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"How do we trust this announcement about weak keys is real?"
"We look at the keys they used in the annou... shit."
Cryptographic weakness on Debian systems
Posted May 13, 2008 14:44 UTC (Tue) by maks (subscriber, #32426)
read the announcement gpg is not affected.
openssl is bad enough!
Posted May 13, 2008 17:43 UTC (Tue) by neiljerram (subscriber, #12005)
Thanks everyone for your answers. I see now that GPG keys are in a separate space from the
ssh keys, and unaffected.
Posted May 13, 2008 21:03 UTC (Tue) by lab (subscriber, #51153)
Hmmm.. Can I just ask a stupid question - how come the OpenSSH package in Ubuntu is affected,
but not in Debian?
"A weakness has been discovered in the random number generator used by OpenSSL on Debian and
Ubuntu systems. As a result of this weakness, certain encryption keys are much more common
than they should be, such that an attacker could guess the key through a brute-force attack
given minimal knowledge of the system. This particularly affects the use of encryption keys in
Posted May 14, 2008 0:16 UTC (Wed) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322)
It's affected in exactly the same sense (i.e. only as collateral damage) in Debian too;
unfortunately problems due to the advisory itself have made it difficult to publish an OpenSSH
update in Debian, but it should be on its way soon.
Posted May 13, 2008 18:49 UTC (Tue) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Even if those keys were compromised, that's OK. If the announcement is
legitimate, then the fact that the keys are compromised is not
problematic, because it was actually signed with the secret key. If it's
*not* legitimate, and has been signed by a forger, then... why on earth
would they tell us that the keys were weak, destroying their own strong
point? (And if the message is forged and the sender is lying, being a
nasty forger and all, well, er, a forger telling us that the keys are weak
when they're actually *strong* seems really rather implausible.)
I'd worry much more about an announcement coming out of the blue saying
`hey, our keys are OK, keep using them!' because that *is* an announcement
that an attacker who'd nicked the keys might want to give out (if he
wanted to make people like me suspicious, anyway).
Posted May 13, 2008 20:48 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
It is a modern-day version of the old ploy where a fake detective comes and says: "here, your house is bugged, let me sanitize it for you", thus gaining your confidence and at the same time getting an excellent chance to install his own spying devices. You should watch him like a hawk.
On second thought, even if you follow the guy he may be clever enough to deploy spying devices even if you are watching him all the time. Or in our case: the GPG vulnerability may be subtle enough that it is hard to catch the attacker. I hope some really clever people are watching this story unfold.
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