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HaaS – Honeypot as a Service⚓︎

Honeypot is a special software which simulates an operating system and allows an attacker to log in via SSH or telnet and execute commands or download malware. Commands are recorded and used to analyze the behavior. Malware can be analyzed as well.

HaaS allows usage of moderately interactive SSH honeypot in a way that the attacker would be kept logged in as long as possible, knowing that he attacks the real device, not the honeypot.

How it works⚓︎

Using HaaS and installing the HaaS proxy application, your router becomes able to forward traffic incoming from WAN port 22 (commonly used for SSH) to the HaaS server (owned by CZ.NIC association) located in one of our datacenters.

The HaaS server, powered by Cowrie, is a full-fledged honeypot. As well, it is able to record the user/password combination (like Minipots do) and in addition it is able to simulate a real device and record the executed commands.

A big advantage is that your router stays safe all the time because all communications are redirected to our server and nothing is done on the router itself.

Available facts gained by using HaaS are:

  • From which IP address the attacker logged in
  • Credentials he used to log in
  • The attacker’s behavior
  • The scripts which the attacker ran in the honeypot

How to set up HaaS⚓︎

To activate HaaS, you need a PC or server with Linux and public IPv4 address. You may have to redirect port 22 from your router to your PC if you use the router and NAT.

Then, you can proceed with the following steps.

If you already have a token, you can skip to the step 3.

  1. Register on HaaS website.


  1. There, in the section My Honeypot click on Add new device. After naming it, you will get a token.

Add new device

Create new device

Device token

  1. Go to reForis web interface and enable the Data Collection package list in the Package ManagementPackages tab and also enable “SSH Honeypot” option. This will install Data Collection and HaaS which will occur under the Sentinel menu item.

Enable Data Collection

Sentinel menu item

  1. Go to the HaaS tab and check Enable HaaS Proxy option. Then copy your token into HaaS token input and click on Save button.

Proxy settings

After this, HaaS is activated.

Move the SSH server to a port for remote administration⚓︎

If you use SSH for remote access to your router, you need to redirect the port 22 to a different port, otherwise you will be connected to the honeypot. Changing the SSH port can be simple protection against intrusion attempts. Don’t forget to use a strong password or use a public key for logging in.

You just need to add a port forwarding with the following settings:

  • Name: SSH redirect
  • External port: number from 1 to 65535
  • Internal port: 22

For the obvious reasons, choose those port numbers, which are not being used.


If you don’t fill out the port of your SSH connection, the default port (which is 22) will be used and you will be connected to the honeypot, which could record your password! For this reason it is better to log in with a public key.

Last update: 2021-02-15