The State of Saxony is building a powerful infrastructure for information security which will help it identify and disarm hackers and disable malware much more quickly in the future. This involves strengthening the defences of approximately 40,000 PC workstations in numerous sub-networks against unauthorised external attacks.
These sub-networks link together various public authorities, who sometimes exchange highly sensitive data. Saxony’s State Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for the state government’s information security, therefore initiated the HoneySens project. HoneySens was developed and put into practice in conjunction with TU Dresden and T-Systems Multimedia Solutions. The name HoneySens is a combination of the words “honeypot” and “sensors”. The system’s software has sensors simulating network vulnerabilities that appeal to attackers – these are the honeypots. These hacker traps record all the data streams in a suspicious attack on the network and then forward this information to a central server for analysis and alerting. The aggregated data can be evaluated in real time by means of a user-friendly, low-maintenance web-based application.
The honeypots thus collect valuable information in order to protect the entire IT system against unauthorised intrusion from outside. The device developed especially for this scenario can be installed in any office and is not linked to regular PCs in the government network, making an attack practically impossible.
The Saxony Ministry of the Interior has a wide range of responsibilities, from municipal matters, security, regional development, construction and housing to IT and e-government for the state administration. Within this framework, it is also responsible for information security in Saxony’s administrative infrastructure and for cyber security.