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Security

We take the security of cryptography seriously. The following are a set of policies we have adopted to ensure that security issues are addressed in a timely fashion.

Infrastructure

In addition to cryptography's code, we're also concerned with the security of the infrastructure we run (primarily cryptography.io and ci.cryptography.io). If you discover a security vulnerability in our infrastructure, we ask you to report it using the same procedure.

What is a security issue?

Anytime it's possible to write code using cryptography's public API which does not provide the guarantees that a reasonable developer would expect it to based on our documentation.

That's a bit academic, but basically it means the scope of what we consider a vulnerability is broad, and we do not require a proof of concept or even a specific exploit, merely a reasonable threat model under which cryptography could be attacked.

To give a few examples of things we would consider security issues:

  • If a recipe, such as Fernet, made it easy for a user to bypass confidentiality or integrity with the public API (e.g. if the API let a user reuse nonces).
  • If, under any circumstances, we used a CSPRNG which wasn't fork-safe.
  • If cryptography used an API in an underlying C library and failed to handle error conditions safely.

Examples of things we wouldn't consider security issues:

  • Offering ECB mode for symmetric encryption in the Hazmat layer. Though ECB is critically weak, it is documented as being weak in our documentation.
  • Using a variable time comparison somewhere, if it's not possible to articulate any particular program in which this would result in problematic information disclosure.

In general, if you're unsure, we request that you to default to treating things as security issues and handling them sensitively, the worst thing that can happen is that we'll ask you to file a public issue.

Reporting a security issue

We ask that you do not report security issues to our normal GitHub issue tracker.

If you believe you've identified a security issue with cryptography, please report it to alex.gaynor@gmail.com. Messages may be optionally encrypted with PGP using key fingerprint F7FC 698F AAE2 D2EF BECD E98E D1B3 ADC0 E023 8CA6 (this public key is available from most commonly-used key servers).

Once you've submitted an issue via email, you should receive an acknowledgment within 48 hours, and depending on the action to be taken, you may receive further follow-up emails.

Supported Versions

At any given time, we will provide security support for the master branch as well as the most recent release.

New releases for OpenSSL updates

As of versions 0.5, 1.0.1, and 2.0.0, cryptography statically links OpenSSL on Windows, macOS, and Linux respectively, to ease installation. Due to this, cryptography will release a new version whenever OpenSSL has a security or bug fix release to avoid shipping insecure software.

Like all our other releases, this will be announced on the mailing list and we strongly recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible.

Disclosure Process

When we become aware of a security bug in cryptography, we will endeavor to fix it and issue a release as quickly as possible. We will generally issue a new release for any security issue.

The steps for issuing a security release are described in our :doc:`/doing-a-release` documentation.