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Can any body please explain the use of the key put in /etc/ssh/?

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Keys named ssh_host_*_key in /etc/ssh are ssh host keys and are used to verify the authenticity of the host when someone is connecting to it. This mechanism also protects from Man-In-The-Middle Attacks.

http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/ssh-host-key-protection https://serverfault.com/search?q=ssh+host+keys

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