Hash: SHA1

             AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

               ESB-2008.1076 -- [Win][UNIX/Linux][Appliance]
                 SSH CBC plaintext recovery vulnerability
                             26 November 2008


        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary

Product:              SSH Cipher Block Chaining mode
Publisher:            US-CERT
Operating System:     UNIX variants (UNIX, Linux, OSX)
                      Network Appliance
Impact:               Access Confidential Data
Access:               Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names:            CVE-2008-5161

Original Bulletin:    http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/958563

Comment: There are currently no patches for this vulnerability. A potential
         workaround is to use CTR (counter) mode rather than CBC.

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US-CERT Vulnerability Note VU#958563

SSH CBC vulnerability


   A vulnerability exists in SSH messages that employ CBC mode that may
   allow an attacker to recover plaintext from a block of ciphertext.

I. Description

   The Secure Shell (SSH) is a network protocol that creates a secure
   channel between two networked devices in order to allow data to be
   exchanged. SSH can create this secure channel by using Cipher Block
   Chaining (CBC) mode encryption. This mode adds a feedback mechanism to
   a block cipher that operates in a way that ensures that each block is
   used to modify the encryption of the next block.

   SSH contains a vulnerability in the way certain types of errors are
   handled. Attacks leveraging this vulnerabilty would lead to the loss
   of the SSH session. According to CPNI Vulnerability Advisory SSH:
   If exploited, this attack can potentially allow an attacker to recover
   up to 32 bits of plaintext from an arbitrary block of ciphertext
   from a connection secured using the SSH protocol in the standard
   configuration. If OpenSSH is used in the standard configuration,
   then the attacker's success probability for recovering 32 bits of
   plaintext is 2^{-18}. A variant of the attack against OpenSSH in
   the standard configuration can verifiably recover 14 bits of
   plaintext with probability 2^{-14}. The success probability of the
   attack for other implementations of SSH is not known.

II. Impact

   An attacker may be able to recover up to 32 bits of plaintext from an
   arbitrary block of ciphertext.

III. Solution

   We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.

   Use CTR Mode
   SSH can be done using Counter (CTR) mode encryption. This mode
   generates the keystream by encrypting successive values of a "counter"
   function. For more information see the Block Cipher Modes article
   on wikipedia.
   In order to mitigate this vulnerabilty SSH can be setup to use CTR
   mode rather CBC mode. According to CPNI Vulnerability Advisory
   The most straightforward solution is to use CTR mode instead of CBC
   mode, since this renders SSH resistant to the attack. An RFC already
   exists to standardise counter mode for use in SSH (RFC 4344) ... 

Systems Affected

   Vendor                               Status     Date Notified Date Updated
   Bitvise                              Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   FiSSH                                Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   Icon Labs                            Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   OpenSSH                              Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   OSSH                                 Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   PuTTY                                Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   Redback Networks, Inc.               Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   SSH Communications Security Corp     Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   TTSSH                                Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   VanDyke Software                     Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24
   Wind River Systems, Inc.             Vulnerable 2008-11-07    2008-11-24




   Thanks to CPNI for reporting this vulnerability.

   This document was written by Chris Taschner.

Other Information

   Date Public:              2008-11-14
   Date First Published:     2008-11-24
   Date Last Updated:        2008-11-24
   CERT Advisory:           
   US-CERT Technical Alerts:
   Metric:                   0.30
   Document Revision:        13

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