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KB-5754: Unable to login to Cisco devices after switching to Centrify OpenSSH

12 April,16 at 11:46 AM

Applies to OpenSSH (stock and Centrify-enabled) version 6.6


When trying to SSH into a Cisco device using OpenSSH 6.6, the connection is closed. Why?


The reason for this is that the Cisco device supports a maximum key length of 2048, while the (openssh-6.6) client is requesting a key length larger than this.
This can be observed in 'ssh -vvv' output as follows:
250 debug1: kex: client->server aes128-cbc hmac-sha1 none
>251 debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_REQUEST(1024<7680<8192) sent
252 debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_DH_GEX_GROUP
253 Connection closed by x.x.x.x

This issue occurs for both stock and Centrify-enabled OpenSSH. It is a known Cisco bug: (link is provided as a courtesy)


On the client side, within your 'ssh_config', re-order the KexAlgorithms as such:
KexAlgorithms diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1

You can also simply remove the long ones from the list, at the risk of lighter security.


This is a Cisco bug and will need to be resolved on their end.

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