Second Hard Drive Means Life or Death Published: Jan 15, 2006
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This guide will show you how to install and configure BFD to protect your system from brute force login hack attempts providing brute force prevention.

What is BFD (Brute Force Detection)?
BFD is a modular shell script for parsing applicable logs and checking for authentication failures. There is not much complexity or detail to BFD yet and likewise it is very straight-forward in its installation, configuration and usage. The reason behind BFD is very simple; the fact there is little to no authentication and brute force auditing programs in the linux community that work in conjunction with a firewall or real-time facility to place bans. BFD is available at: http://www.rfxnetworks.com/bfd.php

This guide will show you how to install and configure BFD to protect your system from brute force hack attempts.

Requirements:
- You MUST have APF Firewall Installed before installing BFD - it works with APF and requires some APF files to operate.
- Root SSH access to your server

Updated: April 13, 2005

Lets begin!
Login to your server through SSH and su to the root user.

1. cd /root/downloads or another temporary folder where you store your files.

2. wget http://www.rfxnetworks.com/downloads/bfd-current.tar.gz

3. tar -xvzf bfd-current.tar.gz

4. cd bfd-0.7

5. Run the install file: ./install.sh
You will receive a message saying it has been installed

.: BFD installed
Install path:    /usr/local/bfd
Config path:     /usr/local/bfd/conf.bfd
Executable path: /usr/local/sbin/bfd

6. Lets edit the configuration file: pico /usr/local/bfd/conf.bfd

7. Enable brute force hack attempt alerts:
Find: ALERT_USR="0"   CHANGE TO: ALERT_USR="1"   

Find: EMAIL_USR="root" CHANGE TO: EMAIL_USR="your@yourdomain.com"

Save the changes: Ctrl+X then Y

8. Prevent locking yourself out!
pico -w /usr/local/bfd/ignore.hosts and add your own trusted IPs
Eg: 192.168.1.1

Save the changes: Ctrl+X then Y

BFD uses APF' cli insert feature
and as such will override any allow_hosts.rules entries users have in-place.
So be sure to add your trusted ip addresses to the ignore file to prevent
locking yourself out.

9. Run the program!
/usr/local/sbin/bfd -s

10. Customize your applicatoins brute force configuration
Check out the rules directory in your /usr/local/bfd

Here you'll find all kinds of pre-made rules for popular services such as Apache, and ProFTPD w00t!
If you have any clue about shell scripting you can customize them or create new rules for enhanced brute force detection and prevent attacks.

Thanks to RFX Networks for creating another great script for the community, Brute Force Detection is excellent!

Cheers
Steve

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Comments (2)

  • Gravatar - Deano
    Deano 16:10, January 29, 2006
    Thx for the article, I never really thought about this until I read your article.<br />
    <br />
    Currently Im looking for an alternative dedicated server host called 123-reg.<br />
    <br />
    Im having around 10gb bandwidth aday, so bandwidth and uptime is a major issue I have.<br />
    <br />
  • Gravatar - runningyour.com
    runningyour.com 08:16, August 7, 2006
    Great article! Having backups is crucial! However, second harddrive itself won't save you - make sure you have a copy of your backups at home or at work or somewhere else. Why? Because your serving hosting company can wipe them accidentally. It happened to me - they were performing OS reload on the first harddrive and destroyed my backups on my second harddrive even though I repeatedly asked them not to do it! True story... I'm glad I had backups at home!<br />
    <br />
    Michael

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