Does Law Enforcement Use Honeypots?
Oh Hell yeah! And there use is almost a no “brainer”.
As soon as the military had created an Internet for secure redundant communications, they started to develop defenses for it. And just like the defense of any secret installation, the first protective devices were retaliatory in nature. If their information seeking honeypots could not track you or identify you and the attack persisted, they had to take you out with a shutdown command or a virus or Trojan command on your computer. In the world of Spy verses Spy verses Spy, there are not many rules or for that matter not many complains of unfair practices.
Now in the area of Domestic use by the FBI, there is a rich body of literature and you can Google Law Enforcement honeypots and FBI’s honeypot to start exploring the area. Seems that every time the FBI works with an outside contractor, there’s another article published about the success and an offer to do the same for your business. Because of the large blocks of IP’s in use worldwide by Military, Governments and Financial Institutions there could be Billions of honeypots in use globally. The problem of stumbling on a honeypot for spammers is so big, that there is a program offered for sale called Honeypot Hunter ($495) which identifies which sites are protected by honeypots and lists of Honeypots and their owners are also online.
So everybody who uses the net probably has daily exposure to honeypots. The most commonly cited use of Government Honeypots is the Military and government protecting their secrets, the FBI defending big business, especially Financial Institutions, and gathering information on citizens who have kiddie porn on their machines. Since all of the images that were ever on a page that your machine went to are still on your machine, and since 86% of all men who are on line occasionally surf porn, I’d have to guess that half the machines in America have at least one illegal picture of kiddie porn.
Read the Article in Wikipedia on Child Pornography which discusses the use of Honeypots to track users and also, a claim at a Law Enforcement Conference that all Child Porn Distribution was Owned by Law Enforcement.
They said it – I believe it and that settles it.