Feeds

NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess

Too many keys, too badly managed

Website security in corporate America

NIST has taken a look at how companies use Secure Shell (SSH), and doesn't much like what it sees.

In spite of the depth of access generally handed SSH implementations for a host of different activities – “file transfers, back-ups, software/patch management, disaster recovery, provisioning and data base updates”, as SSH (the company) says – users aren't working hard enough to protect those activities.

The report says: “Management of automated access requires proper provisioning, termination, and monitoring processes, just as interactive access by normal users does. However, the security of SSH-based automated access has been largely ignored to date”.

An SSH process running under a patch management system, it continues, will be given things root access to accounts or administrator-level access to the Oracle database. Security is, therefore, critical.

As always, the most important security considerations fall under the heading of “normal security practice”: NIST points to the vulnerabilities in old versions of SSH to recommend proper patch management; user accounts need to be managed and deleted if they're not required. SSH client/server configurations need to be watched, and keys need to be continually monitored and audited.

Many of the NIST recommendations echo the concerns expressed last year by the protocol's author Tatu Ylonen when he called for a new version of SSH. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.