Brute Force Protection is a Malwarebytes Nebula policy feature that detects and blocks brute-force attacks on your Windows™ endpoints. When login attempts are made through Windows protocols, this feature counts unsuccessful login attempts within a specified period of time and temporarily blocks the incoming IP address by creating a Windows Firewall block rule.
Watch the video below to see the configuration of and a demonstration of Brute Force Protection.
In order to enable Brute Force Protection, your endpoints must be running:
- Workstations: minimum version Windows 7
- Servers: minimum version Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Firewall
- Workstations and servers:
- RDP: Monitors Windows workstations and servers RDP protocol.
- Servers only:
- FTP: Monitors FTP server application included with Windows servers.
- IMAP: Monitors IMAP connections on Microsoft Exchange servers.
- Microsoft SQL: Monitors connections on Microsoft SQL servers and SQL Server Express.
- POP3:Monitors POP3 connections on Microsoft Exchange servers.
- SMTP: Monitors SMTP connections on Microsoft Exchange servers.
- SSH: Monitors SSH connections on Windows Servers.
Configure Brute Force Protection
CAUTION - Enabling this feature may enable the Windows Firewall, depending on how attacks are handled in the Trigger rule.
Below are the options for selecting a trigger rule:
- Block mode: Windows Firewall is automatically enabled; attacks are blocked for the defined time period, and reported.
- Monitor and detect mode: Windows Firewall is not enabled; attacks are only reported.
- Network gateway devices are not blocked if they are configured as the single source of all inbound network traffic.
To configure brute force protection:
- On the left navigation menu, go to Configure > Policies.
- Select a policy. Then select the Brute force protection tab.
- Select the following protocols for your workstations or servers:
- Workstation and server protocols: Check mark the RDP protocol.
- Server-only protocols: Check mark the FTP, IMAP, MSSQL, POP3, SMTP, or SSH protocols.
- Change Port fields based on your endpoint environment and protocol requirements.
- Workstation and server protocols: You may specify a custom port to monitor. Leave this blank to auto detect the port used on the endpoint based on the operating system.
- Server-only protocols: These are defaulted to the Windows recommended port settings. Manually configure your port protocols if your server protocol settings are different from the Windows default ports.
- Create a Trigger rule based on the number of failed remote login attempts within a certain minute range across all enabled protocols. Choose to either block the IP address, or monitor and detect the event when the trigger threshold is reached.
- Optionally, check mark the Prevent private network connections from being blocked option. When enabled, endpoints within private network address ranges will not trigger Brute Force Protection due to failed login attempts. This excludes the following network ranges:
- 10.0.0.0/8 (10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255)
- 172.16.0.0/12 (172.16.0.0-172.31.255.255)
- 192.168.0.0/16 (192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255)
- 127.0.0.0/8 (127.0.0.0-127.255.255.255)
Note: Add more specific exclusions on the Configure > Exclusions page. For more information, see Overview of exclusions in Nebula.
- Click Save at the top-right of your policy.
When your Brute Force Protection rule is triggered, the event is logged on your Detections page as an intrusion based on the protocol triggered. If your rule is set to block, a Windows Firewall rule is created on the endpoint and the event displays on the Brute Force Protection page. For more information, see Brute Force Protection in Nebula.
A dashboard widget is available to view a global map of all Brute Force detections for the past 7 days and includes targeted endpoint information. For more information, see Dashboard page in Nebula.
Return to the Malwarebytes Nebula Administrator Guide.