Exploring the Realm of Hackers: Inside Honeypots and Cyber Intrusion

“Exploring the Realm of Hackers: Inside Honeypots and Cyber Intrusion”

“Exploring the Realm of Hackers: Inside Honeypots and Cyber Intrusion”

Exploring the Intricate Honeypot Network that Lures and Monitors Hackers

Imagine having the power to closely observe hackers as they take control of a computer and manipulate it at will. Two security researchers ventured into this territory by orchestrating a network of computers designed as honeypots to attract hackers.

In a unique experiment, the researchers deployed publicly exposed Windows servers equipped with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This configuration enabled hackers to remotely manipulate these servers, mimicking regular user activity, including typing and clicking.

This approach allowed the researchers to capture a staggering 190 million events and over 100 hours of video footage, showcasing hackers performing a range of actions. These actions included reconnaissance, cryptocurrency mining malware installation, employing Android emulators for click fraud, brute-forcing passwords on other systems, using the honeypot as a springboard for subsequent attacks, and even engaging in explicit content consumption. The researchers noted that a single successful login by a hacker could generate numerous events.

Andréanne Bergeron, a criminology Ph.D. holder from the University of Montreal and a cybersecurity professional at GoSecure, and her colleague Olivier Bilodeau, unveiled their findings at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas.

Categorizing Hackers: The Dungeon and Dragons Approach

The researchers classified hackers based on Dungeons and Dragons character archetypes:

  1. Rangers: Hackers who conduct meticulous reconnaissance and evaluate the compromised system for future exploitation.
  2. Barbarians: These hackers attempt to bruteforce into other systems using known lists of hacked credentials.
  3. Wizards: Utilizing the honeypot as a launching pad, these hackers establish connections with other systems to obscure their tracks.
  4. Thieves: Their primary objective is financial gain, often through installing crypto miners or generating fake web traffic.
  5. Bards: Hackers with limited skills, often engaging in mundane activities like searching for malware or viewing explicit content.

The researchers highlighted the potential significance of observing hackers interact with honeypots. Beyond aiding researchers, this knowledge could empower law enforcement and cybersecurity defense teams. Law enforcement could intercept ransomware groups’ RDP environments for intelligence collection, while blue teams could deploy their traps using Indicators of Compromise to protect their organizations.

Furthermore, the study suggested that hackers’ suspicion of encountering honeypots could lead to changes in strategies, ultimately slowing down their activities and benefiting cybersecurity efforts as a whole.

Check out the latest news in our Global News section

Stay updated on environmental data and insights by following KI Data on Twitter