Meetings and Events

Public Key sudo, Matthew Burnside
2008-08-06 @ 19:30 EDT (23:30 UTC) - Suspenders Bar and Restaurant

Two tools which have become the norm in Linux- and Unix-based environments are SSH for secure communications, and sudo for performing administrative tasks. These are independent programs with substantially different purposes, but they are often used in conjunction. In this talk, I describe a flaw in their interaction, and then present our solution called public-key sudo.

Public-key sudo is an extension to the sudo authentication mechanism which allows for public key authentication using the SSH public key framework. I describe our implementation of a generic SSH authentication module and the sudo modifications required to use this module.

Matthew Burnside is a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science department at Columbia University, in New York. He works for Professor Angelos Keromytis in the Network Security Lab ( He received his B.A and M.Eng from MIT in 2000, and 2002, respectively. His research interests are in network anonymity, trust management, and enterprise-scale policy enforcement.

  • Event Audio (recorded and processed by Nikolai Fetissov)