SynopsisThe remote Amazon Linux AMI host is missing a security update.
DescriptionThe symmetric-key feature in the receive function in ntp_proto.c in ntpd in NTP 4.x before 4.2.8p2 requires a correct MAC only if the MAC field has a nonzero length, which makes it easier for man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof packets by omitting the MAC.
The symmetric-key feature in the receive function in ntp_proto.c in ntpd in NTP 3.x and 4.x before 4.2.8p2 performs state-variable updates upon receiving certain invalid packets, which makes it easier for man-in-the-middle attackers to cause a denial of service (synchronization loss) by spoofing the source IP address of a peer.
This update also addresses leap-second handling. With older ntp versions, the -x option was sometimes used as a workaround to avoid kernel inserting/deleting leap seconds by stepping the clock and possibly upsetting running applications. That no longer works with 4.2.6 as ntpd steps the clock itself when a leap second occurs. The fix is to treat the one second offset gained during leap second as a normal offset and check the stepping threshold (set by -x or tinker step) to decide if a step should be applied. See this forum post for more information on the Amazon Linux AMI's leap-second handling.
SolutionRun 'yum update ntp' to update your system.