Known Issues in Tink

This doc lists known issues in Tink. Please report new issues by opening new tickets or emailing the maintainers at


  • Before 1.4.0, AES-CTR-HMAC-AEAD keys and the EncryptThenAuthenticate subtle implementation may be vulnerable to chosen-ciphertext attacks. An attacker can generate ciphertexts that bypass the HMAC verification if and only if all of the following conditions are true:

    • Tink C++ is used on systems where size_t is a 32-bit integer. This is usually the case on 32-bit machines.
    • The attacker can specify long (>= 2^29 bytes ~ 536MB) associated data.

    This issue was reported by Quan Nguyen of Snap security team.


  • Tink supports Java 8 or newer. Java 7 support was removed since 1.4.0.

  • Tink is built on top of Java security providers, but, via Project Wycheproof, we found many security issues in popular providers. Tink provides countermeasures for most problems, and we've also helped upstream fix many issues. Still, there are some issues in old providers that we cannot fix. We recommend using Tink with the latest version of Conscrypt, Oracle JDK, OpenJDK or Bouncy Castle. If you cannot use the latest version, you might want to avoid using ECDSA (alternative: ED25519) or AES-GCM (alternatives: AES-EAX, AES-CTR-HMAC-AEAD or XChaCha20-Poly1305).


  • The minimum API level that Tink supports is 19 (Android KitKat). This covers more than 90% of all Android phones. Tink hasn't been tested on older versions. It might or might not work. Drop us a line if you really need to support ancient Android phones.

  • On Android Marshmallow (API level 23) or older, the newSeekableDecryptingChannel method in implementations of StreamingAead doesn't work. It depends on SeekableByteChannel, which is only available on API level 24 or newer. Users should use newEncryptingStream instead.

  • On Android Lollipop (API level 21) or older, AndroidKeysetManager does not support wrapping keysets with Android Keystore, but it'd store keysets in cleartext in private preference. This is secure enough for most applications.

  • On Android KitKat (API level 19) without Google Play Services, AES-GCM does not work properly because KitKat uses Bouncy Castle 1.48 which doesn't support updateAAD. If Google Play Services is present, AES-GCM should work well. If you want to support all Android versions, without depending on Google Play Services, please use CHACHA20-POLY1305, AES-EAX, or AES-CTR-HMAC-AEAD.

Signature malleability

  • ECDSA signatures are malleable. You probably can ignore this issue, unless you're working on Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies and have to worry about transaction malleability. In that case you want to use ED25519 signatures which are non-malleable.

Envelope encryption - Benign malleability

  • Envelope encryption uses a third-party provider (e.g. GCP, AWS) to encrypt the data encryption key (DEK). It is possible to modify certain parts of the encrypted DEK without detection when using KmsEnvelopeAead with AwsKmsAead or GcpKmsAead as the remote provider. This is due to some metadata being included (for instance version numbers) which is not authenticated and modifications are not detected by the provider. Note that this violates the CCA2 property for this interface, although the ciphertext will still decrypt to the correct DEK. When using this interface one should not rely on that for each DEK there only exists a single encrypted DEK.

Streaming AEAD - potential integer overflow issues

  • Streaming AEAD implementations encrypt the plaintext in segments. Tink uses a 4-byte segment counter. When encrypting a stream consisting of more than 2^32 segments, the segment counter might overflow and lead to leakage of key material or plaintext. This problem was found in the Java and Go implementations of the AES-GCM-HKDF-Streaming key type, and has been fixed since 1.4.0.