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Securing FTP

File Transfer Protocol, FTP has been around a long time. It has been around so long as it is easy to use and is a valuable asset when you need to transfer files, even large files. Any of these applications that were around when the Internet was more of a trusted entity have suffered huge security issues. DNS, Web, Sendmail and FTP were all servers that were around when the Internet was not so hostile and so each application, server daemon, has gone through a time when they were vulnerable to attack. So this is true with FTP. Many of the FTP server daemons that were available originally have now fallen from use as they were insecure.

One of the FTP daemons that has risen out of this growth is VSFTPD, Very Secure FTP Daemon. This daemon was built for scalability, reliability and security. Over time it has proven itself to be a good choice. Not that it has been perfect, but much more secure than most.

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It is now time for administrators to not only use a secure FTP daemon but to also consider using SSL/TLS to encrypt communication for those FTP servers as that is still an issue. All FTP servers transfer user names, passwords and data in plain text that could easily be captured on the network. For the sake of users and the movement toward more secure networks encypted communication for FTP must be a standard that is adopted for FTP. Here is a link to an article that shows you how to set up VSFTPD with SSL.

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