I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this security issue. Particularly after taking occupation of a new VPS. When I SSH into the VPS it showed a huge number of failed login attempts. This had me worried. Apparently this happens to almost every one with a new VPS and two of the most common ways to secure a VPS from these login attempts is to change the port number of the VPS and/or create a keyless entry without password. I tried both and rejected the keyless entry as found myself locked out of my VPS after the second month of using this method. However, when I changed my Port 22 to a different number, there were no more failed login attempts.
Before you do this though be cautious, as when I changed my port number my VestaCP panel wouldn’t work any longer. In the end I had to reload my VestaCP from scratch. So it’s better to do the port number change right at the beginning of taking occupation of the VPS as a first step.
This is how I created a new random port number for my VPS with CentOS 7:
Step 1 Choose a random number between 49152 and 65535
Step 2 SSH into your VPS – if you don’t have NANO already loaded with CentoS – you can do it with this command:
yum install nano
Step 3 Use this command to edit the port number
With nano you’ll be able to scroll with your up and down keys to:
Delete # and replace 22 with your random number. Remember to make a note of the new number.
Step 4 Save the change with ‘ctrl o’ and exit with ‘ctrl exit’
service sshd restart
After the change of the port number I had no more bad login attempts. This really works well.