The server is authenticated with a digital signature based on a DSA or RSA public-key algorithm. At the beginning of the connection, the server sends its public key to the client for validation.
Server authentication is done during Diffie-Hellman key exchange through a single public-key operation. When public-key authentication is used to authenticate the server, the first connection is very important. During the first connection the client will display a message similar to the following:
Host key for the host "alpha" not found from database. The fingerprint of the host public key is: "xicec-kahog-kyvih-fufib-nyzed-logum-pycuz-besug-galoh-gupah-pyxax" You can get a public key's fingerprint by running % ssh-keygen-g3 -F publickey.pub on the key file. Please select how you want to proceed. cancel) Cancel the connection. once) Proceed with the connection but do not save the key. save) Proceed with the connection and save the key for future use.
Never save a host public key without verifying its authenticity!
To help you to verify the identity of the server host, the message displays a fingerprint of the host's public key. The fingerprint is represented using the SSH Babble format, and it consists of a pronounceable series of five lowercase letters separated by dashes.
Verify the validity of the fingerprint, for example by contacting the administrator of the remote host computer (preferably by telephone) and asking the administrator to verify that the key fingerprint is correct. If the fingerprint is not verified, it is possible that the server you are connecting to is not the intended one (this is known as a man-in-the-middle attack).
After verifying the fingerprint, it is safe to continue connecting. Relevant information about the server public key will then be stored on the client-side machine. With SSH Tectia client on z/OS, it is stored in the user's
$HOME/.ssh2/hostkeys USS directory.