SSH user that logins with RSA authentication does not receive authorization privileges

Publication Date:  2015-12-30 Views:  615 Downloads:  0
Issue Description


You can log in to a device by using STelnet on networks with high security requirements. STelnet, based on the SSH protocol, provides powerful authentication functions to ensure information security and protect devices against attacks, such as IP spoofing attacks.

A SSH users can be authenticated in six modes: password, RSA, DSA, Password-RSA, Password-DSA, and All. The mos used are the below:

  • ·         Password authentication: is based on the user name and password. You need to configure a password for each SSH user in the AAA view. A user must enter the correct user name and password to log in using SSH.
  • ·         Revest-Shamir-Adleman Algorithm (RSA) authentication: is based on the private key of the client. RSA is a public-key cryptographic system that uses an asymmetric encryption algorithm. An RSA key pair consists of a public key and a private key. You need to copy the public key generated by the client to the SSH server. The SSH server then uses the public key to encrypt data.


The SSH password authentication can  be implemented correctly to provide different privilege levels to users after authentication according to the AAA configuration. In this way we can set different user levels for the SSH users to control the device access permission.

The problem appears in the case where we use RSA authentication for the STelnet services. When we are  using RSA key authentication, the user will be correctly authenticated but the user will receive a  default privilege level of 0 even though the same user has different level configured in the AAA view.In this situation the user will not be able to reach the system view and will have access to a limited number of commands.


Config and info:


  statistic enable

 local-user admin password irreversible-cipher xxxx

 local-user admin privilege level 15

 local-user admin service-type telnet terminal ssh ftp

 local-user admin user-type netmanager


stelnet server enable

scp server enable

ssh user admin

ssh user admin authentication-type all

ssh user admin assign rsa-key admin

ssh user admin service-type all

ssh user admin sftp-directory flash:/

Result after loging in with ssh and rsa authentication:



The problem appears because all the SSH users that connect with the RSA authentication on the VTY interfaces will inherit  the privilege level configured under the VTY interface, despite the level configured in the AAA view . By default this level is 0

To address this problem the only solution offered by the system in the current releases is to configure the user level under the VTY interfaces. In this way,  the users that connect by stelnet with rsa authentication will receive the privilege level configured under the vty interface while the other users  that are authenticated by the AAA  will still get the proper privilege level.

Configuration change:

[Huawei]user-interface vty 0 4                                                                                                             

 [Huawei-ui-vty0-4]user privilege level 15             


After the above change, the ssh user that logs in with rsa authentication will receive privilege level 15.