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There exists smart phone apps that allow you to SSH to a machine.

Aside from the fact that this may be a really bad idea (security-wise), are there any programs/services that allow you to SSH to a machine from a phone using SMS? Would that even be possible?

I'm envisioning something that would allow you to execute a command by sending a SMS message, and receive the reply via SMS message after a few seconds. Not sure how persistence would work under such a circumstance... (pardon the purely speculative question)

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closed as not constructive by Not Kyle stop stalking me, random Mar 27 '12 at 2:44

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Persistence would work similar to the "web SSH" programs - the gateway server keeps sessions open, with a certain timeout, and selects the right session based on some identifier (phone number or HTTP cookie). – grawity Mar 23 '12 at 16:25
I would look for possibly some kind of "Remote control via email" system, if you can get the SMS message forwarded to the email address it should work. – Scott Chamberlain Mar 23 '12 at 17:04
Sounds only marginally better than SSH over RFC1149 – RedGrittyBrick Mar 23 '12 at 17:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

SMS is not encrypted. So you need an encrypting layer on top of it. Thus, you will need an application on your phone to encrypt the message (and possibly pack your command into multiple SMS messages if it won't fit into the limit of a single message), and another application on the other end to decrypt it. The application should also address the fact that sometimes SMS messages do not get through and therefore backend acknowledgement messages would need to be sent.

Then you need to solve the issue of receiving the SMS message on the computer end. I do believe applications exist for Android to forward incoming SMS messages to somewhere else such as your PC, if not, they are possible to create. GSM modems would be your best bet for directly receiving SMS messages from a device without intermediary software.

I have not tried this so I don't know what software is out there to accomplish it. It is possible though.

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Android is not necessary; almost any mobile phone that has a "modem" mode (over cable, IrDA or Bluetooth) will allow accessing SMS messages using Hayes AT commands. – grawity Mar 23 '12 at 16:23
Figures @grawity would mention the old school AT commands. – surfasb Mar 24 '12 at 1:22
Yea, I figured it wouldn't really work... but was curious. Thanks for the detailed answer. I guess the answer for my personal scenario (ssh on the go) may be to get a smartphone with an app that can do that ;) Thanks! – Jeff Bridgman Mar 24 '12 at 14:29
@surfasb: In my times, all phones had a standard protocol for accessing this stuff. :/ – grawity Mar 24 '12 at 19:33
@Jeff: try midpssh if you need J2ME. – grawity Mar 24 '12 at 19:34

Of course it's possible, but it's such a bad idea in terms of security and logistics that I highly doubt such a thing exists.

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How is it possible? Why is it a bad idea? – Tom Wijsman Mar 24 '12 at 1:23

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