Suspicious network activity after brute force login attack

I created a droplet (OpenVPN 2.8.5 from the marketplace) and after just 2 days I received a message from DigitalOcean that my droplet has been under Bruteforce attack. Surely enough the root password was changed and I had to reset it from the control panel to be able to log in again. After logging in again I see there are suspicious network activity going on to some IP addresses from Japan and other countries. I could not trace down the process ID of these network activities… they all show up as ? in the NetHogs output.

What can/should I do? and if I delete this droplet and create a new one hot to prevent the same scenario from happening again?

NetHogs version 0.8.5-2

    PID USER     PROGRAM                                                                                                                                    DEV        SENT      RECEIVED          2100 root     sshd: root@pts/1                                                                                                                           eth0        0.627       0.087 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                                   0.011       0.022 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                                0.011       0.022 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                                 0.011       0.011 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                                 0.000       0.000 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                                 0.000       0.000 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                                  0.000       0.000 KB/sec      ? root                                                                                                               0.000       0.000 KB/sec
      ? root     unknown TCP                                                                                                                                            0.000       0.000 KB/sec
  TOTAL                                                                                                                                                                 0.659       0.143 KB/sec

Submit an answer

This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Want to learn more? Join the DigitalOcean Community!

Join our DigitalOcean community of over a million developers for free! Get help and share knowledge in Q&A, subscribe to topics of interest, and get courses and tools that will help you grow as a developer and scale your project or business.

Hi there @embedonix,

Yes indeed, if your root account was compromised I believe that it is best to either restore to a backup or spin up a new Droplet because there might be some backdoors inserted by the attackers which could be hard to find.

Once you have a clean Droplet I could suggest a few things:

  • Make sure that you have a firewall like CSF for example which would block IP addresses in case of a brute-force attack
  • Do not use SSH passwords but use SSH key authentication instead.
  • Follow the steps from here on how to harden your OpenSSH service:

Hope that this helps! Regards, Bobby