IBM announce dates for bringing TLS v. 1.2 to IBM Domino

So in October of 2014 I wrote about the upcoming TLS (transport layer security) enhancements that IBM was planning to bring to IBM Domino as part of the industry wide panic about the POODLE attack which I still consider mainly theoretical. I was a bit critical towards IBM as they chose to patch their seriously lacking SSL v. 1.3 implementation and implement TLS v. 1.0 on top of IBM Domino v. 9.0.x (IBM Domino, POODLE, SHA-1 and why it’s also sad when IBM decides to update the security stack). The reason I was critical was that I thought that you either take security serious and bring the stack to the front of the line (TLS v. 1.2, v. 1.3 in draft) or get out of the game.

Since then I have been pleasantly surprised to hear about the initiatives IBM has going on. At IBM ConnectED 2015 I attended a very nice session by David Kern from IBM and Daniel Nashed (IBM Business Partner) on the TLS and security improvements planned for IBM Domino. Among others was massive cipher suite updates incl. upcoming support for Diffie-Hellman and perfect-forward-secrecy. Cool stuff! Yesterday I was very pleased to see that IBM now has announced the support for TLS v. 1.2 coming in Q1/Q2 of 2015 (the technote is a bit confusing as to when it will be out).

So all appears to be good and IBM is moving in the right direction with this. Very nice.

An important tool results from the whole POODLE/SHA-2 debacle

My stance on the POODLE / SHA-2 issues with Domino is well known and I haven’t been holding anything back. And now – after a while – IBM is starting to release the promised tools to lay the foundation for SHA-2 signature support and TLS 1.0 support on IBM Domino. As part of my IBM Support Updates today I saw and entry called “Planned SHA-2 deliveries for IBM Domino 9.x“. This is a technote outlining how IBM is bringing TLS 1.0 and SHA-2 support. This is all well and good and great that IBM starts to deliver on its promises.

But that’s not all… And by far the most interesting thing to find in that technote.

Burried within this technote is a mention of a tool called kyrtool which replaces iKeyman as the way to work with the KYR keystore file used by IBM Domino. It’s a command line tool and allows for import of standard x509 certificates generated using OpenSSL or similar and produces a KYR and a STH (stash) file as the result. There is documentation about the tool in the wikis (Generating a keyring file with a self-signed SHA-2 cert using OpenSSL and kyrtool). As an added bonus the examples with OpenSSL is done on Dave Kerns paranoia Linux box (dskern@paranoia).

The release of this tool is very good news and cannot be overstated and in my eyes far overshines the support for TLS 1.0 and SHA-2 as it allows administrators to work with the KYR files on Windows versions newer than Windows XP. It ever supports win32, win64, linux32 and linux64. How do you like them apples?

Thank you IBM.