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File Date Author Commit
packaging 2013-10-03 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [231784] Change URL of OTR website to be https
src 2014-02-15 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [3172d7] Use a constant-time memory comparison for safety.
test_suite 2012-05-02 Rob Smits Rob Smits [c87b3f] 2012-04-30:
toolkit 2013-10-03 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [231784] Change URL of OTR website to be https
AUTHORS 2012-05-02 Rob Smits Rob Smits [c87b3f] 2012-04-30:
COPYING 2012-05-23 Rob Smits Rob Smits [3a3df8] Updating FSF address
COPYING.LIB 2012-05-23 Rob Smits Rob Smits [3a3df8] Updating FSF address
ChangeLog 2014-02-15 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [3172d7] Use a constant-time memory comparison for safety.
INSTALL 2005-05-04 cypherpunk cypherpunk [a4def9] Initial revision
Makefile.am 2012-06-21 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [b2d7de] Package Protocol-v3.html, not v2 any more
NEWS 2012-08-22 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [85f604] Release 4.0.0
Protocol-v1.txt 2013-10-03 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [231784] Change URL of OTR website to be https
Protocol-v2.html 2009-09-30 cypherpunk cypherpunk [31efa5]
Protocol-v3.html 2013-08-08 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [3f2fe3] Random exponents in SMP should be 1536 bits
README 2013-10-03 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [231784] Change URL of OTR website to be https
UPGRADING 2012-08-28 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [ec38dd] Don't have otrl_init call exit(1)
configure.ac 2012-09-09 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [93cffe] Make linker hardening [DEP, ALSR] work on Windo...
libotr.m4 2012-05-23 Rob Smits Rob Smits [3a3df8] Updating FSF address
libotr.pc.in 2013-10-03 Ian Goldberg Ian Goldberg [231784] Change URL of OTR website to be https
makedist 2005-05-04 cypherpunk cypherpunk [a4def9] Initial revision

Read Me

	      Off-the-Record Messaging Library and Toolkit
			  v4.0.0, 4 Sep 2012

This is a library and toolkit which implements Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging.

OTR allows you to have private conversations over IM by providing:
 - Encryption
   - No one else can read your instant messages.
 - Authentication
   - You are assured the correspondent is who you think it is.
 - Deniability
   - The messages you send do _not_ have digital signatures that are
     checkable by a third party.  Anyone can forge messages after a
     conversation to make them look like they came from you.  However,
     _during_ a conversation, your correspondent is assured the messages
     he sees are authentic and unmodified.
 - Perfect forward secrecy
   - If you lose control of your private keys, no previous conversation
     is compromised.

For more information on Off-the-Record Messaging, see
https://otr.cypherpunks.ca/

LIBRARY USAGE

1. Initialization

Before you call any other libotr routine, you need to initialize the
library.  The easiest way to do that is to include proto.h, and use the
macro:

    OTRL_INIT;

somewhere early in your program.  This should be called only once.

You will also need an OtrlUserState.  An OtrlUserState encapsulates the
list of known fingerprints and the list of private keys, so it should be
"one per user".  Many OTR-enabled programs (such as IM clients) only have a 
single user, so for them, you can just create a single one, and use it
thoughout.  Create an OtrlUserState as follows:

    userstate = otrl_userstate_create();

If you need to free an OtrlUserState:

    otrl_userstate_free(userstate);

To read stored private keys:

    otrl_privkey_read(userstate, privkeyfilename);

To read stored instance tags:

    otrl_instag_read(userstate, instagfilename);

To read stored fingerprints:

    otrl_privkey_read_fingerprints(userstate, fingerprintfilename,
	    add_app_info, add_app_info_data);

add_app_info is a function that will be called in the event that a new
ConnContext is created.  It will be passed the add_app_info_data that
you supplied, as well as a pointer to the new ConnContext.  You can use
this to add application-specific information to the ConnContext using
the "context->app" field, for example.  If you don't need to do this,
you can pass NULL for the last two arguments of
otrl_privkey_read_fingerprints.

2. Setting up the UI functions

You need to let the library know how to do any UI it might require
(error messages, confirming new fingerprints, etc.).  To this end, you
need to define a number of UI functions, and collect them in a
OtrlMessageAppOps struct.

The first parameter of every UI function is "void *opdata".  This is a
pointer you pass to the library, and it will pass back (opaquely) to the
UI functions when it calls them.  You can use this to keep track of
state or any other information.

You will need to include proto.h and message.h, and you can find a list
of the UI functions in message.h.

3. Sending messages

When you have a message you're about to send, you'll need to know four
things: you account name, the protocol id, the name of the recipient, 
their instance tag, and the message.

OTR protocol version 3 introduces the notion of "instance tags." A
client may be logged into the same account multiple times from different
locations. An instance tag is intended to differentiate these clients. 
When sending a message, you may also specify a particular instance tag, 
or use meta instance tags like OTRL_INSTAG_MOST_SECURE.

The protocol id is just a unique string that is used to distinguish
the user foo on AIM from the user foo on MSN, etc.  It can be anything
you like, so long as you're consistent, but if you've got nothing better
to use, you may as well use the ids from gaim.  (Programs that use the
same protocol ids can share fingerprint and private key files.)  The
gaim protocol id for AIM/ICQ is "prpl-oscar".

Note that a name does not uniquely identify a user (as shown by the
"foo" example above).  Even if you know both the name and the protocol,
it may not identify the user, since there may be multiple "foo" users on
IRC, on different servers.  But the *three* items (your account name,
protocol id, their name) _must_ uniquely identify a user, so your
account name needs to include any network identifier, such as a server
name.  Examples would be "foo@irc.freenode.net" or "foo@jabber.org".
Protocols such as AIM that do not have separate networks can just use
"foo", of course.

To encrypt the message (if necessary; the library keeps track of which
users you have secure connections to, so you should *always* call this
next function), simply do this:

    gcry_error_t err;
    char *newmessage = NULL;

    err = otrl_message_sending(userstate, &ui_ops, opdata, accountname,
	    protocolid, recipient_name, instag, message, tlvs, 
	    &newmessage, fragPolicy, contextp, add_app_info, 
	    add_app_info_data);

add_app_info and add_app_info_data are as above, and may be NULL.

tlvs should usually be NULL.  If it's not, then it points to a chain of
OtrlTLVs which represent machine-readable data to send along with this
message.

If contextp is not NULL, it will be set to the context that was used
for sending the message.

If err is non-zero, then the library tried to encrypt the message,
but for some reason failed.  DO NOT send the message in the clear in
that case.

If newmessage gets set by the call to something non-NULL, then you
should replace your message with the contents of newmessage, and
send that instead.

Once the message is encrypted, it may still be too large to send over
the network in a single piece.  To check the maximum message size and
break your message into fragments if necessary, do this:

    gcry_error_t err;
    char *extrafragment = NULL;

    err = otrl_message_fragment_and_send(&ui_ops, opdata, context,
	    message, fragmentPolicy, extrafragment);

fragmentPolicy determines which, if any, fragments to return instead
of sending them immediately.  For example, you may wish to send all 
fragments except the last one, which is handled differently.  Valid
policies may be found in proto.h.

If err returns a nonzero value from fragment_and_send, the application
tried to break your message into fragments but failed for some reason.
You may still attempt to send the original message, but it might be
rejected if it too large.

When you're done with newmessage, you must call

    otrl_message_free(newmessage)

4. Receiving messages

Receiving messages is similarly straightforward.  Again, you need to
know four things: your account name, the protocol id, the sender's name,
and the message.

    int ignore_message;
    char *newmessage = NULL;

    ignore_message = otrl_message_receiving(userstate, &ui_ops, opdata,
	    accountname, protocolid, sender_name, message, &newmessage,
	    &tlvs, contextp, add_app_info, add_app_info_data);

add_app_info and add_app_info_data are as above, and may be NULL.

If contextp is not NULL, it will be set to the context that was used
for receiving the message.

If otrl_message_receiving returns 1, then the message you received was
an internal protocol message, and no message should be delivered to the
user.

If it returns 0, then check if newmessage was set to non-NULL.  If so,
replace the received message with the contents of newmessage, and
deliver that to the user instead.  You must call
otrl_message_free(newmessage) when you're done with it.

If otrl_message_receiving returns 0 and newmessage is NULL, then this
was an ordinary, non-OTR message, which should just be delivered to the
user without modification.

If tlvs is set to non-NULL, then there is machine-readable data that was
sent along with this message.  Call otrl_tlv_free(tlvs) when you're done
dealing with it (or ignoring it).

5. Socialist Millionaires' Protocol

The Socialist Millionaires' Protocol (SMP) is a way to detect
eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks without requiring users to
work with fingerprints.  This feature was added to OTR starting in
version 3.1.0.  To learn how to modify your application to use SMP, read
the UPGRADING file.

TOOLKIT

Along with the library, this package comes with the OTR Messaging
Toolkit.  This toolkit is useful for analyzing and/or forging OTR
messages.  Why do we offer this?  Primarily, to make absolutely sure
that transcripts of OTR conversations are really easy to forge after the
fact.  [Note that *during* an OTR conversation, messages can't be forged
without real-time access to the secret keys on the participants'
computers, and in that case, all security has already been lost.]
Easily forgeable transcripts help us provide the "Deniability" property:
if someone claims you said something over OTR, they'll have no proof, as
anyone at all can modify a transcript to make it say whatever they like,
and still have all the verification come out correctly.

Here are the six programs in the toolkit:

 - otr_parse
   - Parse OTR messages given on stdin, showing the values of all the
     fields in OTR protocol messages.

 - otr_sesskeys our_privkey their_pubkey
   - Shows our public key, the session id, two AES and two MAC keys
     derived from the given Diffie-Hellman keys (one private, one public).

 - otr_mackey aes_enc_key
   - Shows the MAC key derived from the given AES key.

 - otr_readforge aes_enc_key [newmsg]
   - Decrypts an OTR Data message using the given AES key, and displays
     the message, if the key was correct.
   - If newmsg is given, replace the message with that one, encrypt
     and MAC it properly, and output the resulting OTR Data Message.
     This works even if the given key was not correct for the original
     message, so as to enable complete forgeries.

 - otr_modify mackey old_text new_text offset
   - Even if you can't read the data because you don't know either
     the AES key or the Diffie-Hellman private key, but you can make a
     good guess that the substring "old_text" appears at the given
     offset in the message, replace the old_text with the new_text
     (which must be of the same length), recalculate the MAC with the
     given mackey, and output the resulting Data message.
   - Note that, even if you don't know any text in an existing message,
     you can still forge messages of your choice using the otr_readforge
     command, above.

 - otr_remac mackey sender_instance receiver_instance flags keyid keyid
   pubkey counter encdata revealed_mackeys
   - Make a new OTR Data Message, with the given pieces (note that the
     data part is already encrypted).  MAC it with the given mackey.

NOTES

Please send your bug reports, comments, suggestions, patches, etc. to us
at the contact address below.

In otrl_message_sending, specifying an instance tag allows you to send a
message to a particular session of a buddy who is logged in multiple times
with an otr-enabled client. The OTRL_INSTAG_RECENT_RECEIVED meta-instance
relies on the time that libotr processed the most recent message. Meta-
instance tags resolve to actual instance tags before a message is sent. An
instant messaging network may not agree on which session of the remote party is
the most recent, e.g., due to underlying network race conditions. If the
behaviour of an instant messaging network is to only deliver to the most recent,
and libotr and the network disagree on which session is the most recent, the
other party will not process the given message. That is, the instant messaging
network will deliver the message to the session whose actual instance tag does
not match the addressed instance tag. Also note that OTRL_INSTAG_BEST also
prefers more recent instance tags in the case of multiple instances with the
same "best" status (most secure). In this case, the most recent has a
resolution of one second.

If otrl_message_sending is called with an original_msg that contains the text
"?OTR?", this is a signal to initiate or refresh an OTR session. There is
currently no way to indicate if this text was actually typed in by a user and
part of a conversation (e.g., someone communicating instructions on how to
refresh OTR). In the future, we may allow a policy to specify whether "?OTR?"
is a signal to start OTR, or just an ordinary message for encrypted and
unencrypted conversations.

MAILING LISTS

There are three mailing lists pertaining to Off-the-Record Messaging:

otr-announce:
    http://lists.cypherpunks.ca/mailman/listinfo/otr-announce/
    *** All users of OTR software should join this. ***  It is used to
    announce new versions of OTR software, and other important information.

otr-users:
    http://lists.cypherpunks.ca/mailman/listinfo/otr-users/
    Discussion of usage issues related to OTR Messaging software.

otr-dev:
    http://lists.cypherpunks.ca/mailman/listinfo/otr-dev/
    Discussion of OTR Messaging software development.

LICENSE

The Off-the-Record Messaging library (in the src directory) is
covered by the following (LGPL) license:

    Off-the-Record Messaging library
    Copyright (C) 2004-2012  Ian Goldberg, Rob Smits, Chris Alexander,
    			      Willy Lew, Lisa Du, Nikita Borisov
			     <otr@cypherpunks.ca>

    This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
    modify it under the terms of version 2.1 of the GNU Lesser General
    Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.

    This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU
    Lesser General Public License for more details.

    There is a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License in the
    COPYING.LIB file packaged with this library; if you cannot find it,
    write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth
    Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA

The Off-the-Record Messaging Toolkit (in the toolkit directory) is covered
by the following (GPL) license:

    Off-the-Record Messaging Toolkit
    Copyright (C) 2004-2012  Ian Goldberg, Rob Smits, Chris Alexander,
                             Nikita Borisov
		             <otr@cypherpunks.ca>

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of version 2 of the GNU General Public License as
    published by the Free Software Foundation.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    There is a copy of the GNU General Public License in the COPYING file
    packaged with this toolkit; if you cannot find it, write to the Free
    Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA
    02110-1301 USA

CONTACT

To report problems, comments, suggestions, patches, etc., you can email
the authors:

Ian Goldberg, Rob Smits, Chris Alexander, Lisa Du, Nikita Borisov
<otr@cypherpunks.ca>

For more information on Off-the-Record Messaging, visit
https://otr.cypherpunks.ca/