[Bug 1512] New: Only a single smartcard/PIN is supported by the ssh-agent

bugzilla-daemon at bugzilla.mindrot.org bugzilla-daemon at bugzilla.mindrot.org
Fri Aug 22 02:26:27 EST 2008


           Summary: Only a single smartcard/PIN is supported by the
           Product: Portable OpenSSH
           Version: 5.1p1
          Platform: Other
        OS/Version: Linux
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: Smartcard
        AssignedTo: unassigned-bugs at mindrot.org
        ReportedBy: dkg at fifthhorseman.net

Many smartcards are capable of storing multiple PINs and multiple RSA
keys.  Some users may also have more than one smartcard in active use
at a given time (though this seems less likely than 2 or more IDs on a

The current smartcard implementation appears to be capable of dealing
with only a single PIN on a single card.  While this makes sense for a
single instance of ssh, a long-running ssh-agent connection might
reasonably want to deal with multiple identities or multiple cards.

Also problematic with the agent is that it doesn't associate any given
identity with any particular card or reader.  So if a second card or
reader is inserted in the local host (even if it's not used by the
agent), there's a potential for dangerous things like sending the
cached PIN to the wrong card.

I'm afraid i don't have a fix for this behavior at the moment, but i
wanted to raise the issue and create a place for discussion about it.

I think that the right thing would be to adjust the agent (if compiled
with smartcard support) to associate each hardware-based identity with
a specific card and a specific PIN.

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