Feeds

Catch a hacker, win a book

Honeynet Project wants YOU

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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'

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.