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Bombarded wtih Login Attempts after Setting Up FTP Server

Posted on 2007-03-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I recently set  up an ftp on my Windows SMB 2003. I have it set up to use a login before you can gain access. This username only has rights to the ftp and nothing else on the server. I've been bombarded with erroneous attempts to login to my server since then. Is this expected or something I should worry about? Is there a better way to configure my FTP? Thanks in advanced.

Event Type:      Failure Audit
Event Source:      Security
Event Category:      Logon/Logoff
Event ID:      537
Date:            3/31/2007
Time:            10:57:20 AM
User:            NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
Computer:      FRYE
Description:
Logon Failure:
       Reason:            An error occurred during logon
       User Name:      
       Domain:            
       Logon Type:      3
       Logon Process:      Kerberos
       Authentication Package:      Kerberos
       Workstation Name:      -
       Status code:      0xC000006D
       Substatus code:      0xC0000133
       Caller User Name:      -
       Caller Domain:      -
       Caller Logon ID:      -
       Caller Process ID:      -
       Transited Services:      -
       Source Network Address:      192.168.0.103
       Source Port:      1282

and...
Event Type:      Failure Audit
Event Source:      Security
Event Category:      Logon/Logoff
Event ID:      529
Date:            3/29/2007
Time:            8:29:00 AM
User:            NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
Computer:      FRYE
Description:
Logon Failure:
       Reason:            Unknown user name or bad password
       User Name:      admin
       Domain:            FRYECOMPANIES
       Logon Type:      8
       Logon Process:      IIS    
       Authentication Package:      MICROSOFT_AUTHENTICATION_PACKAGE_V1_0
       Workstation Name:      FRYE
       Caller User Name:      FRYE$
       Caller Domain:      FRYECOMPANIES
       Caller Logon ID:      (0x0,0x3E7)
       Caller Process ID:      1560
       Transited Services:      -
       Source Network Address:      -
       Source Port:      -


For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


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Question by:fisher123
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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This is absolutely to be expected - there are scripts out there people use to find open FTP ports and then to try to login to them using common user names and passwords.  When successful, they tend to be used as storage places for illegally distributed software, pornography, and other things less then nice people like to download.

If you want to be safe, don't use FTP - or turn the service off when you're done using it.  Otherwise, this is just going to keep happening unless you setup some sort of IPSEC policy between your server and specific clients.

in general, this is one reason I recommend setting up VPNs.  Have users log in to the VPN which puts them on the lan and then use FTP (no ports for FTP would be open and thus you don't have this problem).
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by:fisher123
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Thanks for the help. I doubt they will gain access. The only thing they can do is what you said. They wouldn't be able to access the server in anyway?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Depends on your firewall... once they have a username and password combination, they can do whatever that user could do.  So if that user has admin access to the system, then they can do whatever they want - not necessarily through FTP, but now with that user name and password, they can access the system with remote desktop.  

And I don't know that I'd be that willing to chance that someone sticks child porn on my server - that wouldn't look too good for me or my company.
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Author Comment

by:fisher123
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Well is that inherent with Remote Desktop also? If they tried various logins through that its the same principle.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Remote Desktop is not NEARLY as scriptable as FTP.  I wouldn't know where to begin to write a script for RDP... But FTP is EASY.  (A programmer could do an RDP thing, but any old script kiddie can do an FTP thing).

Every port you have open to the internet is a port where someone could hack/attach you.  FTP is widely known as an insecure service - the data it transmits is not encrypted at all so if someone is sniffing your line, they can easily get your password.  RDP is encrypted (not necessarily the best encryption, but it IS encrypted) so merely sniffing the line will not show a hacker your user name/password.

Setting up a VPN is really the best route if you need an FTP server that allows write access.  Read only access isn't too bad... just make sure the FTP and NTFS permissions don't permit write.  And NEVER log in with an account that has any privileges on the system.
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Expert Comment

by:Tolomir
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I would start with an unusual port

Take e.g. 62310 - this should reduce blind port scans drastically.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q163285/ as reference.

Tolomir
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