Using SSH on The WELL
The WELL is now requiring SSH to safely connect to PicoSpan, Pine and your home directory. Older, insecure telnet will no longer work.Questions:
When did this change?
When did this change?
On Wednesday morning, September 24th, 2008, The WELL closed off telnet access to PicoSpan, Pine and UNIX tools. SSH, the modern secure shell connection, continues to work in its place.
Why did The WELL do this?
This change was prompted by a review of our security in light of the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). The credit card processors will no longer do business with companies who do not meet their security standards. These days, telnet is obsolete and SSH is available at no cost.
If you want more information about the PCI security project, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_DSS to get an idea of the scope of this anti-fraud credit card industry initiative.
Does this mean I can't use PicoSpan? Pine?
Not at all. This change lets you keep using Picospan and Pine with SSH. SSH will act and feel like telnet once you log in and set up the same kind of preferences you had in your telnet client. Think of SSH as a safer telnet connection.
Where do I find SSH on my Mac OS X?
In your Applications, find Utilities. In Utilities, find "Terminal." Launch Terminal, you will see a shell prompt. Enter: ssh firstname.lastname@example.org (replacing "puffball" with your username.) Enter your password when prompted, and you're in. (If you don't already have Terminal on your Dock, you may wish to put it there for convenience.)
Accept the host key or "fingerprint" for The WELL. See below for the current fingerprints for The WELL. This dialog will occur only once (unless The WELL later changes its host key.)
How do I get SSH for my Mac OS 9?
If you are using a Mac running OS 9, there's a free ssh application called Nifty Telnet-SSH that is reported to work fine for older macs. There's a good user support page at The University of Minnesota http://www.msi.umn.edu/user_support/ssh/nifty_os9.html which has links to the application. When you install it and connect, accept the host key and you're in.
How do I get SSH for my PC?
There are lots of SSH clients for Windows out there, some full-featured such as Secure CRT, which is a commercial product, and some simpler but free. People seem to like PuTTY, which is free software. You can find it by googling "windows putty download". The CNET site is a good place to get it.
When you have downloaded PuTTy and installed it on your PC:
Open the PuTTY program. You will see the PuTTY Configuration box.
Type well.com into the Host Name box.
Select SSH as your login protocol. The port will change to 22.
Press the Open button at the bottom of the dialog box. See below for information about fingerprint. This dialog will occur only once (unless The WELL later changes its host key.)
You will then see a screen which will load a query for username. Enter your username. It will ask for password. Enter your password and you will connect to The WELL.
To save this configuration, right-click in the upper border of the PuTTY terminal window. Choose New Session from the menu. Enter a name for your session, like The WELL, for example, in box just below the title Saved Sessions. Hit the Save button and the name you entered will appear in the list.
Next time you want to log in, you can double click "The WELL" in the list box on the Configuration box, or single click it and click the Open button.
What's the query about "fingerprint" about?
Regarding the Host Key "fingerprint" that is displayed the first time you connect from a machine you haven't come in from before, here are the two SSH fingerprints you're likely to see:
RSA fingerprint: cc:91:d8:9a:c5:29:c1:80:72:80:bd:3a:9a:88:dc:e7
DSA fingerprint: 9a:eb:00:94:c3:65:fc:93:b8:6e:49:48:28:1e:e0:9e
It's a good idea to verify that the signature displayed by your client matches exactly one of the signatures shown here.
Can I still use my browser to connect to Conferencing?
Absolutely. This change doesn't change Web access to The WELL's Conferences at all. If you haven't used telnet you don't need to use SSH.
For Further Information...
For information about The WELL or for Customer Support, contact:
email: helpdesk at well.com for more information about The WELL and WELL Customer Support.
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