Question

Failed login attempts to powered off droplet

It makes perfect sense that there will be failed login attempts due to the prevalence of automated hacking attempts. What does not make sense is how there can be failed login attempts when the droplet is powered off.

I am using key based authentication only and have been running shutdown as root. The droplet console confirms this as I later have to power on the droplet. Once the droplet is powered on, I ssh in only to see that there have been failed login attempts during the time that it is powered off.

What could account for this?

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Possibly that the time in the log file is not in the time zone you are thinking of.