NSS cryptographic module
This chapter describes the data types and functions that one can use to perform cryptographic operations with the NSS cryptographic module. The NSS cryptographic module uses the industry standard PKCS #11 v2.20 as its API with some extensions. Therefore, an application that supports PKCS #11 cryptographic tokens can be easily modified to use the NSS cryptographic module.
The NSS cryptographic module has two modes of operation: the non-FIPS (default) mode and FIPS mode. The FIPS mode is an Approved mode of operation compliant to FIPS 140-2. Both modes of operation use the same data types but are implemented by different functions.
- The standard PKCS #11 function C_GetFunctionList or the equivalent NSC_GetFunctionList function returns pointers to the functions that implement the default mode of operation.
- To enable the FIPS mode of operation, use the function FC_GetFunctionList instead to get pointers to the functions that implement the FIPS mode of operation.
The NSS cryptographic module also exports the function NSC_ModuleDBFunc for managing the NSS module database secmod.db. The following sections document the data types and functions.