Unresolved: EVP_Cipher failed

Recently I’ve run into the an issue with SCP copying files between two Solaris servers (zones). There were about more than 2000 files with the total size of 7T to copy. Initially SCP was working fine. It’s been running for a day or so and copied about 400 files over until it failed saying “Connection closed by remote host”. When I tried to start again, it failed almost after copying hundred megabytes over. Copying small files less than 100 megabtyes was working. Putting scp in verbose mode didn’t tell much. When looking at the sshd log, I could see the following errors:

Mar 20 17:48:14 testabcdb1 sshd[10459]: [ID 800047 auth.crit] fatal: evp_crypt: EVP_Cipher failed
Mar 20 17:48:14 testabcdb1 sshd[10459]: [ID 800047 auth.error] error: cipher_cleanup: EVP_CIPHER_CTX_cleanup failed

Bascially EVP provides high-level cryptographic functions. It seemed sshd daemon was having troubles to get ciphers to encrypt the traffic, of course the context clean-up also failed after. I could not find anything changed with 2 systems. I’ve tried the following things:

  • checking /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  • restarting sshd
  • restarting Solaris zones on both side
  • reverseing scp copy direction
  • use sftp

Nothing really worked. I was out of ideas to troubleshoot it and was in a hurry to copy files over to finish my task. So I worked around it by enabling & starting a ftp server on the source and download files at the destinaion.

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