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A collection of security stuff and all sorts of other random shit.

Using Shodan to Find Similarities Between Hosts in SSH Brute Force Ranges

So, I was messing with shodan this morning after reading Cybergibbon’s shenanigans with the Heatmiser Wifi Thermostat, and reviewing the IDS and firewall logs as i do each morning.

I wanted to see how much traffic the router had blocked from a particular range that likes to attack all the open SSH stuff on this particular network:

 292K   12M DROP       all  --  *      *

heh neat. 12M of TCP ‘SYN’ over about two weeks.

Then with shodan fresh in the mind, I got an idea.



For those who don’t know, the range of is a range inside China that constantly attacks the reachable internet for weak SSH credentials, all day, every day. If you watch the Norse attack map, you might see it doing its thing.

There are other ranges within China that exhibit the same behaviour, namely and, but as a whole the entire range is bad news. Never seen legit traffic from this range ever.

Sure SSH scans happen, it’s the internet, and we have a password policy that mandates passwords cannot be guessable by any 3 year old. However, whoever is behind this is putting a fair amount of trouble and resources into doing this, it’s rather insane.

Well so am I, so lets fuck with them.

Release the shodan!

So, shodan is awesome. It’s a search engine for random stuff open to the internet. You can find a lot of fun, sadness and potentially a lot of trouble if you look for the right (or wrong) thing and play with it.

Shodan is perfect for this research project, since I don’t have to waste my oh so valuable resources to compile and run masscan (oh noes muh cycles!) or money to do it from a throw-away cloud shitbox. But more seriously, why risk being scanned back (or DDoS’d) for performing reconnaissance? or being banhammered from AWS, Google Cloud, or OVH for doing naughty things?

Shodan can take that risk for you if you don’t want to. I’d be more than happy to do it all myself (I am certainly capable of doing so), but that’s not in scope of this post :)

So, Shodan has an API, cool. I’m a Sysadmin, give me a python library, Oh look they have one

I fired up my python virtualenv, ran vim and got to work.

The result was an awful script that did awful things:

#!env /bin/python

import shodan


api = shodan.Shodan(SUPER_SECRET_API_KEY)

naughty_pricks = [

for prick in naughty_pricks:

        host = api.host(prick)

#I know this looks bad and I should feel bad. but idgaf call the cops.

        print """

IP:  ***%s***

ISP: ***%s***
        """ % (host['ip_str'], host.get('org', 'n/a'))

        for item in host['data']:
                print """
Port: ***%s***


""" % (item['port'], item['data'])

The result was this semi readable markdown output

from here, i could then grep and mould the results as i saw fit.

The analysis

Since the hosts all had Port 137 open (NetBIOS), this gave me some information that i found useful for profiling our friends.

A grep for hostnames gave me a nice tight list of all the hostnames of these systems:

IDC-073C1DF8683 <0x20>
IDC-1D5C6BBDF3A <0x20>
IDC-1D6EF802E40 <0x20>
IDC-1DCEB780E28 <0x20>
IDC-22D7C9E2B02 <0x20>
IDC-2533F122B13 <0x20>
IDC-26A1C33F316 <0x20>
IDC-7213F7E9432 <0x20>
IDC-85365D05ADF <0x20>
IDC-8DDE4A14FF8 <0x20>
IDC-996DA0223DD <0x20>
IDC-A80C6B30775 <0x20>
IDC-CECC265ED8B <0x20>
IDC-D94F7772A93 <0x20>
IDC-DC2D985494C <0x20>
IDC-EAE1FBD4E07 <0x20>
IDC-FB92254677F <0x20>
ORGANIZA-D00C80 <0x20>
TENGYI-163CAAB8 <0x20>
TENGYI-1A7B7025 <0x20>
TENGYI-56AB5E32 <0x20>
TENGYI-75574DC7 <0x20>
TENGYI-EA32E16E <0x20>
WWW-0C90D5E834F <0x20>
WWW-10B06E72287 <0x20>
WWW-17385A1E7D9 <0x20>
WWW-1F45ED6876A <0x20>
WWW-357C3D5BA92 <0x20>
WWW-3E63653E8D7 <0x20>
WWW-69EB0C42237 <0x20>
WWW-6DCC428E422 <0x20>
WWW-7370E8EC3E0 <0x20>
WWW-83CE25E3961 <0x20>
WWW-890860C26E3 <0x20>
WWW-8D870A2DAE6 <0x20>
WWW-8FACE61F8D1 <0x20>
WWW-C0F7DF227B2 <0x20>
WWW-C8ABBE387A2 <0x20>
WWW-CB73E270F45 <0x20>
WWW-D7BB30955E9 <0x20>
WWW-E099932AEE8 <0x20>

I asked about if the IDC- and prefixes meant anything on twitter earlier today, but the only thing i could get from it was it’s possibly a GUID, truncated due to NetBIOS 15 chr limit on hostname values.

The IDC- prefixed hostname is not uniqe to these machines, infact using shodan I was able to find similar instances from other countries too, but the bulk are in China and the US, same with the WWW- prefix, just more Chinese hits.

From what I can find around the intertubes, ‘TENGYI’ or Teng Yi is a name given to males in China, so probably some dude’s name.

The only one that stands out is ORGANIZA at IP which is spanish for “organized”, I think it’s generic. Might mean something to someone. As far as the other hosts go, this one was run of the mill, only Port 137 is open.

Running Services

Doing a quick count, the following was discovered:

43 have port 137 (NetBIOS) open (all of them) with each on the default WORKGROUP workgroup.

32 have port 21 (FTP) open with either Serv-U or Filezilla-Server as the ftpd

1 has port 22 (SSH) open with the opening string SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_3.9p1

1 has port 443 (SSL) open, was unable to obtain certificate because the port is now closed.

1 has port 445 (MS-RPC) open that had a semi-successful Anonymous login when shodan did a pass:

Anonymous login successful

    Sharename       Type      Comment
    ---------       ----      -------
Error returning browse list: NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED
session request to failed (Called name not present)
session request to 61 failed (Called name not present)
Anonymous login successful

    Server               Comment
    ---------            -------

    Workgroup            Master
    ---------            -------

3 have port 5432 (PostgreSQL) open, all of which responded with could not create socket: Too many open files lol

1 had port 80 (HTTP) open, responded with a HTTP 400 with no server header when shodan queried it.

2 had port 9200 open, running apache httpd, returned HTTP 403 and had the server header Server: Apache/1.3.33 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.8.22 OpenSSL/0.9.6m That’s too old for Heartbleed btw, but all sorts of other shit lurks within versions that old.

Layer 2 Intelligence

Some of the NetBIOS responses contained the machine’s NIC MAC Address, here’s a list of them:

MAC: 00:19:bb:39:2e:5e
MAC: 00:19:bb:3d:e3:90
MAC: 00:19:bb:3e:cd:90
MAC: 00:1a:4b:a4:fc:ac
MAC: 00:1a:4b:a5:34:1a
MAC: 00:1b:78:72:78:48
MAC: 00:1b:78:73:97:82
MAC: 00:1b:78:75:24:46
MAC: 00:1b:78:76:dd:5e
MAC: 00:1b:78:ca:4e:8a
MAC: 00:1c:c4:78:fb:84
MAC: 00:1e:0b:47:2a:fc
MAC: 00:1e:0b:5e:1d:7a
MAC: 00:1e:0b:5f:3a:54
MAC: 00:1e:0b:5f:3f:ec
MAC: 00:1e:0b:5f:5e:fa
MAC: 00:1e:0b:8f:c0:08
MAC: 00:1e:67:13:c7:1e
MAC: 00:1e:67:25:ee:76
MAC: 00:1e:67:66:b0:be
MAC: 00:1e:c9:b6:ce:44
MAC: 00:1f:29:0a:f5:f6
MAC: 00:1f:29:64:a9:46
MAC: 00:1f:29:ca:a6:fe
MAC: 00:21:5a:45:6c:6a
MAC: 00:22:19:51:97:e7
MAC: 00:22:19:51:ad:4a
MAC: 00:22:19:ba:89:bd
MAC: 00:24:e8:54:29:32
MAC: 00:24:e8:5a:91:66
MAC: 00:24:e8:5a:91:81
MAC: 00:24:e8:5a:9f:aa
MAC: 00:24:e8:5a:b3:1d
MAC: 00:24:e8:5a:b3:28
MAC: 08:60:6e:57:29:e7
MAC: 68:b5:99:b4:04:86
MAC: bc:5f:f4:91:ee:51
MAC: bc:5f:f4:91:ee:d8
MAC: bc:5f:f4:91:ee:ea
MAC: c8:60:00:83:be:1a
MAC: d4:85:64:53:51:dc
MAC: d4:85:64:53:dc:40

From here, we can cut out only the first three bytes of the MAC to give us the Manufacturer uniq part, and feed that through a database:

00:19:bb - Hewlett Packard
00:1a:4b - Hewlett Packard
00:1b:78 - Hewlett Packard
00:1c:c4 - Hewlett Packard
00:1e:0b - Hewlett Packard
00:1e:67 - Intel
00:1e:c9 - Dell
00:1f:29 - Hewlett Packard
00:21:5a - Hewlett Packard
00:22:19 - Dell
00:24:e8 - Dell
08:60:6e - ASUSTek Computer
68:b5:99 - Hewlett Packard
bc:5f:f4 - ASRock
c8:60:00 - ASUSTek Computer
d4:85:64 - Hewlett Packard

Interesting mix, but one very obvious favorite in this list.


Most of the hosts presented as Windows boxes running a ftpd, however some also showed signs of running *NIX applications like apache, SSH and Possibly PostgreSQL,

some possibilities come of this:

  • The IP in question is actually a Gateway for a bunch of machines running behind a NAT
  • The IPs are windows machines running Virtual machines (they seem kinda old), or running cygwin/mingw.
  • I don’t know. Anything could be happening.


Its hard to tell if these are just compromised, or if there is any organisation behind them. My suspicious mind likes to think the latter.

Unless someone jumps the gun, pops a few of these boxes and unravels the secrets they hold, I don’t think we’ll ever know. Oh well. They’re banhammered. whatever.