation list identifies certification efforts in progress. 
Final certification is expected in late 2003.

OSSI is serving as the coordination body within the Open Source Community
to help secure this important government certification for OpenSSL, said
OSSI chairman, John Weathersby.  Our primary goal is to see that this
software receives the FIPS 140-2 certification and then to ensure it remains
accessible to all who wish to implement FIPS 140-2 approved cryptography.

Participating members in the certification effort include: HP, DOMUS IT Security
Laboratory, PreVal Specialists, Inc. and representatives from the OpenSSL

HP has provided funding to support the certification effort.  In addition,
Gary Gross, of HP, is serving as OSSIs program manager and technical lead
for the FIPS 140-2 certification program.

OpenSSL, hosted and maintained by the OpenSSL Project (,
is a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured and open source toolkit implementing
the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols
as well as a full-strength general-purpose cryptographic library.  The
OpenSSL cryptographic library is widely used to provide the cryptography
in products such as OpenSSH and Apache.  Applications and products using
the FIPS 140-2 certified OpenSSL cryptographic module for all cryptographic
functions will themselves be FIPS 140-2 compliant and suitable for use in
government programs.

Ben Laurie, a member of the OpenSSL core development team, is serving as
the technical representative and OpenSSL community liaison during the pre-validation
phase of the project.  Peter Sargent, of Annapolis, MD-based PreVal
Specialist, Inc., is providing documentation and pre-validation consulting

DOMUS IT Security Laboratory, a division of IBM Canada Limited, is serving
as the NIST certified testing lab responsible for conducting algorithm and
validation testing for the program.

About OSSI
The Open Source Software Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission
is to promote the development and implementation of open source software
within the Federal government.  Additional information on OSSI is available


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