Honeypot is a computer system set up as a trap for computer attackers. If intruders are always scanning the Internet for potential victims and they are can you find the intruders and their exploits by putting up fake networks that only a deliberate scan could find? That's the theory behind honeypots. Peter Mikhalenko discusses the implementation, theory, and legality of using a honeypot to protect your network.
From the article:
A honeypot is solution. This is a system designed in such a way that an unsophisticated hacker will want to crack it immediately--like fake diamonds in a glass case in a jewelry shop. First, a quick story. A famous and rich man bought a super safe made of ferro-alloy. He boasted to everyone about his safe and claimed that nobody could crack it. After about a week of this, burglars came in the night and spent two hours cracking the safe with strong acid and explosives. When they opened the safe, they found nothing; the valuables were elsewhere and the burglars were caught.
A honeypot emulates a server with serious security holes. The intent is to attract network intruders so that they will spend their time on a useless job. Honeypots are closely-monitored network decoys that serve several purposes: they can distract adversaries from more valuable machines on a network, provide early warning about new attacks and exploitation trends, and allow in-depth examination of adversaries during and after exploitation.