fail2ban Logs

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by AdrianSmithUK, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. AdrianSmithUK

    AdrianSmithUK New Member


    I have installed fail2ban but I'm having trouble finding the logs that relate to a failed:

    1. htaccess login
    2. proftp login

    I read the apache httpd.conf file and found that the server logs were installed in:


    I read the error_log file and found that these errors relate to server level errors.

    For example hackers trying to find directories such as

    At the bottom of the apache httpd.conf file is the directive that points to the ISPConfig includes file:


    Examining this file points to error logs in:


    These logs contain errors such as failed favicon download attempts etc.

    If I pointed fail2ban at any of the error logs I would ban everybody who came to one of my sites.

    Is there a set of logs that record every failed password attempt - proftp, apache, ssh ... etc or am I going to have to set them up myself.

    The only thing I have found that is close (I am on centos5.2 64bit) is:


    But this only records SSH password failures.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    Adrian Smith
  2. lano

    lano New Member

  3. AdrianSmithUK

    AdrianSmithUK New Member

    Hi Iano

    Thanks for the reply.

    I wish it was that simple. I have setup fail2ban and it's running nicely. However, my logs are different to the tutorial and I can't fine the logs that record a failed apache login or a failed proftp login on a per website basis.

    Does anybody know where ISPConfig records failed logins?

    Kind Regards,

    Adrian Smith
  4. falko

    falko Super Moderator

    The error logs are located in /var/www/web1/log, /var/www/web2/log, etc.
  5. AdrianSmithUK

    AdrianSmithUK New Member

    Thanks but I think you missed the line above.

    I have checked:


    They do not detect failed htaccess/ftp login attempts.

    Should they?

    Kind Regards

  6. falko

    falko Super Moderator

    Oh, sorry, I must have overread that.

    Did you check the overall Apache error log and the auth log in /var/log?
  7. AdrianSmithUK

    AdrianSmithUK New Member


    Hi Falco

    Many thanks for the help - and sorry - you were right:

    I found the solution and I'll document it here for other members with the same problem.

    To find where htaccess errors are being recorded:

    1. I tried to login to a htaccess protected directory as BillGates

    2. After this I searched the whole computer for the string BillGates.

    Here is a script that will find the string and pipe it into a text file called "mySearch.txt". It runs as a background job hence the (&) symbol.

    # find / -type f | xargs -n 64 grep BillGates /dev/null >> /home/www/web8/web/mySearch.txt &
    3. To check if it has finished or not - type

    # jobs
    4. I found - as Falco had said that the htaccess errors were being recorded in:

    5. Here is a sample from the mySearch.txt log

    /home/www/web8/log/error.log:[Wed Apr 01 14:45:56 2009] [error] [client] user BillGates not found: /admin
    /home/www/web8/log/error.log:[Wed Apr 01 14:45:59 2009] [error] [client] user BillGates not found: /admin
    /home/www/web8/log/error.log:[Wed Apr 01 14:46:09 2009] [error] [client] user BillGates not found: /admin
    /home/www/web8/log/error.log:[Wed Apr 01 14:46:12 2009] [error] [client] user BillGates not found: /admin

    To find where proftp errors are being recorded:

    1. I tried to login to an ftp account as RamboBig

    2. Again I searched the whole computer for the string RamboBig and piped it into a text file called mySearch1.txt

    find / -type f | xargs -n 64 grep RamboBig /dev/null >> /home/www/web8/web/mySearch1.txt &
    3. Again, this is a background job so type the following to see it has finished or not.

    # jobs
    4. I found the proftp logs were filed in:


    5. Here is a sample from the mySearch1.txt log

    /var/log/messages:Apr 1 15:56:15 s13398765 proftpd[20565]: ([]) - no such user 'RamboBig'
    /var/log/messages:Apr 1 15:58:49 s13398765 proftpd[20860]: ([]) - no such user 'RamboBig'
    /var/log/secure:Apr 1 15:56:15 s13398765 proftpd[20565]: ([]) - USER RamboBig: no such user found from [] to
    /var/log/secure:Apr 1 15:58:49 s13398765 proftpd[20860]: ([]) - USER RamboBig: no such user found from [] to

    I hope this helps anybody who is treading the same path as me.

    Kind Regards,

    Adrian Smith
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  8. AdrianSmithUK

    AdrianSmithUK New Member

    With regard to fail2ban filters.

    In the example above ISPConfig tags htaccess login failures as:


    I've just looked in my web8/log It also tags harmless PHP faults as:


    In the tutorial I notice that the tag is:


    Is there a way of changing the [error] tag to show [apache-auth] in ISPConfig.

    Kind Regards,

  9. falko

    falko Super Moderator

    This is done by Apache, not ISPConfig. I don't think this can be easily changed. I don't know if this can be done with a simple configuration directive, or if you have to rebuild Apache or even modify the Apache sources before you rebuild.
  10. AdrianSmithUK

    AdrianSmithUK New Member

    Incase you have found this post while searching for a solution to a problem with fail2ban - here is my final post and a possible solution.

    Falco was correct - After a weeks worth of research I have concluded that it is difficult to customize the apache error log. You can easily customise the apache access log but unfortunatly not the error log.

    The good news is that I was barking up the wrong tree.

    fail2ban is a log parser and in the:

    folder there are a number of regular expressions that you can modify to suit your logfile.

    The answer to my problem was in the file.

    Good luck and I hope this helps.

    Kind Regards,

    Adrian Smith

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