Suddenly I get the "unprotected private key file" warning when trying to ssh. There is a server I connect to every few days and have never had this issue before, suggesting that somehow the permissions on my id_rsa file changed since the last time I used ssh.

I install the AppCenter updates frequently and wonder whether one of these updates could have been responsible? Has anyone else experienced this? Else I may have been hacked somehow...

1 Answer 1


The warning is about the permissions of your private ssh key on your local host (~/.ssh/id_rsa) and you might want to try to reset the permissions to their defaults with

chmod 700 ~/.ssh/
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa
  • Yes, I did that, but my question was why the permissions on id_rsa changed. I am pretty sure id_rsa was at 600 when I last successfully ssh'd and somehow it changed to 644 since then. The directory .ssh/ probably was not at 700 but it is now so thank you for that. Still wondering whether I got compromised or whether a system update caused the permissions change.
    – D. Hancock
    Jan 19, 2017 at 17:21
  • 1
    System updates do not write anything in your home directory normally.
    – lemonslice
    Jan 19, 2017 at 21:06

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