Monday, January 10, 2011

Enable Secure FTP in Windows XP Professional

Make use of FTP server that comes with Windows XP Professional.

We need to be aware of this:

FTP server is good to do file transfer and copying, but the drawback is the communication traffic is sent without encryption, so the FTP login username and password will be seen if somebody sniffs the communication traffic. The better option is to use secure FTP with encryption feature.

1) Go to Start--> and click Control Panel. Control Panel Window will appear--> and then double click Add or Remove Programs.

2) Add or Remove Programs window will appear--> then click Add/Remove Windows Components.

3) In the Windows Components Wizard window, scroll down and select Internet Information Services (IIS), after that click Details button.

4) Internet Information Services window will appear. In order to run FTP server, you need to--> check the box for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Service, Common Files and Internet Information Services Snap-In options. Click--> OK at last and you will be back to previous Windows Components Wizard window, click--> Next to continue and also you may be prompted to insert Windows XP installation CD.

Configuring FTP Server

5) Once you have installed the FTP server, you need to properly configure it to minimize security risk.

Go to your Control Panel--> Administrative Tools--> open Internet Information Services. Expand the HOME folder and then right click Default FTP Sites, click--> Stop to stop this service until you have configured it properly. Right click again and click on Properties.

6) Go to FTP Site tab--> here you can configure the FTP description, IP address and TCP port if you like, it is optional. However here I limit to 2 concurrent connections and connection timeout is 600 seconds. You can just decide based on your scenario--> Click Apply after that.

7) Proceed to--> click the Security Accounts tab--> then un-check Allow Anonymous Connections option, so that only the users on this computer can FTP to this computer by providing username and password. It would disable anonymous access and better secure your FTP server--> Click Apply.

8) If you click on Home Directory tab--> you will find out that the FTP home directory is C:inetpub tproot (of course you can change it), this is the place you can put the files that you let ftp users to download. Don’t tick on Write option unless you really want to give the write access to ftp users--> Click Apply.

9) You can also key in your FTP server’s Banner. Welcome and Exit messages if you click on Messages tab.

10) After you have successful configured the FTP server--> don’t forget to start the FTP service. And now it’s ready to be connected by other FTP users.

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