TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Secure File Transfers With Fugu

Volume Number: 19 (2003)
Issue Number: 7
Column Tag: Reviews

Secure File Transfers With Fugu

Review and how to for Fugu

by Brian Shin

Your Last bite?

Anybody who speaks Japanese would recognize fugu as the diodon holocanthus, the poisonous blowfish. This delicacy, popular in Japan and the Philippines, contains a poison called tetrodotoxin, 1200 times deadlier than cyanide. Of course this has nothing to do with our Fugu, a wonderful graphical interface to secure file transfer (SFTP) and secure copy (SCP). Fugu's home page is Fugu is freeware and can be downloaded from

Prying Eyes

Our non-toxic Fugu allows us to transfer files with the same ease of use of Fetch but retains the security of command line SFTP and SCP. Regular FTP sends the user name and password in clear text. This means anybody who can sniff your Ethernet packets, can get your user name and password. Using Etherpeek(TM) and a shareware hex editor, I was able to sniff out my own FTP user and password in just a few minutes;

\.USER jlpi
card.  5C 01 55 
53 45 52 20 6A 6
C 70 69 63 61 72
 64 0D.  .....
].PASS ent
erpris  5D 0E 50
 41 53 53 20 65 
6E 74 65 72 70 7
2 69 73.  e.....

As you can see, the hex editor allows me to read the user name "jlpicard" and the password "enterprise". With FTP this easy to hack, you can see why it is important to use SFTP and SCP. Running the same test using Fugu rendered the encrypted user and password completely inaccessible and protected from prying eyes.

Keep the Door Closed

Another benefit from using Fugu is not having to use port 21 (FTP), one of the most common ports used for hacking. Port 21 is subject to constant attack from hackers on the internet. Fugu uses port 22 instead of port 21. This allows you to turn off your FTP servers and close port 21. A search on Google for FTP hacks will leave you stunned as to what hackers are doing with FTP and port 21.

Making the Connection

Servers you connect to need to have SSHD running. In OS X, getting SSHD running is as easy as going into System Preferences, select the Share pane, select the services tab, and turning on Remote Login. For OS X server, you can configure this in the server admin utility. If you are on a different server, go to for the installer.

Making the connection with Fugu is as easy as it gets:

Figure 1. Connecting to a server with Fugu is as simple as entering the IP address and user name.

Figure 2. Type in the password and press Authenticate.

Figure 3. After you authenticate, Fugu will take you to the users home directory.

Once connected to the server, Fugu behaves like just about any other FTP client. The only exception is folder copying. According to the documentation, SFTP does not support folder copying. Fugu circumvents this by turning the folder copy attempt from SFTP into a SCP. Fugu will also ask you to re-authenticate the copy. This works fine but it will not retain the directory information of the copy. For example, you need to copy the directory ../stuff to your computer at ../Desktop/stuff. The contents of../stuff on the remote computer will all be dumped to ../Desktop.

Connect with SFTP

Under the SFTP menu you can get info on files and folders on your system and the remote computer. If you open the console window, you can see command line equivalents to your graphical work and enter direct commands. Notice of all the keyboard commands in the SFTP menu. They make navigation between remote and local directories and panes quick and painless.

Connect with SCP

SCP transfers work differently than SFTP. Rather than moving files back and forth between computers, SCP transfers 1 file or a directory at a time.

Connections are similar to SFTP but you need the name of the file you want to send or get before-hand.

Figure 4. Enter file, upload/download, user id and path.

After you enter this information, a new window will appear to enter the password. If the upload/download transfers correctly Fugu will give you the following message;

Figure 5. Copy to server successful with option for more transfers.

No safe harbor for your ship?

Now, what happens if you need to connect to a FTP server that does not use SFTP or SCP? You can create a SSH tunnel to protect yourself. From the SSH menu, select new SSH tunnel or press command-T.

Figure 6. New SSH Tunnel window.

Enter the remote host and tunnel host IP numbers. The remote port is usually port 21 and the local port can be any port greater than 1024. Enter your user name for SSH; the port is optional. You will be prompted for your password after you hit the start tunnel button.

Now that your tunnel is up, your FTP connection will be redirected securely through your tunnel host to the FTP server.

Must have program

Fugu is the kind of application that makes OS X so wonderful. It provides a graphical front end to powerful Unix command line tools. The console window gives the user the best of both worlds by allowing users to see what the graphical front is doing and giving the users an opportunity to type in your own commands.

Keyboard lovers will be pleased that every feature you can access with your mouse has a keyboard equivalent. The keyboard shortcuts are listed with every pull down menu. A comprehensive list of them is available from the help menu.

Installation of Fugu simple, and problem free. The user manual explains features in detail, and provides screen shots of how to use each feature. The manual also has extensive version history and a decent FAQ section.

The source code to Fugu is publicly available and there are German, Dutch, and Japanese localizations. French, Spanish, and Russian are on the way. With publicly available source code, localizations, Fort Knox security, great ease of use, a well-written manual, and top it off with a total cost of free makes Fugu THE essential tool for sharing files over the internet that no user should go without.

Brian Shin once worked for us at MacTech, but moved on to run his own company, providing accounting software solutions to Mac run businesses. Between SCUBA dives, he also provides consulting and other programming services. You can reach him at


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Microsoft Office 2016 16.11 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 19.1.2 - Profess...
Photoshop CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Photoshop customer). Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, the industry standard... Read more
Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2018 -...
Dreamweaver CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Dreamweaver customer). Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2018 allows you to... Read more
Adobe Flash Player - Plug-in...
Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform, browser-based application runtime that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across browsers and operating systems.... Read more
Drive Genius 5.2.0 - $79.00
Drive Genius features a comprehensive Malware Scan. Automate your malware protection. Protect your investment from any threat. The Malware Scan is part of the automated DrivePulse utility. DrivePulse... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.6 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
ffWorks 1.0.7 - Convert multimedia files...
ffWorks (was iFFmpeg), focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the... Read more
Dash 4.1.5 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Evernote 7.0.3 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
jAlbum Pro 15.3 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
It might not have been the greatest week for new releases on the App Store, but don't let that get you down, because there are some truly incredible games on sale for iPhone and iPad right now. Seriously, you could buy anything on this list and I... | Read more »
Everything You Need to Know About The Fo...
In just over a week, Epic Games has made a flurry of announcements. First, they revealed that Fortnite—their ultra-popular PUBG competitor—is coming to mobile. This was followed by brief sign-up period for interested beta testers before sending out... | Read more »
The best games that came out for iPhone...
It's not been the best week for games on the App Store. There are a few decent ones here and there, but nothing that's really going to make you throw down what you're doing and run to the nearest WiFi hotspot in order to download it. That's not to... | Read more »
Death Coming (Games)
Death Coming Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: (iTunes) Description: --- Background Story ---You Died. Pure and simple, but death was not the end. You have become an agent of Death: a... | Read more »
Hints, tips, and tricks for Empires and...
Empires and Puzzles is a slick match-stuff RPG that mixes in a bunch of city-building aspects to keep things fresh. And it's currently the Game of the Day over on the App Store. So, if you're picking it up for the first time today, we thought it'd... | Read more »
What You Need to Know About Sam Barlow’s...
Sam Barlow’s follow up to Her Story is #WarGames, an interactive video series that reimagines the 1983 film WarGames in a more present day context. It’s not exactly a game, but it’s definitely still interesting. Here are the top things you should... | Read more »
Pixel Plex Guide - How to Build Better T...
Pixel Plex is the latest city builder that has come to the App Store, and it takes a pretty different tact than the ones that came before it. Instead of being in charge of your own city by yourself, you have to work together with other players to... | Read more »
Fortnite Will Be Better Than PUBG on Mob...
Before last week, if you asked me which game I prefer between Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), I’d choose the latter just about 100% of the time. Now that we know that both games are primed to hit our mobile screens... | Read more »
Siege of Dragonspear (Games)
Siege of Dragonspear 2.5.12 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 2.5.12 (iTunes) Description: Experience the Siege of Dragonspear, an epic Baldur’s Gate tale, filled with with intrigue, magic, and monsters.... | Read more »
7 Wonders Guide - Should You Buy The Lea...
The fantastic mobile version of 7 Wonders just got updated with an expansion that adds Leaders to the game. This new content adds a whole layer of depth to the game, but before you spend $1.99 to buy it blindly, check out this breakdown of exactly... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

B&H drops prices on 15″ MacBook Pros up t...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on new 2017 15″ MacBook Pros, now up to $300 off MSRP and matching Adorama’s price drop yesterday. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished 2017 13″...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros for $200-$230 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, models receive new outer cases, and... Read more
13″ Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale...
Adorama has new 2017 13″ Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (... Read more
Best deal of the year on 15″ Apple MacBook Pr...
Adorama has New 2017 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $... Read more
Save $100-$150+ on 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros...
B&H Photo has 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $100-$150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro... Read more
Current deals on 27″ Apple iMacs, models up t...
B&H Photo has 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off MSRP – 27″ 3... Read more
Thursday Deal: 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pro for $11...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space... Read more
How to save $100-$190 on 10″ & 12″ iPad P...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Silver 12″ 1.3GHz MacBook on sale at B&H...
B&H Photo has the 2017 12″ 1.3GHz Silver MacBook on sale for $1399.99 including free shipping plus sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
Amazon offers 21″ Apple iMacs for up to $150...
Amazon 21″ iMacs on sale today for $50-$150 off MSRP, depending on the model. Shipping is free: – 21″ 3.4GHz 4K iMac (MNE02LL/A): $1349.99 $150 off MSRP – 21″ 3.0GHz iMac (MNDY2LL/A): $1199 $100 off... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Certified and Windows Desktop Suppor...
** Apple Certified and Windows Desktop Support Engineer** **Preferred Qualifications** **About the team ** The Desktop Support Team is a fast paced, service oriented Read more
*Apple* Endpoint Administrator - Massachuset...
Reporting to the Director of Client Services (DCS), the Apple Endpoint Administrator serves as a member of the Client Services team, which provides technical support Read more
*Apple* Certified Technician - iStore by St....
Job Description iStore by St. Moritz is an Authorized Apple Service Provider and our Headquarters is an Apple Premier Partner as well as a Premium Service Read more
*Apple* Certified Technician - Taycom (Unite...
Job Description Apple Computer Support Technician Taycom – Dallas, TX and surrounding area. Note: This position requires senior level Apple technical support Read more
*Apple* Certified Macintosh Technician - Mac...
…qualified persons who have a deep passion, dedication, and experience with the Apple Macintosh and iOS computer platforms. MacMedics is seeking Apple Certified Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.