Enable SSH on Kali Linux Enable SSH on Kali Linux

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Kali Linux does not come with SSH enabled. SSH is the preferred method of remote management for most Linux based systems. Secure Shell (SSH) is a cryptographic network protocol for secure data communication, remote command-line login, remote command execution, and other secure network services between two networked computers. It connects, via a secure channel over an insecure network, a server and a client running SSH server and SSH client programs.

1) Install OpenSSH Server

The first step is to go the terminal window and install OpenSSH Server. You do this by typing the following command in the terminal window:

[email protected]~:# apt-get install openssh-server

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2) Configure SSH to run on persistently. In other words survive a reboot.

a) First we need to remove run levels for SSH by issuing the command:

[email protected]~:# update-rc.d -f ssh remove

b) Now we need load the default SSH run level by issuing the following command:
[email protected]~:# update-rc.d -f ssh defaults

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3) Change the default SSH keys

We now need to change the default SSH keys. The reason for this is because every Linux and Unix system uses similar keys. An Attacker could potentially guess or crack your SSH keys and exploit your system using Man-in-the-Middle techniques.

a) Backup and move default Kali Linux Keys

[email protected]:~#  cd /etc/ssh/
[email protected]:/etc/ssh#  mkdir insecure_original_default_kali_keys 
[email protected]:/etc/ssh# 
[email protected]:/etc/ssh#  mv ssh_host_* insecure_original_default_kali_keys/ 
[email protected]:/etc/ssh#

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b) Create new keys

Type the following command in the terminal window:

dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server
[email protected]:/etc/ssh#  dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server
Creating SSH2 RSA key; this may take some time ...
Creating SSH2 DSA key; this may take some time ...
Creating SSH2 ECDSA key; this may take some time ...
[ ok ] Restarting OpenBSD Secure Shell server: sshd.
[email protected]:/etc/ssh#

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4) Root login via SSH on Kali

Kali ssh Permission denied, please try again.

By default in Kali 2.0 root login in disabled thru SSH. If you want to SSH in thru root (which has tons of security risks) you will need to do the following:

a) edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config, change:

b) change line PermitRootLogin without-password

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to

PermitRootLogin yes

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c) restart SSH:

sudo service ssh restart

d) Make sure SSH service always restarts on reboot in Kali Linux

update-rc.d -f ssh enable 2 3 4 5

5) MOTD – Message of the Day banner

You can create login banner, also known as a Message of the Day (MOTD) banner on Kali Linux that is displayed when users login. 

Just edit the /etc/motd file (restart ssh after you have completed the edit).

Edit the following file and add your text.

[email protected]:~# vi /etc/motd 
[email protected]:~# service ssh restart

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a) MOTD – Message of the Day banner

I personally like combining some ASCII art with my message of the day. Go to http://patorjk.com/software/taag to create some of your own ASCII art

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We added the following text to our login banner:

 

________          _________ .__                         
\______ \_______  \_   ___ \|  |__ _____    ____  ______
 |    |  \_  __ \ /    \  \/|  |  \\__  \  /  _ \/  ___/
 |    `   \  | \/ \     \___|   Y  \/ __ \(  <_> )___ \ 
/_______  /__|     \______  /___|  (____  /\____/____  >
        \/                \/     \/     \/           \/
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Warning: This system is restricted to private use
authorized users for business purposes only. Unauthorized access
or use is a violation of company policy and the law. This system
may be monitored for administrative and security reasons. By
proceeding, you acknowledge that (1) you have read and understand
this notice and (2) you consent to the system monitoring.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
 

5) Enjoy remote access via SSH to your Kali Linux

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