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I am using a software to backup my website .sql data every 3 days and it connects simply to the server logs in and downloads the .sql file to my computer. While its downloading the connection is not under SSL is it dangerous? Can someone sniff the data, cookie or username/password of the connection I have made? If I change my IP every time before I connect to the server to perform the backup will I be safe from any "stalker" eavesdropping me? What would you recommend me to do so in order to make the connection more secure and be less vulnerable? (SSL installation is not an option sadly.)

*My worry is always someone remotely from knowing my IP. I don't use wireless, so I don't have any wireless "enemies" to worry about.

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2 Answers 2

If your connection is not encrypted then you are vulnerable to eavesdropping attacks.

One simple solution to this would be to encrypt the SQL file on the server with a public key before transferring it to your local computer.

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If you have a SSH login, SCP gives you a secure way of copying after you have securely logged in.

Since the backup software and its transport method isn't identified most of what can be offered is guesswork, but if it's a commercial package, check to see if instead of FTP, you can use SFTP or SCP for file transfer. Most modern packages will support FTP, SFTP/SSH and SCP.

If you're using phpMyAdmin to do this SQL backup, then you shouldn't be connecting to it by any other means than SSL and it should be locked up behind something like cPanel for even more security.

Changing IPs is security by obscurity and a simple packet sniff defeats it.

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Im using navicat to do the backups navicat-mysql, to be honest I dont know exactly how it works. It doesnt connect to ftp it connects either directly to the server db i think and logs in. The packet sniff whould need to happen where? On the server or my computer? And how can they do the packet sniff if I am changing ips everytime before the backups. (I have dynamic ip from isp). Thansk for your reply! –  Jacksonville75 Apr 30 '12 at 4:34
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Packet sniffing occurs on the network –  Fiasco Labs Apr 30 '12 at 4:55
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SSH encrypts the session from login forward so should be more than enough. For the SSL certificate question, the certificate is installed on the server. You would have to work with your hosting provider to get it set up. SSH is probably the simpler security to implement. –  Fiasco Labs Apr 30 '12 at 6:17
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The SSH connection tab in Navicat works by establishing an SSH connection to your database (remote) server. Once that is established, it expects to attach to localhost on the remote system on the mysqld port with the database login credentials. Two things must be in place for this to work. The sshd_conf file needs the entry AllowTcpForwarding yes and your hosts.allow file needs the entry mysqld: localhost. Both of these entries may need to be made by your hosting provider. If there's no reason for it (remote web server access), mysqld no longer needs to be exposed on an external port. –  Fiasco Labs Apr 30 '12 at 17:37
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And a way of using Putty to establish the SSH tunnel mentioned by Yoav Aner. vbmysql.com/articles/security/… –  Fiasco Labs Apr 30 '12 at 17:46

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