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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)
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:
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
Thanks to Solar Designer and Andrea Barisani for the interesting
discussion on this topic.
Antifork Research, Inc. http://0xdeadbeef.info/
3B05 C9C5 A2DE C3D7 4233 0394 EF85 2008 DBFD B707
- yet another OpenSSH timing leak? Marco Ivaldi (Oct 09)