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[Fwd: Re: Re: Automated SSH login attempts?]
From: Stefan Janecek <stefan.janecek () jku at>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 12:14:30 +0200

uuups - forgot to cc the list on this one. sorry.

-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Stefan Janecek <stefan.janecek () jku at>
To: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Re: Automated SSH login attempts?
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 11:45:51 +0200

On Thu, 2004-07-29 at 21:35, Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu wrote:
On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 18:38:15 +0200, Stefan Janecek <stefan.janecek () jku at>  said:

This does not seem to be a stupid brute force attack, as there is only
one login attempt per user. Could it be that the tool tries to exploit
some vulnerability in the sshd, and just tries to look harmless by using
'test' and 'guest' as usernames?

Highly doubtful.  It's easy enough to test though - just use the tool
to poke another machine under your control, and use tcpdump or ethereal
to capture all the traffic (don't forget '-s 1500' or similar for tcpdump
to get the *whole* packet).  Then somebody familiar with the SSH
protocol can go through it byte by byte and look for anything odd.

I don't expect we'll find anything, unless it's some very hard to trigger hole
on some odd architecture. Remember - with all of these probes, we're only
seeing a very few boxes actually get 0wned. More likely, script kiddies have
re-discovered the concept that if there's 500 million boxes online, enough of
them are administered by clueless people that they can snarf shells using a
default userid/password pair.....



This is exactly what I did. The tool tries to login as users 'test' and
'guest'. But I don't think it is about just snarfing passwords, because
those users did not exist on the compromised machine - yet they got in. 

My personal feeling is (given their poor success) that they are using
some old-fart ssh vulnerability. The compromised machine had an uptime
of 254 days if I remember correctly, and was hardly used during this
time, nor has it been updated. Still I would really like to know
*exactly* what they are doing, just to make sure...



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