Blog Posts

Run SSH and HTTPS On The Same Port

I recently saw this SSH/HTTP(S) multiplexer on Github and tweeted that it looked amazing:

A couple of people responded that you should be able to do the samething with HAProxy or something similar but my experience with HAProxy has been that is temperamental so I didn’t want to mess with it.  After some more research I found a tool called SSLH that did what I wanted so I built a demo site at that is running SSH and HTTPS on port 443.

How To Build It Yourself:

To demo this I used a $5 Ubuntu AWS lightsail instance with a valid DNS record (

Base Out The System:

These commands will update the system, install SSLH and Apache, and install a valid TLS certificate from LetsEncrypt:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install sslh build-essential apache2
chmod a+x ./certbot-auto

Configure SSHL:

You need to edit the config so that <ETH0 IP> is the local (not public) IP:

sudo nano /etc/default/sslh
DAEMON_OPTS="--user sslh --listen <ETH0 IP>:443 --ssh --ssl --pidfile /var/run/sslh/"

Configure Apache:

You just need to change Listen *:443 to Listen

sudo nano /etc/apache2/ports.conf   
<IfModule ssl_module>

<IfModule mod_gnutls.c>

Reboot and Enjoy:

You can probably restart services but a  sudo reboot works here and you are good to go.  If you visit with a web browser you get the page:

…*but* you can now ssh into the box on port 443 using ssh -p 443

Closing Thoughts:

NMap only knows it is SSH if you use -sV:
I am looking forward to using this method in the future to stack services.  Let me know on twitter @jgamblin if you have any thoughts.

Quickly Building A Cloud Virtual Lab

Often while doing research I need temporary access to a bunch of different virtual machines. While it is possible to do this on my Macbook using VMWare Fusion or Virtualbox the overhead seems unnecessary for something I will delete in under a week.

My goto solution is a virtualization stack of:
16GB DigitalOcean Droplet + Wok + Kimchi

Here is the shell script I use to build it:

apt-get update &&  apt-get upgrade -y
apt-get -y install qemu qemu-kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils nginx python-cherrypy3 python-jsonschema python-m2crypto nginx python-ldap python-psutil fonts-font-awesome texlive-fonts-extra python-configobj python-parted sosreport python-imaging websockify novnc nfs-common python-ethtool open-iscsi python-guestfs libguestfs-tools spice-html5 python-paramiko 
dpkg -i wok.noarch.deb
apt-get install -f -y
dpkg -i ginger-base.noarch.deb
apt-get install -f -y
dpkg -i kimchi.noarch.deb
apt-get install -f -y
#You will need to know the root password for the web interface (passwd lets you reset it).

After the server is rebooted you can access the web interface at https://ip:8001:

The next step is to add the templates you want to build VMs for:

You can use these commands to grab newer isos (there is a feature request to automate this):

cd /var/lib/kimchi/isos
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c

Once you are done with that is is amazingly easy to spin up VMs and manage them in the browser:

I use this virtualization stack a lot in my research and it is amazing.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on twitter.

Reminder: Operational Security Is Hard

I love OWASP  (I wanted to get that out of the way) but they let their TLS certificate expire yesterday:

Should it have happened to an organization whose whole goal is to secure web applications?


There are a million reasons why their TLS certificate could have expired and plenty of reasons it shouldn’t have  (OWASP uses letsencrypt for their TLS certificate which can automatically renew certificates and sends you email when they are close to expiring).

Is it forgivable?

Expired certificates,  missing patches and unknown cloud services haunt every security organization. Some people look at these things as *easy* to fix and if you miss them you dont care about security… most of those people have usually never worked in operational security.

Why did it happen?
Operational Security Is Hard.

Being perfect is impossible.   Stephen Curry (Arguably the best shooter in the NBA) only makes 90% on his free throws.  So everyone is going to miss a patch, let a certificate expire and have unknown cloud services.  It.Is.Going.To.Happen.

What can we learn from this?
A lot. 

How would your organization have handled this on Saturday morning?  Would you have been able to update your certificate in an hour on a Saturday morning?    If you know the answer to those questions you can pick a tweet from @badthingsdaily and work through it with your team.

Let me know your thoughts on twitter.

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.


In the last couple of years the Anti-Vaccination crowd in the United States has started to make inroads with more and more people deciding that the perceived risk of the vaccination outweighs the known risk of the disease.

When you ask them why they dont vaccinatie they always have anecdotal evidence of how the vaccination could hurt them,  how they know of someone else who 5 years ago got a vaccination and it made them *really sick*  or they have an amazing supplement that they take that does much better than the vaccination would do.

I am not talking about parents who are put their children at risk of getting measles, I am talking about IT shops who are putting their companies, customers and data at risk by not taking proven preventative measures to secure their systems.

After 15 years in security I have heard all the excuses for not vaccinating systems:

It *might* break something.
We have a $500,000 Next-Generation  ██████ Box (Unconfigured).
We have not a had a *serious* outbreak yet.

The problem is when you bring proven and tested solutions like the CIS Critical Security Controls and the anti-vaxxers bring an anecdote you are going to lose.  My favorite mentor told me a long time ago you “you can’t debate an anecdote and win“.

This is normally where I like to end my blog post with a great solution we can all use. The problem is there isn’t a good solution to make people vaccinate their children and there isn’t a solution to make  people to vaccinate their systems.

Until then I am just happy I dont have to deal with polio or WannaCry.

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