Ask The Experts: Favorite HoneyPoint Component

This time around, we got a question from a client where HoneyPoint was being demoed for the experts.

Q: “What is your favorite component of HoneyPoint and why? How have you used it to catch the bad guys?”

Jim Klun started off with:

My favorite component is the simplest: HoneyPoint Agent. 

It’s ease of deployment and the simple fact that all alerts from an agent are of note – someone really did touch an internal service on a box where no such service legitimately exists – makes it attractive. 
No one will argue with you about meaning. 

I have recently seen it detect a new MSSQL worm (TCP 1433) within a large enterprise – information obtained from my own laptop. The Agent I had deployed on the laptop had a 1433 listener. It captured the payload from an attacking desktop box located in an office in another US state. 

The HoneyPoint Agent info was relayed to a corporate team that managed a global IPS. They confirmed the event and immediately updated their IPS that was – ideally – protecting several hundred thousand internal machines from attack. 

Honeypoint Agent: It’s simple, it works.

Adam Hostetler added his view:

I’m a simple, no frills guy, so I just like the regular old TCP listener component built into Agent. We have stood these up on many engagements and onsite visits and picked up unexpected traffic. Sometimes malware, sometimes a misconfiguration, or sometimes something innocuous (inventory management). I also find it useful for research by exposing it to the Internet.

John Davis closed with a different view:

My favorite HoneyPoint is Wasp. Watching how skilled attackers actually compromise whole networks by initially compromising one user machine gives me the shivers! Especially since most networks we see aren’t properly enclaved and monitored. If I were a CISO, knowing what is on my network at all times would be of primary importance; including what is going on on the client side! Wasp gets you that visibility and without all the traditional overhead and complexity of other end-point monitoring and white listing tools.

Have a question about HoneyPoint? Want to talk about your favorite component or use case scenario? Hit us on Twitter (@lbhuston or @microsolved). We can’t wait to hear from you. Feel free to send us your question for the experts. Readers whose questions we pick for the blog get a little surprise for their contribution. As always, thanks for reading and stay safe out there! 

Tip: Pre-loading Wasp Configuration Databases

Thanks to a couple of users who have provided this excellent tip for reducing the initial number of alerts that come in when you first deploy HoneyPoint Wasp as it learns it’s environment.

The tip is to load an initial copy of Wasp on a trusted, fresh desktop workstation image and then execute all of the applications your organization generally supports. Then, let the Wasp run for about 48 hours and populate its database with the accepted applications and the like from the default image.

Once complete, use copies of this database in your installation across the enterprise. You will then get delta alerts instead of the base alerts for things you already know and trust. This eliminates the initial set of alerts from each Wasp workstation you deploy and greatly reduces the management load of the initial roll out.

Thanks to the two folks who really worked out this method, tested it and wrote up notes for us to share the idea with you. Much appreciated!

To learn more about using Wasp to extend your malware protection, gain security visibility easily to the workstation layer and create anomaly detection techniques for your security program, give us a call or drop us a line. We look forward to sharing tips like these and success stories with you as they come in from users.

HoneyPoint Wasp is Almost Ready to Leave the Nest

As many of you may know, the MSI team has been hard at work the last several months finishing the beta of our new compromised workstation detection product, HoneyPoint Wasp. It is a fully integrated component of HoneyPoint Security Server, capable of executing distributed detection and threat monitoring on Windows workstations across enterprises. The initial feedback by the beta group have been absolutely amazing. We are finding bots, malware and compromised hosts in a variety of locations, once thought to be “clean” and “safe”.

Wasp accomplishes this mission by being deployed as a service on workstations and by monitoring for the most common signs of compromise. It can watch for changes in the users, admins, port postures and such. It does white list detection of the running processes and it is even capable of detecting DNS tampering and changes to selected files on the operating system.

Even better, it does this work without the need for workstation event logs, signature updates or tuning. It “learns” about the workstation on which it is deployed and adapts its detection techniques to focus on important changes over the long run.

We designed Wasp to be easy to install, easy to manage and to be transparent to the end – user. As such, it is deployed as a 0-interface piece of software. There are no pop-ups, no GUI and no interaction at all with the user. All alerts are routed to the HoneyPoint console and the security team, eliminating any chance of increased help desk calls, user push back and confusion.

In the next couple of weeks, we will be making some announcements about the general availability of the Wasp product. I hope you will join me in my excitement when we announce this launch. In the meantime, think about what you are doing today to protect against initial stage compromises and congratulate the MSI development team and our beta testers on a job well done. I think you are going to be amazed at how easy, capable and advanced Wasp is, when it is released. I know I continue to be amazed at what it is detecting and how much stuff has evaded current detection techniques.

In the meantime, while we await the full release, check out this PDF for some more information about where we are going with Wasp and our HoneyPoint product line. I think you are going to like the diagrams and the explanations. If you would like to book a special sneak preview of Wasp and the rest of HoneyPoint, give your account executive a call. We will be happy to sit down and discuss it with you. As always, thanks for reading!