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Zimbra blocking Memcached exploit – Tips & tricks to fix

by | Jan 1, 2021

Is your Zimbra blocking Memcached exploit? We can help you.

Here, at Bobcares, we assist our customers with several Zimbra queries as part of our Server Management Services.

Today let us have a detailed look into blocking Memcached exploit.


Zimbra blocking Memcached exploit

Zimbra Memcached may face “memcrashd” attack on port 11211. By default, Memcached listens on the server IP address which is accessible in the network and on Internet if there is no firewall.

If Zimbra Memcache servers are behind the firewall, we recommend blocking ingress and egress traffic on port 11211 from the Internet to Zimbra Memcache servers.

Zimbra blocking Memcached exploit

Our Support Engineers suggests the following methods if the Zimbra Memcache server is not behind a firewall and accessible over the Internet.


For Zimbra Single Server Installation

Configure Memcached to listen on in order to avoid this attack.

We use the below commands:

su – zimbra
/opt/zimbra/bin/zmprov ms `zmhostname` zimbraMemcachedBindAddress
/opt/zimbra/bin/zmprov ms `zmhostname` zimbraMemcachedClientServerList

Then restart Memcached:

zmmemcachedctl restart


For Zimbra Multi-Server Installation

The workaround is to block traffic on port 11211 from the Internet and allow only from Zimbra proxy servers. First, we need to enable/start iptables or ufw on the server.

Subsequently, make sure Zimbra’s other ports are not block in the firewall.

We run the below commands in the given sequence on ALL Memcached servers.

  • Iptables rules for Redhat based servers

Drop all connections to port 11211

iptables -I INPUT -p udp –dport 11211 -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp –dport 11211 -j DROP

Now, we accept connections from localhost

iptables -I INPUT -p udp -s –dport 11211 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -s –dport 11211 -j ACCEPT

Then we accept connections from other proxy servers. Run below two commands for each proxy server IP in the Zimbra setup:

iptables -I INPUT -p udp -s <Proxy IP> –dport 11211 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -s <Proxy IP> –dport 11211 -j ACCEPT
  • UFW rules for Ubuntu servers

First, drop all connections to port 11211.

ufw deny 11211

Then, accept connections from localhost.

ufw allow from to any port 11211

On the other hand, we accept connections from other proxy servers.

Then we run below two commands for each proxy server IP in the Zimbra setup:

ufw allow from <Proxy1 IP> to any port 11211



  • UDP

The below command should give an empty response when executed from any host except proxy servers allowed. If we see the non-empty response that contains PID etc details, then the server is vulnerable.

echo -en “\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x01\x00\x00stats\r\n” | nc -q1 -u <IP of zimbra memcache server> 11211

The above command may fail on RedHat servers because nc does not recognize “-q” option. We can use “-w 1 ” instead.

  • TCP

With the below command, we won’t be able to connect from any host except proxy servers allowed above. If we are able to connect, the server is vulnerable.

telnet <IP of zimbra memcache server> 11211

[Stuck in between? We are available 24*7]



In short, Memcached by default checks the IP addresses of servers, in networks, and on the Internet, where there is no firewall. Today, we saw an effective method our Support Engineers employ in order to fix this issue.


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