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USENIX LISA 2013 Managing Access Using SSH Keys [video]
Contributed by tbert on Thu Dec 19 05:11:12 2013 (GMT)
from the a-usenix-conference-for-an-old-apple-product dept.

Tatu Ylönen invented the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol in 1995 and even the history of OpenSSH mentions how OpenSSH is a derivative of the original free ssh 1.2.12 he released. He is also the founder and CEO of SSH Communications Security which sells a commercial version of ssh. A few more details can be found on the USENIX LISA 2013 page for "Managing Access Using SSH Keys" but the audio and video files are linked below.

SSH user keys are ubiquitously used for accessing information systems by automated processes and system administrators. Many large organizations have hundreds of thousands of keys granting access, with many keys providing privileged access without auditing or controls. The talk educates the audience about risks arising from unmanaged access using SSH keys; discusses what is required by compliance mandates; outlines how to establish effective operational processes for provisioning, terminating, and monitoring SSH user key based access; and outlines how to understand and remediate SSH user keys in an existing environment.

Editor's note: This talk is, in no small part, a push for a commercial product; the issues raised in regards to lax management of SSH keys, however, are valid enough to warrant careful consideration of one's own key regime.

Available audio and video formats:
Video MP4 | Video WEBM | Audio MP3 | Audio OGG

[ 0 comments ] (flat) (expanded)

tmpfs Enabled in -current
Contributed by tbert on Tue Dec 17 08:19:10 2013 (GMT)
from the nothing-lasts-forever dept.

Marc Espie (espie@) committed a change that enables tmpfs in OpenBSD -current:

Module name:	src
Changes by:	2013/12/14 16:28:02

Modified files:
	sbin           : Makefile 
	sys/conf       : GENERIC 

Log message:
enable tmpfs so it gets tested some more.
okay kettenis@, martin@, beck@, krw@, tedu@, millert@

Thanks to Pedro Martelletto, who did much of this work.

Like it says on the label, enabled for testing; as always, community effort is vital to ensuring the continuing quality of OpenBSD releases.

[ 14 comments 135d17:28 ago ] (flat) (expanded)

BSDCan 2014 CFP
Contributed by tbert on Fri Dec 13 15:04:22 2013 (GMT)
from the probably-no-handegg-this-time dept.

Dan Langille wrote in to tell us that BSDCan is accepting proposals for talks:

BSDCan 2014 will be held 16-17 (Fri-Sat) May, 2014 in Ottawa, at the University of Ottawa. It will be preceded by two days of tutorials on 14-15 May (Wed-Thu).

We are now accepting proposals for talks.

[ 0 comments ] (flat) (expanded)

FuguIta - An OpenBSD 5.4 + Patches LiveCD/LiveUSB
Contributed by tbert on Tue Dec 10 09:39:42 2013 (GMT)
from the Not-Allowed-To-Make-Fugu-Jokes dept.

So you might ask yourself, "Why do I need a LiveCD/LiveUSB when I can just install OpenBSD normally to a flash stick?"

It's a great question. In most situations you really are better off installing OpenBSD normally to a flash device and keeping your own system updated with everything installed and configure just the way you want it. Additionally, the OpenBSD install media itself is essentially a very limited "LiveCD" of sorts with a shell and many of the tools you might need.

Nonetheless, there are rare occasions when having a fully patched and updated (STABLE Branch) LiveCD/LiveUSB of our favorite operating system can be extremely useful. If you're doing something like a simple one-off router, then having a fully patched LiveCD/LiveUSB image available can be really handy. It can also be useful for testing hardware support on new systems at stores to see what works. Of course, just having access to working and patched LiveCD/LiveUSB when you're in a hurry or in a bind (pun intended) can often save you a ton of effort.

[ 3 comments 135d18:34 ago ] (flat) (expanded)

ChaCha20 and Poly1305 in OpenSSH
Contributed by jcr on Wed Dec 4 09:02:00 2013 (GMT)
from the the-poly-cha-cha-is-the-new-dance-craze dept.

OpenBSD developer Damien Miller (djm@) wrote a great post titled "ChaCha20 and Poly1305 in OpenSSH" and below is a small excerpt:

Recently, I committed support for a new authenticated encryption cipher for OpenSSH, This cipher combines two primitives from Daniel J. Bernstein: the ChaCha20 cipher and the Poly1305 MAC (Message Authentication Code) and was inspired by Adam Langley's similar proposal for TLS.

Why another cipher and MAC? A few reasons... First, we would like a high-performance cipher to replace RC4 since it is pretty close to broken now, we'd also like an authenticated encryption mode to complement AES-GCM - which is great if your hardware supports it, but takes significant voodoo to make run in constant time and, finally, having an authenticated encryption mode that is based on a stream cipher allows us to encrypt the packet lengths again.

Wait, what do you mean by "encrypt the packet lengths again"? (last rhetorical question, I promise) Well, it's a long story that requires a little background...

[ 6 comments 135d16:57 ago ] (flat) (expanded)

BSDNow Episode 013: Bridging the Gap - OpenBSD Router Part 2
Contributed by jcr on Tue Dec 3 07:02:30 2013 (GMT)
from the gaps-bridged dept.

In BSDNow "Episode 013: Bridging the Gap" they bring us their usual round of general BSD news and an interview with one of the FreeBSD developers and co-founders, Jordan Hubbard, along with improvements and continuations on their "OpenBSD Router" tutorial.

The BSDNow show is recorded live on Wednesdays at 2pm Eastern Standard Time and then the live recording is edited into the video and audio files released the following Friday afternoon. Due to time constraints and live recordings, it's always best to check their website show notes and tutorial pages for updated information. As TJ said, "It's a community-driven project," so if you want to help out, you can send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to

Available audio and video recordings:
SD Video | HD Video | MP3 Audio | OGG Audio | Youtube | Torrent | iTunes MP3 | Roku

[ 1 comment 1297d1:02 ago ] (flat) (expanded)

Is Your Stack Protector Working?
Contributed by tbert on Mon Dec 2 07:57:57 2013 (GMT)
from the no-slack-stack dept.

OpenBSD developer Ted Unangst (tedu@) recently wrote a blog post titled, "Is Your Stack Protector Working?" and with permission it's reposted below:

Veracode has a new blog post "A Tale of Two Compilers" about differing behavior when two compilers are faced with a subtle buffer overflow. It's somewhat tangential to the main point, but I noticed that even though the compilers Veracode tested had stack overflow protection enabled, neither detected the bug or prevented the exploit. Detection and prevention of precisely this bug was a headline feature of the original ProPolice implementation. The version of gcc(1) used in OpenBSD has changed several times since then, so I tested it to make sure it still works.

[ 7 comments 1297d8m ago ] (flat) (expanded)

Support For Shared Named Semaphores
Contributed by jcr on Thu Nov 28 02:50:36 2013 (GMT)
from the lord-voldebert-is-out-to-lunch dept.

OpenBSD developer Ted Unangst (tedu@) recently wrote a blog post on Shared Named Semaphores and with permission it's reposted below:

Support for shared named semaphores, ala sem_open(3), recently arrived in OpenBSD. OpenBSD already supported single process thread shared semaphores, ala sem_init(3), and the old school SysV semaphores, ala semget(2). There are still a few tweaks being made, but the internal design hasn't changed in 24 hours so I figure it's safe to discuss the implementation.

[ 0 comments ] (flat) (expanded)

The 2013 Chuck Yerkes Award Goes To...
Contributed by jcr on Thu Nov 28 02:48:08 2013 (GMT)
from the contributions-remembered dept.

For those who have joined OpenBSD during the last decade, you've missed out on someone special, Chuck Yerkes. Chuck contributed a lot to sendmail(8) and the various OpenBSD mailing lists. He was always willing to help others and took the time to provide useful and accurate advice. Chuck also had a vivid sense of humor ("Shirt, Shoes, Sober... --Pick Two").

LOPSA (League Of Professional System Administrators) recently announced the winner of the 2013 Chuck Yerkes Award:

For those of you who never got to know him, Chuck Yerkes was known for always being willing to help and mentor others both in person and on sysadmin mailing lists in the 1990's and early 2000's. Countless sysadmins over the years have learned from his postings. Chuck's intelligence, knowledge, and dedication to doing things right is something that is missing all too frequently in the on-line community. Unfortunately Chuck passed away in late 2004 after being involved in an accident on his way home from work.

In 2005 an award was created in his memory to annually honor a sysadmin who most embodies Chuck's spirit in assisting and mentoring other sysadmins. Each year the LOPSA awards committee sifts through sysadmin blogs, the LOPSA IRC channels, mailing lists, web forums and other sysadmin on-line resources in search of someone who is leading in contributions to the sysadmin community as Chuck did.

[ 0 comments ] (flat) (expanded)

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