SSH (Secure Telnet): How to Get it, and Why We Ask that You Do

The internet has always been plagued by hackers, but in some ways now is worse than times past. Hackers often run packet sniffers, which check data going over unsecure portions of the net (i.e. anywhere) for usernames, passwords and other potentially usefull things. Telnet is probably the most vulnerable and most often sniffed port. When you connect to us remotely using telnet, you are exposing your account to an extremely high risk of being compromised. Remotely checking email can also result in this, as can FTP, but both are lower risk. Either way, this can result in users losing data, accounts being disabled at inconvenient times and all sorts of troubles for us. This is a bad thing for everyone involved. Keep in mind that accessing telnet, ftp and mail from your dial-up account is over secure channels. Random hackers over the internet can't snoop these, but it never hurts even then to take precautions.

Fortunately, encryption technology is a lot more open than it once was, and many software developers have taken advanced encryption technology and created software using these algorithms to send encrypted data over the internet. The most widely accepted secure telnet protocol is SSH -- Secure Shell. Originally only for UNIX, freeware versions (for home use) have finally came out for Win95 and MAC systems.

Keep in mind that passwords that have dictionary words, small numbers of characters, or pieces of your user name, either forward, reverse or even scrambled, are easily cracked by hackers EVEN IF you are using secure communcations. We recommend that customers change their passwords monthly over a secure connection (i.e. SSH), and that users put symbols and a mix of upper and lower case letters in their password. We will soon be implementing a system that prevents easily cracked passwords, but until then, please use your judgement about your password.


  1. If you use a Windows95 system, we recommend that you either get F-Secure from DataFellows,Inc. (which costs money), Secure CRT from Van Dyke Technologies, Inc (which also costs money, but less) or that you download Cedomir Igaly's freeware SSH Client for Windows95 here. Note that you will also need to download another piece of freeware, written by Peter Gutmann,(for home use only) which has the encryption library necessary to run Igaly's program properly here. Consequently, Van Dyke offers a secure FTP program as well.

    If you get the client by Cedomir Igaly, you need to do the following:

    1. Unzip both files to a directory of your choosing. Winzip should do this pretty easily, but pkunzip for dos also works just. You can get these on the web if you dont happen to have a copy.

    2. Run SSH32. When it asks you for a cryptographic library, tell it to look for crypt32.dll in its own directory. This should cause the program to come up.

    3. A Box of configuration options will be in front of you if everything so far has worked. Name the profile name Channel1. Proceed to fill in Host Name with:

    4. Next fill in your UserID with whatever your UserID is.

    5. Where it says port off to the right, fill in 22

    6. For Authentication type you want just password checked.

    7. On the right there is a Cipher option. Select 3des.

    8. Leave compression at none, and the only box below compression that should be checked is Keepalive.

    9. Click save under profile name. Next time you use the program you can bring up the Channel1 Profile and not have to input this stuff again.

    10. Go ahead and click on OK to connect. You should now be connected with secure telnet!


    Unfortunately there are no SSH clients for Macintosh available at this date. However, one is being worked on and hoepfully will be available soon.


    The Windows95 SSH program should work fine for WindowsNT, but we havent actually tested it.