How to lock user accounts after failed login attempts in Linux?

Date:2023-01-14
1. Install and configure PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) is a system that provides a level of abstraction between applications and the underlying authentication system. It is used as a framework for various authentication methods in Linux and supports a wide range of authentication schemes. 2. Configure the pam_tally2 module The pam_tally2 module is a module for PAM that can be used to lock user accounts after a number of unsuccessful login attempts. To configure this module, open the /etc/pam.d/login file (or other relevant files like sshd) and add this line: auth required pam_tally2.so deny=5 onerr=fail reset This line tells the PAM system to deny access after five failed login attempts and to reset the counter after a successful login, ensuring that failed attempts are not remembered indefinitely. 3. Create a cron job A cron job can be used to periodically reset the failed attempts count, so that locked user accounts can be unlocked. To create this job, open the /etc/crontab file and add the following line: @daily root pam_tally2 --user root --reset This line will tell the system to reset the counter for the root user every day, to ensure that the user will not remain locked out forever. 4. Set a different limit for certain users It is also possible to set different rules for certain users, so that some users can be less restricted than others. To do this, open the /etc/security/access.conf file and add lines similar to the following: + : root : ALL + : myuser : ALL This will tell the system to allow unlimited login attempts for the root and myuser users.
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