• 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.


Cyber defence solution lures hackers to the honeypot

In order to detect hackers and malware more quickly in the future and make them harmless, the Free State of Saxony is building a powerful infrastructure for information security. This involves strengthening approx. 40,000 PC workstations in numerous sub-networks against unauthorized external access.
The subnets are created by connecting various public authorities, some of which exchange highly sensitive data. The Saxon State Chancellery, which is responsible for the information security of the state administration, has therefore initiated the "HoneySens" project. Together with the Technical University of Dresden and T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, "HoneySens" was developed and put into practice. HoneySens is made up of the words "Honeypot" and "sensors".

The software developed for this purpose uses sensors in the network to simulate vulnerable - and therefore attractive to attackers - weak points, the so-called "honeypots". The hacker traps record all data streams during a suspicious access to the network and forward them to a central server for checking and alerting. With the help of the user-friendly, low-maintenance web application, the aggregated data can be evaluated in real time.

The "honeypots" thus collect valuable information to protect the entire IT system against unauthorized external intrusion. The device, which was specially developed for this scenario, can be installed in any office and is not connected to regular PCs in the government network, which makes access 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, 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 State Chancellery

The Saxon State Chancellery supports the Prime Minister in the performance of his duties, including the determination of policy guidelines, departmental coordination, protocol matters, fundamental questions of state administration as well as the coordination of international relations and the state government's funding policy.

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