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[SECURITY ADVISORY 2/4] libcurl IP address wildcard certificate validation

From: Daniel Stenberg <>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:04:55 +0100 (CET)

               libcurl IP address wildcard certificate validation

Project cURL Security Advisory, Match 26th 2014


   libcurl incorrectly validates wildcard SSL certificates containing literal
   IP addresses.

   RFC 2818 covers the requirements for matching Common Names (CNs) and
   subjectAltNames in order to establish valid SSL connections. It first
   discusses CNs that are for hostnames, and the rules for wildcards in this
   case. The next paragraph in the RFC then discusses CNs that are IP

   'In some cases, the URI is specified as an IP address rather than a
   hostname. In this case, the iPAddress subjectAltName must be present in the
   certificate and must exactly match the IP in the URI.'

   The intention of the RFC is clear in that you should not be able to use
   wildcards with IP addresses (in order to avoid the ability to perform
   man-in-the-middle attacks). Unfortunately libcurl fails to adhere to this
   rule under certain conditions, and subsequently it would allow and use a
   wildcard match specified in the CN field.

   Exploiting this flaw, a malicious server could participate in a MITM attack
   or just easier fool users that it is a legitimate site for whatever purpose,
   when it actually isn't.

   A good CA should refuse to issue a certificate with the CN as indicated,
   however there only need be one CA to issue one in error for this issue to
   result in the user getting no warning at all and being vulnerable to MITM.

   This flaw is only present in libcurl when built to use one out of a few
   specific TLS libraries: OpenSSL, axtls, qsossl or gskit.

   This problem is similar to the one previously reported by Richard Moore,
   found in multiple browsers [1].

   The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name
   CVE-2014-0139 to this issue.


   This flaw has existed ever since libcurl started to support SSL or TLS with

   Affected versions: from libcurl 7.1 to and including 7.35.0
   Not affected versions: libcurl >= 7.36.0

   libcurl is used by many applications, but not always advertised as such!


   libcurl 7.36.0 has an improved host name verification function that rejects
   wild card matching against IP addresses.

   A patch for this problem is available at:


   We suggest you take one of the following actions immediately, in order of

   A - Upgrade to curl and libcurl 7.36.0

   B - Apply the patch and rebuild libcurl

   C - Build libcurl to use a different TLS backend


   It was reported to the curl project on February 22nd 2014. We contacted
   distros_at_openwall on March 16th 2014.

   libcurl 7.36.0 was released on March 26th 2014, coordinated with the
   publication of this advisory.


   Problem reported and patiently explained to us by Richard Moore from
   Westpoint Ltd. Patch written by Daniel Stenberg.

   Thanks a lot!

   [1] =

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Received on 2014-03-26