Archive for June, 2011

Kippo – Clearing pass.db

2011/06/26 Comments off

Very quick post to highlight a process for clearing all entries from your pass.db file. I had thought that this would take a bit of quick scripting utilising the list and remove modes from the utility script. Turns out it’s even easier; simply pass a non-existent file to passdb.pyass.db parameter and it’ll create a fresh database file, no questions asked.

For example:

/opt/kippo/utils/ /opt/kippo/data/idontexistyet.db add testpassword

Will create a new database file with a single entry of ‘testpassword’ (this can be removed once you’ve established everything works). N.B. even with a blank pass.db, kippo will provide access to the password(s) configured in kippo.cfg.

Not sure yet if clearing the database will net any interesting results, only time will tell…..

–Andrew Waite

Categories: Honeypot, Kippo

Kippo – pass.db

After a few weeks running my daily Kippo review script I’ve noticed that whilst I’m still mostly receiving several logins per day, it’s rare for a connection to actually interact with my emulated system. (For those new here, Kippo is a medium interaction honeypot emulating an SSH daemon, get started here). So I started trying to investigate what was causing the trend.

One of Kippo’s features is the password database. Basically once an intruder gains access to the shell if they try to change the password or add a different account the system adds the password to the list of allowed. This then allows connections to log into the shell with the new password. Kippo ships with a small utility script to interact with the password database:

@kippo01:/opt/kippo-svn/utils$ ./
Usage: <pass.db> <add|remove|list> [password]

My pass.db file contains 26 entries added by malicious ‘users’; I’m still analysing the contents in detail, but it looks like the Bad Guys(tm) are paying attention to user education 101 and using long, complex passwords.

Using the password used to log into the system, I’ve had a new (to me) way to link disparate logins. For example the query below linked connections spanning two months, originating from multiple source IP address, across three different continents (according to WHOIS records).

Source IPs for same user (based on pass)

SELECT AS Session, sessions.ip AS Source, auth.password AS Password, auth.timestamp AS Time
FROM sessions, auth
WHERE = auth.session
AND auth.success = 1
AND auth.password = 'mariusbogdan';

Similarly I looked for a connection between multiple successful logins from the same source IP address. The query below provided a list of report offenders:

Successful logins from same source

SELECT COUNT(sessions.ip) AS Num, sessions.ip AS Source
FROM sessions, auth
auth.success = 1
AND auth.session =
GROUP BY sessions.ip
ORDER BY COUNT(sessions.ip) desc

My summary from this is that Kippo is receiving a lower level of ‘interesting’ connections the longer the system is operational, as attackers login to check if they’ve maintained access to an ‘0wned’ resource, without utilising the resource. I’m intending to clear my pass.db to remove existing access; hopefully this will return to more interesting connections and I’m also curious to see if any of my current tenants return from either the same source location(s) and/or re-using passwords (and proving me wrong with previous comment about user education).

–Andrew Waite

Categories: Honeypot, InfoSec, Kippo