How To Protect SSH with Fail2Ban on Ubuntu 14.04

Introduction

While connecting to your server through SSH can be very secure, the SSH daemon itself is a service that must be exposed to the internet to function properly. This comes with some inherent risk and creates a vector of attack for would-be assailants.

Any service that is exposed to the network is a potential target in this way. If you pay attention to application logs for these services, you will often see repeated, systematic login attempts that represent brute force attacks by users and bots alike.

A service called fail2ban can mitigate this problem by creating rules that can automatically alter your iptables firewall configuration based on a predefined number of unsuccessful login attempts. This will allow your server to respond to illegitimate access attempts without intervention from you.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to install and use fail2ban on an Ubuntu 14.04 server.

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