Understanding Mod_Security

GaryT

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2010
320
3
68
I get the odd email with roughly the same IP.

Its all mumbo jumbo and I cannot pin point what they exactly tried to do:

The email is:

Code:
Time:     Wed Aug 11 13:09:57 2010 +0100
IP:       ***.***.***.*** (US/United States/www.whois.sc)
Failures: 5 (mod_security)
Interval: 300 seconds
Blocked:  Permanent Block

Log entries:

[Wed Aug 11 13:09:50 2010] [error] [client ***.***.***.***] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 501, [Rule: 'ARGS' '(?:\b(?:(?:n(?:et(?:\b\W+?\blocalgroup|\.exe)|(?:map|c)\.exe)|t(?:racer(?:oute|t)|elnet\.exe|clsh8?|ftp)|(?:w(?:guest|sh)|rcmd|ftp)\.exe|echo\b\W*?\by+)\b|c(?:md(?:(?:32)?\.exe\b|\b\W*?\/c)|d(?:\b\W*?[\\\/]|\W*?\.\.)|hmod.{0,40}?\+.{0,3}x))|[\;\|\`]\W*?\b(?:(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|md|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)\b|g(?:\+\+|cc\b))|\/(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|g(?:\+\+|cc)|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)(?:[\'\"\|\;\`\-\s]|$))']
[Wed Aug 11 13:09:50 2010] [error] [client ***.***.***.***] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 501, [Rule: 'ARGS' '(?:\b(?:(?:n(?:et(?:\b\W+?\blocalgroup|\.exe)|(?:map|c)\.exe)|t(?:racer(?:oute|t)|elnet\.exe|clsh8?|ftp)|(?:w(?:guest|sh)|rcmd|ftp)\.exe|echo\b\W*?\by+)\b|c(?:md(?:(?:32)?\.exe\b|\b\W*?\/c)|d(?:\b\W*?[\\\/]|\W*?\.\.)|hmod.{0,40}?\+.{0,3}x))|[\;\|\`]\W*?\b(?:(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|md|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)\b|g(?:\+\+|cc\b))|\/(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|g(?:\+\+|cc)|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)(?:[\'\"\|\;\`\-\s]|$))']
[Wed Aug 11 13:09:51 2010] [error] [client ***.***.***.***] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 501, [Rule: 'ARGS' '(?:\b(?:(?:n(?:et(?:\b\W+?\blocalgroup|\.exe)|(?:map|c)\.exe)|t(?:racer(?:oute|t)|elnet\.exe|clsh8?|ftp)|(?:w(?:guest|sh)|rcmd|ftp)\.exe|echo\b\W*?\by+)\b|c(?:md(?:(?:32)?\.exe\b|\b\W*?\/c)|d(?:\b\W*?[\\\/]|\W*?\.\.)|hmod.{0,40}?\+.{0,3}x))|[\;\|\`]\W*?\b(?:(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|md|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)\b|g(?:\+\+|cc\b))|\/(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|g(?:\+\+|cc)|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)(?:[\'\"\|\;\`\-\s]|$))']
[Wed Aug 11 13:09:51 2010] [error] [client ***.***.***.***] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 501, [Rule: 'ARGS' '(?:\b(?:(?:n(?:et(?:\b\W+?\blocalgroup|\.exe)|(?:map|c)\.exe)|t(?:racer(?:oute|t)|elnet\.exe|clsh8?|ftp)|(?:w(?:guest|sh)|rcmd|ftp)\.exe|echo\b\W*?\by+)\b|c(?:md(?:(?:32)?\.exe\b|\b\W*?\/c)|d(?:\b\W*?[\\\/]|\W*?\.\.)|hmod.{0,40}?\+.{0,3}x))|[\;\|\`]\W*?\b(?:(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|md|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)\b|g(?:\+\+|cc\b))|\/(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|g(?:\+\+|cc)|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)(?:[\'\"\|\;\`\-\s]|$))']
[Wed Aug 11 13:09:51 2010] [error] [client ***.***.***.***] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 501, [Rule: 'ARGS' '(?:\b(?:(?:n(?:et(?:\b\W+?\blocalgroup|\.exe)|(?:map|c)\.exe)|t(?:racer(?:oute|t)|elnet\.exe|clsh8?|ftp)|(?:w(?:guest|sh)|rcmd|ftp)\.exe|echo\b\W*?\by+)\b|c(?:md(?:(?:32)?\.exe\b|\b\W*?\/c)|d(?:\b\W*?[\\\/]|\W*?\.\.)|hmod.{0,40}?\+.{0,3}x))|[\;\|\`]\W*?\b(?:(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|md|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)\b|g(?:\+\+|cc\b))|\/(?:c(?:h(?:grp|mod|own|sh)|pp)|p(?:asswd|ython|erl|ing|s)|n(?:asm|map|c)|f(?:inger|tp)|(?:kil|mai)l|g(?:\+\+|cc)|(?:xte)?rm|ls(?:of)?|telnet|uname|echo|id)(?:[\'\"\|\;\`\-\s]|$))']
Some explanations will be much appreciated

I have Changed SSH port - Blocked root login - enabled Apache mod_userdir Tweak, PHP open_basedir Tweak, use litespeed php, csf installed and so on
 
Last edited:

Miraenda

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2004
243
5
168
Coralville, Iowa USA
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
mod_security uses Apache to block set access types (commands or otherwise) that are done via a browser. The other things you've done don't specifically deal with Apache (I have Changed SSH port - Blocked root login, csf installed and so on). mod_security specifically deals with Apache and attempts for a connection to run a series of queries or commands to exploit a site.

It really doesn't matter specifically what they are trying to do as the rule you have in place in mod_security prevented the IP from doing the activity. This activity appears to indicate they were trying to run commands like passwd or telnet or uname on the machine. There's such a broad list of or options in the mod_security rule that we have no way to know exactly what they did run on your machine.
 

GaryT

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2010
320
3
68
Thanks Miraenda

So all I know is that Mod_Security is working and blocked what ever they attempted.
 

Miraenda

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2004
243
5
168
Coralville, Iowa USA
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Correct, you simply know that mod_security is working, and that it did block the IP which matched that set mod_security rule in that instance (not the exact command used by the IP that was blocked).