I'm using the new ssh client for windows 10 and when trying to connect with a private key I'm getting this error:

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@         WARNING: UNPROTECTED PRIVATE KEY FILE!          @
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Permissions for 'MyPair.pem' are too open. It is required that your
private key files are NOT accessible by others. This private key will
be ignored. Load key "MyPair.pem": bad permissions ec2-user@192.0.2.0:
Permission denied (publickey).

I know that if I was on Linux I would need to run chmod 600 to set the file permissions, but what do you use on Windows 10?

  • icacls.exe or powershell Set-Acl or read this or this – LotPings Mar 30 at 20:22
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Keys must only be accessible to the user they're intended for and no other account, service, or group.

  • GUI:
    • [File] Properties - Security - Advanced
      1. Set Owner to the key's user
      2. Remove all users, groups, and services, except for the key's user, under Permission Entries
      3. Set key's user to Full Control


  • CLI:

    :: Set Variable ::
    set key="C:\Path\to\key"
    
    :: Remove Inheritance ::
    cmd /c icacls %key% /c /t /inheritance:d
    
    :: Set Ownership to Owner ::
    cmd /c icacls %key% /c /t /grant %username%:F
    
    :: Remove All Users, except for Owner ::
    cmd /c icacls %key%  /c /t /remove Administrator BUILTIN\Administrators BUILTIN Everyone System Users
    
    :: Verify ::
    cmd /c icacls %key%
    

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