from the feeling-secure? dept.
WikiLeaks has today published the 15th batch of its ongoing Vault 7 leak, this time detailing two alleged CIA implants that allowed the agency to intercept and exfiltrate SSH (Secure Shell) credentials from targeted Windows and Linux operating systems using different attack vectors.
Secure Shell or SSH is a cryptographic network protocol used for remote login to machines and servers securely over an unsecured network.
Dubbed BothanSpy — implant for Microsoft Windows Xshell client, and Gyrfalcon — targets the OpenSSH client on various distributions of Linux OS, including CentOS, Debian, RHEL (Red Hat), openSUSE and Ubuntu.
Both implants steal user credentials for all active SSH sessions and then sends them to a CIA-controlled server.
BothanSpy is installed as a Shellterm 3.x extension on the target machine and only works if Xshell is running on it with active sessions.
[...] Gyrfalcon targets Linux systems (32 or 64-bit kernel) using a CIA-developed JQC/KitV rootkit for persistent access.
Source: The Hacker News
The latest addition to WikiLeaks' Vault 7 cache of CIA tools and documents gives details of tools used by the agency to attack Windows and Linux computers. The BothanSpy and Gyrfalcon projects can be used to intercept and exfiltrate SSH (Secure Shell) credentials.
BothanSpy is used to target Windows, while Gyrfalcon is used for Linux machines, with both working in different ways. A number of popular distros can be hit by Gyrfalcon, including CentOS, Debian, RedHat, openSUSE and Ubuntu, and both tools function as implants that steal credentials before transmitting them to a CIA server.
The leaked documentation for the tools was updated as recently as March 2015, and the file relating to BothanSpy reveals that XShell needs to be installed as it itself installs as a Shellterm extension. There are smatterings of humor throughout the file, with a warning that: "It does not destroy the Death Star, nor does it detect traps laid by The Emperor to destroy Rebel fleets." There is also the introductory quip: "Many Bothan spies will die to bring you this information, remember their sacrifice."
The Latacora firm has a blog post asserting that OpenSSH-portable has poor defaults for encrypting private RSA keys because of its reliance on OpenSSL. The blog goes into why this is a problem and how you can test it for yourself.
There is nothing wrong with the generated RSA keys themselves, however, just the encryption of the private RSA keys -- if made using current defaults. There are two ways of encrypting RSA keys, an old and apparently insecure way, and a new key format available but not default. Newer key types like Ed25519 use only the new key format and are not bothered by this problem.
Earlier on SN:
WikiLeaks Unveils CIA Implants That Steal SSH Credentials From Windows, Linux PCs (2017)
Upgrade Your SSH Keys (2016)
OpenSSH 6.8 Will Feature Key Discovery and Rotation for Easier Switching to DJB's Ed25519 (2015)