Cool One Liners #1

Welcome to the first edition of Cool One Liners. This will be a collection of one line commands you can use via BASH or another shell/scripting language to do something useful. Creativity will definitely be a big merit. Todays one liner is:

cat /var/log/secure | grep Failed | grep sshd | grep root | awk ‘{print $11}’ | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

What does it do? This takes the secure log, sorts out failed login attempts and then makes it so that the IPs are sorted based on the number attempts. Handy to try and track down brute force attempts on an box running SSH. As an example, I generated a few failed logins.

[root@DNS01 log]: cat /var/log/secure | grep Fail

May  9 03:31:58 DNS01 sshd[10706]: Failed password for root from 127.0.0.1 port 34900 ssh2
May  9 03:32:00 DNS01 sshd[10706]: Failed password for root from 127.0.0.1 port 34900 ssh2
May  9 03:32:04 DNS01 sshd[10706]: Failed password for root from 127.0.0.1 port 34900 ssh2

After this I ran the command given. Notice how the IPs have the number to the left of them. If this were a list the number with the most logins is going to be at the bottom.

[root@DNS01 log]: cat /var/log/secure | grep Failed | grep sshd | grep root | awk '{print $11}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

3 127.0.0.1

This command also serves an additional interesting use. Lets say someone is probing your machine, and they happen to be attempting to brute force some nonstandard account names in the hope of coming up with something on the system that is there and has a weak password. This script will also list any invalid users that attempt to log in as well. An example would be if I attempted to log in with the user root1. The output would look like:

[root@DNS01 log]: cat /var/log/secure | grep Failed | grep sshd | grep root | awk '{print $11}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

3 127.0.0.1
3 root1

In another blog we will likely take this command, convert it into a shell script, and make it so it will run as a cron job and email us periodic digests.

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