Help! SSH attack on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS – use sshdfilter with ufw

If you’ve got a *Nix machine on the public Internet, you will experience this at one time or another. If you run sshd on its’ known port 22, some script kiddie out there will attack it. With that, you’ll see that you’ll have a bunch of connections that probably and hopefully will never succeed. I saw these messages in my /var/log/auth.log:

Nov 15 06:44:26 chunli sshd[20634]: Failed password for root from 43.229.53.13 port 41751 ssh2
Nov 15 06:44:26 chunli sshd[20636]: Failed password for root from 43.229.53.13 port 41921 ssh2
Nov 15 06:44:26 chunli sshd[20638]: Failed password for root from 43.229.53.13 port 42948 ssh2
Nov 15 06:44:26 chunli sshd[20546]: message repeated 2 times: [ Failed password for root from 43.229.53.13 port 27586 ssh2]

I’ve experienced this before and to alleviate this problem, I used sshdfilter in the past. I know that there are others out there like sshblack that can do blacklisting of attackers or one of the easiest ways to alleviate this problem is just to run ‘sudo ufw limit ssh’. This is a way to block them from coming back for a while.

To get started, first stop SSH:

sudo initctl stop ssh

Then move /etc/init/ssh.conf out. We’ll start SSH with sshdfilter instead.

You’ll get a message in the auth.log here:
auth.log:Nov 16 19:54:36 chunli sshd[1150]: Missing privilege separation directory: /var/run/sshd

Because of this, we’ll just add a line in the /etc/init.d/sshdfilter file like this:

start() {
 echo -n $"Starting sshdfilter: "
 export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/sbin
 mkdir /var/run/sshd
 sshdfilter
 RETVAL=$?
 return $RETVAL

In /etc/sshdfilterrc, I changed the chain from:

#chain=’SSHD’ to

chain='ufw-reject-input'

Under the “Add a block rule” section, I changed some iptables commands to ufw commands. You can see the comments ones here:

#firewalladd='iptables -A $chain -p tcp -s $ip --dport 22 -j DROP'
#firewalladd='iptables -A $chain -p tcp -s $ip --dport 22 -j DROP'
firewalladd='ufw insert 1 reject proto tcp from $ip to any port 22'
# Delete a block rule:
firewalldel='ufw delete reject proto tcp from $ip to any port 22'
#firewalldel='iptables -D $chain -p tcp -s $ip --dport 22 -j DROP'

That’s about it! With that, my machine started to grow a big list of IP addresses to block from failed logins.

 

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