Within minutes of spinning up a droplet, logs show Chinese IP address probing. Normal?

November 10, 2015 3.8k views
Monitoring DigitalOcean Logging

I spun up a ubuntu / node server. I went through and added a public key. I disabled root access. Now Im experimenting with nginx. I stumble with that so I check the logs in

/var/log/nginx/access.log

I expected to see only my IP and connections.

I see several IPs that arent mine, one of which is

182.118.53.12

Which I looked up the owner for and found

China Unicom Henan

This droplet is literally hours old, with nothing on it but Ubuntu, Node, and Nginx.

It seems the Chinese are systematically probing each new droplet created.

Is this concerning, or business as usual?

1 comment
  • In my case /var/log/secure grows to 1.5 MB per day - it failed logins from Chinese IP-address. They try to login under root and less under other logins…

1 Answer

This is not uncommon.

  • Really? Seems … i dunno… wrong somehow? I dont know why, I mean theyre welcome to watch me fumble around with nginx but geez. They must have a way to systematically find every new spun up droplet, which seems ominous. Security must be a nightmare.

    • It is not that they know when a new droplet is spun up. Rather these are automated scans or botnets that are scanning whole blocks of IP addresses. You will see this type of thing with any server you place on the public Internet.

    • Hi Jason,

      I just got a droplet myself, first one, just to play with. When I went to monitor the traffic hitting it, I’ve been very surprised. I guess that shows that I’m not a network admin, but I’ve logged over 15k unique ip connection attempts to my ip port 22 the last 24 hours (or about 10 per minute). I was thinking exactly what you said “security must be a nightmare”.

      gp+digitalocean has been responding to me also.

      https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/network-analyzer-constant-flow-of-icmp-packets-to-myip-ssh?comment=39798

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