**NOTE: Due to the experimental nature of the KEX/KEM algorithms used, and the novelty of the overall codebase, this package SHOULD BE CONSIDERED EXTREMELY EXPERIMENTAL and USED WITH CAUTION. It DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT be used for any sensitive applications. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. NEITHER WARRANTY NOR CLAIM OF FITNESS FOR PURPOSE IS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.**
xs operates via the philosophy that **it is the server admin's prerogitive to configure local policy wrt. allowed cryptographic primitives**. The connection protocol makes no allowance for any sort of 'downgrades' or algo substitution during negotiation; there is no 'fallback' mode or two-way negotiation of what primitives to use, which would open the possibility of downgrade attacks. Unlike `ssh`, the server does not offer to clients a list of supported algorithms; the client can only offer a single configuration to the server, which it simply accepts or rejects without comment to the client.
In all releases prior to v0.9.3, absent a specific whitelist of algs to allow, the server allows 'all' combinations of the above cryptographic primitives to be proposed by clients (but again, **only one** combination is proposed by the client in a single connect attempt). If the admin wishes to restrict the accepted algorithms now or at any future time, they may use the `-aK`, `-aC` and `-aH` options when launching the server to define a whitelist which excludes certain primitives.
As of release v0.9.3, the default when supplying no explicit KEX, cipher or HMAC algorithms to `xsd` results in *no* algs being accepted; so the admin must decide on a specific whitelist of algorithms.
Calls to xsnet.Dial() and xsnet.Listen()/Accept() are generally the same as calls to the equivalents within the _net_ package; however upon connection a key exchange automatically occurs whereby client and server independently derive the same keying material, and all following traffic is secured by a symmetric encryption algorithm.
Above the xsnet.Conn layer, the server and client apps in this repository (xsd/ and xs/ respectively) negotiate session settings (cipher/hmac algorithms, interactive/non-interactive mode, tunnel specifiers, etc.) to be used for communication.
Packets are subject to padding (random size, randomly applied as prefix or postfix), and optionally the client and server channels can both send _chaff_ packets at random defineable intervals to help thwart analysis of session activity (applicable to interactive and non-interactive command sessions, file copies and tunnels).
Chaffing and tunnels, if specified, are set up during initial client->server connection. Packets from the client local port(s) are sent through the main secured connection to the server's remote port(s), and vice versa, tagged with a chaff or tunnel specifier so that they can be discarded as chaff or de-multiplexed and delivered to the proper tunnel endpoints, respectively.
Within the ```xspasswd/``` directory is a password-setting utility, ```xspasswd```, used if one wishes ```xs``` access to use separate credentials from those of the default (likely ssh) login method. In this mode, ```xsd``` uses its own password file distinct from the system /etc/passwd to authenticate clients, using standard bcrypt+salt storage. Activate this mode by invoking ```xsd``` with ```-s false```.
As of this time (Oct 2018) Kyber is one of the candidate algorithms submitted to the [NIST post-quantum cryptography project](https://csrc.nist.gov/Projects/Post-Quantum-Cryptography). The authors recommend using it in "... so-called hybrid mode in combination with established "pre-quantum" security; for example in combination with elliptic-curve Diffie-Hellman." THIS PROJECT DOES NOT DO THIS (in case you didn't notice yet, THIS PROJECT IS EXPERIMENTAL.)
As of Go 1.8, one can directly use `go install` to get the client `xs` and server `xsd` binaries; however it is not recommended, as `xsd` requires root and for general use should be in one of the system directories, akin to other daemons. If one insists, the following will work to place them in $HOME/go/bin:
If the 'pv' pipeview utility is available (http://www.ivarch.com/programs/pv.shtml) file transfer progress and bandwidth control will be available (suppress the former with the -q option, set the latter with -L <bytes_per_second>).
Special care should be taken when doing client → server copies: since the tarpipe (should) always succeed at least sending data to the remote side, a destination with no write permission will not return a nonzero status and the client closes its end after sending all data, giving the server no opportunity to send an error code to the client.
Perhaps in future a more complex handshake will be devised to allow the client to half-close the tarpipe, allowing the server to complete its side of the operation and send back its success or failure code, but the current connection protocol does not allow this. If this is a deal-breaking feature, please contact the maintainer.