[Bug 2615] New: LoginGraceTime bypass (DoS)

bugzilla-daemon at bugzilla.mindrot.org bugzilla-daemon at bugzilla.mindrot.org
Thu Sep 15 22:49:36 AEST 2016


            Bug ID: 2615
           Summary: LoginGraceTime bypass (DoS)
           Product: Portable OpenSSH
           Version: 7.3p1
          Hardware: Sparc
                OS: Solaris
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P5
         Component: sshd
          Assignee: unassigned-bugs at mindrot.org
          Reporter: tomas.kuthan at oracle.com

On one of our internal systems we have encountered an issue, which we
believe could be exploited to mount a deny-of-service attack on sshd.

It was reported, that ssh service on that host was occasionally
refusing new connections:

$ ssh triassic date
ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host

It turned out, that there were multiple processes hanging in the kernel
trying to access user's authorized_keys file on an NFS home directory.

The reason of the NFS hang is not that important (user's home dir has
been moved to another server, but the directory was never unmounted, so
NFS client was still trying to access the old server, where nfs/server
service has already been disabled.)

The monitor processes are blocked in open(), called from
auth_openfile(), called from user_key_allowed():

  core 'core.sshd.699975' of 699975:      /usr/lib/ssh/sshd -R 
     00007ff5c3658fbe __systemcall6 () + 1e 
     00007ff5c3622d4a __open () + 1a 
     00007ff5c363dbee open () + 12e 
     000000000045a20d auth_openfile () + 3d 
     0000000000465ccc user_key_allowed () + 3fc 
     000000000046999b mm_answer_keyallowed () + 45b 
     000000000046bf08 monitor_read () + 118 
     000000000046c2f8 monitor_child_preauth () + 308 
     000000000044cba0 main () + 1eb0 
     00000000004492d3 _start () + 43

NFS blocks most signals for the duration of the over-the-wire call,
including SIGALRM. The alarm implementing login_grace_time was queued,
but never delivered to the process. As a result, sshd process stayed
unauthenticated much longer than LoginGraceTime seconds. The user tried
ssh-ing in multiple times, eventually wasting up soft limit of
MaxStartups connections. After that, sshd started probabilistically
dropping connections of other users.

In this case this has happened by an accident.
But an attacker, who controls their NFS home directory, could use this
to mount a DoS attacke on sshd. All they needed to do is stop
nfs/service on their home dir server and try ssh-in using public key
auth in a loop. Eventually it would hoard hard limit of MaxStartup
connections and all successive ssh attempts would be dropped.

To reproduce:

NFS server (servera)
zfs create rpool/nora
zfs set share.nfs=on rpool/nora
useradd -u 6378 -d /rpool/nora nora
chown -R nora /rpool/nora
# disable NFS to create hang:
svcadm disable nfs/server

SSH server (serverb)
useradd -u 6378 -d /home/nora nora
echo 'nora servera:/rpool/nora' >>/etc/auto_home

SSH client (can be the same host as NFS server)
# create key for pubkey auth:
ssh-keygen -t rsa
ssh nora at serverb

ssh command hangs indefinitely.
There will be an sshd process on SSH server hanging in NFS.

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