Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova


As the technology used to power Web-based applications continues to evolve, new security threats are emerging. Web 2.0 technology provides attackers with a whole new array of vulnerabilities to exploit. In this thesis, we present an analysis of the attacker activity aimed at a typical Web server based on the data collected on two high interaction honeypots over a one month period of time. The configuration of the honeypots resembles the typical three tier architecture of many real world Web servers. Our honeypots ran on the Windows XP operating system and featured attractive attack targets such as the Microsoft IIS Web server, MySQL database, and two Web 2.0-based applications (Wordpress and MediaWiki). This configuration allows for attacks on a component directly or through the other components. Our analysis includes detailed inspection of the network traffic and IIS logs as well as investigation of the System logs, where appropriate. We also develop a pattern recognition approach to classify TCP connections as port scans or vulnerability scans/attacks. Some of the conclusions of our analysis include: (1) the vast majority of malicious traffic was over the TCP protocol, (2) the majority of malicious traffic was targeted at Windows file sharing, HTTP, and SSH ports, (3) most attackers found our Web server through search-based strategies rather than IP-based strategies, (4) most of the malicious traffic was generated by a few unique attackers.