RFE: OpenSSH Support for PKCS11 Funneling to PAM for Kerberos/PKINIT

Alon Bar-Lev alon.barlev at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 10:18:53 AEDT 2018


Maybe I am wrong, but I believe you did not get it right.

You should use PKCS#11 to perform PKINIT in order to authenticate
against the KDC to acquire TGT.
Then ssh can use the TGT in order to issue ticket to access remote
sshd using GSSAPI KEX.

If you like to use pam_krb5 locally on your system to issue the TGT,
do it... it yet another method to have TGT in your user context. The
ssh command will use the TGT (or available keytab) to interact with
sshd, without requiring any special pam module at the remote side.

You can delegate your TGT using forwarded TGT into the remote machine
if you need to jump additional hope.

In other words, kerberos is SSO technology, the PK is used at
authentication phase only and if smartcards are being used this phase
is performed on local machine, once TGT is available, the remaining of
the interaction is kerberos only.


On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 1:10 AM mailto428496 <mailto628496 at cox.net> wrote:
> I know OpenSSH currently supports PKCS11 devices (such as smartcards)
> for publickey authentication, but I would love to see PKCS11 extended
> further.  It is currently possible to perform PKCS11 certificate
> authentication, via pam_krb5.so (on Linux at least and likely something
> similar on other *NIX) which allows smartcard auth to a Kerberos
> (including AD) server, where a TGT can also be granted.  How difficult
> would it be to add functionality to OpenSSH so that it can funnel PKCS11
> certs from SSH client to server and on to PAM where it could be used by
> Kerberos/PKINIT?  My thought is that this is at least part way there
> with the current PKCS11 support but I won't claim to be an expert
> regarding the internals of what would be needed.  I would think that a
> number of places using smartcards (I currently work for a gov agency
> that uses smartcards) would find this approach to have additional
> security and management features (given real-time validation against a
> kerberos/AD server) over using publickey auth (based on PKCS11) and also
> having the added benefit of granting a TGT on sign-in, enabling SSO
> (GSSAPI) to additional backend servers.
> What are thoughts on this functionality being added to OpenSSH?  Am I
> the first to suggest such a thing?
> Jim
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