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OpenSSH stands for Open Secure Shell, a set of computer programs providing encrypted communication sessions over a computer network.

OpenSSH was created by the OpenBSD team as an open alternative to SSH, which is now proprietary software. Its developers claim that OpenSSH is more secure than the original, partly due to the reputation of the OpenBSD developers in emphasising security. Its security is further attributed to the fact that its source code is released under an Open Source license (to which the "Open" in the name refers). Although source code is available for the original SSH, various restrictions are imposed on its use and distribution, making OpenSSH a more attractive project for many software developers.

Some people say that the claims of security based solely on openess should be taken with a grain of salt. One supporting fact for this, is that during the last year, more exploitable conditions have been found in OpenSSH than in the commercial variant.

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