The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

“The Sky is Falling! Get to a bomb shelter! Although, an umbrella would work just as well … ”

To: [a whole lot of lists]
Subject: Upcoming OpenSSH vulnerability
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 15:00:10 -0600
From: Theo de Raadt <XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>

There is an upcoming OpenSSH vulnerability that we're working on with ISS. Details will be published early next week.

Upcoming OpenSSH vulnerability

Well, nice to know that “early next week” means “today.” Also nice to know that the couple of hours I yesterday could have been fixed with a simple one line configuration change.

I'm of mixed minds about how this was handled. I do think Theo overplayed his hand in attempting to force one particular way of fixing the problem with priviledge serparation (which is probably a good idea if the operating system in question supports it) but given that an exploit in OpenSSH could cause massive damage, how else can you solve the problem such that the damage is minimized?

Hard questions, and that's why I'm of mixed minds (I would have preferred knowing about the one line configuration change but would have that given the Black Hats enough of a clue to write an exploit?)

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