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HoneyMonkey is a system created by Microsoft Research that uses a network of computers or virtual machines to browse different sites on the Web and get exposed to malware. This malware is then installed on HoneyMonkey computers by virtue of browser exploits. The snapshot of the registry, executables and memory prior to visiting the site is compared with a snapshot after the honeypot computer has been exposed to malware. The idea behind such a system is to find security loopholes that are targeted by attackers.
HoneyMonkey may also be known as Strider HoneyMonkey Exploit Detection System
A number of websites try to spread malware to individual computers through browser exploits or security loopholes. Security software designers need to keep in touch with the latest attacks to successfully design systems that can prevent them.
The concept of HoneyMonkey evolved from honeypots, which are systems set up for attackers to find so that their attacks may be analyzed. In the case of HoneyMonkey, the system itself browses different websites so that the attackers can be found. The objective of the system is to identify harmful websites and existing security loopholes in Web browsers that are targeted by attackers, and to help security experts come up with solutions to existing problems. Most of the websites are hacked by third-party attackers who run and install malware on unsuspecting client computers. The HoneyMonkey system uses a virtual machine to run the detection software.