Strange SFTP and PAM failure

Jaime Kikpole jkikpole at
Thu Aug 20 20:51:06 UTC 2015

I'm using a product called PowerSchool which is trying to send data to
the FreeBSD server over SFTP.  The service provide hosts it, so I
can't do any debugging on the far end.

What I know for sure is that any other program (FileZilla, command
line sftp, etc.) will connect, authenticate, and view files just fine.
This includes on-site and off-site traffic.  PowerSchool, on the other
hand, seems to have something go wrong during the authentication

When I tried to make one of these failed connections, I saw this in

Aug 20 16:37:48 apps sshd[564]: error: PAM: authentication error for
<<username>> from <<IP of PowerSchool>>
Aug 20 16:37:48 apps sshd[564]: error: Received disconnect from <<IP
of PowerSchool>>: 3: com.jcraft.jsch.JSchException: Auth cancel

Any idea what might be causing this?

Jaime Kikpole
Network Administrator
Cairo-Durham Central School District

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