Server Administration & Management

How to detect domain being Attacked or Attacking Out in cPanel

What we can do to find out which domain being attacked or attacking out from/to the server. Its no matter how this could happen, we need to stop that from happenning and turn our server stable. Its better to do this process in real-time within the  time frame of server being attacked or the server  others to make sure we can gather enough information, prove and logs. Its also recommended to document  your process of troubleshooting for your reference. Believe me you will need it in future.

As for me, I will do basic checking as below:

1. Check overall server load summary using top command:

# top -c

2. Using the same command, we can monitor which process has taken high resource usage by sorting memory (Shift+M) or sorting CPU usage (Shift+P)

3. Check the network and analyse which connection flooding your server. Following command might be useful:

3.1 Check and sort number of network statistics connected to the server:

# netstat -anp |grep ‘tcp|udp’ | awk ‘{print $5}’ | cut -d: -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

3.2 If you have APFinstalled and using kernel older than 2.6.20, you can check the connection tracking table:

# cat /proc/net/ip_conntrack | cut -d ‘ ‘ -f 10 | cut -d ‘=’ -f 2 | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr | head -n 10

3.3 Do tcpdump to analyse packet that transmitted from/to your server. Following command might help to analyse any connection to eth0interface port 53 (DNS):

# tcpdump -vvxXlnni eth0 port 53 | grep A? | awk -F? ‘{print $2}’

4. Analyse Apache status page at WHM –> Server Status –> Apache Status. To do this via command line, you can run following command:

# service httpd fullstatus

5. Analyse Daily process logs at WHM –> Server Status –> Daily Process Logs. Find any top 5 users which consume most CPU percentage, memory and SQL process

After that, we should see some suspected account/process/user which occupied much resources either on CPU, memory or network connections.
Up until this part, we should shorlist any suspected account.

Then from the suspected account, we should do any step advised as below:

6. Scan the public_html directory of suspected user with anti virus. We can use clamav, but make sure the virus definition is updated before we do this:

6.1 Update clamavvirus definition:

# freshclam

6.2 Scan the public_html directory of the suspected user recursively with scan result logged to scanlog.txt:

# cd /home/user/public_html

# clamscan -i -r -l scanlog.txt &

6.3 Analyse any suspected files found by clamav and quarantine them. Make sure the file cannot be executed by chmod it to 600

7. Find any PHP files which contain suspicious characteristic like base64 encoded and store it into text file called scan_base64.txt.
Following command might help:

# cd /home/user/public_html

# grep -lir “eval(base64” *.php >  scan_base64.txt

8. Scan the Apacheaccess log from raw log for any suspicious activities. Following command might help to find any scripting
activities happened in all domains via Apache:

# find /usr/local/apache/domlogs -exec egrep -iH ‘(wget|curl|lynx|gcc|perl|sh|cd|mkdir|touch)%20’ {} ;

9. Analysing AWstats and bandwidth usage also get more clues. Go to cPanel > suspected domain > Logs > Awstats.
In the AWstats page, check the Hosts, Pages-URL or any related section. Example as below:

There are various way to help you in executing this task. As for me, above said steps should be enough to detect any domain/account
which attacking out or being attacked. Different administrator might using different approach in order to produce same result.

March 5, 2012 Posted by | cPanel, Security | , , | Leave a comment