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I am traveling for a couple of weeks and I can connect to Internet only via Internet Points (or open access points if I'm lucky) and I doubt I can always find an ssh client to connect to my servers, so what I need is a shell that can be accessed trough a browser.

Can you help me?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've heard good recommendations for AjaxTerm, though I've never used it. Install it on a website under your control before you leave.

The downside of this, or indeed of any solution that requires you to use clients not under your control (internet points/cafés), is that you'll have to type your password on a machine that may be running a keylogger that will record it and then use your account (typically to send spam). And yes, there are plenty of keyloggers on such machines in the wild. In fact your server policy may forbid you from doing this.

You can alleviate most of the risks by setting up one-time passwords on your servers (most attackers won't bother supporting this). Don't forget to take your password list with you.

If you have your own laptop, AjaxTerm or equivalent is still useful if your only internet connection is behind a firewall that blocks ssh traffic. If you can run an ssh server on port 443, this will fool some firewalls, and using something like corkscrew will fool some more.

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Nice find, thanks. It seems exactly what I was looking for. I am aware about keylogger I will ssh to one-time accounts and if I can use wifi I have a VPN just in case. –  lbwtz2 Jul 21 '10 at 6:35

http://liftoffsoftware.com/Products/GateOne

It's a free, open source HTML5-powered terminal emulator and SSH client. You run it on your own server. Here's the source code on Github:

https://github.com/liftoff/GateOne/

...and here's the video overview:

http://www.youtube.com/user/LiftoffSoftware

Full disclosure: I'm the author of Gate One.

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Not sure how good any of them are, but someone asked something similar on StackOverflow a while back.

I hate the classic "I know the real question and actual answer better than the OP" types on such sites, but why bother installing anything on your website if it is a prod environment? As for SSH client support, what platform you on? PuTTY easily fits on a USB stick. I will not even mention USB linux distros. A simple search on the tubes will show you the wealth of options.

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Sorry, missed the PuTTY link. chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html –  ajstein Jul 20 '10 at 21:44
    
Port 22/tcp is not always accessible when using random access points. Most of the time only 80/tcp, 53/udp and 443/tcp will be usable, so a web-based shell access is the only means of logging into the server. –  joschi Jul 21 '10 at 6:03
    
Putty is an option but I don't know if I can install something nor what kind of platform I'll find. I am looking for something web based because a browser is the only certainty I might have. –  lbwtz2 Jul 21 '10 at 6:17
    
@joschi Your comment is spot on, and now I realize I should have thought about it more. –  ajstein Jul 21 '10 at 7:03
    
@Gianluca PuTTy comes in two flavors, one with a bonafide installer (which would not work for you given the possibility of a computer where you do not have admin privileges) and a zip archive with the executables. You can literally run them off the stick. Even better, you should be able to save profiles to the stick, double click and go. I do not think it will be an issue. At work, I use it and run LUA (non-admin). I know its rights to HKCU, but you should be able to do that regardless. –  ajstein Jul 21 '10 at 7:06

If you can install stuff on at least one of your servers then you could use shellinabox (and the man page). Basically gives you a shell embedded in a web page on your own server.

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Thanks, It's interesting but looks a little limited. –  lbwtz2 Jul 21 '10 at 6:36

http://www.serfish.com/console/

This is a free (registration free, too, I believe) service. Note that all traffic is unencrypted by that website, so (as they admit) it is theoretically possible for them to intercept. Understand this and you'll be fine.

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Thanks, nice service even without traffic encryption. It could be useful in case of emergencies. –  lbwtz2 Jul 21 '10 at 6:38

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