hex snippets

Ban invalid HTTP requests with fail2ban

Tagged fail2ban, hex, nginx, https, ssl  Languages bash

The goal is to use fail2ban to block invalid HTTP requests sent to nginx from Iran:

" - - [04/Jan/2021:02:46:12 +0000] "\x10\xD2\xE9\xA68\x8A\x98\xB3\x00\xB9mO\xD7\xC9\xAA]"

The request is a HEX encoded string instead of the normal “GET /“.

First, configure the jail:

sudo cp /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

Add the following at the end of the file:

enabled  = true
port     = http,https
filter   = nginx-idiots
logpath  = /var/log/nginx/access.log
# NOTE: Docker will override fail2ban's rules, so good luck with iptables:
# logpath = /var/lib/docker/containers/*/*.log
bantime  = 86400
findtime = 86400
maxretry = 2

Add a filter to block the idiots:

sudo vim /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/nginx-idiots.conf
failregex = ^.* <HOST> .*".*\\x.*".*$
ignoreregex =

Test the regex:

sudo fail2ban-regex -v --print-all-missed /var/log/nginx/access.log /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/nginx-idiots.conf

Restart fail2ban.

View banned IPs with:

sudo fail2ban-client status nginx-idiots

Note that this could also be a real idiot that is sending SSL traffic to the non-SSL port, or someone who has configured SSL traffic to be sent to the non-SSL port.