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Chapter 22. Creating an FTP Server > Alternatives to FTP

Alternatives to FTP

As we've mentioned, turning on the FTP server makes your machine more vulnerable to attacks from the outside. There are other, more secure options you could consider using as alternatives to FTP.

scp and sftp

As you already saw in Chapter 21, “Accessing and Controlling Tiger Remotely,” two alternatives become available when you turn on the SSH server. You can transfer files either with secure copy (scp) or secure FTP (sftp). Transfers made using scp or sftp are encrypted, thereby providing an extra level of security. Specifically, the client creates a tunnel through SSH, using the standard port 22, and executes an sftp-server process on the server end, which sends data back through the encrypted channel. The sftp and sftp-server executables are part of the SSH package. Unlike SSH, the FTP protocol and servers we've covered earlier in this chapter transmit passwords in clear text, adding yet another vulnerability to FTP itself. This makes scp or sftp a strongly preferred option for users that can use them (appropriate clients are necessary on the client end).


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