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IT Security

 

 Lock and key

     

Secure Communications

 

Secure Shell (SSH) protects what you send

If you have ever connected to Osprey or the campus network through Telnet or File Transfer Protocl (FTP), you are sending your password in the clear to every relay point between you and the destination. This means that an attacker can potentially eavesdrop on your session and steal your credentials. Once someone has stolen your username and password, they can impersonate you on the network. That means they could access anything that your username and password could.

Enter SSH and SFTP


The most popular alternative to Telnet is called SSH or Secure SHell. SSH works by encrypting your commands and data before sending them across the Internet, thereby preventing anyone from simply reading your information. A program using SSH looks and feels the same as Telnet, but you have the piece-of-mind that your connection is secure.

A more secure version of FTP also exists and is called Secure FTP or SFTP for short. Like SSH, it works by creating a secure communications path between you and your destination, protecting any credentials or data passed over the connection.

To start using SSH or SFTP encryption, you need to download a program that supports it. On campus, there is a client from SSH available for University machines, which is also installed in the General Purpose computer labs. For other Windows users, there are several programs such as PuTTY and WinSCP. Macintosh users may be interested in CyberDuck, Fugu or OpenSSH, while Linux users may want to try OpenSSH. See the references below for all the URL's. Once you have downloaded and installed one of those programs, you need to configure it for use with the campus network.

Instructions for using SSH with Osprey are online  Instructions for SSH with Osprey.

SSH/SFTP Options

 

Secure communication image. Picture shows two cartoon computers shaking hands.

When you connect to any computer on the Internet with Telnet or FTP, you send your username and password in plain text