Secure SHell (SSH).

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The Secure Shell is basically an encrypted telnet, but it can do a lot more than telnet ever could such as tunnelling encrypted connections both in forward and reverse directions. Both clients and servers are available SSH on many operating systems.


sshd_config lives in /etc/ssh/ and controls the operation of the ssh server. Most of it is obvious by reading the sshd & sshd_config man pages, so I will not go over it here.

Listen Addresses

I was caught out trying to set up a linux router with multiple interfaces. I was unable to ssh to it from any os or client, but pings and ntp worked fine. It seems that for a host with multiple interfaces, you have to specify the addresses you want sshd to listen to explicitly. However subsequently I have not had this problem on other systems, but it can be used to advantage if you have a multihomed system and you only want to bind sshd to one address.
Port 22
#ListenAddress ::

Default Protocol

Another thing to consider doing is to change the protocol from the default of either 2 or 1 to just 2. Protocol 1 is cryptographically flawed, protocol 2 is a more secure option.
#Protocol 2,1
Protocol 2

System Banner

Also on the security front, further down sshd_config, consider adding a banner warning stating that the system is private and not for public access. In the unlikely event you are hacked and catch the culprit you will have a stronger legal case if you have told any intruders that they should not be there.
# banner path
Banner /etc/issue
/etc/issue is displayed on a console before login, sometimes a /etc/ is present in case you want to have a different warning for local console users compared to network login users. Bear in mind that ssh -q will not show a banner so don't rely on just this alone as a security warning.
/etc/motd (Message Of The Day) is displayed after a successful login, so any system specific info should go there and not in /etc/issue.
After having done this change, you will need to stop (not just restart sshd) with
/etc/rc.d/rc.sshd stop
/etc/rc.d/rc.sshd start
And the result? Sucess!!
zeus:~ andrewst$ ssh -l andrew
andrew@'s password: 
Last login: Tue Apr 20 00:56:35 2004 from
Linux 2.4.25.
Welcome to Slackware!

Enable TCP keep alives

Add the following to /etc/ssh/sshd_config to prevent inactivity causing a firewall terminating a session:-
TCPKeepAlive yes
KeepAlive yes
ClientAliveInterval 60