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Is my server being attacked?

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  • Is my server being attacked?

    You may have seen my other posts about a server slowing down over time. I am starting this new thread because I wonder if it is being attacked. I turned on server logs to see if there are errors causing the slowdown. In the xbasic log, I see a LOT of errors like this:

    WARNING:A query parameter, form variable, or cookie name could not be used as an Xbasic variable and had to be renamed.
    Original name:4242
    New name: _4242_
    Request Method: GET
    Request: /cgi-bin/gotopage.cgi?4242+../../../../../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd
    WARNING:A query parameter, form variable, or cookie name could not be used as an Xbasic variable and had to be renamed.
    Original name:4242
    New name: _4242_
    Request Method: GET
    Request: /cgi-bin/gotopage.cgi?4242+../../../../../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd
    WARNING:A query parameter, form variable, or cookie name could not be used as an Xbasic variable and had to be renamed.
    Original name:4242
    In the server error log, I see this, over and over and over again .

    [Mon Jan 14 02:10:10 2019] [error] (Not Found: C:\a5v12\A5Webroot\favicon.iso) The requested URL /favicon.iso was not found on this server.
    [Mon Jan 14 02:10:43 2019] [error] (Not Found: C:\a5v12\A5Webroot\password) The requested URL /password was not found on this server.
    [Mon Jan 14 02:10:43 2019] [error] (Not Found: C:\a5v12\A5Webroot\robots.txt) The requested URL /robots.txt was not found on this server.
    [Mon Jan 14 02:10:44 2019] [error] (Not Found: C:\a5v12\A5Webroot\CVS\Entries) The requested URL /CVS/Entries was not found on this server.
    [Mon Jan 14 02:10:44 2019] [error] (Not Found: C:\a5v12\A5Webroot\NonExistant892022028\) The requested URL /NonExistant892022028/ was not found on this server.

    That all looks like random attacks to me.


    But the system doesn't record IP addresses - otherwise I would block the addresses I see.

    I am not a security guru. Can someone help me mitigate this?

  • #2
    Re: Is my server being attacked?

    Doing a little more researched, I used the analyze system function to look at the access logs. During a 5 minute period the server was pinged over 1000 times. I'm guessing that is what keeps spiking the cpu. (See pic.)

    Unfortunately, Alpha doesn't seem to be recovering after the attack.

    Again, could use some help here!

    attack.png

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is my server being attacked?

      For security I use CloudFlare. It is basically a reverse proxy so it has its impact. So it may work to you or not.
      Anyway it is not a plug and pray solution. You have to know what you are doing starting from DNS configuration.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is my server being attacked?

        There is a little utility I use call cports by nirsoft. You can see who is connecting to what ports and get your ip there. Then I use IPNetInfo from the same company and look up who is doing the dirty work.
        Win 10 64 Development, Win 7 64 WAS 11-1, 2, Win 10 64 AA-1,2, MySql, dbForge Studio The Best MySQL GUI Tool IMHO. http://www.devart.com/dbforge/mysql/studio/

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        • #5
          Re: Is my server being attacked?

          Turns out, Alpha DOES provide an IP address if you know where to look. It is in the Access logs.

          So you compare the server error log time with the access log and it's pretty clear which IP address is the issue.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is my server being attacked?

            Knowing the "scanner's" IP address is going to be pretty useless. Those scanning for vulnerabilities just keep switching to different anonymous proxies and will have a different IP whenever they want; minutes later if they feel like it.

            These types of scans affect everyone almost everyday. Letting bots directly hit your application server will bring the app server down pretty quickly as, traditionally, user sessions are one of the most "expensive" resources that you can keep handing out and usually are tied up for 20 minutes or so after the scanner's last request. Depending on the scanner's setup, they may even be creating a new session with every single request.

            As Kenneth points out, you need something in front of your app server to handle the requests so that you can forward them to the app server if they are "friendly" and either drop the requests or send them to another HTTP server that doesn't hand out sessions if the requests are unwanted. It is a bit of a pain to set up but it really is the only solution. The solution could be a reverse proxy, "intelligent" load balancer (which I guess it just a reverse proxy), or any other service available that acts as a gateway to your server. Actually your existing firewall and/or app server should only allow the gateway "server's" IP to communicate with it. The app server should not be able to be contacted through the public internet by just anyone. Even if security issues are always a concern, the situation you describe - and again, everyone gets hit with scans like that almost everyday - is "just" a performance/availability issue.

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            • #7
              Re: Is my server being attacked?

              Just an FYI I have discovered an open source solution for a firewall. It is called pfSense https://www.pfsense.org/. They sell complete alliances or you can build your own and download the software, which is what I did. A simple I-3 with an M2 drive and 16Gb of RAM just a couple of hundred dollars. Way more power than will ever be needed.

              With pfSense you can add packages. The one I am using is called pfBlocker. With a few clicks you can block most of the bad actors in the world.

              I had reduced the spam using other methods but a bunch were still getting through. So far after a week I have reduced the spam to just a couple.

              It also has a one-click ad server blocker, Load balancing, plus many more than I will ever use.
              Win 10 64 Development, Win 7 64 WAS 11-1, 2, Win 10 64 AA-1,2, MySql, dbForge Studio The Best MySQL GUI Tool IMHO. http://www.devart.com/dbforge/mysql/studio/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is my server being attacked?

                I do not manage the server, only the Alpha portion of it and the MS SQL database.

                Unfortunately, the company that DOES manage it is still blocking IP addresses. The attacks have slowed down, but they keep finding ways to get through. (one attack every three days instead of one every day.)

                I am trying to convince them to use cloudflare.

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