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Thread: Whats The Purpose Of Telnet?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Whats The Purpose Of Telnet?

    Ok i know Telnet is used for logging into remote computers but Telnet loggins are insecure cuz
    they are in clear text so what is Telnets purpose?,
    I know i can use the more secure ssh but seeing as Telnet transfers logins in clear text i just wondered why?.

    Is it only designed to be kept to ur local network?.
    Also is telnet only found on windows machines?.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Telnet was written long before ssh was. It is still included mostly for backwards compatibility issues, to my knowledge. It also comes in handt whan no cryptographic algorithm can be agreed upon between two parties or when export restrictions prevent the use of them. It is much simpler in its operation and therefore causes less problems than ssh.

    It is still used to connect to many routers for remote administration, as most do not support ssh at this time. It was designed at a time when security was not so much of a concern as it is today. So it is still usefule for communicating within your local network when employee eavesdropping is not a concern, yes.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    there are still bbs's that use telnet like rootshell and much industrial machinery is administered over analog connections using it, like ac/heating systems. it can still be used for pop and smtp connections but like Striek said it comesfrom a time when a saturday night special was something you got in a ice cream parlor
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Telnet is still massively useful.

    Telnet was originally used by powerful (in their day) Unix, VMS and mainframe computers to facilitate remote logins over the internet.

    This was used mostly by universities to share hardware costs by using centralised computing.

    This was in an age when the internet was a much safer place, long before the invention of the www and business got interested in the internet.

    Anyway, while telnet is no longer considered suitable (by most security people anyway) for its original purpose, telnet is still massively useful.

    Today's small embedded systems, such as those used in routers, hubs, printers, wireless access points etc, are approaching the same level of processing power as those original powerful machines, and often ship with telnet servers.

    These devices often assume that the LAN is a secure environment (much like the early internet was) and hence with no regard to security, leave their telnet servers open in the default configuration.

    This is IMHO, a safe assumption as the admins of these devices (particularly if they're routers) are expected to be network admins who have an understanding of the implications of this, and can either close the telnet servers or put firewall rules in to forbid access to unauthorised users.

    Secure protocols such as SSH or HTTPS require a much larger overhead for these small devices, and the clients are less widely available (in ssh case anyway). Hence telnet is a popular choice for small device management.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    i agree telnet is almost unusable to a secure corporation.
    But, telnet is still used in so many places, shells, wargames, and small home user who want to access their computers from other places. i know that ssh is more secure but i always stray ova to use telnet (just like the rustic feeling lmao). the day telnet ceases to exist will be a sad day!

    p.s. what was the first system to actually use telnet?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Its like the feeling of getting caught having sex...

  7. #7
    Yes, that's my CC number! 576869746568617's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Well, Modderfokker, if you're referring to network when you say system, that was ARPANET, the Internet's Great-Grandfather, way back in October of 1969.

    And if you mean computer system, it was an SDS 940 at Stanford had the first telnet functionality, and the first remote telnet session was over ARPANET between the SDS 940 and a Sigma 7 at UCLA.

    69 was a good year....Hell, 69 is just plain good!

    And FYI, I think the first microcomputer to use telnet was the Altair 8800, back in '75.

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