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Student mods Raspberry Pi to catch Hackers

University of Arizona student Nathan Yee has released instructions about how to build a "honeypot" using a Raspberry Pi. Yee states that the honeypot is used to "detect anomalous events. We gain awareness and insight into our network."

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A "honeypot" is a device on a network used to counteract unauthorised use on an IT network, Yee's inspiration for the device came from organisations focus on "monitoring inbound and outbound network traffic via firewalls, yet ignore internal network traffic due to the complexity involved."

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer released in early 2012. It was originally created to teach basic computer science in schools but due to the Pi's simplicity users have found it incredibly easy to mod and customise.

Using Yee's design, the Pi works because "Since there isn't a good reason to interact with it (since it doesn't do anything), activity on the Raspberry Pi is usually indicative of something roaming around our network and a possible security breach."

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The advantage of using the Pi is how cost effective the device is, the model B retailing for under £30 allowing organisations or consumers to add a large number of honeypots or network centres for a relatively low cost.

The Raspberry Pi has been used in London schools recently (opens in new tab) as a way to encourage students to take up coding and programming. The Raspberry Pi secondary school ICT competition is being aimed at institutions in the London Borough of Hillingdon and was launched at Ruislip High School with a day of presentations and discussions for both students and teachers.