Defending against SSH attacks with pf

Bill Moran wmoran at
Fri Apr 27 10:37:46 UTC 2007

In response to Alex Zbyslaw <xfb52 at>:

> Bill Moran wrote:
> >I'm a big fan of PKI, but PKI suffers from one major problem, and it's
> >the same flaw that physical keys suffer from: you have to have the key
> >with you.
> >  
> >
> If I had to use SSH from random locations, I'd get a USB stick that 
> attached to a (physical) keyring and just stick it with my (physical) 
> keys since I already have to carry those everywhere.  The SSH keys 
> should be protected by decent passphrases so even losing the USB stick 
> isn't the biggest deal.  Imation seem to make one that has one of those 
> climbing-style buckles:  

I've considered that, except that my keyring is already too damn big and
bulky.  I am curious about the durability of USB jump drives, though.  My
keys tend to get thrown around, they get wet, they experience extremes in
temperature.  Do you have any experience with how well jump drives hold up
to that kind of torture?

Despite the fact that it's a good idea, I've simply opted out on it.  I've
got a good, long password for my account and when I weighed the risks vs.
the headaches I decided I was probably ok with a good long password.

Of course, YMMV.

Bill Moran

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