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Certain forms of empty key comment in PPK files can cause PuTTY to throw an assertion failure (terminal.c, line 3769, len > 0 for 0.53b) (and possibly crash?). Apparently such files can be generated by PuTTYgen.
Update (JTN): I've reproduced this with PuTTY and PuTTYgen 2003-06-29, connecting to "SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_3.4p1 Debian 1:3.4p1-1" with SSH-2 and a passphrase'd RSA2 key which was configured on the server. No crash. The comment part of the PPK file looks like:
0030 43 6f 6d 6d 65 6e 74 3a Comment: 0040 20 0d 0a ..
Update: I've added robustness improvements to everything
from_backend(), and removed the assertions,
so this should be fixed now.
Audit trail for this bug.