Re: Logging into SSH

From: Dave Howe (
Date: 02/27/04

To: "Email List: Secure Shell" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 13:31:45 -0000

Ball, Duncan wrote:
> Because using only public key authentication removes centralised
> policy control over the "secret" (ie your private key). Corporate
> security can tell you that you MUST protect your private key with a
> passphrase, the passphrase can't be just "mysshkey", and that you
> should change it on at least a semi-regular basis until they are blue
> in the face, but they can't FORCE you to apply this (good) advice. If
> you leave your private key unprotected and someone gets hold of it
> (doh!), then if the server requires BOTH public key auth AND password
> auth, there is also a secondary layer of protection where these
> policies can be enforced.
possibly. but if you have the sort of Luser who removes the access
password from his key, then he would probably write his password on a
sticker on his laptop anyhow...
one point that most people miss is that the public half of the key doesn't
*have* to be managed by the end user - it is trivial to chown the keyfile
to an authorised administrator and ln them all into a common dir in the
user home structure so that said administrator can enforce key changes
(automagically or manually)