Introduction to fail2ban

While connecting to your server through SSH is secure, the SSH daemon itself is a service that must be exposed to the internet to function properly. Therefore it become a target for brute force attacks by bots. The good practice is always to filter access by IP, but what to do if you can’t ? Port-knocking and fail2ban will be my personal answer. Let talk about the latter.

What is fail2ban ?

fail2ban is a service that create iptable rules on-the-fly after a number of unsuccessful login attempts. This will allow your server to respond to illegitimate access attempts without intervention from you.

Configure fail2ban

The main setting file is /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf
The most important variables to adjust are maxretry which sets the number of tries a client can attempt and findtime which define the opportunity window and obviously bantime.

To specify which service fail2ban should check add a block like this:

enabled = true
port    = ssh,sftp
filter  = sshd
logpath  = /var/log/auth.log

If you wan to customize the regex pattern, you can look inside the /etc/fail2ban/filter.d directory. Don’t forget to reload the daemon and test your configuration.

Further Reading and sources

[Apache] CORS header

What is CORS ?

CORS or cross-origin resource sharing is a mechanism that allows resources on a web page to be requested from a different domain than the page origin. To do that the CORS mecanism use a specific header: Access-Control-Allow-Origin.

For security reasons, browsers restrict cross-origin HTTP requests initiated from within scripts. For example XMLHttpRequest and Fetch follow the same-origin policy. This header allow you to customize this behavior.

Authorize a domain

Just add to your apache configuration:

Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin ""

Authorize multiple domains

Access-Control-Allow-Origin can take only one value. You could use the value * but that ugly and defeat the whole purpose of filtering request domain origin.

But with a little trickery you can do that:

SetEnvIfNoCase Origin "https?://(domain\.com|staging\.domain\.com)(:\d+)?$" ACAO=$0
Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin %{ACAO}e env=ACAO

This regex use the content of the Origin header and define a matching Access-Control-Allow-Origin value. Here we authorize both the http and https versions of and to load ressources from our domain.

Further Reading and sources