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Re: Security issue in Filezilla 3.0.9.2:passwords are stored in plain text (sitemanager.xml)
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 16:10:41 -0400

On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 15:42:44 EDT, Joey Mengele said:
I disagree, read the RFC. There are plenty of more secure FTP 
clients such as the OpenSSH.com groups proactive secure Secure FTP 
(sftp) implementation of FTP.

Right, except that SFTP isn't the RFC959 protocol that lives on ports 20/21,
it's an entirely different protocol layered on top of the OpenSSH on port 22.

If you actually *do* "read the RFC", RFC959, section 4.1.1 says:

         PASSWORD (PASS)

            The argument field is a Telnet string specifying the user's
            password.  This command must be immediately preceded by the
            user name command, and, for some sites, completes the user's
            identification for access control.  Since password
            information is quite sensitive, it is desirable in general
            to "mask" it or suppress typeout.  It appears that the
            server has no foolproof way to achieve this.  It is
            therefore the responsibility of the user-FTP process to hide
            the sensitive password information.

And RFC2228 (FTP Security Extensions) section 1 reminds us:

   Although the FTP control connection follows the Telnet protocol, and
   Telnet has defined an authentication and encryption option [TELNET-
   SEC], [RFC-1123] explicitly forbids the use of Telnet option
   negotiation over the control connection (other than Synch and IP).

   Also, the Telnet authentication and encryption option does not
   provide for integrity protection only (without confidentiality), and
   does not address the protection of the data channel.

Of course, the problem is that RFC2228 is *Extensions*.  Not part of the
base protocol.  And what OpenSSH's SFTP is doing is actually documented
in RFCs 4250 through 4254.

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