How do I validate the ECDSA key fingerprint of my newly-created Droplet?

October 25, 2017 131 views
Security Ubuntu 16.04

The first time I connect to a newly-created Droplet, I expect to be able to validate that the ECDSA key fingerprint is valid before adding it to my known_hosts file. I have not been able to find this information on the forum, how-to's, or in the web console.

I've read through How To Connect To Your Droplet with SSH, and the DO moderator surprisingly recommends disregarding the possibility of a man-in-the-middle attack and blindly accepting the key. The actual statement is as follows: "The first time you attempt to connect to your server, you will likely see a warning that looks like this... The authenticity of host '123.123.123.123 (123.123.123.123)' can't be established... Go ahead and type yes to continue to connect. Here, your computer is telling you that the remote server is not recognized. Since this is your first time connecting, this is completely expected." I agree that it's expected. However, I don't agree that that means it's safe to assume that the connection is not compromised.

Back to my question then: Is there any way to validate the host's fingerprint before connecting? Ideally it would be part of the response body when a new droplet is created or have its own API call.

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