Disable SSH Support for .rhosts Files

Description

SSH can emulate the behavior of the obsolete rsh command in allowing users to enable insecure access to their accounts via .rhosts files.

The default SSH configuration disables support for .rhosts. The appropriate configuration is used if no value is set for IgnoreRhosts.

To explicitly disable support for .rhosts files, add or correct the following line in

/etc/ssh/sshd_config:

IgnoreRhosts yes

Rationale

SSH trust relationships mean a compromise on one host can allow an attacker to move trivially to other hosts.

Remediation

Shell script

The following script can be run on the host to remediate the issue.

#!/bin/bash

# Remediation is applicable only in certain platforms
if [ ! -f /.dockerenv ] && [ ! -f /run/.containerenv ]; then

if [ -e "/etc/ssh/sshd_config" ] ; then
    
    LC_ALL=C sed -i "/^\s*IgnoreRhosts\s\+/Id" "/etc/ssh/sshd_config"
else
    touch "/etc/ssh/sshd_config"
fi
# make sure file has newline at the end
sed -i -e '$a\' "/etc/ssh/sshd_config"

cp "/etc/ssh/sshd_config" "/etc/ssh/sshd_config.bak"
# Insert at the beginning of the file
printf '%s\n' "IgnoreRhosts yes" > "/etc/ssh/sshd_config"
cat "/etc/ssh/sshd_config.bak" >> "/etc/ssh/sshd_config"
# Clean up after ourselves.
rm "/etc/ssh/sshd_config.bak"

else
    >&2 echo 'Remediation is not applicable, nothing was done'
fi

Ansible playbook

The following playbook can be run with Ansible to remediate the issue.

- name: Disable SSH Support for .rhosts Files
  block:

  - name: Check for duplicate values
    lineinfile:
      path: /etc/ssh/sshd_config
      create: true
      regexp: (?i)^\s*IgnoreRhosts\s+
      state: absent
    check_mode: true
    changed_when: false
    register: dupes

  - name: Deduplicate values from /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    lineinfile:
      path: /etc/ssh/sshd_config
      create: true
      regexp: (?i)^\s*IgnoreRhosts\s+
      state: absent
    when: dupes.found is defined and dupes.found > 1

  - name: Insert correct line to /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    lineinfile:
      path: /etc/ssh/sshd_config
      create: true
      regexp: (?i)^\s*IgnoreRhosts\s+
      line: IgnoreRhosts yes
      state: present
      insertbefore: BOF
      validate: /usr/sbin/sshd -t -f %s
  when: ansible_virtualization_type not in ["docker", "lxc", "openvz", "podman", "container"]
  tags:
  - CJIS-5.5.6
  - NIST-800-171-3.1.12
  - NIST-800-53-AC-17(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(b)
  - PCI-DSSv4-2.2.6
  - low_complexity
  - low_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - no_reboot_needed
  - restrict_strategy
  - sshd_disable_rhosts