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P6R’s Secure Shell Public Key Subsystem (RFC7076)

By Mark Joseph - November 23, 2013 @ 9:04 am

RFC7076 describes a new feature that we have built into our SSH server along with RFC4819.

Abstract of the RFC7076

The Secure Shell (SSH) Public Key Subsystem protocol defines a key distribution protocol that is limited to provisioning an SSH server with a user’s public keys. This document describes a new protocol that builds on the protocol defined in RFC 4819 to allow the provisioning of keys and certificates to a server using the SSH transport.

The new protocol allows the calling client to organize keys and certificates in different namespaces on a server. These namespaces can be used by the server to allow a client to configure any application running on the server (e.g., SSH, Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)).

The new protocol provides a server-independent mechanism for clients to add public keys, remove public keys, add certificates, remove certificates, and list the current set of keys and certificates known by the server by namespace (e.g., list all public keys in the SSH namespace).

Rights to manage keys and certificates in a particular namespace are specific and limited to the authorized user and are defined as part of the server’s implementation. The described protocol is backward compatible to version 2 defined by RFC 4819.

Our implementation of RFC7076

With our implementation of RFC7076 a customer using our SSH server can provision the keys and certificates of the SSH server itself or any other application running on the same machine. As defined in RFC4819 a SSH user can only get access to the keys (and now certificates) that exist in their account. All uploaded keys and certificates using this protocol are stored in P6R’s shared keystore which any application can access given the proper access rights.

"P6R’s Secure Shell Public Key Subsystem (RFC7076)" was published on November 23rd, 2013 and is listed in Server Design.

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