• October 2, 2015
  • Posted by: Syed Shujaat
  • Category: Cisco, Networking Solutions

Before adding a new SSH key to the ssh-agent to manage your keys, you should have checked for existing SSH keys and generated a new SSH key. When adding your SSH key to the agent, use the default macOS ssh-add command, and not an application installed by macports, homebrew, or some other external source.

Use this command to generate RSA key pairs for your Cisco device (such as a router). keys are generated in pairs–one public RSA key and one private RSA key.

If your router already has RSA keys when you issue this command, you will be warned and prompted to replace the existing keys with new keys.

NOTE: Before issuing this command, ensure that your router has a hostname and IP domain name configured (with the hostname and ipdomain-name commands).

You will be unable to complete the cryptokeygeneratersacommand without a hostname and IP domain name. (This situation is not true when you generate only a named key pair.)

Here are the steps to Enable SSH and Crypto Key setup : 2 config must requried for SSH

1 Setup Local VTY line User ID and password

router (Config) # Line VTY 0 15

router (Config-line)# login local

router (Config-line)# Exit

!!! create local login ID/Pass

router (Config)# username [loginid] password [cisco]

router (Config)# username loginid1 password cisco1

2. router (Config)# ip domain-name example.com

router (Config)# crypto key generate rsa

how many bits in the modulus [512] :1024

router (Config)# ip ssh version2

router (Config)# CTRL Z


Note

Secure Shell (SSH) may generate an additional RSA key pair if you generate a key pair on a router having no RSA keys. The additional key pair is used only by SSH and will have a name such as {router_FQDN }.server.

For example, if a router name is “router1.cisco.com,” the key name is “router1.cisco.com.server.”

This command is not saved in the router configuration; however, the RSA keys generated by this command are saved in the private configuration in NVRAM (which is never displayed to the user or backed up to another device) the next time the configuration is written to NVRAM.

Modulus Length

When you generate RSA keys, you will be prompted to enter a modulus length. The longer the modulus, the stronger the security. However, a longer modules take longer to generate (see the table below for sample times) and takes longer to use.

The size of Key Modulus range from 360 to 2048. Choosing modulus greater than 512 will take longer time.

Router360 bits512 bits1024 bits2048 bits (maximum)
Cisco 250011 seconds20 seconds4 minutes, 38 secondsMore than 1 hour
Cisco 4700Less than 1 second1 second4 seconds50 seconds

Cisco IOS software does not support a modulus greater than 4096 bits. A length of less than 512 bits is normally not recommended. In certain situations, the shorter modulus may not function properly with IKE, so we recommend using a minimum modulus of 2048 bits.

Syntax Description : Optional Strings to embed with SSH Crypto key

general-keys(Optional) Specifies that a general-purpose key pair will be generated, which is the default.
usage-keys(Optional) Specifies that two RSA special-usage key pairs, one encryption pair and one signature pair, will be generated.
signature(Optional) Specifies that the RSA public key generated will be a signature special usage key.
encryption(Optional) Specifies that the RSA public key generated will be an encryption special usage key.
labelkey-label(Optional) Specifies the name that is used for an RSA key pair when they are being exported.If a key label is not specified, the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the router is used.
exportable(Optional) Specifies that the RSA key pair can be exported to another Cisco device, such as a router.
modulusmodulus-size(Optional) Specifies the IP size of the key modulus.By default, the modulus of a certification authority (CA) key is 1024 bits. The recommended modulus for a CA key is 2048 bits. The range of a CA key modulus is from 350 to 4096 bits.
Note Effective with Cisco IOS XE Release 2.4 and Cisco IOS Release 15.1(1)T, the maximum key size was expanded to 4096 bits for private key operations. The maximum for private key operations prior to these releases was 2048 bits.
storagedevicename:(Optional) Specifies the key storage location. The name of the storage device is followed by a colon (:).
redundancy(Optional) Specifies that the key should be synchronized to the standby CA.
ondevicename:(Optional) Specifies that the RSA key pair will be created on the specified device, including a Universal Serial Bus (USB) token, local disk, or NVRAM. The name of the device is followed by a colon (:).Keys created on a USB token must be 2048 bits or less.
CommandDescription
copyCopies any file from a source to a destination, use the copy command in privileged EXEC mode.
cryptokeystorageSets the default storage location for RSA key pairs.
debugcryptoengineDisplays debug messages about crypto engines.
hostnameSpecifies or modifies the hostname for the network server.
ipdomain-nameDefines a default domain name to complete unqualified hostnames (names without a dotted-decimal domain name).
showcryptokeymypubkeyrsaDisplays the RSA public keys of your router.
show crypto pki certificatesDisplays information about your PKI certificate, certification authority, and any registration authority certificates.

Set up your first SSH keys

Use SSH keys for authentication when you are connecting to your server, or even between your servers. They can greatly simplify and increase the security of your login process. When keys are implemented correctly they provide a secure, fast, and easy way of accessing your cloud server.

Follow our guide and learn how to set up your first SSH keys for authentication using OpenSSH or PuTTYTray.

Preparing your server

To add an SSH key pair, first, create a hidden folder to your user account home directory on your cloud server with the following command.

Then restrict the permissions to that directory to just yourself with the command below.

This creates a secure location for you to save your SSH keys for authentication. However, note that since the keys are stored in your user home directory, every user that wishes to connect using SSH keys for authentication has to repeat these steps on their own profile.

Using OpenSSH to generate a key pair

Now continue on your own computer if you are using Linux or any other OS that has OpenSSH. PuTTY users should skip to the next section.

1. Generate a new key pair in a terminal with the next command

The key generator will ask for location and file name to which the key is saved to. Enter a new name or use the default by pressing enter.

Switch

2. (Optional) Create a passphrase for the key when prompted

This is a simple password that will protect your private key should someone be able to get their hands on it. Enter the password you wish or continue without a password. Press enter twice. Note that some automation tools might not be able to unlock passphrase-protected private keys.

3. Copy the public half of the key pair to your cloud server using the following command

Replace the user and server with your username and the server address you wish to use the key authentication on.

This also assumes you saved the key pair using the default file name and location. If not, just replace the key path ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub above with your own key name.

Enter your user account password for that SSH server when prompted.

You can now authenticate to your server with the key pair, but at the moment you would need to enter the passphrase every time you connect.

4. (Optional) Set up SSH Agent to store the keys to avoid having to re-enter passphrase at every login

Enter the following commands to start the agent and add the private SSH key.

Type in your key’s current passphrase when asked. If you saved the private key somewhere other than the default location and name, you’ll have to specify it when adding the key.

Afterwards, you can connect to your cloud server using the keys for authentication, and only having to unlock the key by repeating the last 2 steps once after every computer restart.

Using PuTTYTray to generate a key pair

If you are running Windows and PuTTYTray for SSH, you can use the built-in key generator from PuTTY to create a new key pair.

1. Click the Keygen button at the bottom of the PuTTY Configuration window to get started.

Rsa

Using Rsa Keys Generated From 4500 Switch Windows 10

Then in the Key Generator window, check that the Type of key to generate at the bottom is set to SSH-2 RSA. The older SSH-1 was the first version on the standard but is now generally considered obsolete. Most modern servers and clients support SSH-2.

2. Click the Generate button to begin.

3. Keep moving your mouse over the blank area in any manner to help generate randomness for a few moments until the progress is complete.

With the keys finished, PuTTY will show the relative information about the pair along with the public key for easier copying.

4. (Optional) Enter a key passphrase in the 2 empty fields for the added security before continuing. The passphrase will protect your key from unauthorized use should someone be able to copy it. However, some automation tools might not be able to unlock passphrase-protected private keys.

5. Click the Save private key button and store it somewhere safe. Generally anywhere in your user directory is fine as long as your PC is password protected. Before closing the keygen, you may want to copy the public key to your clipboard, but you can always get it later as well.

Now that you have a new key saved on your computer, you’ll need to import it into the PuTTY key agent.

6. Click the Agent button to open the key manager in the PuTTY Configuration window.

7. Click Add Key button in the Key List, then browse to the location you saved the private key, select it and click Open.

Enter your key passphrase if asked.

This will import the key to your PuTTY client, but you still need to copy the public key over to your server.

8. Open an SSH connection to your cloud server and go to the SSH key directory.

9. Open or create the default file OpenSSH looks for public keys called authorized_keys.

10. Paste the public key into the file by simply right-clicking the SSH client window. Make sure the key goes on a single line for OpenSSH to be able to read it.

When you’ve copied the public key over to the authorized keys list, save the file and exit the editor. You can now test the public key authentication by logging in to your server again. You should not get asked for your password, but instead logged straight in with the key. If it’s not working, check that your private key is unlocked at your SSH Agent and try again.

Turn off password authentication

With SSH key authentication configured and tested, you can disable password authentication for SSH all together to prevent brute-forcing. When logged in to your cloud server.

1. Open the SSH configuration file with the following command.

Generate Rsa Key

2. Set the password authentication to no to disable clear text passwords.

3. Check that public key authentication is enabled, just to be safe and not get locked out from your server. If you do find yourself unable to log in with SSH, you can always use the Web terminal at your UpCloud control panel.

Then save and exit the editor.

4. Restart the SSH service to apply the changes by using the command below.

Using Rsa Keys Generated From 4500 Switch Free

With that done your cloud server is now another step along towards security. Malicious attempts to connect to your server will results in authentication rejection, as plain passwords are not allowed, and brute-forcing an RSA key is practically impossible.

Conclusions

Using Rsa Keys Generated From 4500 Switch System

Remember to always keep your private keys safe. You can use the same key from multiple computers if you wish, or generate new ones on each client connecting to your cloud server for added security. Each user should generate their own key pair and passphrase for secure access control. With proper management, even in case one of the private keys gets compromised you won’t have to replace them all.

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