Following a terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7, Israel responded with airstrikes and a land incursion, resulting in numerous casualties. In the wake of this attack, the number of internet-connected honeypots in Israel has seen a significant surge, according to cybersecurity experts.
Honeypots, which are manufactured networks designed to attract hackers, are commonly utilized by cybersecurity companies and governments to capture hackers and observe their tactics on a controlled decoy network or system. With cyber warfare increasingly intertwined with physical conflicts, deploying honeypots can provide insight into hacker activities during conflicts.
John Matherly, the founder of Shodan, noted a rise in the number of honeypots in Israel, revealing that these honeypots are simulating a wide range of products and services to detect malicious activities across the country. The increase in honeypots began in September and has continued to grow, particularly focusing on web servers instead of industrial control systems.
The surge in honeypot deployment is also attributed to the launch of a new region by AWS in Israel. Piotr Kijewski, CEO of the Shadowserver Foundation, highlighted the substantial increase in honeypots in Israel since the October 7 attack, propelling the country into the top three globally for honeypot deployment.
According to cybersecurity expert Silas Cutler from Stairwell, the strategic deployment of honeypots during a conflict is a logical move given the need to monitor the internet amid warfare.
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Cutler also emphasized the significance of monitoring internet activity amidst conflict, drawing parallels to the surge of exploitation in Ukraine during the initial months of war. This rise in honeypot deployment raises questions about its origins and purpose, with potential tactical advantages for Israel to monitor online activities of adversaries.
Despite the strategic implications of the honeypot deployment, the Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the matter.