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SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide Paperback – May 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596008956 ISBN-10: 0596008953 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 670 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596008953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596008956
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The suite of utility applications that Unix users and administrators find indispensable--Telnet, rlogin, FTP, and the rest--can in fact prove to be the undoing of interconnected systems. The Secure Shell, a.k.a. SSH (which isn't a true shell at all) provides your otherwise attack-prone utilities with the protection they need. SSH: The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide explains how to use SSH at all levels. In a blended sequence, the book explains what SSH is all about, how it fits into a larger security scheme, and how to employ it as an everyday user with an SSH client. More technically detailed chapters show how to configure a SSH server--several variants are covered--and how to integrate SSH with non-Unix client platforms.

As befits its detail- and variation-rich subject, this book comprises many specialized sections, each dealing with some specific aspect of use or configuration (setting up access control at the account level, for example, or generating keys for a particular SSH server). The writing is both informative and fun to read; the authors switch back and forth between text and entry-and-response listings from SSH machines. They often run through a half-dozen or more variants on the same command in a few pages, providing the reader with lots of practical information. The discussion of how SSH fits into a Kerberos Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is great, as is the advice on defeating particular kinds of attacks. --David Wall

Topics covered:

  • The Secure Shell (SSH) for installers, administrators, and everyday users
  • SSH design and operation
  • Server setup
  • SSH agents
  • Client configuration
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) integration
  • SSH1
  • SSH2
  • F-Secure
  • OpenSSH for Unix
  • SSH1 and SecureCRT for Microsoft Windows
  • NiftyTelnet SSH for Mac OS
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Still the best SSH book out there by a long shot, but too much on Tectia and not enough on OpenSSH 4." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, October 2005 "The authors manage to convey what SSH is all about as a concept and how to use it in the real world with equal aplomb, and highly technical configuration details are explained with clarity. They are happy to related how to integrate SSH into non-Unix clients, which makes a pleasant change from the typical Unix gurus who write books such as this. Whenever with see the words "definitive guide' included in the title of a book, we usually prepare ourselves for something far from it. The exception being when O'Reilly are the publishers, and this SSH guide is certainly as definitive as any you are likely to read. And read it you should if you are seriously involved with network security." Davey Winder, PC Plus, November 2005

Customer Reviews

It is well indexed to find what you need quickly.
Kip Perkins
To summarize, anyone interested in SSH is strongly encouraged to read this book, particularly if you use Unix/Linux.
Doug M
This book is well written with illustrated examples.
Matt Staub

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rothke on April 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
There is a good reason why people write superficial messages on post cards: post cards afford no confidentiality and there is no expectation of privacy. The Internet can be compared to a post card; it is one large system where data is freely interchanged. While common sense tells us that post cards are open to the public, there is a misperception among non-technical Internet users that Internet data is kept private. However, nothing could be further from the truth; on the Wild West net,
all data is inherently open and unregulated.
There are solutions to this predicament. One solution is called SSH (Secure Shell). SSH provides a way to take that "postcard" and have it securely delivered by a courier.
In a nutshell, the book SSH, the Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide expands on two basic ideas: - Privacy is a basic human right, but on today's computer networks, privacy isn't guaranteed. - SSH is a simple idea, but it has many complex parts.
But the truth is that the need for privacy and security on today's networks is far too important to be encapsulated in two bullets. This book is so loaded with valuable and important information that anyone using or administering SSH should read it thoroughly.
As an introduction, SSH is a protocol that enables secure communications between computer systems that are communicating over insecure channels. SSH is more than simply a point-to-point encryption process such as a VPN. SSH allows users to authenticate themselves to remote hosts. After authentication, users can securely execute commands on a remote machine. SSH fills in for the security deficiencies that are inherent in applications such as telnet, ftp, rlogin, rsh, and rcp.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. EARLS on October 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find too often that SysAdmins simply slap a pre-configured SSH onto their systems and do not truly understand how it works. Tasked with implementing SSH at my UNIX site, I found this book to be useful both in understanding SSH, and actually configuring it. This book is heavily weighted towards SSH1 and SSH2 and provides a wonderful amount of detail. However, I found it's coverage of OpenSSH to be lacking. I had to search the internet for a good deal of supplementary material to get OpenSSH working the way I wanted it to.

I truly enjoyed the books explanation of how a secure channel is established before login occurs. This explains the "magic" of the authentication process that is so integral to SSH. Its explanation of publickey authentication is also excellent. It helps you to really understand what SSH is for and how it can be used.

Examples are a bit too cluttered at times and are lost on the reader. I was also expecting a better explanation on how to "implement and administer" SSH at my site. For example, creating SSH packages and keeping known_host files updated. I have found the most useful information on these topics from various internet articles.

If you're truly interested in the inner-workings of SSH, I would strongly recommend this book.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Marco De Vivo on March 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SSH:
- A complex and hard to master protocol (protocols).
- An invaluable defensive weapon against several types of attacks.
- In short time, SSH will be the 'de facto' privacy standard for remote connections and transference.
The Approach:
Three extraordinary introduction chapters, clearly and well written, lead you step by step into SSH internals. Several clever graphics, and a lot of basic definitions makes these chapters absolutely self contained.
The rest of the chapters are carefully dedicated to issues related to implementation and use of SSH, and to ports to several Operating Systems.
The Book:
540+ Pages well structured into 17 chapters and two appendixes.
Clever conventions, and a very useful 'Which Chapters Are for You' guide.
Plenty of 'real world' examples and 63 pages of special case studies.
The Covered Protocols:
- SSH1.
- F-Secure SSH1.
- OpenSSH.
- SSH2.
- F-Secure SSH2.
The Intended Audience:
Quoting the authors: " We've written this book for system administrators and technically minded users. Some chapters are suitable for a wide audience, while others are thoroughly technical and intended for computer and networking professionals."
The Bottom Line:
Being a computer security professor, I constantly assign to my students complex laboratory works related to SSH. Well, with the only help of this book, they usually succeed in their tasks and even improve the original projects.
It is a worthy book and really deserves to be purchased.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Williams on December 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
SSH has quickly become the tool of choice for remotely administering a Unix (or for that matter) Linux computer, replacing telnet, rsh and ftp. This is for good reason, these tools can easily become security holes and it is much easier to keep one tool well maintinaed and secure than a number.
SSH gives improved security, both at login and of the data transmitted between computers. SSH offers both security and privacy, rare things online today. It allows secure communications between computers. SSH allows users to authenticate themselves to remote hosts. After authentication, users can securely execute commands on a remote machine. SSH fills in for the security deficiencies that are inherent in earlier methods.

SSH was developed in response to the vulnerability to attack in earlier remote login and control methods. Some of these vulnerabilities include password and protocol sniffing, spoofing, eavesdropping and connection hijacking. Simply, it is the protocol of choice for secure communications between two computers across internet connections.
Administering and running SSH can be a pain. As the book points out it is a simple concept with complex parts. It took me a good three or four hours for my first connection to a remote computer and another two to get SSH logins working on my computer. This book was an excellent assist throughout.
It covers the three varieties of SSH (SSH 1, SSH2 and Open SSH), giving the differences and benefits of the versions. The book also shows how SSH can be used to secure other protocols, such as POP, SMTP, IMAP, and others.
It also gives detailed explanations of what SSH secures against and, perhaps more importantly, what it doesn't secure against.
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Thanks for looking at my books on Amazon. I've been writing about technical/computer topics since the early 1990s.

These days my interests focus on the intersection of technology and people. Great software isn't enough: you need to get people to use it, and use it efficiently and productively. Wikis are a great example, particularly in corporate environments.

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