Fail2Ban Honeypot

February 4, 2012

How to use Python and Fail2Ban to write an auto-blocking honeypot.

I have been practicing for the upcoming NECCDC competition and have been playing around with various security concepts and one that I thought of trying was creating a honeypot that automagically blocks ips when trapped. So what I have is a honeypot script written in python that logs intruders to a log file and then a Fail2Ban definition that will block the ip address. So I will show you the Fail2Ban honeypot that I have thrown together.


We first need to install python and fail2ban. Installation process might be different depending which linux distribution you are using.

sudo apt-get install python fail2ban


Copy the following python script and create a file

import socket
import threading
import sys

class HoneyThread(threading.Thread):
    def __init__(self, logfile, port):
        self.logfile = logfile
        self.port = port
        self.sock = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
        self.sock.bind( ('', port) )
        self.sock.listen( 1 )
        print 'Listening on: ', port
        super(HoneyThread, self).__init__()

    def run(self):
        while True:
            channel, details = self.sock.accept()
            logstr = (
                'Connection from %s:%s on port %s\r\n' %
                (details[0], details[1], self.port)
            self.logfile.write('%s\r\n' % logstr)
            print logstr
            channel.send('You Just Got Stuck In Some Honey')

ports = []

for arg in sys.argv[1:]:
     threads = []
     logfile = open('/var/log/honeypot.log', 'a')

for p in ports:
    threads.append(HoneyThread(logfile, p))

for thread in threads:

print 'Bring it on!'

Some may notice a slight issue, this script is meant to run 247 and never be stopped. There is no particular way of stopping the threads unless the machine is restarted.

Running Honeypot

To run the honeypot simply issue the following command:

python 22 25 80 443

Replace the ports shown with the ports that you want the honeypot to run on. When someone tries to connect to one of the supplied ports this script will display on the screen the ip address that connected, the port they connected from and the port they were trying to reach. It will also log the incident to the /var/log/honeypot.log file.


Now to setup fail2ban to block the ip address when it is captured. A new filter definition needs to be created in /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/honeypot.conf.

failregex =

And the filter has to be set in /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf.

enabled = true
filter = honeypot
logpath = /var/log/honeypot.log
action = iptables-allports[name=Honeypot, protocol=all]
maxretry = 1

Please make sure to read up on fail2ban’s various actions, the ‘iptables-allports’ one is used here with ‘protocol: all’, meaning that the ip address is banned from making all connections on any port using any protocol (tcp, udp, icmp, etc). Also change ‘maxretry’ as you see fit, with it set to 1 then any single access to the honeypot will ban the ip for the configured amount of time (600 seconds by default), if you want this can be changed to 2 or 3 so if someone is persistent with trying to access the false service.

And that is it, just start Fail2Ban and test by trying to access the one of the honeypot ports. This can be done from a second machine and using telnet.

telnet 80

Replace ’′ with the ip address of the machine running the honeypot and ’80′ with the port you wish to test.

And there you have it, a Fail2Ban honeypot written in Python. Deploy and Enjoy.

comments powered by Disqus