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Java Standard Edition (SE)

Security Enhancements in JDK 8

JDK 8 Security Enhancements

The JDK 8 release adds the following features and enhancements:

  • TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 Enabled by Default: The SunJSSE provider enables the protocols TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 on the client by default. See Protocols. Configure which SunJSSE protocols are enabled with the new system property jdk.tls.client.protocols. See Customizing JSSE.

  • Limited doPrivileged: A version of the method AccessController.doPrivileged has been added that enables code to assert a subset of its privileges, without preventing the full traversal of the stack to check for other permissions. See the section Asserting a Subset of Privileges in API for Privileged Blocks and RFE 7083329.

  • Stronger Algorithms for Password-Based Encryption: Several AES-based Password-Based Encryption (PBE) algorithms, such as PBEWithSHA256AndAES_128 and PBEWithSHA512AndAES_256, have been added to the SunJCE provider. See Oracle Providers Documentation, JEP 121, and RFE 6383200.

  • SSL/TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) Extension Support in JSSE Server: The SNI extension is a feature that extends the SSL/TLS protocols to indicate what server name the client is attempting to connect to during handshaking. Servers can use server name indication information to decide if specific SSLSocket or SSLEngine instances should accept a connection. SunJSSE has enabled SNI extension for client applications by default in JDK 7. JDK 8 supports the SNI extension for server applications.

    See the following sections in the JSSE Reference Guide for a general description with links to new class descriptions and examples:

    See also JEP 114.

  • Support AEAD algorithms: The SunJCE provider is enhanced to support AES/GCM/NoPadding cipher implementation as well as GCM algorithm parameters. The SunJSSE provider is enhanced to support AEAD mode based cipher suites. See Oracle Providers Documentation, JEP 115.

  • KeyStore Enhancements: A new command option -importpassword is added to the keytool utility, to accept a password and store it securely as a secret key. A new class, is added to support DKS keystore type. Other new classes such as are added and other security APIs are modified to support KeyStore enhancements.

    See Java Security Overview documentation.

    See also JEP 166 and JDK-8005408.

  • SHA-224 Message Digests: The cryptographic algorithms in JDK 8 have been enhanced with the SHA-224 variant of the SHA-2 family of message-digest implementations. See Oracle Providers Documentation, Standard Algorithm Name Documentation, PKCS#11 Reference Guide, JEP 130, and RFE 4963723.

  • Enhanced Support for NSA Suite B Cryptography: This includes the following:

    • OID registration for NSA Suite B cryptography algorithms
    • SUN provider: Support for 2048-bit DSA key pair generation and additional signature algorithms for 2048-bit DSA keys such as SHA224withDSA and SHA256withDSA.
    • SunJCE provider: Lifting of the keysize restriction from 1024 to 2048 for Diffie-Hellman (DH).

    See Oracle Providers Documentation, Standard Algorithm Name Documentation, and RFE 7044060.

  • Better Support for High Entropy Random Number Generation: The SecureRandom class provides the generation of cryptographically strong random numbers used for private or public keys, ciphers, signed messages, and so on. Some SecureRandom implementations are better than others. The getInstanceStrong() method was introduced in JDK 8, which returns an instance of the strongest SecureRandom implementation available on each platform. It should be used in cases when you need to create a high-value and long-lived secret, such as an RSA private and public key pair.

    For more information, see the SecureRandom section of the JCA Reference Guide and the SecureRandom API Specification.

    Other changes to SecureRandom include:

    • For UNIX-like platforms, two new implementations were introduced which provide blocking and non-blocking behavior: NativePRNGBlocking and NativePRNGNonBlocking.
    • SHA1PRNG and NativePRNG were fixed to properly respect the SecureRandom seed source properties in the file. (The obscure workaround using file:///dev/urandom and file:/dev/./urandom is no longer required.)

    For details about changes to random number generation, see JEP 123.

  • New PKIXRevocationChecker Class: The PKIXRevocationChecker class checks the revocation status of certificates with the PKIX algorithm. It supports best-effort checking, end-entity certificate checking, and mechanism-specific options and parameters. See Check Revocation Status of Certificates with PKIXRevocationChecker Class in the Java PKI Programmer's Guide, JEP 124, and RFE 6854712.

  • 64-bit PKCS11 for Windows: The PKCS 11 provider support for Windows has been expanded to include 64-bit. See the 2.1 Requirements section of the JDK 8 PKCS#11 Reference Guide, JEP 131, and RFE 6880559.

  • New rcache Types in Kerberos 5 Replay Caching: Two new rcache types are added to Kerberos 5. Type none means no rcache at all, and type dfl means the DFL style file-based rcache. Also, the acceptor requested subkey is now supported. They are configured using the and system properties.

  • Protocol Transition and Constrained Delegation for Kerberos 5: Kerberos 5 protocol transition and constrained delegation are supported within the same realm in JDK 8. See RFE 6355584.

  • Weak Encryption Disabled by Default: The DES-related Kerberos 5 encryption types are not supported by default. These encryption types can be enabled by adding allow_weak_crypto=true in the krb5.conf file, but DES-related encryption types are considered highly insecure and should be avoided. See RFE 8012679.

  • Unbound SASL for the GSS-API/Kerberos 5 mechanism: The Krb5LoginModule principal value in a JAAS configuration file can be set to asterisk (*) on the acceptor side to denote an unbound acceptor. This means that the initiator can access the server using any service principal name if the acceptor has the long term secret keys to that service. The name can be retrieved by the acceptor using the GSSContext.getTargName() method after the context is established. See RFE 8001104.

  • SASL service for multiple host names: When creating a SASL server, the server name can be set to null to denote an unbound server, which means a client can request for the service using any server name. After a context is established, the server can retrieve the name as a negotiated property with the key name SASL.BOUND_SERVER_NAME. See RFE 7110803.

  • JNI bridge to native JGSS on Mac OS X: JNI bridge to native JGSS is now supported on Mac OS X. Set the system property to true to enable it. See RFE 8010192.

  • Support stronger ephemeral DH keys in the SunJSSE provider: Make ephemeral DH key match the length of the certificate key during SSL/TLS handshaking in the SunJSSE provider. A new system property, jdk.tls.ephemeralDHKeySize, is defined to customize the ephemeral DH key sizes. The minimum acceptable DH key size is 1024 bits, except for exportable cipher suites or legacy mode (jdk.tls.ephemeralDHKeySize=legacy). See Customizing Size of Ephemeral DH Keys and RFE 6956398.

  • Support cipher suites preference customization in JSSE: By default, the SunJSSE provider honors the client's cipher suite preference. However, the behavior can be changed to respect the server's cipher suite preference by calling SSLParameters.setUseCipherSuitesOrder(true) in the server. See Cipher Suite Preference and RFE 7188657.


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