Gerhard Magnus wrote:
Shouldn't ssh be here? And what's telnet doing open? The
books have me
scared to death of this... hackers, crackers, script kiddies, etc.
First of all, let me say that it's a bad idea to have any un-necessary
services open to the Internet. It gives crackers more targets: you only
need one service to have a vulnerability and you're vulnerable.
In practice, unless you've got a badly written daemon, one more port is
not going to make much of a difference.
But unless you actually *use* them, an open telnet port is no more
insecure than an open ssh port (as Fedora ships it).
SSH has a number of security advantages:
* you can use per-user authorized keys, not passwords.
* data is sent encrypted, not in plain text.
* users have some assurance that they're connecting to the server they
want to connect to (and not a man-in-the-middle attack).
There are others but, like the last two points above, they're only of
any use when legitimate users connect. If you don't actually make any
connections, then no data of any kind (that you care about) flows, and
you don't care whether it's encrypted or not. Likewise, if you don't
connect to a server, it's kind of moot whether it's the right one or
So what about the first one? You can turn password authentication off
with SSH servers, which means that only users who configure personal
keys can connect. If no-one is using SSH, then the chance is there
aren't any keys configured, keeping everyone out.
If password authentication is turned on, then an attacker is reduced to
looking for vulnerabilities or brute-forcing passwords. You can try
those with either server, but Fedora will limit the speed at which
connections can be tried, and this limit is what stops it being
So the difference effectively boils down to which server is more likely
to have vulnerabilities. The OpenSSH team is *extremely* good, but there
have been vulnerabilities in the past, and the server has to be more
complex than a telnet daemon.
(You've had good advice for the rest of your problem...)
E-mail address: james | "During the shutdown period I received not one
@westexe.demon.co.uk | single support call, confirming my theory that my
| network is indeed perfect, and that all faults are