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SSH™ allows users to log into host systems remotely. Unlike protocols such as FTP or Telnet, SSH encrypts the login session, making it impossible for intruders to collect unencrypted passwords.
SSH is designed to replace older, less secure terminal applications used to log into remote hosts, such as telnet or rsh. A related program called scp replaces older programs designed to copy files between hosts, such as rcp. Because these older applications do not encrypt passwords transmitted between the client and the server, avoid them whenever possible. Using secure methods to remotely log into remote systems decreases the risks for both the client system and the remote host.
SSH (or Secure SHell) is a protocol which facilitates secure communications between two systems using a client/server architecture.
The SSH protocol provides the following safeguards:
Because the SSH protocol encrypts everything it sends and receives, it can be used to secure otherwise insecure protocols. Using a technique called port forwarding, an SSH server can become a conduit to secure otherwise insecure protocols, like POP, increasing overall system and data security.
Red Hat Linux includes the general OpenSSH package (openssh), the OpenSSH server (openssh-server) and client (openssh-clients) packages. Please see the chapter titled OpenSSH in the Red Hat Linux Customization Guide for instructions on installing and deploying OpenSSH. Also note that the OpenSSH packages require the OpenSSL package (openssl). OpenSSL installs several important cryptographic libraries which enable OpenSSH to provide encrypted communications.
A large number of client and server programs can use the SSH protocol. SSH client applications are available for almost every major operating system in use today.
Nefarious computer users have a variety of tools at their disposal which enable them to disrupt, intercept, and re-route network traffic in an effort to gain access to a system. In general terms, these threats can be categorized as:
Both techniques intercept potentially sensitive information, and if the interception is for hostile reasons, the results can be disastrous.
If SSH is used for remote shell login and file copying, these security threats can be greatly diminished. This is because the SSH client and server use digital signatures to verify their identity. Additionally, all communication between the client and server systems is encrypted. Attempts to spoof the identity of either side of a communication will not work, since each packet is encrypted using a key known only by the local and remote systems.
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