Spy vs Spy Week, Startup

Startup: Fight fire with fire

Hackers are, really, dumb stuffed bears.

The original honeypot was a sexy Russian woman trained in the art of seduction. Now that the cold war is over, the term is used mainly in computing to talk about hacker traps. A honeypot is, at its core, a computer set up specifically to get hacked. Why in the hell would you want this? Sometimes for purely academic purposes, like an unpatched XP system with a real IP address just to see how long it runs after going live before being compromised. (In its heyday: about 3 seconds on average.) Some systems, like honeyd, just simulate hundreds or even thousands of servers so that you real ones are lost in the forest, and you can block addresses that start accessing the honeypot systems assuming that they are only connecting for nefarious purposes. My personal favourite is a system called “Kippo” which categorizes itself as a “medium” interaction system. The root password is deliberately weak, many common commands do stuff, there is a fake file system that appears to be an entire operating system, but the whole system is useless. Common commands give obscure errors, downloaded files give even more obscure errors when you try to run them. The whole thing is designed for two pronged entertainment: keep the hacker running in circles, and make a detailed transcript of everything they did for laughs around the geek table later. It’s a Machiavellian nose thumbing to all the script kiddies out there. Brings a tear to my eye.

  • The Professor

    The term 'hacking' used to mean making quick and dirty changes to code in ordered to correct an error or some other change. It somehow got hijacked by a bunch of bored asswipes that have nothing better to do than to go around trashing systems, just because they can. I could never understand that mindset. Now, of course, the term applied to data thieves too.

    • Get of my data lawn you crazy kids…

      • The Professor

        Yeah! Dag nab it!