How to Solve SSH Key Revocation in Google Cloud Cloned Drive: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Solve SSH Key Revocation in Google Cloud Cloned Drive: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s tech-driven world, encountering issues with cloud platforms like Google Cloud is not uncommon. One such issue I recently faced involved SSH key revocation after cloning a drive. It took me 5 hours to identify and resolve this problem. In this post, I’ll share my experience and the steps I took to troubleshoot this issue, potentially saving you valuable time.

Identifying the SSH Key Revocation Issue

Everything was functioning perfectly until one day, my SSH connection failed. The website would simply timeout, leaving me puzzled and in search of clues to this sudden disruption.

Investigating the SSH Key Revocation

My first step was to delve into the logging section of the Google Cloud Platform. Here, I discovered that the SSH keys were flagged with red, indicating errors. This was my first significant lead.

Uncovering the Root Cause

Further inspection of the key string revealed an intriguing detail. Nestled between curly brackets at the end of the string was a tag setting an expiry date. It dawned on me that the SSH keys were programmed to expire after 30 days, causing my SSH connection to fail.

Interestingly, this disk was a clone, attached to a new VM. It appears that Google Cloud Platform adds this expiry tag to SSH keys cloned from the main disk as a security measure. Consequently, the SSH keys expire 30 days post-cloning.

Resolving the SSH Key Revocation

Having identified the problem, the solution was relatively straightforward. I had two options:

  1. Modify the key string to extend the expiry date.
  2. Generate a new key and integrate it into my VM.

I opted for the latter. After generating a new key and integrating it into my VM, I was able to reestablish my SSH connection. The website was back online and functioning as expected.

Key Takeaways from the SSH Key Revocation Issue

This experience underscored the importance of meticulous attention to detail. Something as seemingly insignificant as an expiry date tag in a key string can trigger significant issues. By sharing this experience, I hope to assist others who might encounter similar SSH key revocation issues in Google Cloud. Remember, every problem has a solution, and often, it’s all about knowing where to look.

Written on July 4, 2023