Merge pull request #8 from esl/hex_package

Prepare hex package with docs
tree: b200c86435354e6413e3f46f82a1a2b93fa29d50
  1. .github/
  2. benchmarks/
  3. c_src/
  4. src/
  5. test/
  6. .gitignore
  8. mix.exs
  9. mix.lock
  11. rebar.config
  12. rebar.config.script
  13. rebar.lock


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fast_pbkdf2 is an Erlang implementation of PBKDF2, where the algorithm is a carefully-optimised NIF that uses timeslicing and nif scheduling to respect the latency properties of the BEAM. All OTP versions from OTP18 have been tested manually and should work correctly, but on CI we support only from 21.3


fast_pbkdf2 is a rebar3-compatible OTP application, that uses the port_compiler for the C part of the code.

Building is as easy as rebar3 compile, and using it in your projects as

 [{fast_pbkdf2, "1.0.0"}]}.
{plugins, [pc, rebar3_hex]}.
   [{compile, {pc, compile}},
    {clean, {pc, clean}}]}]}.


DerivedPassword = fast_pbkdf2:pbkdf2(Hash, Password, Salt, IterationCount)

where Hash is the underlying hash function chosen as described by

-type sha_type() :: crypto:sha1() | crypto:sha2().

Custom dkLen

If what you desire is PBKDF2 with custom dkLen(I assume that if that is what you want, then you know your RFC), in a way that allows you to request longer derived keys, you may use fast_pbkdf2:pbkdf2_block/5 with a given block index and do the indexing and chunking yourself, or use fast_pbkdf2:pbkdf2/5 for the full algorithm. However, it doesn‘t really add much more entropy to the derived key to use outputs larger than the output of the underlying hash, so you might as well, use pbkdf2 where dkLen is that of the hash’s output, which is the same than pbkdf2_block with index 1, which is simply the pbkdf2/4 function.


The problem

PBKDF2 is a challenge derivation method, that is, it forces the client to compute a challenge in order to derive the desired password. But when the server implementation is slower than that of an attacker, it makes the server vulnerable to DoS by hogging itself with computations. We could see that on the CI and load-testing pipelines of MongooseIM for example.

The solution

Is partial. We don't expect to have the fastest implementation, as that would be purely C code on GPUs, so unfortunately an attacker will pretty much always have better chances there. But we can make the computation cheap enough for us that other computations —like the load of a session establishment— will be more relevant than that of the challenge; and also that other defence mechanisms like IP blacklisting or traffic shaping, will fire in good time.

The outcome

On average it‘s 10x faster on the machines I’ve tested it (you can compare using the provided module in ./benchmarks/bench.ex), but while the erlang implementation consumes memory linearly to the iteration count (1M it count with 120 clients quickly allocated 7GB of RAM, and 1M is common for password managers for example), the NIF implementation does not allocate any more memory. Also, the NIFS spend all of their time in user level alone, while the erlang one jumps to system calls in around ~2% of the time (I'd guess due to some heavy allocation and garbage collection patterns).

Credit where credit is due

The initial algorithm and optimisations were taken from Joseph Birr-Pixton's fastpbkdf2's repository.

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