Honeypot as a Service (HaaS) Part 1


This series will show some Ideas which include “homemade” Security Functions. For professional environments, I recommend to talk to the security Vendor of your choice to build up a secure environment. This series will show examples which include different VMware products and their Interaction and teach things which can be done with them.

Now, let’s start.

Today I will start a series which I call Honeypot as a Service (HaaS). What is the Idea behind the HaaS?

In most environments hackers are already a long time present bevor the get localized. When the hacker has access on one of the server, he will start to search for other systems where he can get access and grab sensitive information (credit card data, intellectual property). So, which are system / functions a hacker is locking for?

So, most Hacker are looking for routing information and will start a “slow and silence network scan” for systems which he can attack and get into his hands. When we now start to place virtual machines in our network, which doesn’t have any functions for our network nobody should access them in normal case. From the standpoint of an attacker, he doesn’t know if a system is relevant or not. That’s will be the point for us, to provide the hacker a system with an old infectible SMB Server which he can attack. So, if somebody / somewhat tries to access such an “no functional VM”, we generate a log entry which is forwarded to an Log system. There we can parse the logs and generated “automated” rules to isolate VMs or VM communications.

In this example, I will use a lot of different VMWare products to archive these HaaS environment and the actions we will use.

This series will include:

  • VMware vRealize Log Insight as log host
  • VMware vRealize Orchestrator as “workhorse for a lot of task”
  • VMware NSX for VM isolation and Firewall Rules
  • A small Linux System as Honeypot with an SAMBA Service

So, let start to build up a Linux System which we can use in our vRA Blueprint as Honeypot. I prefer a CentOS Distribution. I choose a 7.x Release of CentOS. The ISO can be downloaded here http://ftp.hosteurope.de/mirror/centos.org/7/isos/x86_64/

I will use the minimal Installation ISO and Install Samba and SSH afterwards.

We will change the Hostname and IP Settings for a later time in vRA so during installation we keep the hostname and network on default settings. We have one important things which we take care about during installation. By default, the NICs are not automatically connected during installation, so that should be changed.

After our Installation has finished we will install the following packages:

  • Perl
  • Samba
  • DNS tools (just for Troubleshooting)
  • Network Manager (Text Version if you need to reconfigure your Config)

This can be done via this command:

yum -y install perl samba system-config-network-tui.noarch dns-utils

When you don’t have a DHCP Server in place, then you need to configure your network settings on Command line: $ sudo ifconfig eth0 netmask

Also, you need to set your default route:

$ sudo route add default gw eth0

As last step you need some DNS Server entries:

$ sudo vi /etc/resolv.conf

Modify or enter nameserver as follows:


After we have installed the need packages we can start with the installation from the VMware tools. This is documented well in the VMware documentation so I will not write it down here.

The next Step is to configure our Samba Server for a SMB Share which is available for the attacker.

Now, let us create a fully accessed anonymous share for the users. Everybody can read/write in this share.

We create a directory called /samba/backup and set full permission. The reason (for me) to set the name to backup is, to mark the share as important and a useful target which information or potential interesting thinks in it. I also will create some additional folders to have a interesting target. I use a linux bash script to create the folder and set the required permissions.

echo "This script creates a bunch of folder which were used in a samba share example on vcoportal.de"


echo "$dirname"

if [ ! -d "/$dirname" ]


echo "Folder doesn't exist. Creating now"

mkdir --p "/$dirname"

echo "Create some other Folders ....."

mkdir --p "/$dirname/HR"

mkdir --p "/$dirname/IT"

mkdir --p "/$dirname/Dev"

mkdir --p "/$dirname/Public"

mkdir --p "/$dirname/Files"

mkdir --p "/$dirname/Userhome"

echo "Set some permissions for the parent Folder"

chmod -R 0775 /samba/backup

echo "Set nobody as Owner for the Folder so that everybody can read see and read it"

chown  nobody:nobody /samba/backup

echo "Change SE Linux Permissions on the Folder"

chcon -t samba_share_t /samba/backup


echo "Parent Directory exists"


Just create a file and make it executable with the script content in it. You can change the directory names to whatever you want / need.

After we created the directory we must edit the Samba configuration file.

vi /etc/samba/smb.conf
# See smb.conf.example for a more detailed config file or
# read the smb.conf manpage.
# Run 'testparm' to verify the config is correct after
# you modified it.
        workgroup = vcoportal
        security = user
        passdb backend = tdbsam
        unix charset = UTF-8
        dos charset = CP932
        hosts allow = 127. 192. 172. 10.
        max protocol = SMB2
        map to guest = Bad User
        # log files split per-machine (the host logs are stored on a non-default path):
        log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
Log level = 2
        # maximum size of 50KB per log file, then rotate:
        max log size = 50
        comment = Home Directories
        valid users = %S, %D%w%S
        browseable = No
        read only = No
        inherit acls = Yes
comment = Backup Share
path = /samba/backup
browsable =yes
writable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = no
force user = nobody

Now we can test the Samba server configuration

We can test the Samba server configuration syntax errors using the command ‘testparm’.


When everything looks good you can browse to your samba share.





That’s it for Part 1


Honeypot as a Service (HaaS) Part 2 Link: http://wp.me/p7tsEp-Cb
Honeypot as a Service (HaaS) Part 3 Link: http://wp.me/p7tsEp-Cl