SCP remote files back home using reverse SSH (in 1 command)

My recent work has involved copying files from a remote host, only accessible via a hop, back to my local computer. This has been simple in the past as the remote host has been able to connect to the local computer and SCP files directly, on account of the firewall allowing this. Recently, the firewall against the local computer has been reconfigured for security and direct connection is no longer possible. I could pass my files through a 3rd-party that both the remote and local machines can get to, but let’s say I don’t have one.

What you can do is use SSH to tunnel your local SSH port onto the remote machine, with something like:

ssh -R 9999:localhost:22

where 22 is your local SSH port, and 9999 is where you can SCP files onto your local machine to.

This works great, but my files are beyond the hop on the remote machine. So, you can chain SSH commands together like so:

ssh -A -R 9999:localhost:22 'ssh -A -R 9999:localhost:9999 scp -P 9999 /path/to/file.tgz david@localhost:/tmp/'

which maps your SSH port onto the hop and then maps that over to the remote host. Using the ssh -A fowards your authentication so the scp will work automatically (assuming your own SSH public key is in your own .ssh/authorized_keys file). Thus, one command to pull whatever files you need onto your local machine. The command could be extended, if need be, if there were more hops in the middle.

In my specific case I needed to add -o "StrictHostKeyChecking no" into the second SSH command because, for whatever reason, the hop is not allowed to edit the .ssh/known_hosts file. This SSH option disables this check, but I would take great care using it.

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