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What is a Network Honeypot?



Article ID: KB4803 KB Last Updated: 29 Nov 2012Version: 6.0

What is a Network Honeypot?




A network honeypot is designed to capture extensive information on threats or attacks. The NetScreen IDP simulates an application server service on the network. The impersonated service is intended to entice attacks on these non-existent application servers. The IDP administrator can configure a network honeypot to monitor or block connections and attacks on these fake services.

A network honeypot appears to the hacker to be a real server when in reality, the honeypot contains only fake information. The goal of a network honeypot is to attract hackers’ attention. If you monitor the honeypot for suspicious activity, you might detect hackers before exploring your real servers.

Note that you must monitor the logs on a honeypot by responding with SYN/ACK packets to any TCP SYN requests it receives. Hackers then assume that those ports are open, and the hackers decide to probe them further. The IDP sensor does not perform any further protocol emulation other that replying to the SYN packet.

If you configure the IDP sensor to a honeypot, you can potentially detect slow port scans and identify potential attackers.

note: Please note that detection occurs only when the attacker attempts to connect to the service.

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