Using Fail2ban with Dovecot

If you’re using Dovecot v1.1 or older, you need to log via syslog. Otherwise log files contain “dovecot: ” prefix, which fail2ban doesn’t like. v1.2+ no longer have this prefix. You can use syslogging by setting log_path to empty value in dovecot.conf.

Create the filter file /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/dovecot-pop3imap.conf:

failregex = (?: pop3-login|imap-login): .*(?:Authentication failure|Aborted login \(auth failed|Aborted login \(tried to use disabled|Disconnected \(auth failed|Aborted login \(\d+ authentication attempts).*rip=`<HOST>`

Add the following to /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf:

enabled = true
filter = dovecot-pop3imap
action = iptables-multiport[name=dovecot-pop3imap, port="pop3,imap", protocol=tcp]
logpath = /var/log/maillog
maxretry = 20
findtime = 1200
bantime = 1200

(Set the logpath to wherever your syslog has been configured to log Dovecot’s login messages.)

Note: The iptables-multiport action does not generally work with OpenVPS based VPS’s due to a missing Kernel library.