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SSH Honeypot

This program listens for incoming ssh connections and logs the ip address, username, and password used. This was written to gather rudimentary intelligence on brute force attacks.



Make sure libssh and libjson-c are installed

$ apt install libssh-dev libjson-c-dev


NOTE: Haven't tested json logging on OSX

Make sure that xcode is up to date.

Install libssh and json-c

$ brew install libssh json-c

Specify MakefileOSX with make:

$ make -f MakefileOSX

Docker (experimental)

Please take a look at our Docker documentation.

Build and Run

$ make
$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -f ./ssh-honeypot.rsa
$ bin/ssh-honeypot -r ./ssh-honeypot.rsa


$ bin/ssh-honeypot -h

Syslog facilities

As of version 0.0.5, this supports logging to syslog. This feature is toggled with the -s flag. It is up to you to configure your syslog facilities appropriately. This logs to LOG_AUTHPRIV which is typically /var/log/auth.log. You may want to modify this to use one of the LOG_LOCAL facilities if you are worried about password leakage.

This was implemented to aggregate the data from several hosts into a centralized spot.

Dropping privileges

As of version 0.0.8, you can drop root privileges of this program after binding to a privileged port. You can now run this as nobody on port 22 for example instead of root, but have to initially start it as root:

$ sudo bin/ssh-honeypot -p 22 -u nobody

Beware that this chowns the logfile to the user specified as well.

Changing the Banner

List available banners

$ bin/ssh-honeypot -b

Set banner string

$ bin/ssh-honeypot -b "my banner string"

Set banner by index

$ bin/ssh-honeypot -i <banner index>

Systemd integration

On Linux you can install ssh-honeypot as a Systemd service so that it automatically runs at system startup:

$ make install
$ systemctl enable --now ssh-honeypot

Before installing, check ssh-honeypot.service and modify it to run with the options you want.


Fake sshd that logs ip addresses, usernames, and passwords.




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