Flaws with SSHΒΆ

In response to 9 Awesome SSH Tricks some posted the following quote (on the old commenting system):

The workarounds have become smoother and some of the things we can do with networks of Unix machines are pretty impressive, but when ssh is the foundation of your security architecture, you know things aren’t working as they should.

Rob Pike, 2004

So let’s clarify things a bit. SSH is great as an end user protocol, and great for dealing with the realities of our distributed computing environment in an exigent manner, SSH lets us:

  • connect securely to remote systems.
  • quickly establish tunnels through remote machines.
  • admister remote systems securely.
  • provide end-users with key-based authentication.

SSH is great for providing end users with a secure way of interacting with computer systems in networked environment. It’s not, however, the magic bullet for security policy. If you or your organizations security practices revolve entirely around SSH tunnels, then you’re probably in trouble or about to be in trouble. Use traditional VPNs and TLS/SSL when it makes sense and develop a sane security policy.

But don’t forget SSH and if you do use SSH, know that there are some really awesome things that OpenSSH makes possible.

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2011-04-25

  • tychoish
  • security,

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tychoish is a blog about software, science fiction, community, music, knitting, and economies with particular attention to their past and future histories. Produced in Brooklyn by tycho garen.

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