A decentralized honeypot for IoT Protocols based on Android devices

Irini Lygerou, Shreyas Srinivasa, Emmanouil Vasilomanolakis, George Stergiopoulos, Dimitris Gritzalis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The exponential growth of internet connected devices in this past year has led to a significant increase in IoT targeted attacks. The lack of proper integration of security in IoT development life cycle along with a plethora of different protocols (e.g., Zigbee, LoRa, MQTT, etc.) have greatly impacted the resilience of such devices against cyber-attacks, a fact also exacerbated by the size and physical hardware structure of these devices. Thus, it is imperative to develop effective and efficient countermeasures that can also be applied post-production to help build resilience in modern IoT systems. Honeypots are prime example of this notion. Being designed to act as vulnerable computer components or systems, they provide useful intelligence regarding potential attackers. Nevertheless, honeypots have seen little use in protection IoT systems and their underlying protocols, especially in cases where honeypots can leverage the decentralized nature of IoT. In this research, we enhance the HosTaGe honeypot to build an IoT protocol honeypot that runs over mobile devices. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a honeypot specifically for IoT communication protocols over public networks that is easy-to-use and utilizes Android devices. The protocol honeypot utilizes the cellular network to establish decentralized, simulated infrastructures of IoT systems over different types of IoT network protocols. We test four IoT network implementations, one for each of the newly implemented MQTT, CoAP and AMQP protocols. Additionally, we upgrade existing Telnet and SSH protocols used in IoT systems to work over the simulated mobile honeypot. We use the virtualized honeypot networks to capture log, and analyze real-world public attacks on these protocols from the internet and provide an interface for interaction with the implemented honeypot.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Information Security
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1211-1222
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Honeypots
  • IoT
  • Android


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