SSH and Secure File Transfer

SSH and Secure File Transfer

FTP and Telnet are insecure ways of accessing remote systems on the network. Hackers can snip the data passed between computers during FTP/Telnet connections. In particular, they can read a user’s password when one logins a remote system.

For data protection, you are recommended to use a secure way for data transfer called SSH (Secure Shell)/SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). SSH/SFTP is designed as a replacement for Telnet and is the standard for secure file transfer and remote logins over the Internet.  All network traffic is encrypted and optionally compressed to support strong authentication measures for secure communications.

You are advised to use SSH/SFTP client program to access the following remote systems of ITS:

Remote ServerPurpose
web.hku.hkpersonal websites (* support SFTP only)

heterogeneous high performance computing (HPC) service (* support SSH only)

file transfer between HPC cluster systems and external computers
htclogin.hku.hkhigh throughput computing (HTC) service
vss.hku.hkstreaming of MP4 video files (* support SFTP only)


If connecting from outside the HKU campus networkstaff and students are required to login HKUVPN. Please refer to the following webpage for the procedures:

If connecting within the HKU campus networkHKUVPN login is not required.



Multi-Factor Authentication

February 2024
February 2024

Mandatory for all staff accounts

May 2024
May 2024

Mandatory for all student accounts