22 Aug 2008

Red Hat, Fedora openssh security compromise 

By - Linux, Security No Comments

Many of you may have already read the news, but for those of you that have not here is a recap. But first, let me state that we have tested all of our customer’s servers, and none have been compromised.

An email was sent to the fedora-announce mailing list, it started with, “Last week we discovered that some Fedora servers were illegally accessed. The intrusion into the servers was quickly discovered, and the servers were taken offline.”

It goes on to say, “One of the compromised Fedora servers was a system used for signing Fedora packages. However, based on our efforts, we have high confidence that the intruder was not able to capture the passphrase used to secure the Fedora package signing key. Based on our review to date, the passphrase was not used during the time of the intrusion on the system and the passphrase is not stored on any of the Fedora servers.”

In connection with these events, Red Hat, Inc. detected an intrusion of certain of its computer systems and has issued a communication to Red Hat Enterprise Linux users which can be found at: http://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2008-0855.html.

This communication states in part, “Last week Red Hat detected an intrusion on certain of its computer systems and took immediate action. While the investigation into the intrusion is on-going, our initial focus was to review and test the distribution channel we use with our customers, Red Hat Network (RHN) and its associated security measures. Based on these efforts, we remain highly confident that our systems and processes prevented the intrusion from compromising RHN or the content distributed via RHN and accordingly believe that customers who keep their systems updated using Red Hat Network are not at risk. We are issuing this alert primarily for those who may obtain Red Hat binary packages via channels other than those of official Red Hat subscribers.”

In connection with the incident, the intruder was able to sign a small number of OpenSSH packages relating only to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (i386 and x86_64 architectures only) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86_64 architecture only). As a precautionary measure, we are releasing an updated version of these packages and have published a list of the tampered packages and how to detect them.

A tool has been released by Red Hat to determine if any of the compromised packages are installed on your machine, this tool is available here: http://www.redhat.com/security/data/openssh-blacklist.html

Again, we have tested all of our customers systems, and none have been compromised.

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