Cowrie SSH Honeypot – AWS EC2 build script

Happy New Year all!

Whilst eating FAR too much turkey and chocolates over the festive break, I’ve managed to progress a couple of personal projects on (between stints on the kids’ Scalectrix track, thanks Santa). Still tasks to do(*), but a working EC2 User-Data script to build to automate deployment Cowrie honeypot has reached MVP stage.

# based on
apt -y update 
DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt -y upgrade 
apt -y install git python-virtualenv libssl-dev libffi-dev build-essential libpython3-dev python3-minimal authbind virtualenv
adduser --disabled-password --gecos "" cowrie
sudo -H -u cowrie /bin/bash -s << EOF >> /home/cowrie/heredoc.out
cd /home/cowrie/
git clone
cd /home/cowrie/cowrie
virtualenv --python=python3 cowrie-env
source cowrie-env/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt
bin/cowrie start
# runs with cowrie.cfg.dist - will need tuning to specific usecase

Latest version will be maintained here

*current items on back of beer mat project plan, which may or may not get completed, are:

  • Customise cowrie.cfg, to launch on standard ports rather than default SSH on T:2222 – Completed
  • Fix apt upgrade issue – Fixed courtesy of @ajhdock
  • Mount Cowrie logging, output, and downloads to EFS for persistance – configure Cowrie’s native S3 output module
  • Expand instance to Spot instance pool to lower costs and/or increase instance count
  • Ingest activity logs into $something for further analysis

Andrew Waite

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