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FreeBSD-SA-01:01 Security Advisory
Topic: Hostile server OpenSSH agent/X11 forwarding
Credits: Markus Friedl <markus@OpenBSD.org>
Affects: FreeBSD 4.1.1-STABLE prior to the correction date
Ports collection prior to the correction date
Vendor status: Updated version released
FreeBSD only: NO
OpenSSH is an implementation of the SSH1 and SSH2 secure shell
protocols for providing encrypted and authenticated network access,
which is available free for unrestricted use. Versions of OpenSSH are
included in the FreeBSD ports collection and the FreeBSD base system.
II. Problem Description
To quote the OpenSSH Advisory:
If agent or X11 forwarding is disabled in the ssh client
configuration, the client does not request these features
during session setup. This is the correct behaviour.
However, when the ssh client receives an actual request
asking for access to the ssh-agent, the client fails to
check whether this feature has been negotiated during session
setup. The client does not check whether the request is in
compliance with the client configuration and grants access
to the ssh-agent. A similar problem exists in the X11
All versions of FreeBSD 4.x prior to the correction date including
FreeBSD 4.1 and 4.1.1 are vulnerable to this problem, but it was
corrected prior to the release of FreeBSD 4.2. For users of FreeBSD
3.x, OpenSSH is not installed by default, but is part of the FreeBSD
The base system and ports collections shipped with FreeBSD 4.2 do not
contain this problem since it was discovered before the release.
Hostile SSH servers can access your X11 display or your ssh-agent when
connected to, which may allow access to confidential data or other
network accounts, through snooping of password or keying material
through the X11 session, or reuse of the SSH credentials obtained
through the SSH agent.
Clear both the $DISPLAY and $SSH_AUTH_SOCK variables before connecting
to untrusted hosts. For example, in Bourne shell syntax:
% unset SSH_AUTH_SOCK; unset DISPLAY; ssh host
Upgrade the vulnerable system to 4.1.1-STABLE or 4.2-STABLE after the
correction date, or patch your current system source code and rebuild.
To patch your present system: download the patch from the below
location and execute the following commands as root:
# fetch ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/CERT/patches/SA-01:01/openssh.patch
# fetch ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/CERT/patches/SA-01:01/openssh.patch.asc
Verify the detached PGP signature using your PGP utility.
# cd /usr/src/crypto/openssh
# patch < /path/to/openssh.patch
# cd /usr/src/secure/lib/libssh
# make depend && make all
# cd /usr/src/secure/usr.bin/ssh
# make depend && make all install
One of the following:
1) Upgrade your entire ports collection and rebuild the OpenSSH port.
2) Deinstall the old package and install a new package dated after the
correction date, obtained from:
NOTE: Due to an oversight the package version was not updated after
the security fix was applied, so be sure to install a package created
after the correction date.
3) download a new port skeleton for the OpenSSH port from:
and use it to rebuild the port.
4) Use the portcheckout utility to automate option (3) above. The
portcheckout port is available in /usr/ports/devel/portcheckout or the
package can be obtained from:
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