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There is a person A and person B, other of them has each other ssh public key, so that means they can access each others shell.

now they can access each others private ssh and gpg private keys. and they can easily export and them the private keys to themselves.

is there a way that they can not access these keys or not able to export them.

Is there a way to restrict them from accessing each other ~/.gnugp and ~/.ssh folder

Thanks in Advance

EDIT ok i try with my 2 computers i accessed my system with my laptop

amr@amr-Notebook:~$ ssh rusty@
rusty@'s password: 
Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-29-generic-pae i686)

 * Documentation:

11 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.

rusty@rusty-MS:~$ exit
Connection to closed.
amr@amr-Notebook:~$ ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ rusty@
rusty@'s password: 
Now try logging into the machine, with "ssh 'rusty@'", and check in:


to make sure we haven't added extra keys that you weren't expecting.

amr@amr-Notebook:~$ ssh rusty@
Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-29-generic-pae i686)

 * Documentation:

11 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

Last login: Sat Sep  8 21:01:06 2012 from amr-notebook.local
rusty@rusty-MS:~$ cd .ssh/
rusty@rusty-MS:~/.ssh$ ls
authorized_keys  id_rsa

i accessed my desktop from my laptop just my shh and password

then i logedout and then send my public key to desktop system

then i tried again with ssh and this time it just let me in

and as u can see above i can easily access desktop systems ssh folder and see all the keys

now is there a way that i am not able to access my desktop .ssh folder and no access to desktop public and private keys


share|improve this question
Why do you say that users A and B can access each other's shell, simply because they have each other's public key. This should not be the case. – Steve Kroon Sep 8 '12 at 13:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Given your example, with two people and two computers, there should be four accounts:

  • On Rusty's desktop: ~rusty/ and ~shiny/

  • and on Shiny's laptop: ~rusty/ and ~shiny/

On the desktop you could have ~rusty's private key and public key; and ~/shiny's public key

On the laptop you could have ~rusty's public key and ~shiny's public and private key

Rusty can ssh into his own account on the laptop, and Shiny can ssh from the laptop to the desktop.

Shiny can't see rusty's private key since he can't get into rusty's desktop account, and rusty can't see shiny's private key since he can't get into shiny's laptop account. Without the private keys, they cannot log in to each others accounts even if they have the corresponding public keys.

Each system's administrator (or root) can see into each of these accounts, but as long as that is Rusty for the desktop and Shiny for the laptop, and they haven't added each other to the sudoers group they still can't see each other's secret private key.

Remember, it is always OK to send any public key to anyone--that's not a security problem.

share|improve this answer

SSH Agent is your friend. Store your SSH private key ONLY on your private and secure device. Use the -A option to ssh to invoke agent forwarding to and via additional hosts. The SSH server's users or any other intermediate server will not be able to steal your key without kernel-level snooping and very advanced SSH memory forensics (most people won't have the skills and there is no tool to do this automatically).

me@my-secure-laptop$ ssh -A

You may also be interested in leveraging the keychain app for additional security.

$ aptitude search keychain
i   keychain  
key manager for OpenSSH
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