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A basic security question (connection between gateway and workstation)

Hi, I don’t know much about Linux and networking, so I hope you don’t mind my beginner question.

Is it possible for the workstation to just contact the gateway and log in to it? Afaik ssh is not installed or enabled by default and also the gateway is basically just redirecting the incoming traffic from the virtual network through tor. So the workstation should not be able to do anything to the gateway, right?

I am asking this because I recently set up a new pair of gateway and workstation and I downloaded a potentially dangerous file and I executed it on the workstation. Afterwards I realised that I forgot to change the standard password on the gateway. I don’t think that my identity has been leaked or that the gateway has actually been compromised. But I have been wondering if this was unsafe.

correct

correct

I also think the gateway password doesn’t help much since. It would require an exploit to get access to the gateway.

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