Welcome to the Cowrie GitHub repository¶
This is the official repository for the Cowrie SSH and Telnet Honeypot effort.
What is Cowrie¶
Cowrie is a medium to high interaction SSH and Telnet honeypot designed to log brute force attacks and the shell interaction performed by the attacker. In medium interaction mode (shell) it emulates a UNIX system in Python, in high interaction mode (proxy) it functions as an SSH and telnet proxy to observe attacker behavior to another system.
Cowrie is maintained by Michel Oosterhof.
- Choose to run as an emulated shell (default):
Fake filesystem with the ability to add/remove files. A full fake filesystem resembling a Debian 5.0 installation is included
Possibility of adding fake file contents so the attacker can cat files such as /etc/passwd. Only minimal file contents are included
Cowrie saves files downloaded with wget/curl or uploaded with SFTP and scp for later inspection
- Or proxy SSH and telnet to another system
Run as a pure telnet and ssh proxy with monitoring
Or let Cowrie manage a pool of QEMU emulated servers to provide the systems to login to
For both settings:
Session logs are stored in an UML Compatible format for easy replay with the bin/playlog utility.
SFTP and SCP support for file upload
Support for SSH exec commands
Logging of direct-tcp connection attempts (ssh proxying)
Forward SMTP connections to SMTP Honeypot (e.g. mailoney)
JSON logging for easy processing in log management solutions
Docker versions are available.
For Python dependencies, see requirements.txt.
Files of interest:¶
etc/cowrie.cfg - Cowrie’s configuration file. Default values can be found in etc/cowrie.cfg.dist.
share/cowrie/fs.pickle - fake filesystem
etc/userdb.txt - credentials to access the honeypot
honeyfs/ - file contents for the fake filesystem - feel free to copy a real system here or use bin/fsctl
honeyfs/etc/issue.net - pre-login banner
honeyfs/etc/motd - post-login banner
var/log/cowrie/cowrie.json - transaction output in JSON format
var/log/cowrie/cowrie.log - log/debug output
var/lib/cowrie/tty/ - session logs, replayable with the bin/playlog utility.
var/lib/cowrie/downloads/ - files transferred from the attacker to the honeypot are stored here
share/cowrie/txtcmds/ - file contents for simple fake commands
bin/createfs - used to create the fake filesystem
bin/playlog - utility to replay session logs
Cowrie will by default upload data on crashes and Python exceptions to api.cowrie.org. This information is used to improve the honeypot and is not shared with third parties. It can be disabled by setting enabled=false in [output_crashreporter].
Many people have contributed to Cowrie over the years. Special thanks to:
Upi Tamminen (desaster) for all his work developing Kippo on which Cowrie was based
Dave Germiquet (davegermiquet) for TFTP support, unit tests, new process handling
Olivier Bilodeau (obilodeau) for Telnet support
Ivan Korolev (fe7ch) for many improvements over the years.
Florian Pelgrim (craneworks) for his work on code cleanup and Docker.
Guilherme Borges (sgtpepperpt) for SSH and telnet proxy (GSoC 2019)
And many many others.