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From "Stuart Broad (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Created] (SHIRO-458) Possible leaked timing information from DefaultPasswordService
Date Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:17:51 GMT
Stuart Broad created SHIRO-458:

             Summary: Possible leaked timing information from DefaultPasswordService
                 Key: SHIRO-458
             Project: Shiro
          Issue Type: Bug
          Components: Cryptography & Hashing
    Affects Versions: 1.2.2
         Environment: Mac OS X 10.8.3, Java 1.6.0_51
            Reporter: Stuart Broad
            Priority: Trivial

Use of the String equals comparison for the password hash comparison could leak timing information
since it returns false as soon a character does not match.

DefaultPasswordService>>passwordsMatch(Object submittedPlaintext, String saved)

Last line is:

return saved.equals(formatted); //saved and formatted are strings

A possible constant time equals could be:

    private boolean constantEquals(String s1, String s2)
         * Alternative option (simpler but I'm not sure about the intern 'cost'):
         * s1.intern();
         * s2.intern();
         * s1 == s2
        int result = 0;
        byte[] a = s1.getBytes();
        byte[] b = s2.getBytes();

        // Also leaks timing information but probably ok...
        if (a.length != b.length) {
            return false;

         * XOR each byte.  If each byte is the
         * same the XOR will result in 0.
        for (int i = 0; i < a.length; i++) {
            result |= a[i] ^ b[i];
        return result == 0;

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