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Re: Honeypot detection and countermeasures
From: Gerardo Richarte <gera () corest com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 18:00:33 -0300

Larry Colen wrote:

> I'm doing some research on honeypot detection, and preventing
> honeypots from being detected. I'd greatly appreciate some feedback
> from pen-testers on the following issues:

   I find this an interesting subject.

   IMHO, when somebody is paying you/me to do a pen-test he's not
only trying to find what hosts can be hacked into, but instead he's willing
to test the security of the complete organization, and here I'm being, I think, a
little more open than most people. The whole system includes not only
servers and networks, but also (oh well... this is not new) people, stablished
trust relationships, etc.

If there is a honeypot in place, or NIDS or firewall or whatever security appliance or policy. I would expect my client to try to find how usefull this
tools are for securing the organization. If I hack into a honeypot, I would
report it back, and I would expect somebody from the security team to
realize I'm hacking into the honeypot (or looking at NIDS or firewalls alerts).
If nobody reacts to the alerts, well... although I hacked into a honeypot,
I could say I found a security flaw in the organization, because one of the
countermeassures was not effective.

So, to wrap up this too-long mail, if there is a honeypot in the net, I would try to avoid hacking into it, and do everything a hacker would do to detect it, because I'm being paid to tell my client how vulnerable the organization would be to a real attack, and well... I tend to think attackers are as smart as I can
be when emulating them as part of a pen-test.

All this said, of course the client an choose to ask you not to target honeypots, or can just tell you what IPs are honeypots, but this would be changing the attacker profile, either to a "script kiddie", who will not be carefull with honeypots, or to an advanced attacker, who will not target honeypots at all... for example...

   erm... yeah


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