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Building Secure Servers with Linux by Michael D. Bauer

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Other File-Sharing Methods

Despite the amount of ink I’ve devoted here to FTP, I’ve also said repeatedly that FTP is one of the least secure and least securable file-transfer techniques. The remainder of this chapter therefore concerns file-transfer mechanisms more appropriate for the exchange of nonpublic data between authenticated hosts and users.

SFTP and scp

The first FTP alternative I’ll cover here is the most FTP-like: Secure FTP (SFTP), part of the Secure Shell (SSH) suit of tools. SSH was designed as a secure replacement for the “r” commands (rlogin, rsh, and rcp), which like FTP, transmit all session data in clear text, including authentication credentials. In contrast, SSH transparently encrypts all its transactions from start to finish, including authentication credentials: local logon credentials are never exposed to network eavesdroppers. SSH offers a remarkable combination of security and flexibility and is the primary topic of Chapter 4.

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