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I know that SSHing to a server as root (i.e. so that you are logged in as root after connecting) has its downsides. My question is sort of the opposite. If I connect from a server as root to a server as another account, are there still potentially security concerns there?

For example, if I have securely logged into the root account on one server and in turn connect to other servers as a single-purpose account to perform some sort of administration or backup purpose, is the fact that the account originating the connection is root a concern?

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Could SSHing as root be a risk

The main risk of SSHing as root is that if there is an exploit for your SSH client then it if the exploit was used against you then the attacker could get root access to the client machine.

As there are very few reasons to use SSH as root it is usually best to avoid running SSH as root.

Ways around reasons to use SSH as root

  • If you are using an authentication token you can allow a standard user access to the token instead of running as root.

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