Richard Adhikari wrote a good overview about the “OpenSSH Flaw Could Leak Crypto Keys” in the LinuxInsider.com website.
I got quoted :
The flaws are not dangerous, security consultant Sorin Mustaca said.
“In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must convince its target OpenSSH client to connect to a malicious server — an unlikely scenario — or compromise a trusted server and install a special build of the OpenSSH server having roaming activated,” he told LinuxInsider. The second option “is possible but also unlikely to happen.”
If hackers compromise a server to the degree that they can replace OpenSSH, for which they need root access, “it would be better for them to insert their own private keys and have access to the server directly rather than stealing someone else’s private key,” Mustaca remarked. Even if a private key is stolen, the thief has to figure out where else it’s being used.
“OpenSSH did very well by fixing these issues,” Mustaca observed.
This news is an example of how to create FUD – Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.
The marketing department of Qualys, which is a very respected company, exaggerated the effects of the vulnerability they found.
I am pretty sure that the goal was to bring the company in the news a bit.
Unfortunately for them, the effect was exactly the opposite: their technical guys, who clearly stated that the vulnerabilities can be exploited only in certain circumstances, got somehow overruled by the Marketing and they did from a mosquito a stallion.
Final result, in my opinion:
Marketing : 1
—> Qualys: -1
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