I am getting bombarded with attempted hacks from China all with similar IPs.

How would I block the IP range with something like 116.10.191.* etc.

I am running Ubuntu Server 13.10.

The current line I am using is:

sudo /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -s -j DROP

This only lets me block each one at a time but the hackers are changing the IPs at every attempt.


3 Answers 3


To block 116.10.191.* addresses:

$ sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j DROP

To block 116.10.*.* addresses:

$ sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j DROP

To block 116.*.*.* addresses:

$ sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j DROP

But be careful what you block using this method. You don't want to prevent legitmate traffic from reaching the host.

edit: as pointed out, iptables evaluates rules in sequential order. Rules higher in the ruleset are applied before rules lower in the ruleset. So if there's a rule higher in your ruleset that allows said traffic, then appending (iptables -A) the DROP rule will not produce the intended blocking result. In this case, insert (iptables -I) the rule either:

  • as the first rule

sudo iptables -I ...

  • or before the allow rule

sudo iptables --line-numbers -vnL

say that shows rule number 3 allows ssh traffic and you want to block ssh for an ip range. -I takes an argument of an integer that's the location in your ruleset you want the new rule to be inserted

iptables -I 2 ...

  • Check arin.net and block the entire range of Amsterdam owned ip ranges. That place is RIPE with probing spiders - i doubt there is any legitimate traffic coming out of there.
    – WEBjuju
    Feb 7, 2017 at 15:50
  • note that this may not work depending on the order of the iptable rules, see answer serverfault.com/a/507502/1 Mar 8, 2017 at 13:20
  • 2
    o snap @JeffAtwood I am honored by your comment. answer updated ;)
    – Creek
    Mar 18, 2017 at 23:20
  • And how do you unblock a certain range?
    – bzero
    Feb 7, 2018 at 20:48
  • I like this explanation, specially about the -I flag that makes this rule precedence over the other rules before it. Any chance you could share this with firewalld-cmd command?
    – gstlouis
    Oct 1, 2020 at 16:20

sudo /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -s -j DROP

This blocks the range. You can expand the subnet as needed with the same general format.

  • will this work on the entire 4th set range? Like is the 0/24 only 0-24. I tried for example 500 but it didn't work. Will 0/24 cover all those other numbers in the 100s and 200s Apr 29, 2014 at 16:24
  • 3
    @Stephen It's a CIDR range. If you need to calculate it for a different range, use this: subnet-calculator.com/cidr.php
    – Nathan C
    Apr 29, 2014 at 16:25

As an alternative approach you could use something as simple as fail2ban. It institutes a timeout for successive failed login attempts and makes bruteforcing infeasible since they only get a few chances per timeout. I set my time out length to 30 minutes. By the time they're an hour or two in, they realize they won't be able to make any headway and give up.

  • Also, blocking whole countries may inhibit authorized use. Mar 14, 2015 at 21:14
  • I realize this thread to be over a year old but I wanted to let people know something. I have fail2ban installed and running but I also regularly check my server logs. There's this IP range 89.248.x.x that keeps trying different email logins roughly after an hour from the last attempt, throughout the day. Apparently keeping the findtime in fail2ban at 30mins is no longer enough to keep every nasty script kiddie out. Jul 4, 2016 at 3:32

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