Cyber-security and utilizing fake data

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The Washington Post published an article on January 2nd discussing how many organizations are turning to a unique type of deception in an attempt to protect data and thwart cyber-criminals.

Minnesota based Brown Printing Co. began planting fake data in web servers to lure hackers into “rabbit holes.” The hope is that the hackers will expend a lot of energy and effort trying to steal fake data and eventually will go elsewhere when they are unsuccessful finding useful information. Within weeks of Brown Printing installing its deceptive tools, they detected over 375 suspicious probes against their website. It was the first time that they could detect these threats.

Organizations are looking to turn the tables on would-be hackers and highlight a growing trend that companies are looking to be more aggressive in their attempts to fight off intruders. According to Michael DuBose, a former chief of the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, theft of intellectual property and other sensitive documents may be the most significant cyber-threat the nation faces over the long-term and many organizations are no longer willing to stay on the defensive.  This new action is known as a type of “active defense.”

The FBI warns that the use of these types of deceptive maneuvers could backfire,  but nonetheless, remain legal as long as the fake data is planted within the company’s network and does not damage a third party’s system. The overall message is that organizations are beginning to take control of their cyber-security and are no longer willing to sit by passively.

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