Intelligence Gathering: Watching a Honeypot at Work

Monday, 13 January 2003, 11:23 AM EST

The purpose of this article is share with the security community the data I collected from my honeypot. There are many papers available that explain how to set up honeypots and the risks one takes when running a honeypot. While this paper will briefly cover touch upon these topics, it is written for people who want to understand what data honeypot will provide them. This discussion will include the attacker's recon, the attack, the attempted cover-up, and the reason for the attack on the honeypot.

The honeypot I was running at the time of the attack was an OpenBSD 3.1 machine ( I had two machines in front of the honeypot. The first was my Linksys cable router. I configured the cable router to logically place all traffic in front of my DMZ ( Once the router did that I had a Linux box running an IPtables script that the Honeynet project has developed. As far as logging is concerned, I configured the honeypot to log to my remote log server. My remote log server was also used as my intrusion detection system. To make sure that my IDS would not be compromised by any holes in syslog, I shutdown all ports on the IDS/syslog server and ran the following commands:

iptables -P INPUT DROP
iptables -P FORWARD DROP
iptables -P OUTPUT DROP

To ensure that I received all of my syslog entries I also ran TCPDUMP on my IDS. By doing this, I was guaranteed to receive my log entries.

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