Blocking a DNS DDOS using the fail2ban package

how you can reject these DDOS attempts via the fail2ban package.

These events look something like this:

System Events
Jan 21 06:02:13 www named[32410]: client query (cache)
+'./NS/IN' denied

Tired of your DNS server being used as someone’s DOS amplifier weapon? Try Debian’s fail2ban package. The homepage for fail2ban is

First install the Debian fail2ban package. By default it only watches and bans ssh. That is probably a good idea, further discussion of which is somewhat beyond the scope of this article.

apt-get install fail2ban

Then inspect the contents of /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf
As per the notes at the end of that file, you’ll need to modify your bind logging so fail2ban can understand it.

First make the directory for the bind log file.

mkdir /var/log/named
chmod a+w /var/log/named

I’m sure a reader will complain about making a log file a+w, but it is the simplest way to make this demo work. In your spare time, once everything works, find a better way.

Next, edit /etc/bind/named.conf.local and add the following lines

logging {
    channel security_file {
        file "/var/log/named/security.log" versions 3 size 30m;
        severity dynamic;
        print-time yes;
    category security {

Restart Bind using /etc/init.d/bind9 restart
Test bind to make sure it’s still working and also verify the log file /var/log/named/security.log is filling up with lines like this:

21-Jan-2009 07:19:54.835 client query (cache) './NS/IN' denied

OK, now to set up fail2ban. Edit the /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf file and change from:


enabled  = false



enabled  = true

and from:


enabled  = false



enabled  = true

Then restart fail2ban in the usual manner,

/etc/init.d/fail2ban restart

Now verify that fail2ban is doing something by checking out the log file located at /var/log/fail2ban.log it should contain something like

2009-01-21 07:34:32,800 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [named-refused-udp] Ban
2009-01-21 07:34:32,902 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [named-refused-tcp] Ban

Verify that fail2ban is modifying the iptables rules

iptables -L

Now verify that fail2ban’s iptables rules are actually stopping access

tail -f /var/log/named/security.log

DNS error messages should be several minutes apart rather than multiple per second.

Now for some fine tuning.

First we have to modify logcheck to look at the new location of named error messages. Edit /etc/logcheck/logcheck.logfiles and add this to the end of the file:


Next modify logcheck to report what fail2ban is doing. edit the same file, /etc/logcheck/logcheck.logfiles and add this line to the end of the file:


Now verify you are getting both named and fail2ban messages in your hourly logcheck emails.

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