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yet another OpenSSH timing leak?
From: Marco Ivaldi <raptor () 0xdeadbeef info>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 12:33:05 +0200 (CEST)

Hello Bugtraq,

Here we are again... During a recent penetration test i stumbled upon yet another OpenSSH timing leak, leading to remote disclosure of valid usernames. It's not as big as the one i found in the past (CVE-2003-0190),
but it can indeed be exploited over the Internet, nevertheless.

This time, OpenSSH-portable apparently introduces a small delay (see attached transcript for details) when verifying access credentials for users with a password set: it doesn't matter if they don't have a valid shell or login has been disabled through an sshd_config directive.

So far, i've not been able to determine the root cause of this exposure and i've reproduced it only on some fully-patched SUSE Linux 10.0 boxes (OpenSSH_4.1 + SUSE patches, both protocols 1 and 2 are affected, with or without PAM authentication), therefore it may be a SUSE-specific and/or a
configuration-dependant flaw (latest tests on some freshly installed SUSE
systems didn't show the flawed behaviour).

That said, there are probably other timing leaks involving third-party patches (x509 certs, LDAP, and so on), logging, and custom configurations, as well as other ways in which valid usernames may be probed for (i.e., with RSA/DSA authentication) -- thus i decided to release a small script for testing timing patterns in sshd replies:

http://www.0xdeadbeef.info/code/sshtime

It needs expect, and target ssh hostkey must be already added. I'd be very interested in knowing the results of tests performed on other distros and configurations.

Thanks to Solar Designer and Andrea Barisani for the interesting discussion on this topic.

Cheers,

--
Marco Ivaldi
Antifork Research, Inc.   http://0xdeadbeef.info/
3B05 C9C5 A2DE C3D7 4233  0394 EF85 2008 DBFD B707

Attachment: yet-another-openssh-timing-leak.txt
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