[CentOS-announce] CentOS position on systems intrusion at Red Hat

Karanbir Singh kbsingh at centos.org
Fri Aug 22 22:15:29 UTC 2008

Earlier in the day today Red Hat made an announcement [1] that there had been an
intrusion into some of their computer systems last week. In the same
announcement they mention that some of the packages for OpenSSH on RHEL-4 ( i386
and x86_64 ) as well as RHEL-5 ( x86_64 ) were signed by the intruder. In their
announcement they also clarified that they were confident that none of these,
potentially compromised, packages made their way into or through RHN to client
and customer machines. As a security measure a script [3] was made available
along with a semi-detailed description of the issue [2].

We take security issues very seriously, and as soon as we were made aware of the
situation I undertook a complete audit of the entire CentOS4/5 Build and Signing
infrastructure. We can now assure everyone that no compromise has taken place
anywhere within the CentOS Infrastructure. Our entire setup is located behind
multiple firewalls, and only accessible from a very small number of
places, by only a few people. Also included in this audit were all entry points
to the build services, signing machines, primary release machines and
connectivity between all these hosts.

Since OpenSSH is a critical component of any Linux machine, we considered it
essential to audit the last two released package sets (
openssh-4.3p2-26.el5.src.rpm, openssh-4.3p2-26.el5_2.1.src.rpm ). I have just
finished this code audit, and can assure everyone that there is no compromised
code included in either of these packages. A similar check is also being done
for the CentOS-4 sources.

Packages released today, by upstream, ( based on :
openssh-4.3p2-26.el5_2.1.src.rpm, openssh-3.9p1-11.el4_7.src.rpm ) address two
issues. Firstly they contain a fix for
http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2007-4752 . And secondly, in
the remote event that someone had indeed got compromised packages via RHN, their
packages would get updated to a known good state. We wanted to get these
packages out right away to address the first issue, and also to cover users
converting non updated RHEL installs to CentOS in the next few weeks/months.
Release of these packages into the mirror.centos.org network does *not* imply
that CentOS users are affected by the intrusion at Red Hat.

Finally, while we feel confident that there is no possibility of this compromise
having been passed onto the CentOS userbase, we still encourage users to verify
their packages independently using whatever resources they might have available.


[1]: https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2008-0855.html

[2]: http://www.redhat.com/security/data/openssh-blacklist.html

[3]: https://www.redhat.com/security/data/openssh-blacklist-1.0.sh :Its
important to note that this script *only* checks for packages built within
Red Hat, and will *not* be a reliable source of verification on CentOS since we
rebuild from sources, using no Red Hat binary.

Karanbir Singh
CentOS Project { http://www.centos.org/ }
irc: z00dax, #centos at irc.freenode.net

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