Build Your Own Honeypot Network In Under An Hour

Have you ever wanted to control a vast medium small network of Honeypots but only had an hour and about $40 a month to spend on your project? So did I!  So with the help of Digital Ocean and Anomali‘s Modern Honey Network we can now do it!

For a basic distributed Cowrie network you will need:
1 – $20 a month Digital Ocean Droplet for the MHN Server.
4 – $5 a month Digital Ocean Droplets for the Cowrie honeypots.

Configuring The MHN Server:

Setting up the server is eas easy as running these commands on your controller droplet and and waiting 10 minutes:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
cd /opt/
sudo git clone
cd mhn/
sudo ./

After it installs everything it needs it will ask you the following questions:

Do you wish to run in Debug mode?: y/n n
Superuser email:
Superuser password:
Superuser password: (again):
Server base url [""]:
Honeymap url [":3000"]:
Mail server address ["localhost"]:
Mail server port [25]:
Use TLS for email?: y/n n
Use SSL for email?: y/n n
Mail server username [""]:
Mail server password [""]:
Mail default sender [""]:
Path for log file ["/var/log/mhn/mhn.log"]:
Would you like to integrate with Splunk? (y/n)n
Would you like to install ELK? (y/n)n

Once that is done you now have a working MHN server:

Configuring The HoneyPots:

At this time MHN supports 17 honeypots for easy deployment:

I have used cowrie in the past and like it a lot so decided to use it for this blog post. You can deploy cowrie honeypots to your MHN server with the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt install python -y
wget "" -O && sudo bash http://yourmhnserver yourcode
#An update broke the deployment script and there is a proposed fix.
#I copied the proposed fix to the gist used here. 
#wget "http://yourmhnserver/api/script/?text=true&script_id=14" -O && sudo bash yourcode wget

This scripts moves your *real* ssh port to 2222 and starts the honeypot  on port 22 (SSH) and 23 (Telnet). 

Once the script is complete they show up in your MHN server:

Looking at the Data:

Within minutes you will have data to look at.  My honeypots were up for under 30 minutes and I had a lot of data:

Next Steps?

There are 16 other types of honeypots you can run. WordPot is an amazing WordPress Honeypot and Dionaea is a great way to capture your own malware samples.  I will likely run both and a few more as I keep playing with this project.

Have any questions? Reach out to me on twitter @jgamblin.

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