SSH

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Password-protect you private key

To add a password to an existing private key, use the following openssl command:

openssl rsa -des3 -in your.key -out your.encrypted.key

Disable password-based logins

If you want to restrict server logins to keys only, you can disable passwords for SSH access in /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

AllowUsers fred bob sam
PermitRootLogin no
RSAAuthentication yes
PubkeyAuthentication yes
PasswordAuthentication no


And don't forget to add your public RSA key to '~/.ssh/authorized_keys. Note that you'll probably need to create the directory since the account has just been created, and the owner and mode is important.

mkdir /home/USER/.ssh
echo "RSA_KEY" > /home/USER/.ssh/authorized_keys
chown USER:USER -R /home/USER/.ssh
chmod 644 /home/USER/.ssh/authorized_keys

Restart the SSH server and test that you can login from another terminal window before exiting the current session. You now login as your own user, not the root user, and then use sudo bash to gain a root shell.

service ssh restart

See also

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