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StarOS Static Private Key Usage Vulnerability



StarOS is a wireless networking operating system designed for ISPs. More information about the product is available at http://www.star-os.com.


Valuemount Network Corp.'s StarOS operating system insecurely uses a static secure shell (SSH) private key and salt value across all systems, allowing an attacker to launch man-in-the-middle (MiTM) and high-speed brute-force attacks.

StarOS, also known as Station Router, utilizes the a static SSH private keys, that can be obtained through the analysis of a virtual machine memory dump.

With possession of these keys and physical access to a system running StarOS, an attacker can launch a stealth MiTM attack using a publicly available tool known as SSHarp, which is available at http://stealth.7350.org/7350ssharp.tgz.

StarOS also utilizes the same salt value of "st" when using the function crypt() on passwords. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability in a brute-force attack by generating pre-computed dictionary files, thereby greatly increasing the speed of such an attack.


An attacker who can gain access to a network running StarOS can launch a stealth MiTM attack due to the use of a static key. Successful exploitation would allow an attacker to completely compromise the system while completely avoiding detection. An attacker also has the ability to generate a pre-crypted dictionary file to use in a high-speed brute-force attack.

iDEFENSE has proof of concept exploit code demonstrating the impact of this vulnerability.


iDEFENSE has verified the existence of these vulnerabilities in the latest version of StarOS, version 1.10.4rc2 build 2947, dated Dec. 19, 2002. Other versions of StarOS are also suspected to be vulnerable.


This issue has reportedly been addressed in the latest version of StarOS.


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned to this issue.


02/13/2003   Exploit acquired by iDEFENSE
02/25/2003   Initial vendor notification
03/15/2003   iDEFENSE Clients notified
03/29/2003   Public Disclosure


The contributor wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2004 Verisign, Inc.

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