I know that CDN services usually protect a user by hiding it's original machine's IP and by screening (and banning) any attackers that send too many requests in the form of DDoS.

But should a CDN service like Cloudflare protect against Brute Force Attacks, or only from DDoS?

  • Would be nice if they could but unless the brute force attack generates enough traffic to fall in the DDOS category, how would systems such as Cloudflare know it is malicious traffic? – Joe Apr 8 '18 at 7:27
  • I don't know enough about such systems to answer. – user9303970 Apr 8 '18 at 9:11

But should a CDN service like Cloudflare protect against Brute Force Attacks...

TL;DR: Not should but could - but in case of Cloudflare there is actually such functionality.

A CDN is a content delivery network and not a content protection network. Some protection against DDoS is an added value Cloudflare and other CDN offer. But this is not core CDN functionality. Similar a CDN might provide protection against some brute force attacks but this is no core CDN functionality either.

Note that even if such feature is offered it will probably only cover common attacks and might not cover a specific attack flow possible against your application. And it might be a feature you have to explicitly enable and possible adjust to your specific application so that it will not accidentally block traffic you consider normal (i.e. false positives). In fact, Cloudflare already offers a Protect your Login feature for this purpose. And you could also add a more fine tuned rate limiting, see How do I use Rate Limiting to protect against brute-force attacks.

  • Dear Steffen, I think you made me a tiny bit happier today, because the only reason I installed WordFence on my WordPress app is to protect from login brute force attacks. Cloudflare might save me from giving extra server resources for that plugin. – user9303970 Apr 8 '18 at 9:28
  • Please gracefully share your thoughts on this, Steffen. In great plea. Thanks anyway for your time so far. – user9303970 Apr 8 '18 at 9:52
  • 1
    @user9303970: Cloudflare offers special protection for Wordpress including brute-force protection. See the article from Cloudflare support about Hardening WordPress Security. – Steffen Ullrich Apr 8 '18 at 10:28

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