• Saxony State Ministry of the Interior

    Catching hackers
    in a honey trap

Saxony State Ministry of the Interior

Fend off hackers and lure them
into a honey trap


Benefits to our customer:

Detect and patch vulnerabilities in IT-security quickly and cost-effectively

Prevent losses caused by IT-system outages, manipulation and data access

Permanently safeguard the working capacity of the Saxony state administration

  • Requirements

    Detect cyber attacks and eliminate security vulnerabilities

    As a public service provider for residents and companies, the State of Saxony is expanding its range of online services – from changes of address to business registrations and patent applications. Across the region, more and more internal administrative procedures are also being converted to electronic business processes. But this increasing digitisation is also making Saxony’s state government the target of more frequent cyber attacks: in 2016, the number of hacker attacks trebled compared to the previous year, to over 1,400. The situation is the same for malicious software that is sent by email: experts found more than 75,000 items of malware in the 26 million emails received. The potential threats in its own network also cannot be neglected, be they computers infected with malicious software or devices that communicate unnecessarily, such as printer servers.

    However, conventional security measures like firewalls and antivirus software are limited in their ability to deal with these security threats.

Solution

Cyber defence solution lures hackers to the honeypot

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.


  • Benefits

    No system outages and no data theft through cyber attacks

    As the use of the HoneySens hacker traps is cost-effective and they are easy to administer, the information security of Saxony’s administrative network can be further increased with minimal resources. By evaluating the data in real time, those responsible can respond automatically to potential dangers and nip them in the bud. The aggregated sensor data can also be used to keep track of attack patterns and to further reinforce internal IT infrastructure systems. This enables vulnerabilities to be patched and repeated cyber attacks to be averted immediately. With the help of these measures, the working capacity of the Saxony administration can be maintained at a high level. At the same time, attempted data theft and manipulation can be detected at an early stage and averted.

  • Karl-Otto Feger

    Karl-Otto Feger, Head of Information and Cyber Security at Saxony’s Ministry of the Interior

    “We cannot prevent our networks from becoming targets for hackers. But what we can do is prevent cyber spies from being successful.”

About Saxony’s Ministry of the Interior

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.


Automated detection of cyber attacks
Identify potential hazards,
close security gaps
Our areas of expertise


Cybersecurity made in Saxony
Cyber Defense Solution
against hackers
Specialist Article


Hackers in the honey trap
IT security
for public authorities
Specialist Article


  • Cyber Security at Saxony’s Ministry of the Interior

  • Contact person