[erlang-bugs] R15B01: PUBLIC_KEY: unable to decode auth_keys/pubkeys with comments

Stefan Zegenhagen <>
Thu Jun 28 11:25:28 CEST 2012

Dear all,

the public_key application fails to decode SSH public keys from *.pub
files or the authorized_keys file when the key has comments with
whitespace in between.

The key file is split at whitespace boundaries and the function
mend_split() in pubkey_ssh.erl is used to extract the relevant pieces
(KeyType, KeyData, ...).

When the key comment contains whitespace, the mend_split() function
fails to merge the pieces of the comment into a single string and causes
badmatch exceptions in do_openssh_decode/3.

Since the format of the "known_hosts" file and the "authorized_keys" or
*.pub files is fundamentally different, it might be necessary to have
different functions to parse them.

Kind regards,

Dr. Stefan Zegenhagen

arcutronix GmbH
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30419 Hannover

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