Cyber deception should be a critical component of any organization’s cyber defense strategy, but knowing which technique to use in a given situation can be challenging. Organizations can better protect their systems, networks, and data by understanding the different types of techniques.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss four cyber deception techniques and provide examples of how organizations can use them.
The first and most popular cyber deception technique is the honeypot.
A honeypot is a computer system that is set up to act as a decoy to attract cyber attackers if or when they successfully breach a network. It is essentially an electronic trap that cybercriminals will try to penetrate to steal information or damage the system.
Honeypots can monitor cyber activities and collect data about cyber threats. They can also be used to distract and mislead attackers, making it more difficult for them to find and exploit real targets.
Honeypots can be configured in various ways, but most honeypots consist of decoy servers designed to look like real systems. When attackers target the honeypot, they are unaware that they are being monitored and that their activities can be recorded. Security teams can then use this information to improve security measures and prevent future attacks.
There are different types of honeypots, but the most common are low-interaction honeypots and high-interaction honeypots. Low-interaction honeypots are easier to set up and maintain but provide less information than high-interaction honeypots. High-interaction honeypots are more challenging to set up and maintain, but they can provide a wealth of information about an attacker’s methods and motivations.
Some common honeypots include web servers, email servers, or computers running vulnerable software.
The following important technique or component is the honeytoken.
A honeytoken is a cyber deception tool used to entice cybercriminals into revealing themselves. It can be fictitious information created to lure cybercriminals into attacking it to track their movements and activities. Honeytokens can be used in several different ways. Still, they are most commonly used to bait cybercriminals into revealing themselves so they can be tracked and monitored.
As an essential part of the deception ecosystem, honeytokens are often combined with other cyber deception elements. These different elements work together to create a comprehensive cyber deception system that can track, monitor, and disrupt cybercriminals’ activities.
One example of a honeytoken is a document or file placed on a company’s network but not meant to be used. Instead, it is created as a decoy to lure cybercriminals and hackers. They may be tracked or monitored if they attempt to download the file.
Another example of a honeytoken is an account created specifically for cyber deception. This account may be used to post fake or misleading information or interact with cyber criminals to gather information about them.
Another example of a honeytoken is a share created on a company’s network. This share may appear accessible to all users but is only meant to be accessed by cybercriminals. By accessing the share, they may be exposing themselves; additionally, they may be redirected to a honeypot for further tracking, monitoring, and attack disruption.
The following crucial cyber deception technique or component on our list is the honeynet.
A honeynet is a network designed to deceive cyber attackers and collect information about their activities. It consists of two or more interconnected computers in such a way that the regular operation of the network can be simulated. Honeynets are often used to gather information about the tools, techniques, and procedures used by cyber attackers and to study their behavior.
Honeynets can be used for both active and passive cyber deception. In active cyber deception, the honeynet is used to lure attackers into a trap, where they can be captured or monitored. On the other hand, passive cyber deception uses the honeynet to collect information about attackers without interacting with them.
Lastly, an essential cyber deception technique or component is the lure.
In cyber deception, a lure is more than a fake asset designed to deceive attackers; it is instead a technique intended to make the other deception components more attractive, compared to real network assets, to adversaries when they successfully breach a network. For instance, to make an Internet of Things (IoT) honeypot attractive to attackers, it can be built and set up with its default factory credentials. Also, a database can be built and filled with fake and attractive data such as fictitious personal identifiable information (PII). Those actions by themselves are lures.
Honeypots, honeytokens, honeynets, and lures are the most critical cyber deception components. Each has pros and cons, but when used together, they can create a robust system of cyber deception to detect, respond, disrupt, and sometimes engage with adversaries that successfully breach a network. By understanding the different elements of cyber deception, organizations can more successfully disrupt attackers during their progression within the attack kill chain and effectively defend against cyber attacks.