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 http://rsug.itd.umich.edu/software/fugu/. Fugu is freeware and can be downloaded from http://rsug.itd.umich.edu/software/fugu/download.html.

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;
\.USER jlpi
card.  5C 01 55 
53 45 52 20 6A 6
C 70 69 63 61 72
 64 0D.  .....
Password;
].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 http://www.openssh.org/ 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 brian@prometheia.com.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Day One 2.3 - Maintain a daily journal.
Day One is the easiest and best-looking way to use a journal / diary / text-logging application for the Mac. Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more through... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.16 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Sketch 45 - Design app for UX/UI for iOS...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
NeoFinder 7.1 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.15 - Subscription-based p...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.5- - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32-bit and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.261 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Sketch 44.1 - Design app for UX/UI for i...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.260 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Chromium 59.0.3071.115 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.115: This update has no Flash plug... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Super Samurai Rampage (Games)
Super Samurai Rampage 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Super Samurai Rampage is a bloody, retro pixel style high score chaser. You play as a legendary Samurai warrior provoked... | Read more »
You can now travel to Skyrim in The Elde...
The Elder Scrolls: Legends' new expansion has opened up Skyrim's craggy mountains and snowy plains for exploration today. Heroes of Skyrim is out now, adding a bunch of new Skyrim content to Bethesda's recent CCG. [Read more] | Read more »
High-stakes solitaire game 'Missile...
Missile Command and Solitaire might seem like an odd couple, but indie developer Nathan Meunier has brought them together to create his first game, Missile Cards, which launched on the App Store today. [Read more] | Read more »
Eos 2 (Music)
Eos 2 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $5.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Supercell celebrates Hay Day's comm...
Before there was Clash Royale or Clash of Clans, there was Hay Day. Now, Supercell's first game is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and the developer is commemorating the event with this touching new video. Supercell picked one long-running Hay... | Read more »
Dive into epic summer adventure with Oce...
Summer may be the best time to enjoy ocean adventures, and now you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home, thanks to the folks at Joycity, creators of Oceans & Empires. The old-timey naval MMO is getting a sizable new June Grand... | Read more »
Missile Cards (Games)
Missile Cards 1.0.9 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.9 (iTunes) Description: "Missile Command meets Solitaire...only with more doomlasers, death, and explosions." | Read more »
Collect mini assassins in 'Assassin...
Assassin's Creed is traveling back in time to the Spanish Inquisition for its latest mobile entry, Assassin's Creed Rebellion. The game is giving the series a look that's a huge departure from its past design, recreating classic characters in a... | Read more »
Animal Crossing is still coming to mobil...
Animal Crossing is still coming to mobile in 2017, according to aWaypointinterview with Nintendo. Announced in 2016, the game was delayed without a defined release window. However, fans of Nintendo's fantasy slice of life game won't have to wait... | Read more »
Ravenscroft 275 Piano (Music)
Ravenscroft 275 Piano 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $35.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Experience the splendor of a Ravenscroft Grand with the most realistic sounding piano ever created for iOS. Launch... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Will iPad Running iOS 11 Be The ‘Ute’ Of The...
Steve Jobs’ analogy comparing iPads and PCs to cars and trucks respectively is seven years old but still stimulates discussion and debate. Appearing on an All Things D panel in 2010 shortly after the... Read more
Free CarePassport App gives Patients control...
Boston based CarePassport is on a mission to enable patients to take control of their medical records by allowing patients to aggregate, store, share and manage all their medical data including... Read more
Western Digital Launches New My Passport Ultr...
Western Digital Corporation has expanded its WD brand My Passport portable drive line with the redesigned My Passport Ultra drive. In addition to a new metallic look, the drive offers intuitive WD... Read more
Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for up to $210 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Apple Releases iOS 11 Public Beta; How To Get...
The official release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 11 is vaguely slated for the fall, but as of June 26, ordinary users can download an iOS 11 public beta. To download the iOS 11... Read more
Extend Life of MacBook Pro Retina 2.0TB With...
MacSales.com/Other World Computing has announced availability of the new OWC 2.0TB Aura Pro Solid State Drive for mid-2012 to early 2013 Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display. One of the fastest... Read more
BBEdit SummerFest 2017 Discount Ends Friday,...
You can get 20% off BBEdit for a limited time in Bare Bones Software’s http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Specials/SummerFest.html?mc_cid=f2101ca260&mc_eid=[UNIQID]SummerFest 2017 sale and... Read more
Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Clearance 27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac available fo...
Amazon clearance 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMacs (MK482LL/A) available for $1799.90 including free shipping. Their price is $500 off original MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
13-inch 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has the updated 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1129 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Online Store WW Customer Insights -...
…with data mining tools: R, SAS, etc.Experience with common shell scripting tools: unix, python, apple script, Swift etc. Apple Online is one of the largest and Read more
Engineering Project Manager, *Apple* Online...
…the electronic commerce (eCommerce) systems and solutions that enable and support the Apple Online Store (AOS) - one of world's largest online retail businesses, Read more
*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.