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Protect SSH from brute force attacks

pam_abl provides auto blacklisting of hosts and users responsible for repeated failed authentication attempts. Generally configured so that blacklisted users still see normal login prompts but are guaranteed to fail to authenticate.

Brute force password discovery attacks involve repeated attempts to authenticate against a service using a dictionary of common passwords. While it is desirable to enforce strong passwords for users this is not always possible and in cases where a weak password has been used brute force attacks can be effective.

The pam_abl module monitors failed authentication attempts and automatically blacklists those hosts (and accounts) that are responsible for large numbers of failed attempts. Once a host is blacklisted it is guaranteed to fail authentication even if the correct credentials are provided.

Blacklisting is triggered when the number of failed authentication attempts in a particular period of time exceeds a predefined limit. Hosts which stop attempting to authenticate will, after a period of time, be un-blacklisted.

Download: Here


$ make install
$ cp conf/pam_abl.conf /etc/security

Edit your PAM configuration to include the module. Here's an example

auth required /lib/security/
auth required /lib/security/ config=/etc/security/pam_abl.conf
auth sufficient /lib/security/ likeauth nullok
auth required /lib/security/


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