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FIPS 140-2 validation and the OpenSSL FIPS Object Module

The OpenSSL FIPS Object Module ("FIPS module") is a special software product designed to meet the requirements for FIPS 140-2 validation by the CMVP. These requirements are unusual from a software engineering perspective, and have very substantially affected the form and function of the FIPS module.

The FIPS module was designed for use with the OpenSSL toolkit and library in environments where use of FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography is mandated. Note the FIPS module is not really not appropriate for where such use is not mandated as it does not have any technical virtues (security, performance, maintainability) with respect to the equivalent stock OpenSSL distributions.

The current (v2.0) FIPS module can use used directly at no cost under an open source license, or can be used as a reference model for a "private label" (copycat) validation.

The new (v3.0) FIPS module currently under development is being initially released under a restrictive "Truly Open or Bust" non-open source license.

Notes about the FIPS module validations:


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