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What is a honeypot? A trap for catching hackers in the act

April 1, 2019

A honeypot is a trap that an IT pro lays for a malicious hacker, hoping that they’ll interact with it in a way that provides useful intelligence. It’s one of the oldest security measures in IT, but beware: luring hackers onto your network, even on an isolated system, can be a dangerous game.

Norton’s simple definition of a honeypot is a good starting place: “A honeypot is a computer or computer system intended to mimic likely targets of cyberattacks.” Often a honeypot will be deliberately configured with known vulnerabilities in place to make a more tempting or obvious target for attackers. A honeypot won’t contain production data or participate in legitimate traffic on your network — that’s how you can tell anything happening within it is a result of an attack. If someone’s stopping by, they’re up to no good.

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