Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have designed a robot called 'HoneyBot' that keeps factories and other large facilities safe from hackers.
HoneyBot is small enough to fit inside a shoebox moves on four wheels. It is designed to persuade digital troublemakers who have set their sights on industrial facilities. It will trick the bad actors into giving up valuable information to cybersecurity professionals.
HoneyBot sits motionless in the corner of a factory, gets activated when a hacker gains access and signals visually that a culprit is targeting the plant.
The decoy robot arrives to open up a new range of possibilities for hackers looking to cause damage in both the digital and physical world. Taking cue from “Honeypot” which is an internet system that lures attackers and then gains vital information from them, HoneyBot works much the same way except in this case it takes the form of a robot.
“Robots do more now than they ever have, and some companies are moving forward with, not just the assembly line robots, but free-standing robots that can actually drive around factory floors,” said Raheem Beyah, the Motorola Foundation Professor and interim Steve W. Chaddick School Chair in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “In that type of setting, you can imagine how dangerous this could be if a hacker gains access to those machines. At a minimum, they could cause harm to whatever products are being produced. If it’s a large enough robot, it could destroy parts or the assembly line. In a worst-case scenario, it could injure or cause death to the humans in the vicinity.”
“A lot of cyberattacks go unanswered or unpunished because there’s this level of anonymity afforded to malicious actors on the internet, and it’s hard for companies to say who is responsible,” said Celine Irvene, a Georgia Tech graduate student who worked with Beyah to devise the new robot. “Honeypots give security professionals the ability to study the attackers, determine what methods they are using, and figure out where they are or potentially even who they are.”
(Image Courtesy: YT)