FreeBSD: Block Brute-force Attacks Using Sshguard and IPFW Firewall

There is an old saying that the only safe computer is one that’s disconnected from the network, turned off, and locked in an underground bunker—and even then you can’t be sure!

Since most of us can’t afford to keep our servers in an underground bunker, the least little thing that could have been done in order to keep their threat exposure at rock-bottom is protecting them by running a combination of a firewall and an intrusion prevention system or IPS (a.k.a intrusion detection and prevention systems or IDPS). Surely, that alone proved insufficient and other security measures and best practices should also be considered.

This blog post covers setting up a basic secure and stateful IPFW firewall on FreeBSD along with Sshguard by iXsystems Inc as intrusion prevention system.

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Write Your Own Cross-Platform Cryptographic Library

Previously I’ve described the process of building Crypto++ on both FreeBSD and Windows using the GCC, MinGW and VC++ compilers.

Now, we want to develop our own cross-platform cryptographic wrapper library around Crypto++. I’ve already uploaded the full source code to GitHub. You can find the link to the code on GitHub at the end of this article.

Before you proceed, you have to build the Crypto++ library as I mentioned earlier here.

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How to Build C++ Cryptographic Library, Crypto++

Crypto++ is an awesome free and open source C++ class library of cryptographic algorithms and schemes which fully supports 32-bit and 64-bit architectures for many major operating systems, including FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, Windows, Mac OS X and iOS. Currently, Crypto++ officially supports the following compilers:

  • MSVC 6.0 - 2010
  • GCC 3.3 - 4.5
  • C++Builder 2010
  • Intel C++ Compiler 9 - 11.1
  • Sun Studio 12u1, Express 11/08, Express 06/10

The latest version at the time of this writing is 5.6.1.

In spite of the power that Crypto++ offers, building and using it can be a little bit tricky. In the following we will describe the process of building Crypto++ on both FreeBSD and Windows using the GCC, MinGW and VC++ compilers.

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