Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Enhancing Client Honeypots with Grid Services and Workflows

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posted on 2021-11-10, 02:49 authored by Stirling, David

Client honeypots are devices for detecting malicious servers on a network. They interact with potentially malicious servers and analyse the Web pages returned to assess whether these pages contain an attack. This type of attack is termed a 'drive-by-download'. Low-interaction client honeypots operate a signature-based approach to detecting known malicious code. High- interaction client honeypots run client applications in full operating systems that are usually hosted by a virtual machine. The operating systems are either internally or externally monitored for anomalous behaviour. In recent years there have been a growing number of client honeypot systems being developed, but there is little interoperability between systems because each has its own custom operational scripts and data formats. By creating interoperability through standard interfaces we could more easily share usage of client honeypots and the data collected. Another problem is providing a simple means of managing an installation of client honeypots. Work ows are a popular technology for allowing end-users to co-ordinate e-science experiments, so these work ow systems can potentially be utilised for client honeypot management. To formulate requirements for management we ran moderate-scale scans of the .nz domain over several months using a manual script-based approach. The main requirements were a system that is user-oriented, loosely-coupled, and integrated with Grid computing|allowing for resource sharing across organisations. Our system design uses Grid services (extensions to Web services) to wrap client honeypots, a manager component acts as a broker for user access, and workflows orchestrate the Grid services. Our prototype wraps our case study - Capture-HPC -with these services, using the Taverna workflow system, and a Web portal for user access. When evaluating our experiences we found that while our system design met our requirements, currently a Java-based application operating on our Web services provides some advantages over our Taverna approach - particularly for modifying workflows, maintainability, and dealing with  failure. The Taverna workflows, however, are better suited for the data analysis phase and have some usability advantages. Workflow languages such as Taverna are still relatively immature, so improvements are likely to be made. Both of these approaches are significantly easier to manage and deploy than the previous manual script-based method.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Computer Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Welch, Ian; Komisarczuk, Peter