Feeds

SSH hits the fan for Unix admins

Gaping security hole needs careful review

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

A password authentication vulnerability with SSH Secure Shell 3.0.0 could allow hackers to gain root access on Unix servers.

Because of weak password authentication to the SSHD2 daemon it's been discovered that accounts with password fields consisting of two or fewer characters can be compromised using any password, including an empty password. Only Unix systems are affected by the vulnerability, which could be exploited by hackers to take control of servers.

Systems using OpenSSH are not affected by the issue.

Some of the systems that include default two-character passwords (and thus might be vulnerable if the affected software is used) are Red Hat Linux 6.1 through 7.1, Solaris 2.6 through 2.8, HP-UX 10.20, HP-UX 11.00, Caldera Linux 2.4, and SuSE Linux 6.4 through 7.0. Solaris systems are particularly vulnerable to the exploit, which would be trivial for hackers to pull off on Sun servers running the affected software.

Those sites using SecurID token, Kerberos, certificates, Smart Cards, or host authentication are protected from the vulnerability providing the password authentication to the SSH daemon is disabled. Likewise OpenBSD, NetBSD and Tru64 servers are also believed to be immune from the effects of the bug.

SSH Secure Shell has released several workarounds and a corrected version, 3.0.1, which system administrators are encouraged to review. ®

Related Links

Detailed security alert on the issue
FTP sites for SSH patches
SSH Communications Security
home page

Related Stories

SSH hits the fan for Cisco on security

Cowboy cracker nails Apache (using SSH exploit)

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.