Feeds

Catch a hacker, win a book

Honeynet Project wants YOU

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Organizers of the Honeynet Project's Forensic Challenge are inviting aspiring cyber sleuths to match wits with the perpetrator of a dastardly hack attack on an unnamed Linux machine last November.

Contestants can download intrusion detection system logs from the night of the attack, along with mountable images of the hacked computer's disk drive. Then, by painstakingly analysing the clues left by the intruder, players must uncover such facts as the technique used to crack the system, the type of malicious code that was left behind, and as much as possible about the perpetrator, according to the official rules released Monday by organizer Dave Dittrich, a computer security guru at the University of Washington.

Answers must be in before February 19th. The top-twenty digital detectives, as judged by Honeynet's 30 members, will each win a copy of McGraw-Hill's Hacking Exposed, a $28 value.

The Honeynet Project deliberately scatters vulnerable computers around the Net to lure in "black hat" hackers who then become virtual lab rats, their every move carefully scrutinized and written up in academic research papers.

The Monday launch of the project's first Forensic Challenge coincides with the start of eWeek's third high-profile "Open Hack" competition. Open Hack offers a cash reward of $50,000 to the first person who can penetrate four specially designated systems in a two week period.

That makes playing Sherlock Holmes both less sexy and less potentially lucrative than playing Moriarty, acknowledges intrusion detection expert Martin Roesch, a Honeynet member. "Well, yeah, there's fifty thousand dollars at stake. Hell, I'm thinking of doing it," says Roesch. "But you're far more likely to get a useful experience out of participating in the Forensic Challenge than participating in the Open Hack challenge."

Open Hack is "contrived," while the Forensic Challenge requires the kind of real-life detective work that network administrators, security experts and law enforcement agencies put to use when performing autopsies on hacked computers, Roesch says.

As with other Honeynet endeavours, the perpetrator of the November intrusion was secretly monitored by the project. But the surveillance logs will remain under lock and key until the contest results become public on 19 March.

For now, only one thing is publicly known about the culprit: he or she will not be taking home one of the free books. "The person who hacked the box is not eligible," writes Dittrich.

© 2001 SecurityFocus.com, all rights reserved.

Related Story

Inept crackers stung by intended 'victim'

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.