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SSH: Many Great Things

SSH is a terrific tool. It encrypts the communications going between a server and a client. More importantly, it authenticates the server so as to lessen chances of man-in-the-middle attacks.

With some work, the clever user can create and configure digital keys to be used by SSH for authentication. These keys can take the place of multiple plain-text scripts with embedded passwords littering your infrastructure. In fact, once I authenticate to machine A, agent forwarding allows me to go to machine B via an effortless authentication exchange, done for me. Machine A will "proxy" the authentication for me. Combining all of these features, I can place my USB drive with my private key into the PC. I unlock the private key via my 40-plus character passphrase, and then ssh to machine A. From there, I can access all other devices that I’ve prepared with my public key, itself shared freely. Now that’s security!

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