White Paper: Exposed:Cyberattacks on Cloud Honeypots
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Defaults are the fault
Contrary to popular belief, every device is worth hacking when the process is automated. It doesn’t matter who or where you are, if you own a company big or small, or have technology in the home – every device can be monetised by an enterprising criminal. Brute force login attempts are likely occurring on any online device. Yet the speed and scale of the problem can boggle the mind. Criminals are relentless and often competitive with one another to find, take over, and monetise your smart devices.
The research you’ll find here, using honeypot devices across the internet, is a first step in attempting to quantify the issue. In cybersecurity terms, a honeypot is an open, vulnerable device, configured to deliberately lure a cybercriminal to attack. When the criminal starts to interact with the device, they are in fact triggering alarms to alert a business or individual to their presence and track their activity.
There are many types of honeypots, but in this paper we focus on two main distinctions: high and low interaction.
A high-interaction honeypot permits the attacker to go further in order to gather additional information about their intentions. In the context of this paper where high interaction honeypots are referenced, we allowed the attacker to log in to the honeypot with a designated set of usernames and passwords, and stored any command the attacker attempted to use.
A low-interaction honeypot is a honeypot that, once found by the hacker, will not be of much use to them. In our case, the attacker is presented with a login prompt they have no way of getting past. This logs and stores any attempts to log in, providing information on the attacker’s IP address of origin (which can be attributed to a location), and the username and password used in the login attempt.