ssh allowing root login with no password

Les Ault aultl at
Mon May 9 19:43:02 UTC 2011

On 05/09/11 15:18, Steven Buehler wrote:
> I am trying to setup our servers to only allow logins with a public/private
> key pair.  2 of our machines have to have root login access with ssh and the
> rest, we will login as another account and su to root.  I just started with
> this company and on their boxes which range from version 5.1 to 5.5, if I
> open up the firewall to allow ssh access from anywhere, I can ssh to root
> without a password.  The only uncommented lines in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config
> are the following:
>   [snip]
> I'm hoping that someone can lead me in the right direction as I can't figure
> this one out.  If this was only one machine, I would assume that it might
> have been hacked, but this is all of their servers and VM's that will allow
> me to ssh to them without a login/password and get into root.  Luckily, they
> have always had their (supposedly anyway) iptables set to only allow access
> from specific IP's.

Change / uncomment PermitRootLogin with a value of without-password

*Les Ault* VCP, RHCE
Linux Systems Administrator, Office of Information Technology
Computing Systems Services: Student Information Systems

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