I Can't access server with ssh key after disabling root login and password logins

May 5, 2019 266 views
DigitalOcean Linux Commands

When i looked into the auth.log file, i could see that somebody hacked into my server and was trying to access various ports of different ips.
I tried to disable the root login and password logins. However even with the private key that i have now it does not work.

login as: root
Authenticating with public key "rsa-key-20190413"
Passphrase for key "rsa-key-20190413":
Server refused public-key signature despite accepting key!

This is what it says. Do i have to delete my droplet now and create a new one where i don’t keep the passphrase for the ssh key or is there a way to get in.

1 Answer


Generally speaking if someone was able to get root access to your server, it is better to just spinup a new one and re deploy your applications there as you would never know what malicious files and backdoors have been added.

If you still need access to the old server you can follow the steps here on how to recover your access to your droplet:


Hope that this helps!

Have another answer? Share your knowledge.