After successfully setting up SSH Key Authentication and disabling password access to my server, I can still log in as either ‘newuser’ or root using DigitalOcean’s console access. Is this normal? It seems very risky.
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The console of your droplet is the virtual server equivalent of being directly attached to the server’s physical keyboard and monitor ports - it is not an SSH interface.
This tutorial describes its use:
The web console is intended to access your droplet in a case of emergency in order to sort out the issue. Most users manage their DigitalOcean Droplets using SSH, PuTTY, or a control panel they’ve installed themselves. However, changes to your network or service configuration files could leave you unable to log in remotely using these methods.
The Droplet console provides out-of-band access and is available regardless of your network settings. It emulates the access you would have if you were sitting down with a keyboard and monitor attached to the actual server. You can use this feature to log in and revert bad settings to regain normal access.
I will highly recommend to use a ssh-client in order to access and manage your droplet.
You can also check our docs on How to Connect to Droplets with SSH:
There are two options at the bottom of the doc: Connect with OpenSSH and Connect with PuTTY
Hope that this helps! Regards, Alex
I know this is over a year old, but I wanted to leave this here if you or some other future Googler finds it useful.
Someone recently-ish gained access to my saved passwords in Google and was thus able to access my DigitalOcean account, reset my root password, and login via the console.
As a result I decided to implement this: https://github.com/shitchell/response-test
It detects if the login session is coming from a physical TTY (which the online console appears to be), and if so, presents a customizable challenge phrase/response (glorified second password). If they get it wrong, they’re dropped into a pseudo shell that mimics /bin/sh but with broken commands so that it appears not that they’ve been locked out, but that the system is just horribly broken.