PATCH: Support for encrypted host keys

Ángel González keisial at
Wed Feb 1 02:37:54 EST 2012

Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
> Hi Zev--
> On 01/28/2012 04:25 AM, Zev Weiss wrote:
>> I recently found myself wanting to run sshd with passphrase-protected host keys rather than the usual unencrypted format, and was somewhat surprised to discover that sshd did not support this.  I'm not sure if there's any particular reason for that, but I've developed the below patch (relative to current CVS at time of writing) that implements this.  It prompts for the passphrase when the daemon is started, similarly to Apache's behavior with encrypted SSL certificates.
> Can i ask what threats you hope to mitigate with this approach?  What
> are your concerns about having a cleartext ~/.ssh/known_hosts?

Daniel, I think he refers to /etc/ssh/ssh_host_*key, not ~/.ssh/known_hosts

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