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wolfSSL Session Resumption Denial Of Service ≈ Mobile Hacker For Hire

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# wolfSSL before 5.5.0: Denial-of-service with session resumption


The CVE project has assigned the id CVE-2022-38152 to this issue.

Severity: 7.5 HIGH
Affected version: before 5.5.0
End of embargo: Ended August 30, 2022


When a TLS 1.3 client connects to a wolfSSL server and SSL_clear is called on
its session, the server crashes with a segmentation fault. The bug occurs after
a client performs a handshake against a wolfSSL server and then closes the
connection. If the server reuses the previous session structure (struct WOLFSSL)
by calling wolfSSL_clear(WOLFSSL* ssl) on it, the next received Client Hello,
which resumes the previous session, crashes the server. Note, that this bug only
exists in resumed handshakes using TLS session resumption. This bug was
discovered using the novel symbolic-model-guided fuzzer tlspuffin.


Line numbers below are valid for the wolfSSL Git tag v5.4.0-stable. The
vulnerability is exploitable with default compilation flags. If the
–enable-postauth flag is used, then this bug is no longer exploitable. When
creating a new TLS session (represented by a struct WOLFSSL), a struct called
arrays is allocated in internal.c:6652.

int InitSSL(WOLFSSL* ssl, WOLFSSL_CTX* ctx, int writeDup)

ssl->arrays = (Arrays*)XMALLOC(sizeof(Arrays), ssl->heap,


Note that this function is only called when creating a new session structure
using wolfSSL_new. After a handshake is done, resources related to it are freed
by default using the FreeHandshakeResources function in line ssl.c:3735. This
frees the memory behind ssl->arrays and sets the pointer to NULL.

void FreeHandshakeResources(WOLFSSL* ssl)

if (!ssl->options.tls1_3)


void FreeArrays(WOLFSSL* ssl)

ssl->arrays = NULL;

If the compile flag –enable-postauth is not set, the variable options.tls1_3 is
false, and therefore the arrays are freed. If –enable-postauth is set, then the
arrays are not freed. The above code is executed during the handshake of a fresh
session. Users of wolfSSL might not allocate a new session by using
wolfSSL_new(), but reuse a previous struct WOLFSSL. This can be done by calling
wolfSSL_clear(WOLFSSL* ssl) on the previous session and reusing the struct. The
next abbreviated handshake, which resumes the previous connection, will now
cause a segmentation fault in tls13.c:5296. The segmentation fault occurs
because the arrays pointer still points to NULL as InitSSL is not called before
the Client Hello is handled.


wolfSSL 5.3.0 and 5.4.0 are affected The server needs to handle sessions in a
non-default way by using wolfSSL_clear


After a session has been cleared and is reused for the next client, it should be

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