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When I have disabled SSH password authentication, so we can only login using private key authentication, is there still a point in having fail2ban running for SSH brute force protection?

I'm thinking that either the attacker has the key, or they haven’t. So what protection is actually offered?

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I would still use it regardless, even though you are correct in saying that using SSH key authentication it’s highly unlikely to brute force.

There would be a little more overhead if someone is trying to brute force your SSH server compared to being denied directly by IPTables.

Personally, I change the default port, to something > 10000 and therefore I never see any connections that I don't recognise.

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