Common Code for Files and Pipes in Rust

To read a file in Rust, the following code is easy enough to figure:

fn open(file_name: &str) -> Result<(), Error> {
    let input = File::open(file_name)?;
    let mut reader = io::BufReader::new(input);

What if you want to read from standard input when file is not given? In many other languages you might solve this using interface. However, in Rust we haven’t got interface support. What we do have are traits.

fn parse(file_name: Option<&str>) -> Result<(), Error> {
    let input = match file_name {
        Some(file_name) => Box::new(File::open(file_name)?) as Box<Read>,
        None => Box::new(io::stdin()) as Box<Read>,
    let mut reader = io::BufReader::new(input);

As you can see, it reads almost exactly like an interface would, the only curiosity being explicit boxing you have to do.

To see the code in context, you can check IniEd and it’s implementation.

Post-Quantum Cryptography – Round Two

After a bit more than a year since round one, we are now in the round two of post-quantum cryptography standardization process.

NIST Status Report trimmed original list of 69 algorithms to 26 that will be further studied. Based on the previous experience I would think there will be a third round in a year or so but NIST leaves open a possibility that we’ll immediately get the two finalists (one for public key exchange and one for signing).

My Star Trek key signing favorite (CRYSTALS-DILITHIUM) is actually still in the game and a further analysis is encouraged – probably as close as it gets to a positive review from NIST. It’s key exchange brother CRYSTALS-KYBER might have gone a bit too far with it’s “fishy” security proof but more analysis is needed there.

Star Wars universe is also strong with NewHope key exchange algorithm. Force is indeed strong within this one and I would dare to say it remains a strong favorite – especially due to it’s current use in Chrome.

NTRU Prime is still in there but NIST did notice a bit overly optimistic security level claims that might need to be adjusted in the future. I believe constant-time decryption this algorithm brings is a really interesting thing – especially when it comes to hardware and side-channel attacks.

I noted FALCON for its performance with a small memory footprint and that won it enough points to get into round two. However, difficulty of correct implementation and a huge potential for side-channel attacks might leave it here.

DAGS, which I loved for it’s tweakability of server/client load unfortunately stayed in round one. Likewise, RLCE-KEM noted for its performance was left behind too – largely due to complexity of (correct) implementation.

One algorithm I didn’t note in round one is Three Bears. Not only it has an awesome name and uses Mersenne primes but it also offers excellent performance. Might be a worthy challenger to NewHope.

Next update in 12-18 months. :)

Local Resolve of Proxied SSH Host Names

If you need to use one SSH machine to jump over to other hosts, you know the drill. The easiest way is to simply edit ~/.ssh/config and add ProxyJump definitions:

Host tunnel
  User          myname
  IdentityFile  ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Host 192.168.1.*
  ProxyJump     tunnel

Example file above essentially assumes you have your jump point at and you are using it to get into machines in network. To go into, you would simply use

$ ssh user@

SSH is then going to use it’s config definitions to connect to tunnel machine first ( and then to make another connection from that machine to the final destination ( Easy enough.

However, what if we want names to be resolved too?

If you have DNS or those names defined on your jump point, all is ok. However, what if your jump point is not under your control or you are too lazy to keep /etc/hosts up-to-date on both your local machine and the jump one?

Well, you will see the following error message:

$ ssh user@myremotehost.internal
ssh: Could not resolve hostname myremotehost.internal: Name or service not know

In that case, you will need ProxyCommand and dig magic in ~/.ssh/config to do local IP resolve.

Host *.internal
  ProxyCommand           ssh -W "[`dig +short %h`]:%p" tunnel

Example above will locally resolve all IPs for host names ending in .internal before using the resolved IP on the jump host.

Speeding up BITS

If you deal with Microsoft Software Center you know the annoyance it can cause with extremely low download speeds. BITS protocol it uses was designed to be gentle toward your connection and avoid taking up bandwidth from anything else you might also be running.

However, sometime it can get overly cautious and slow down to a ridiculously low level even if you are not doing anything else with your computer. And good luck pulling those patches down if it gets into that mood.

Fortunately, you can tweak registry to give it a bit of a boost. Just go into regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\BITS. There add a DWORD named UseSystemMaximum and set it’s value to 1.

Alternatively you can get pre-prepared registry file import here (but do be very cautious when downloading registry meddling bits of the Internet).

You should see BITS drop their good guy mask and gobble all the bandwidth they can get. That will make your Software Center run much faster and maybe you get to install that darn patch within a year.