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February 2003

Using HoneyD configurations to build honeypot systems

Honeypots are a useful tool for learning about attackers' techniques and motives. The latest cool tool in the honeypot1 toolbox is an incredibly flexible traffic manipulation engine called "honeyd," authored by Niels Provos of the University of Michigan . Honeyd allows you to construct networks of computers that don't exist. It can fool Nmap and ICMP scanners and build incredibly powerful honeypot systems--all running on a single low-end computer. How does it work? Honeyd functions best in cooperation with Dug Song's arpd--a tool for spoofing ARP traffic. ARP spoofing is used for "capturing" the IP address of a machine that doesn't exist, and directing traffic aimed at that machine somewhere else. Arpd automates this process for honeyd, allowing honeyd to reliably "see" traffic for entire networks at a time. Honeyd listens for traffic aimed at an address arpd has captured, interacting with it as if it were a real host. ICMP, TCP and UDP traffic is handled within the honeyd application, so there's no stress on the underlying ...

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