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Strong passwords no panacea as SSH brute-force attacks rise

·174 words·1 min
Articles Apple Linux Security Ssh Sshd
Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. By day he manages product teams. The rest of the time he is a podcast host and producer, writer of speculative fiction, a rabid reader, and a programmer.

Okay, if you still have your box configured to allow remote logins as "root", then you deserve anything you get. Otherwise, start using strong passphrases (not a password, those are too easy), or if you can swing it with your work flow, use an ssh key rather than a text-based login. It’s less convenient in some ways, but it’s worth your time. Honestly, I’m a little behind here as I’ve intended to switch more of my systems over to private keys for a while now, but on half I still login with a username and a strong passphrase.

Also, while we are at it, just a reminder that security through obscurity doesn’t work in the long run. You can reduce the effectiveness of automated attacks by running ssh on a different port, but don’t think that’s going to be an effective long-range solution. If someone wants in, they will find the ssh port, so it’s up to you to get the rest of your security together.

This all goes for you Apple folks too.


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·41 words·1 min
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·2366 words·12 mins
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