Security Q&A

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Is it lab policy that I can have an ssh key exchange between UCSF and U of T computers?

Yes, people can have a sshkey exchange between UCSF and UT computers (only the computers that we maintain, ie should NOT have a sshkey). You cannot have a ssh key exchange between the portal and the cluster.

Is there any way into the cluster from home other than through a portal machine?

No. Currently, there is no other way to access the cluster remotely. Ask if this is a problem for you.

If I lose my laptop or think my account may have been hacked, what is the correct course of action?

Send an email to immediately.

Can I copy the private key to as many computers as I like, or should I have one for each computer I want to use to access the cluster?

You should use a different ssh key for each computer you want to use to access the cluster. This way, if one of your computers is compromised, I only have to disable one key and you can still use your other laptop/computer.

Can I use the same public/private key pair inside the cluster as I use to access the cluster? Or should we use two different ones?

You should use two different ones, one within the cluster and one to access the portal from outside. We will enforce this. Please don't try. It is no economy.

Can I use key pair exchange to allow me to log in to my colleague's account?

Thus say I am Brian, and I want to allow John to log in as me without my password, can we use ssh keys to allow this?

  • NO. This usage is strictly forbidden and will be enforced. Brian must not accept John's public ssh key as an authorized_key.

Do I need to use the portal when I am in the lab? Elsewhere in the university?

No, the portal is only needed when accessing the cluster from outside "the lab". The university is a big place, and we consider most of it to be "outside". If you have questions about how the borders have been drawn, ask us.

We've tried to make this policy easy to understand and remember. We have tried to design something that will not be a burden. If you have suggestions on how to improve these practices, please ask us!

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