Secure Telnet

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Wed Feb 14 01:15:03 UTC 2007

jhall at wrote:
> I am working with one of my vendors and they are asking for a secure
> telnet program on my FreeBSD box.

fbsd06 at wrote:

 > What's wrong with ssh?

Indeed.  Perhaps you can tell us what client the vendor is using; it 
seems likely that most programs that do "secure telnet" will also talk 
to sshd.  If they're using Windows (most likely) and don't have a 
particular "must use" client, PuTTY is fine, and does SSH and telnet 
pretty well.

> Can anyone recommend a port for the secure telnet program, or a source
> where I can obtain one?
Interestingly enough, if you take a look at the Makefile in 
src/libexec/telnetd/ it seems to indicate that FreeBSD's telnetd is 
compiled with SSL support; you might attempt telnet from within the BSD 
box and see if it works, as telnet(1) seems to indicate that data is 
encrypted by default.  Grab packets and see if you can read things like 
passphrases ;-)  [1]

> I was able to make rlogin work (from my laptop), but I was not able to use
> rlogion from the FreeBSD box since I need to connect to a non-standard
> port (2002).  

Interesting choice of numbers; ssh is port 22.  Are you sure they're not 
open to using ssh?

> As an alternative, is it possible to make the rlogin client
> connect to a non-standard port?
I wouldn't think of rlogin as an alternative, and, no, the manpage 
doesn't seem to indicate this.  Also, unless this system isn't publicly 
available (and the need for "secure telnet" from a "vendor" seems to 
indicate that this isn't the case), you shouldn't allow rlogin; once 
again, ssh can do anything rlogin/rsh can, and do it with encryption.

Kevin Kinsey
DaleCo, S.P.  (Jasper, MO!!! Hi!)

[1] Keep in mind that there **must** be a reason why SSH is preferred 
over telnet, even if telnet supports SSL/Kerberos/TLS/Whatever, and 
encourage the use of ssh from your vendor if possible.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who
cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
		-- George Bernard Shaw

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