in CC to: grok full disclosure, bugtraq
Dear Nagios developers,
It's been a couple of years since I've had a look at NRPE, the remote monitoring agent distributed with Nagios. Back then we've exclusively used NRPE on unrouted dedicated monitoring vLANS.
I've recently been implementing monitoring with Icinga2 and been looking up NRPE again. So I read through your source code and "documentation". Here's my impression of your work.
This is simply not true.
src/nrpe.c L259 and src/client_check.c L168: ``` SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list(ctx,"ADH"); ```
Setting the cipherstring to "ADH" allows for a multitude of possible cipherstrings, depending on the OpenSSL configuration on the system and the configuration shipped by the operating system distribution. Furthermore, a quick peek into the OpenSSL wiki  or any textbook  on the subject would have shown you that anonymous diffie hellman does not provide any kind of authentication, and is thus, vulnerable to (easily mounted) man-in-the-middle attacks.
src/nrpe.c L256 and src/client_check.c L145: ``` SSL_CTX_set_options(ctx, SSL_OP_NO_SSLv2 | SSL_OP_NO_SSLv3); ```
You're excluding SSLv2 and SSLv3, still leaving two broken protocols in there: TLSv1.0 and TLSv1.1.
README.SSL ``` Since we are using Anon-DH this allows for an encrypted SSL/TLS Connection without using pre-generated keys or certificates. The key generation information used by the program to dynaically create keys on daemon startup can be found in the dh.h file in the nrpe src directory. This file was created using the command:
openssl dhparam -C 512 ```
512bit DH has been broken in_the_real_world for a couple of years. Current best practices recommend 3k+ . Further more regenerating diffie-hellman parameters with autotools may not really improve security.
As to the note on the developer not being sure if there would be restrictions on the export: Yes. If you live in oppressive regimes there are restrictions. i.e. for the US of A put a cryptography export notice there.
The aforementioned implementation of "cryptography" does not provide any security other than security by obscurity. It's completely absurd and system administrators without proper knowledge might actually deploy this, without any warning on the security implications caused by a fisher-price-my-first-crypto implementation. The first lesson in any course on cryptography is always “do not implement yourself!”.
Code quality - As with the Nagios core, the overall code quality is just horrendous. I've not had time to check thoroughly but from just scrolling though I see a wide variety of format string vulnerabilities and bad coding practices.
Bashing doesn't help, after all it's FOSS, right? - I've patched some parts of the code to explicitly exclude anything else than TLSv1.2 and use a sane default cipher string loaded from a configuration file. But there's still much work to do to enable something with low overhead like ECDHE-ECDSA - because, yes, in this case, for good security you'll need certificate handling and proper implemented PKI. I'm not sure on how to proceed, I see the following three options:
.) Do nothing and ignore security completely .) Completely remove the mentioned SSL code parts and only point to stunnel .) Implement proper PKI with current cryptography and update the project accordingly (I’d help with that - but I’m not sure if thats even reasonable)
Sincerely, Aaron Zauner
 - http://wiki.openssl.org/index.php/Diffie_Hellman  - https://www.schneier.com/book-ce.html  - https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/book.html  - http://www.keylength.com