Tunneling Firefox traffic through SSH – Putty

I will here assume you already have a remote Linux machine that you can SSH into with putty, the instructions are simple from this point on

Putty Setup

1- Basic putty settings, assuming you have already downloaded putty from chiark.greenend.org.uk, now open putty, enter the IP of the server you wish to tunnel through, and save it with a name, the steps are…
– Open putty,
– enter the IP of your remote machine
– give it a name of your choice
– save (You don’t need to save now, you will save again in a bit, but you can do it anyway)

2- Go to Connection and expand it, then expand SSH, then select Tunnels, this will show a dialogue such as the below, fill in the data as follows

  • A Source port between 1025-65536 (of your choice), i chose 8081 but you can chose any other in that range
  • Check Dynamic and Auto, the click Add

3- From the menu on the left, go back to Session, and click the save button again (So that the new tunnel settings are saved for next time)

4- You are almost done, Now double click the saved session name or select it and hit open, the remote machine should now prompt you to enter a username and a password, once you enter those, you have a tunnel ready on your localhost ( on port 8081, next we will setup Firefox to use that tunnel

Firefox setup

1- Go to firefox settings (Click the accordion menu to the right, and chose settings), once open, scroll down under general, until you find the Network Settings section, click the settings button in that section

Clicking settings above will show the following popup dialogue, setup your system as follows

  • Manual Proxy Configuration
  • SOCKS Host enter and in the port area of that the port we chose in putty (In my case, 8081)
  • Optional – Add the IP address ranges of the IPs that you do not want to have tunneled through the remote machine
  • For more privacy, and sometimes functionality (When access is blocked from abroad), make sure you tunnel your DNS queries as well (See checkbox below)

Now, to verify that you are conencted to the remote machine, google the following

what is my ip

and google should tell you what your IP address is, at this stage, it should be the same as the remote machine’s IP (Not yours)

Mounting a remote Linux file system as a Windows drive

You can do this in many ways, the most popular of which is SAMBA, but this is not the software we are using, here we are using SSHFS

The software this post is about is SSHFS, if you are reading this, you probably know what SSH is (Secure shell), and FS stands for File System

Ironically, you will only need to have SFTP and not SSH with shell access, so here is the first surprise, Now, to continue with this tutorial, you might want to visit the page I have posted here to create that user and give him/her access to the directory to be mounted, don’t worry, there is a link back here at the bottom of that page !

So, now that you have created that user account on the remote system, let’s get down to business

You will need 2 peices of software, or 3 if you would like to use private/public key authentication

For the following software, look on their websites for the latest installers for your version of Windows (Usually you are looking for the msi of the 64bit version of windows)

1- WinFsp, short for Windows File System Proxy, What this basically does is enabled the developer of SSHFS-Win to make it look like a windows drive, not some separate SFTP application where you have to move the files manually, when you present it as a drive, you can modify files directly on it, which is the main advantage, and it will do the work in the background, it is a driver that presents itself on/to windows as a disk, while cheating the disk contents from another application, the github page for it is at https://github.com/winfsp/winfsp, or to save you time, Just go directly to the download page here https://github.com/winfsp/winfsp/releases/tag/v1.11 , When presented with optional components, if you are not a developer, you will only ever need the Core package, which is the installer’s default

Once WinFsp is installed, we are done with the part that allows us to display file systems that are not really filesystems, the next step is to have something feed that with data from an actual filesystem somewhere else ! via SFTP, and that software would be

2- SSHFS-Win, which is the system that sits in the middle, between the SFTP server, and WinFsp which is an illusion of a hard drive on your windows machine ! it’s home on github is at https://github.com/winfsp/sshfs-win, To get the latest from this one, go here https://github.com/winfsp/sshfs-win/releases and look for the one that says latest (Not pre-release), download and install it

There is no software to install on the remote side, as most Linux systems already have the functionality ! and you have already setup a user in the previous post that I pointed you to a minute ago, So let us mount !

Now, you can (But don’t do it just yet) open file explorer in Windows, right click “This PC”, and click on Map Network Drive, A dialogue appears, enter your connection string, which should be something like


You should then be prompted with a password dialogue box, you enter the SFTP password, and you should now be all set, but why are we not doing this right now ? we are not doing this because when you create files in that drive, they will remotely have rwx permissions for owner, and no permissions for group or others, wo work around this, you need to pass the following arguments to the mount



which is only available via command line and does not survive reboots, a better alternative is to use sshfs-win-manager, which seamlessly mounts those remote file systems using SFTP , the long and short of it is that it just works

Another program that has a different set of permission issues (I can write files, but can’t write to them again even though i own the files on the remote system and the permissions should allow) is SiriKali (https://github.com/mhogomchungu/sirikali), you should be able to find the line to download for your platform here (https://mhogomchungu.github.io/sirikali/)

SiriKali also allows you to use other types of authentication which are beyond the scope of this post

So in SiriKali, you need to fill the above information, luckily that information is loaded by default.

Remember to select the checkboxes you need,

Gnome terminal tab title

To tell tabs apart fast, you can give every terminal tab a name, just execute the following line inside that terminal window

echo -ne "\033]0;SOME TITLE HERE\007"

I am doing this on the default gnome terminal in Debian 11 (Bullseye), older methods no longer work

You will have to execute this every time in every SSH window to a remote machine, I am looking into a way to making the name permanent !

WINSCP for linux !

An application for windows that i wantin Linux is WINSCP, but it seems the author of WINSCP says (on his forum) that ” Sorry, there’s no chance for that.”

In any case, i have no doubts there are hundreds of applications that can do the Job, in fact the file browser that comes with your gnome or KDE already opens FTP and SFTP and SCP connections, so you need to look no further.

There are also applications that can mount a remote file system that is run on SSH, xxx is one such software

But truth be told since the days of Norton commander, i have always liked the two window view that winSCP is similar to.

So in this post, i will add screenshots of the applications similar to WINSCP, i will try both krusader and filezilla (Yes, filezilla does support)

apt-get update


apt-get install krusader filezilla

With Krusader, it is a good idea to install 
apt-get install kdiff3 kompare xxdiff krename rar unrar zip

Another software to be tested would be snowflake, confusingly it is being renamed to muon, which is already the name of a package manager for debian !, in any case, installing snowflake is as simple as downloading the deb file then installing it

wget https://github.com/subhra74/snowflake/releases/download/v1.0.4/snowflake-1.0.4-setup-amd64.deb

then install it

dpkg -i snowflake-1.0.4-setup-amd64.deb

Worth noting that on my 4K display which has a 200% setting, snowflake is not usable, the font is so small, and clicking on something is a challenge, so to work around this while the maintainers fix this for people who have settings like mine, i run snowflake from the terminal with

java -Dsun.java2d.uiScale=2.5 -jar /opt/snowflake/snowflake.jar

And now we have both, on my computer which is a fresh install, krusader was a 90MB download, in your case, it is probably much less because most of the things downloaded are libraries you probably already have.

in any case, let me take those screenshots of WINSCP’s alternatives and get back to this post

Bruit force attacks and hacking my web server

My web server got hacked today, i know because my datacenter contacted me today telling me that there is a bruit force attack originating from my server to another server on a different network, so what is happening is that my server got hacked, then the hacker is using the server she hacked to hack other servers by sending FTP requests.

So, how come i got hacked when i am so obsessed with security, well, in reality, this is just an intermediate machine that i used to run a certain script that would move my mail server, and i did not (and did not see the need) to secure it.

What i usually do to secure my server is simply install fail2ban, in this case i did not out of lazyness but here is how i got hacked and how fail2ban would have protected me.

Before i show you the log files, this whole problem would not happen if i had a strong password combined with fail2ban

In the complaining partie’s log files

Tue Jul 24 22:28:27 2012: user: hauvouuc service: ftp target: yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy source: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
Tue Jul 24 22:28:27 2012: user: pkmcndgq service: ftp target: yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy source: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
Tue Jul 24 22:28:27 2012: user: malumdvc1 service: ftp target: yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy source: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

In my log files (auth.log):

Many lines like the following right below each other

Jul 24 18:03:08 run sshd[14229]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): check pass; user unknown
Jul 24 18:03:08 run sshd[14229]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=9.12-14-84.ripe.coltfrance.com 
Jul 24 18:03:10 run sshd[14229]: Failed password for invalid user ts3 from port 41014 ssh2
Jul 24 18:03:11 run sshd[14231]: Invalid user ts3 from

Anod some lines like this

Jul 25 15:30:46 run sshd[10728]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): check pass; user unknown
Jul 25 15:30:46 run sshd[10728]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost= 
Jul 25 15:30:48 run sshd[10728]: Failed password for invalid user public from port 34292 ssh2
Jul 25 15:30:48 run sshd[10730]: Address maps to gamma2-7.cust.smartspb.net, but this does not map back to the address - POSSIBLE BREAK-IN ATTEMPT!
Jul 25 15:30:48 run sshd[10730]: Invalid user public from

Thousands of lines like this one

Jul 24 14:12:38 run sshd[2025]: error: connect_to port 80: failed.
Jul 24 14:12:39 run sshd[2025]: error: connect_to port 2110: failed.
Jul 24 14:12:39 run sshd[2025]: error: connect_to port 80: failed.


Jul 24 06:41:19 run sshd[9824]: error: connect_to port 80: failed.
Jul 24 06:41:19 run sshd[13434]: Failed password for invalid user test from port 37830 ssh2
Jul 24 06:41:20 run sshd[9824]: error: connect_to port 80: failed.

And more like this

Jul 24 08:19:18 run sshd[20882]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): check pass; user unknown
Jul 24 08:19:18 run sshd[20882]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=puck748.server4you.de 
Jul 24 08:19:21 run sshd[20882]: Failed password for invalid user kk from port 49213 ssh2
Jul 24 08:19:21 run sshd[20884]: Invalid user css from