Re: OpenSSH Using NONE as Cipher?
From: Richard E. Silverman (res_at_qoxp.net)
Date: 13 Dec 2003 00:35:17 -0500
>>>>> "BU" == Bill Unruh <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
BU> ??? What is the point of using ssh or scp without a cypher? Just
BU> use ftp, or rcp or whatever. It is NOT secure.
This point of view is much too simplistic; a connection is not just
"secure" or "not secure" as if flipping a light switch. An SSH-2
connection using a null encryption cipher still has:
- server authentication and man-in-the-middle attack protection
(i.e. you know who you're talking to)
- cryptographically assured integrity protection (i.e. you know the data
is passed unchanged from one end to the other)
- strong client authentication (assuming obvious mistakes aren't made,
such as using password authentication over an unencrypted connection --
most implementations disallow this)
So, if you don't care about privacy, but do care about these other
properties, then using SSH with a null encryption cipher makes perfect
sense. Similar motivations are behind the existence of AH mode in IPSec
as well as ESP. In particular, it makes *no* sense to compare unencrypted
SSH with "FTP, or rcp, or whatever;" these are entirely different.
-- Richard Silverman email@example.com