[openssh-unix-announce] Announce: OpenSSH 9.6 released

Damien Miller djm at cvs.openbsd.org
Tue Dec 19 02:33:09 AEDT 2023

OpenSSH 9.6 has just been released. It will be available from the
mirrors listed at https://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
includes sftp client and server support.

Once again, we would like to thank the OpenSSH community for their
continued support of the project, especially those who contributed
code or patches, reported bugs, tested snapshots or donated to the
project. More information on donations may be found at:

Changes since OpenSSH 9.5

This release contains a number of security fixes, some small features
and bugfixes.


This release contains fixes for a newly-discovered weakness in the
SSH transport protocol, a logic error relating to constrained PKCS#11
keys in ssh-agent(1) and countermeasures for programs that invoke
ssh(1) with user or hostnames containing invalid characters.

 * ssh(1), sshd(8): implement protocol extensions to thwart the
   so-called "Terrapin attack" discovered by Fabian Bäumer, Marcus
   Brinkmann and Jörg Schwenk. This attack allows a MITM to effect a
   limited break of the integrity of the early encrypted SSH transport
   protocol by sending extra messages prior to the commencement of
   encryption, and deleting an equal number of consecutive messages
   immediately after encryption starts. A peer SSH client/server
   would not be able to detect that messages were deleted.

   While cryptographically novel, the security impact of this attack
   is fortunately very limited as it only allows deletion of
   consecutive messages, and deleting most messages at this stage of
   the protocol prevents user user authentication from proceeding and
   results in a stuck connection.

   The most serious identified impact is that it lets a MITM to
   delete the SSH2_MSG_EXT_INFO message sent before authentication
   starts, allowing the attacker to disable a subset of the keystroke
   timing obfuscation features introduced in OpenSSH 9.5. There is no
   other discernable impact to session secrecy or session integrity.

   OpenSSH 9.6 addresses this protocol weakness through a new "strict
   KEX" protocol extension that will be automatically enabled when
   both the client and server support it. This extension makes
   two changes to the SSH transport protocol to improve the integrity
   of the initial key exchange.

   Firstly, it requires endpoints to terminate the connection if any
   unnecessary or unexpected message is received during key exchange
   (including messages that were previously legal but not strictly
   required like SSH2_MSG_DEBUG). This removes most malleability from
   the early protocol.

   Secondly, it resets the Message Authentication Code counter at the
   conclusion of each key exchange, preventing previously inserted
   messages from being able to make persistent changes to the
   sequence number across completion of a key exchange. Either of
   these changes should be sufficient to thwart the Terrapin Attack.

   More details of these changes are in the PROTOCOL file in the
   OpenSSH source distribition.

 * ssh-agent(1): when adding PKCS#11-hosted private keys while
   specifying destination constraints, if the PKCS#11 token returned
   multiple keys then only the first key had the constraints applied.
   Use of regular private keys, FIDO tokens and unconstrained keys
   are unaffected.

 * ssh(1): if an invalid user or hostname that contained shell
   metacharacters was passed to ssh(1), and a ProxyCommand,
   LocalCommand directive or "match exec" predicate referenced the
   user or hostname via %u, %h or similar expansion token, then
   an attacker who could supply arbitrary user/hostnames to ssh(1)
   could potentially perform command injection depending on what
   quoting was present in the user-supplied ssh_config(5) directive.

   This situation could arise in the case of git submodules, where
   a repository could contain a submodule with shell characters in
   its user/hostname. Git does not ban shell metacharacters in user
   or host names when checking out repositories from untrusted

   Although we believe it is the user's responsibility to ensure
   validity of arguments passed to ssh(1), especially across a
   security boundary such as the git example above, OpenSSH 9.6 now
   bans most shell metacharacters from user and hostnames supplied
   via the command-line. This countermeasure is not guaranteed to be
   effective in all situations, as it is infeasible for ssh(1) to
   universally filter shell metacharacters potentially relevant to
   user-supplied commands.

   User/hostnames provided via ssh_config(5) are not subject to these
   restrictions, allowing configurations that use strange names to
   continue to be used, under the assumption that the user knows what
   they are doing in their own configuration files.

Potentially incompatible changes

 * ssh(1), sshd(8): the RFC4254 connection/channels protocol provides
   a TCP-like window mechanism that limits the amount of data that
   can be sent without acceptance from the peer. In cases where this
   limit was exceeded by a non-conforming peer SSH implementation,
   ssh(1)/sshd(8) previously discarded the extra data. From OpenSSH
   9.6, ssh(1)/sshd(8) will now terminate the connection if a peer
   exceeds the window limit by more than a small grace factor. This
   change should have no effect of SSH implementations that follow
   the specification.

New features

 * ssh(1): add a %j token that expands to the configured ProxyJump
   hostname (or the empty string if this option is not being used)
   that can be used in a number of ssh_config(5) keywords. bz3610

 * ssh(1): add ChannelTimeout support to the client, mirroring the
   same option in the server and allowing ssh(1) to terminate
   quiescent channels.

 * ssh(1), sshd(8), ssh-add(1), ssh-keygen(1): add support for
   reading ED25519 private keys in PEM PKCS8 format. Previously
   only the OpenSSH private key format was supported.

 * ssh(1), sshd(8): introduce a protocol extension to allow
   renegotiation of acceptable signature algorithms for public key
   authentication after the server has learned the username being
   used for authentication. This allows varying sshd_config(5)
   PubkeyAcceptedAlgorithms in a "Match user" block.

 * ssh-add(1), ssh-agent(1): add an agent protocol extension to allow
   specifying certificates when loading PKCS#11 keys. This allows the
   use of certificates backed by PKCS#11 private keys in all OpenSSH
   tools that support ssh-agent(1). Previously only ssh(1) supported
   this use-case.


 * ssh(1): when deciding whether to enable the keystroke timing
   obfuscation, enable it only if a channel with a TTY is active.

 * ssh(1): switch mainloop from poll(3) to ppoll(3) and mask signals
   before checking flags set in signal handler. Avoids potential
   race condition between signaling ssh to exit and polling. bz3531
 * ssh(1): when connecting to a destination with both the
   AddressFamily and CanonicalizeHostname directives in use,
   the AddressFamily directive could be ignored. bz5326

 * sftp(1): correct handling of the limits at openssh.com option when
   the server returned an unexpected message.

 * A number of fixes to the PuTTY and Dropbear regress/integration

 * ssh(1): release GSS OIDs only at end of authentication, avoiding
   unnecessary init/cleanup cycles. bz2982

 * ssh_config(5): mention "none" is a valid argument to IdentityFile
   in the manual. bz3080

 * scp(1): improved debugging for paths from the server rejected for
   not matching the client's glob(3) pattern in old SCP/RCP protocol

 * ssh-agent(1): refuse signing operations on destination-constrained
   keys if a previous session-bind operation has failed. This may
   prevent a fail-open situation in future if a user uses a mismatched
   ssh(1) client and ssh-agent(1) where the client supports a key type
   that the agent does not support.


 * Better identify unsupported and unstable compiler flags, such as
   -fzero-call-used-regs which has been unstable across a several
   clang releases.

 * A number of fixes to regression test reliability and log

 * Update the OpenSSL dependency in the RPM specification.

 * sshd(8): for OpenSolaris systems that support privilege limitation
   via the getpflags() interface, prefer using the newer PRIV_XPOLICY
   to PRIV_LIMIT. bz2833


 - SHA1 (openssh-9.6.tar.gz) = a6d4cb69811e879e2f158c2e597fd9f444b26506
 - SHA256 (openssh-9.6.tar.gz) = nejPUhSnG1R1sOmIBi/t+HMNvsRqfN/DJgjwIU2tvqg=

 - SHA1 (openssh-9.6p1.tar.gz) = de300d09ec79fdbf37de4e6672cce4161439f2c3
 - SHA256 (openssh-9.6p1.tar.gz) = kQIRwHJVqMWtZUORtA7lmABxDdgRndU2LeCThap6d3w=

Please note that the SHA256 signatures are base64 encoded and not
hexadecimal (which is the default for most checksum tools). The PGP
key used to sign the releases is available from the mirror sites:

Reporting Bugs:

- Please read https://www.openssh.com/report.html
  Security bugs should be reported directly to openssh at openssh.com

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