Bug #12861

pkcs11_softtoken allows too many simultaneous operations

Added by Jason King about 2 months ago.

lib - userland libraries
Start date:
Due date:
% Done:


Estimated time:
Gerrit CR:


The PKCS#11 usage guide (2.40) states:

Very roughly speaking, there are three broad types of operations an open session can be used to perform: administrative operations (such as logging in); object management operations (such as creating or destroying an object on the token); and cryptographic operations (such as computing a message digest). Cryptographic operations sometimes require more than one function call to the Cryptoki API to complete. In general, a single session can perform only one operation at a time; for this reason, it may be desirable for a single application to open multiple sessions with a single token. For efficiency’s sake, however, a single session on some tokens can perform the following pairs of operation types simultaneously: message digesting and encryption; decryption and message digesting; signature or MACing and encryption; and decryption and verifying signatures or MACs. Details on performing simultaneous cryptographic operations in one session are provided in [PKCS11-Base] Section 5.12.

A consequence of the fact that a single session can, in general, perform only one operation at a time is that an application should never make multiple simultaneous function calls to Cryptoki which use a common session. If multiple threads of an application attempt to use a common session concurrently in this fashion, Cryptoki does not define what happens. This means that if multiple threads of an application all need to use Cryptoki to access a particular token, it might be appropriate for each thread to have its own session with the token, unless the application can ensure by some other means (e.g., by some locking mechanism) that no sessions are ever used by multiple threads simultaneously. This is true regardless of whether or not the Cryptoki library was initialized in a fashion which permits safe multi-threaded access to it. Even if it is safe to access the library from multiple threads simultaneously, it is still not necessarily safe to use a particular session from multiple threads simultaneously.

Currently, we allow simultaneous encrypt, decrypt, digest, sign, verify, and find operations in the same session.

Also available in: Atom PDF