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Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2003 

An Internet-attached server that acts as a decoy, luring in potential hackers in order to study their activities and monitor how they are able to break into a system. Honeypots are designed to mimic systems that an intruder would like to break into but limit the intruder from having access to an entire network. If a honeypot is successful, the intruder will have no idea that s/he is being tricked and monitored. Most honeypots are installed inside firewalls so that they can better be controlled, though it is possible to install them outside of firewalls. A firewall in a honeypot works in the opposite way that a normal firewall works: instead of restricting what comes into a system from the Internet, the honeypot firewall allows all traffic to come in from the Internet and restricts what the system sends back out.

By luring a hacker into a system, a honeypot serves several purposes:

  • The administrator can watch the hacker exploit the vulnerabilities of the system, thereby learning where the system has weaknesses that need to be redesigned.
  • The hacker can be caught and stopped while trying to obtain root access to the system.
  • By studying the activities of hackers, designers can better create more secure systems that are potentially invulnerable to future hackers.

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For pages about honeypot . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

eSecurity Planet 
A resource for daily information on e-security targeted to IT managers. The site provides users with information from a variety of sources, including experts at security product and services firms, and the consultants who follow the security industry.

Know Your Enemy 
The Tools and Methodologies of the Script Kiddie

Know Your Enemy: II 
How to track the movements of a Script Kiddie on your system.

Know Your Enemy: III 
What happens once a Script Kiddie gains root. Specifically, how they cover their tracks and what they do next.

Playing With Fire: No Sweet Honeypots 
One layer of defense in depth can be achieved through the uses of Honeypots to gain direct, observable knowledge of how Black Hat hackers operate.

The Honeynet Project 
The Honeynet Project is a group of 30 security professionals dedicated to learning the tools, tactics, and motives of the blackhat community and sharing those lessons learned.

Honeypots Turn Tables on Hackers
Honeypots are positioned to become a key tool to defend the corporate enterprise from hacker attacks, but some security watchers worry they could bring a new set of security worries with them.
Information on the latest security vulnerabilities, free SecurityTracker Alerts, and customized vulnerability notification services.

Stopping Spam before the Gateway: Honeypots
There's more than one way to stop a spammer. Like pesky flies, spammers just can't resist the allure of honey.

related categories



related terms



DoS attack



intrusion detection system

IP spoofing


port scanning


script kiddie

secure server


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