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An SSH connection to a particular server drops randomly (usually 20-60 seconds after login). Between the client and the server is a Palo Alto firewall with SSH decryption disabled.

What I tried so far

  • regenerated ssh keys on the server
  • added to server config: ClientAliveInterval 30 ClientAliveCountMax 5
  • added ServerAliveInterval=10 to ssh command
  • added ServerKeepAlive=true to ssh command
  • tried various ssh clients

Nothing worked so far. Notice the debug3: send packet: type 80 and debug3: send packet: type 1 messages just at the moment before/ after the connection is dropped. The firewall logs the SSH session and the termination reason is "tcp-rst-from-client".

Update: It seems like prior to the drop of the connection the client sends an TCP RST packet. Why should the client do this? Also the firewall identifies the reason of the session end as "tcp-rst-from-client". /Update

Here's a log of a representative SSH session, terminated ~15 seconds after login:

user@nb ~/.ssh
$ ssh -vvvvv -o ServerAliveInterval=10 root@10.1.1.2
OpenSSH_7.9p1, OpenSSL 1.0.2r  26 Feb 2019
debug2: resolve_canonicalize: hostname 10.1.1.2 is address
debug2: ssh_connect_direct
debug1: Connecting to 10.1.1.2 [10.1.1.2] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_dsa type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_dsa-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_ecdsa type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519 type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_xmss type -1
debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_xmss-cert type -1
debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_7.9
debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version OpenSSH_7.4p1 Debian-10+deb9u6
debug1: match: OpenSSH_7.4p1 Debian-10+deb9u6 pat OpenSSH_7.0*,OpenSSH_7.1*,OpenSSH_7.2*,OpenSSH_7.3*,OpenSSH_7.4*,OpenSSH_7.5*,OpenSSH_7.6*,OpenSSH_7.7* compat 0x04000002
debug2: fd 3 setting O_NONBLOCK
debug1: Authenticating to 10.1.1.2:22 as 'root'
debug3: hostkeys_foreach: reading file "/home/user/.ssh/known_hosts"
debug3: record_hostkey: found key type ECDSA in file /home/user/.ssh/known_hosts:53
debug3: load_hostkeys: loaded 1 keys from 10.1.1.2
debug3: order_hostkeyalgs: prefer hostkeyalgs: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521
debug3: send packet: type 20
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
debug3: receive packet: type 20
debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT received
debug2: local client KEXINIT proposal
debug2: KEX algorithms: curve25519-sha256,curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group16-sha512,diffie-hellman-group18-sha512,diffie-hellman-group14-sha256,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,ext-info-c
debug2: host key algorithms: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521-cert-v01@openssh.com,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521,ssh-ed25519-cert-v01@openssh.com,rsa-sha2-512-cert-v01@openssh.com,rsa-sha2-256-cert-v01@openssh.com,ssh-rsa-cert-v01@openssh.com,ssh-ed25519,rsa-sha2-512,rsa-sha2-256,ssh-rsa
debug2: ciphers ctos: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: ciphers stoc: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: MACs ctos: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: MACs stoc: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: compression ctos: none,zlib@openssh.com,zlib
debug2: compression stoc: none,zlib@openssh.com,zlib
debug2: languages ctos:
debug2: languages stoc:
debug2: first_kex_follows 0
debug2: reserved 0
debug2: peer server KEXINIT proposal
debug2: KEX algorithms: curve25519-sha256,curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group16-sha512,diffie-hellman-group18-sha512,diffie-hellman-group14-sha256,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1
debug2: host key algorithms: ssh-rsa,rsa-sha2-512,rsa-sha2-256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ssh-ed25519
debug2: ciphers ctos: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: ciphers stoc: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com
debug2: MACs ctos: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: MACs stoc: umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha1
debug2: compression ctos: none,zlib@openssh.com
debug2: compression stoc: none,zlib@openssh.com
debug2: languages ctos:
debug2: languages stoc:
debug2: first_kex_follows 0
debug2: reserved 0
debug1: kex: algorithm: curve25519-sha256
debug1: kex: host key algorithm: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256
debug1: kex: server->client cipher: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com MAC: <implicit> compression: none
debug1: kex: client->server cipher: chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com MAC: <implicit> compression: none
debug3: send packet: type 30
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_KEX_ECDH_REPLY
debug3: receive packet: type 31
debug1: Server host key: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 SHA256:xm9dqhSATd266dL4vmr1yMrdvJ7HFlMXx8tZSn4I7Pc
debug3: hostkeys_foreach: reading file "/home/user/.ssh/known_hosts"
debug3: record_hostkey: found key type ECDSA in file /home/user/.ssh/known_hosts:53
debug3: load_hostkeys: loaded 1 keys from 10.1.1.2
debug1: Host '10.1.1.2' is known and matches the ECDSA host key.
debug1: Found key in /home/user/.ssh/known_hosts:53
debug3: send packet: type 21
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 1
debug1: rekey after 134217728 blocks
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS sent
debug1: expecting SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS
debug3: receive packet: type 21
debug1: SSH2_MSG_NEWKEYS received
debug2: set_newkeys: mode 0
debug1: rekey after 134217728 blocks
debug1: Will attempt key: /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa
debug1: Will attempt key: /home/user/.ssh/id_dsa
debug1: Will attempt key: /home/user/.ssh/id_ecdsa
debug1: Will attempt key: /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519
debug1: Will attempt key: /home/user/.ssh/id_xmss
debug2: pubkey_prepare: done
debug3: send packet: type 5
debug3: receive packet: type 7
debug1: SSH2_MSG_EXT_INFO received
debug1: kex_input_ext_info: server-sig-algs=<ssh-ed25519,ssh-rsa,ssh-dss,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521>
debug3: receive packet: type 6
debug2: service_accept: ssh-userauth
debug1: SSH2_MSG_SERVICE_ACCEPT received
debug3: send packet: type 50
debug3: receive packet: type 51
debug1: Authentications that can continue: publickey,password
debug3: start over, passed a different list publickey,password
debug3: preferred publickey,keyboard-interactive,password
debug3: authmethod_lookup publickey
debug3: remaining preferred: keyboard-interactive,password
debug3: authmethod_is_enabled publickey
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Trying private key: /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa
debug3: no such identity: /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: /home/user/.ssh/id_dsa
debug3: no such identity: /home/user/.ssh/id_dsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: /home/user/.ssh/id_ecdsa
debug3: no such identity: /home/user/.ssh/id_ecdsa: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519
debug3: no such identity: /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519: No such file or directory
debug1: Trying private key: /home/user/.ssh/id_xmss
debug3: no such identity: /home/user/.ssh/id_xmss: No such file or directory
debug2: we did not send a packet, disable method
debug3: authmethod_lookup password
debug3: remaining preferred: ,password
debug3: authmethod_is_enabled password
debug1: Next authentication method: password
root@10.1.1.2's password:
debug3: send packet: type 50
debug2: we sent a password packet, wait for reply
debug3: receive packet: type 52
debug1: Authentication succeeded (password).
Authenticated to 10.1.1.2 ([10.1.1.2]:22).
debug1: channel 0: new [client-session]
debug3: ssh_session2_open: channel_new: 0
debug2: channel 0: send open
debug3: send packet: type 90
debug1: Requesting no-more-sessions@openssh.com
debug3: send packet: type 80
debug1: Entering interactive session.
debug1: pledge: network
debug3: receive packet: type 80
debug1: client_input_global_request: rtype hostkeys-00@openssh.com want_reply 0
debug3: receive packet: type 91
debug2: channel_input_open_confirmation: channel 0: callback start
debug2: fd 3 setting TCP_NODELAY
debug3: ssh_packet_set_tos: set IP_TOS 0x48
debug2: client_session2_setup: id 0
debug2: channel 0: request pty-req confirm 1
debug3: send packet: type 98
debug2: channel 0: request shell confirm 1
debug3: send packet: type 98
debug2: channel_input_open_confirmation: channel 0: callback done
debug2: channel 0: open confirm rwindow 0 rmax 32768
debug3: receive packet: type 99
debug2: channel_input_status_confirm: type 99 id 0
debug2: PTY allocation request accepted on channel 0
debug2: channel 0: rcvd adjust 2097152
debug3: receive packet: type 99
debug2: channel_input_status_confirm: type 99 id 0
debug2: shell request accepted on channel 0
Linux kali 4.9.0-9-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.168-1 (2019-04-12) x86_64

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent
permitted by applicable law.
Last login: Fri May 24 15:54:27 2019 from 10.128.108.39

[...random commands...]

debug3: send packet: type 80
debug3: send packet: type 1
Connection reset by 10.1.1.2 port 22
  • Did you check mtu size your client & server is same? – arputra May 24 at 15:57
  • Yes, both machines use an MTU of 1500 bytes. – user1192748 May 27 at 9:22

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