20.Lock AbstractDigital Circular

Security-savvy Linux sysadmins automatically assume they face online and cloud security breaches, for threats targeting Linux grow increasingly pervasive due to its growing popularity as an Operating System (OS). Linux malware reached an all-time high in 2022.

When detecting and protecting against network security threats, traditional intrusion detection and prevention systems typically dispatch too many false positives. Threat hunters are hard to find and can only catch some risks.

As a result, administrators and organizations have turned to active defense or deception technologies to help identify malicious actors within their systems. Honeypots are an invaluable offensive network security toolkit for learning the Blackhat community’s tactics and motives. They share gathered information and insights and can be pretty effective when finding lateral movement and attacks in network security, protecting remotely accessible services, and improving active directory security. This article will explore deception technologies, how they work, and what open-source honeypots you can use for free.

What Are Deception Technologies & How Do They Work?

Deception technology deceives attackers by setting up decoys and traps that imitate actual environments. This cybersecurity defense strategy is triggered if an attacker gains access to one of these environments, and all actions and events get recorded and monitored.

These logs can help determine how attackers plan to gain access to a company’s network and what actions they will carry out once they are inside. This information will assist organizations in defending against these attacks in network security. Companies can use security patching on cybersecurity vulnerabilities and strengthen endpoints so attackers cannot use their deceptive methods during the breach.

What Should I Prioritize in an Open-Source Deception Tool?

Think about these requirements when choosing your open-source deception tool:

  • Concealment: Limit the severity of attacks by concealing sensitive data rather than treating the tool as a decoy asset.
  • Redirection: A robust tool will drop the attacker in decoy environments that look believable to the hacker.
  • Coverage: Make sure the tool covers the platforms your company uses, such as cloud-based environments, hybrid, IoT, networks, and so on.
  • Effectiveness: The tool should monitor reconnaissance activity, stolen credentials, AD attacks, lateral movement in general, and more.
  • Comprehensiveness: Understand the tool’s scope by considering the deception lures available, its coverage, and whether it checks endpoints.
  • Authenticity: Ensure the tool can fool anyone, or hackers will not fall for the deception technology.
  • Capabilities: Know how the tool operates, whether you perform tasks manually or automatically and easily or with difficulty.
  • Attack reports: See if the tool can identify attacks in network security without having the patterns or signatures previously recorded, and find out if the information collection has a usable format.

What Is a Honeypot & How Does It Work?


A honeypot is a type of deception technology attached to a network to attract and study environment-access attempts that could be considered attacks in network security. Virtual Machines (VM) set up honeypots so the tool can mitigate compromised services quickly. More than one honeypot in a server is called a honey farm. Honeypots present themselves as vulnerable targets and then send alerts to monitoring security professionals who can study the hacks to patch cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The leading production network is kept separate from the honeypot, which companies isolate in demilitarized zones on the network where applications and data mimic actual environment behavior. Triggering alerts through attempts to communicate with the honeypot is hostile, as this monitoring gives an organization logged activity to understand network security threats and web application security vulnerabilities.

Honeynets focus on data control and capture. Since they are highly customizable and flexible, honeynets can mitigate risks with data control and prevent compromise on non-honeynet systems with data capture. Data collection for honey farms provides organizations with all the data in a central location.

Open-Source Honeypots that Detect Threats for Free

You must research all the free open-source honeypots available to pick the best option that suits your data and network security needs. Make sure to deploy honeypots with caution because incorrect configurations can lead to easier access and compromise from hackers:

  • Modern Honey Network (MHN) is a user-friendly, easy-to-install honeypot that runs on a centralizCyber Security 3410923  340ed server. It combines Snort, Kippo, Dionaea, and Conpot. 
  • Honeydrive is a GNU/Linux distribution that comes pre-installed. It offers active defense capabilities, and you can view it as the “anti-Kali.”
  • Cowrie is an SSH honeypot miming an interactive SSH server and customizing command responses. It logs brute force exploits in cybersecurity as well as attacker shell interactions.
  • Dionaea is a multi-protocol honeypot that covers everything from FTP to SIP. It excels in SMB decoys and can simulate malware payload execution to analyze multi-part stagers.
  • Cuckoo Sandbox is a sandbox rather than a honeypot, but it is an excellent tool for malware analysis because it provides a detailed report on executed code.
  • Thug is a “honey client” that emulates a web browser to analyze client-side exploits.
  • MongoDB-HoneyProxy is a honeypot proxy mimicking an insecure MongoDB database, logging all traffic to a dummy MongoDB server.
  • ElasticHoney emulates an elastic search instance and searches for attempted remote code execution.
  • Canarytokens helps you track the activity on your network by positioning decoy data across your systems.
  • Honeything is a honeypot for IoT devices supporting the TR-069 (CWMP) protocol. It acts as a modem/router with a RomPager-embedded web server.
  • Conpot can emulate complex infrastructures to attract attackers to a vast industrial complex. The design is easy to deploy, modify, and extend. Moreover, it comes with a web server that can emulate SCADA HMI.
  • GasPot is suitable for organizations in the oil and gas industry since it mimics a Veeder Root Guardian AST, a familiar concept to those in the industry.

Final Thoughts on Open-Source Honeypots that Detect Threats for Free

Deception technology is critical in detecting and eliminating modern network security threats in Linux systems to maintain and improve security posture. Honeypots have a low false-positives rate, so you can trust their effectiveness in identifying cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Open-source honeypots can be a free and reliable way to stop malware and attacks in network security before facing any damage.

Are you using one of these honeypots? Comment below- we’d love to hear how your experience has been!