How To Harden OpenSSH Client on Ubuntu 18.04

How To Harden OpenSSH Client on Ubuntu 18.04

How To Harden OpenSSH Client on Ubuntu 18.04. In this tutorial, you will harden your OpenSSH client in order to help ensure that outgoing SSH connections are as secure as possible.

Introduction

Linux servers are often administered remotely using SSH by connecting to an OpenSSH server, which is the default SSH server software used within Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, FreeBSD, and most other Linux/BSD-based systems. Significant effort is put into securing the server-side aspect of SSH, as SSH acts as the entry into your server.

However, it is also important to consider security on the client-side, such as OpenSSH client.

OpenSSH client is the “client” side of SSH, also known as the ssh command. You can learn more about the SSH client-server model in SSH Essentials: Working with SSH Servers, Clients, and Keys.

When hardening SSH at the server side, the primary objective is to make it harder for malicious actors to access your server. However, hardening at the client side is very different, as instead you are working to defend and protect your SSH connection and client from various different threats, including:

  • Attackers on the network, known as “person-in-the-middle” attacks.
  • Compromised or malicious servers sending malformed data packets, nefarious control sequences, or large amounts of data to overload your client.
  • Human error, such as mistyping server addresses or configuration values.

In this tutorial, you will harden your OpenSSH client in order to help ensure that outgoing SSH connections are as secure as possible.

Prerequisites

To complete this tutorial, you will need:

Once you have these ready, log in to your SSH client device as a non-root user to begin.

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