blacklistd: spurious whitelisting of IPs

Norman Gray norman.gray at
Fri May 29 17:31:11 UTC 2020


[I originally posted this to freebsd-questions, but that may have been 
the wrong list; I hope this one is right]

My blacklistctl dump -a output currently looks a bit like this (IP 
addresses partially redacted):

         address/ma:port	id	nfail	last access
130.209.XX.XX/32:22		0/-1	1970/01/01 01:00:00
  130.209.XX.XX/32:22		6/-1	2020/05/18 11:30:19
   194.XX.XX.XX/32:22		3/-1	2020/05/29 00:35:05
   194.XX.XX.XX/32:22		154/-1	2020/05/29 12:13:21
   [...]		1/4	2020/05/29 10:28:30

The 130.209 is the local /16.  The odd thing is the -1 as the nfail 
limit, meaning 'do not block' or 'whitelisted', which I can't explain.  
That is, I see a number of lines that I expect, but a good number of 
nfail=-1 lines in these two netblocks and  I 
see no nfail=-1 lines outside these netblocks.

My blacklistd.conf looks like:

     ssh		stream	*	*		*	4	24h
     ftp		stream	*	*		*	3	24h
     smtp		stream	*	*		*	3	24h
     submission	stream	*	*		*	3	24h
     *		*	*	*		*	3	60
     130.209.XX.XX:ssh *	*	*		*	*	*
     194.XX.XX.XX:ssh *	*	*		*	*	*
     130.209.XX.XX:ssh *	*	*		*	*	*

The [local] stanza is almost the default; the [remote] explicitly 
whitelists three machines.

But the whitelisted machines _do not_ match the nfail=-1 machines in the 
blacklistctl output.  They're in the same and, but are not the same IP address.

It's as if the [remote] lines were being parsed as 
and, but there's nothing in the by-hand parser of the 
.conf file that suggests that's what's happening (see 
lines 224 and 586, last changed March 2018).

What's going on?  Why are those ranges whitelisted?

A little background:

The machine this is running on is hosting three jails (one of which is 
the bastion host that this is really protecting, and the blacklistd is 
listening on sockets in both the host and the bastion jail), it has four 
IP addresses (one host plus three jails, two of which are in the private IP range), and it has a non-trivial, but not 
particularly complicated pf firewall configuration.  This is the 
blacklistd in FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE-p8 (I can't find a version option on 
blacklistd nor any version strings in the blacklistd binary).

I'm perplexed.

Best wishes,


Norman Gray  :
Research IT Coordinator
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK
Charity number SC004401

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