Like many other sites, is now using LibreSSL in order to support the s as secure in https. Since LibreSSL is still a relatively new project, there are only few Linux distribution packages, so we are building it ourselves from the source code ourselves. Using OpenBSD directly might become an option for us once SNI is finally supported in HTTPD and binary patches make system updates easier (maybe in OpenBSD 6.1).

Although obtaining the source code is easy, both LibreSSL project and download pages are over http only, so the data can be tampered with during transfer. Do not LibreSSL developers trust their own library sufficiently to dare to use it? Where are the download verification instructions?

The release files are at least signed with GPG, but the corresponding public key is only present over http. That key does not seem to be used to sign the project commits either. While signing commits does make a signing key valid, it increases the amount of data to tamper with, and thus increases the confidence in the usage of the signing key and in the state of the source tree. This is the reason why most commits in the Waf source tree are signed with the release key for instance:

$ git log --show-signature
commit 9ed7d41488a88935e1f6f5fccbce6397a8ac1fed
gpg: Signature made Thu 15 Sep 2016 09:36:02 PM CEST
gpg:                using RSA key 0x49B4C67C05277AAA
gpg: Good signature from "Thomas Nagy <>" [ultimate]
Primary key fingerprint: 8AF2 2DE5 A068 22E3 474F  3C70 49B4 C67C 0527 7AAA
Author: Thomas Nagy <>
Date:   Thu Sep 15 21:36:02 2016 +0200

    Expand '--foo=' with shell=False - Issue #1814

Fortunately for LibreSSL, their release files are also co-signed with the new Signify tool from the OpenBSD project, and the public key is at least also present in the project source tree on Github and can therefore be obtained over https at least (it would be best if the GPG public key were also signed using Signify as other release files by the way).

The Signify manual page is way shorter than the GPG one, yet it fails to describe the expected file formats and the underlying algorithms that would make one want to trust it. It is also a pity that the newly-invented signature format prevents usage of signatures as Python/Ruby/Perl commented lines, that keeping signatures in archive files is not supported (jarsigner for Jar files), and that chains of trust to verify files is inexistent (certificates).

The Signify application is also a bit difficult to find on Linux distributions as there is another unrelated application named signify that generates random email signatures, but on Debian the package signify-openbsd can be installed directly. In the end I deemed the public key (RWQg/nutTVqCUVUw8OhyHt9n51IC8mdQRd1b93dOyVrwtIXmMI+dtGFe) sufficiently trustworthy and ran the following commands to fetch and verify the latest LibreSSL release:

$ sudo apt-get install signify-openbsd
$ wget
$ wget
$ wget
$ signify-openbsd -C -p -x SHA256.sig libressl-2.5.0.tar.gz
Signature Verified
libressl-2.5.0.tar.gz: OK

Let us hope that the download and verification instructions will be easier to follow in the future.