n. A network set up to attract computer crackers so their actions can be observed.

Example Citation:
Set up a server and fill it with tempting files. Make it hard but not impossible to break into. Then sit back and wait for the crackers to show up.

Observe them as they cavort around in the server. Log their conversations with each other. Study them like you"d watch insects under a magnifying glass.

That"s the basic concept behind honeypots and honeynets, systems that are set up specifically so that security experts can secretly observe crackers in their natural habitats.
—Michelle Delio, “Honeypots: Bait for the Cracker,“ Wired News, March 7, 2001

Earliest Citation:
The Honeynet Project is a co-operative effort between security professionals in the US to set up a network of honeypots, or traps, to gather information on how crackers work.
—Dominique Jackson, “Black hats fall into honeypots,“ The Australian, July 4, 2000

Honeynet is based on honeypot, "a trap set up to catch a criminal in the act." The earliest recorded use of honeypot that I could find is this 1994 citation:

'This is not a case which classically has been described as a 'honeypot' or integrity trap, where a bait is set up and authorities wait,' Ms. Manella said.
—Michael Janofsky, "California Congressman Is Indicted by U.S.," The New York Times, August 12, 1994
However, the use of the adverb "classically" by the cite's speaker (a United States Attorney) indicates that honeypot has been used in law enforcement circles for some time.

Related Words: