JSch: UnknownHostKey exception when Host Key is in known_hosts AND after adding JCE

I’ve been working with JSch for a project, connecting to a Unix server. Having some trouble connecting to a server using ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 for the key exchange.

The odd thing is, I’ve enabled JCE (Using JDK 1.8 65) from this post but still no dice.

If I’m reading the logs correctly, the client does have ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 enabled. But it falls back to ssh-rsa. Perhaps I missed a step?

The error:

UnknownHostKey: *********. RSA key fingerprint is 1d:ac:f7:50:10:07:51:4b:17:9c:cd:b5:be:25:75:28

Here’s the log:

INFO: Connecting to ******* port 22
INFO: Connection established
INFO: Remote version string: SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_6.6.1
INFO: Local version string: SSH-2.0-JSCH-0.1.53
INFO: CheckCiphers: aes256-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes128-ctr,aes256-cbc,aes192-cbc,aes128-cbc,3des-ctr,arcfour,arcfour128,arcfour256
INFO: CheckKexes: diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521
INFO: CheckSignatures: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521
INFO: SSH_MSG_KEXINIT sent
INFO: SSH_MSG_KEXINIT received
INFO: kex: server: curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
INFO: kex: server: ssh-rsa,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ssh-ed25519
INFO: kex: server: aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,arcfour256,arcfour128,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com,chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,arcfour,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se
INFO: kex: server: aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,arcfour256,arcfour128,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com,chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,arcfour,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se
INFO: kex: server: hmac-md5-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: server: hmac-md5-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: server: none,zlib@openssh.com
INFO: kex: server: none,zlib@openssh.com
INFO: kex: server: 
INFO: kex: server: 
INFO: kex: client: ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
INFO: kex: client: ssh-rsa,ssh-dss,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521
INFO: kex: client: aes128-ctr,aes128-cbc,3des-ctr,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,aes192-ctr,aes192-cbc,aes256-ctr,aes256-cbc
INFO: kex: client: aes128-ctr,aes128-cbc,3des-ctr,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,aes192-ctr,aes192-cbc,aes256-ctr,aes256-cbc
INFO: kex: client: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: client: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: client: none
INFO: kex: client: none
INFO: kex: client: 
INFO: kex: client: 
INFO: kex: server->client aes128-ctr hmac-md5 none
INFO: kex: client->server aes128-ctr hmac-md5 none
INFO: SSH_MSG_KEX_ECDH_INIT sent
INFO: expecting SSH_MSG_KEX_ECDH_REPLY
INFO: ssh_rsa_verify: signature true
INFO: Disconnecting from ******* port 22
INFO: Connecting to ******* port 22
INFO: Connection established
INFO: Remote version string: SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_6.6.1
INFO: Local version string: SSH-2.0-JSCH-0.1.53
INFO: CheckCiphers: aes256-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes128-ctr,aes256-cbc,aes192-cbc,aes128-cbc,3des-ctr,arcfour,arcfour128,arcfour256
INFO: CheckKexes: diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521
INFO: CheckSignatures: ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521
INFO: SSH_MSG_KEXINIT sent
INFO: SSH_MSG_KEXINIT received
INFO: kex: server: curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
INFO: kex: server: ssh-rsa,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ssh-ed25519
INFO: kex: server: aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,arcfour256,arcfour128,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com,chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,arcfour,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se
INFO: kex: server: aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,arcfour256,arcfour128,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,aes256-gcm@openssh.com,chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,cast128-cbc,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc,arcfour,rijndael-cbc@lysator.liu.se
INFO: kex: server: hmac-md5-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: server: hmac-md5-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-etm@openssh.com,umac-64-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5-96-etm@openssh.com,hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,umac-64@openssh.com,umac-128@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-ripemd160,hmac-ripemd160@openssh.com,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: server: none,zlib@openssh.com
INFO: kex: server: none,zlib@openssh.com
INFO: kex: server: 
INFO: kex: server: 
INFO: kex: client: ecdh-sha2-nistp256,ecdh-sha2-nistp384,ecdh-sha2-nistp521,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
INFO: kex: client: ssh-rsa,ssh-dss,ecdsa-sha2-nistp256,ecdsa-sha2-nistp384,ecdsa-sha2-nistp521
INFO: kex: client: aes128-ctr,aes128-cbc,3des-ctr,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,aes192-ctr,aes192-cbc,aes256-ctr,aes256-cbc
INFO: kex: client: aes128-ctr,aes128-cbc,3des-ctr,3des-cbc,blowfish-cbc,aes192-ctr,aes192-cbc,aes256-ctr,aes256-cbc
INFO: kex: client: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: client: hmac-md5,hmac-sha1,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha1-96,hmac-md5-96
INFO: kex: client: none
INFO: kex: client: none
INFO: kex: client: 
INFO: kex: client: 
INFO: kex: server->client aes128-ctr hmac-md5 none
INFO: kex: client->server aes128-ctr hmac-md5 none
INFO: SSH_MSG_KEX_ECDH_INIT sent
INFO: expecting SSH_MSG_KEX_ECDH_REPLY
INFO: ssh_rsa_verify: signature true
INFO: Disconnecting from ******* port 22

EDIT: Dave’s answer is correct. Jsch requests ssh-rsa by default, but some of my keys use ecdsa-sha2-nistp256.

To solve this issue, I looped through the HostKeyRepository to find the matching host and grabbed its type, then used it to tell the session what type of key to request, like so:

HostKeyRepository hkr = this.jschConn.getHostKeyRepository();
    for(HostKey hk : hkr.getHostKey()){
        if(hk.getHost().equals(this.serverIp)){
            String type = hk.getType();
            session.setConfig("server_host_key",type);
        }
    }

Thanks Dave!

Answer

As the Q you linked says and your log shows, ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 is supported but ssh-rsa is preferred, and since the server you are connecting to obviously supports RSA, that is used. And you apparently do not have the RSA key in your known_hosts.

In addition to the easy option of getting the RSA key with ssh as in the linked Q or perhaps more easily with ssh-keyscan, a quick look at the source suggests if you do

Session.setConfig("server_host_key","ecdsa-sha2-nistp256")

before connecting it should permit only that hostkey, and assuming that’s the key you have for that server in known_hosts it should work, but I haven’t tested.

Aside: by “enable JCE” I assume you mean installing the JCE Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy Files as described in the answer to JSch Algorithm negotiation fail . JCE itself has been included in every JRE since about 2005. Unlimited policy only helps if you need a symmetric cipher over 128 bits, as in that Q, whereas your log shows that your server agrees to AES-128.