If the server can support SSH, what do I need to have on my client in order to download files via an SSH conne...
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There are two ways to do this. One is to use your standard FTP program with port forwarding. Doing this may be complicated, as FTP uses both a command channel and a data channel. Often, it is possible to get the command channel setup to forward over the secure tunnel, but the data channel doesn't. You may need to tweak the configuration settings many times before you find the correct combination.
The other (and easier) way to do this is to use the SCP (secure copy) or SFTP (secure FTP) programs. You can find more information on both programs and some other utilities at the OpenSSH home page.
For more information on this topic, visit these other SearchSecurity.com resources:
Ask the Expert: How to implement SSH
Network Security Tip: Putting a bandage on the OpenSSH flaw
Dig Deeper on Web application and API security best practices
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