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Why does SSH work with no PKI and no shared secret?

Posted on 2011-09-10
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The theory behind secure protocols is - as I understand it - that they rely on symmetric or asymmetric keys.  Either a shared secret or a private/public key pair.  So a question I've had in the back of my mind for some time is:  How is it I can setup a router or firewall and enable ssh on the device and in the next moment SSH to the device from my workstation?  No Certificate Authority has been setup,  and clearly I never entered a shared key on my ssh client nor at the router/firewall.  Is the router just acting as its own CA?  Is putty or other just sending out some default public key and somewhere along the install created a private key?  It all seems to work as seamlessly as telnet.  But how??  Thanks!
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Question by:amigan_99
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nativevlan earned 2000 total points
ID: 36516985
When you enable ssh the router creates the keys and is it's own CA. That's why when you connect via putty and ssh for the first time you will get a warning about the certificate. If you are setting up ssh on a Cisco router or switch the key generation become quite obvious. "crypto key generate rsa general-use"
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by:amigan_99
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Thank you.
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