Why You Should Avoid Honeypot Traps When Web Scraping

honeypot traps

In the past few years, there have been changes to web scraping. In the data-driven world of today, many organizations use huge amounts of public data to make important decisions. Web scraping is often used to get this kind of information from websites all over the internet.

However, web scraping faces several obstacles. One of these obstacles is honeypot traps. The owners of websites have resorted to security methods such as honeypot traps. Sadly, while they can help maintain the security of a website, they also present challenges for ethical scrapers.

If you’re an ethical scraper, you should know why you must avoid the honeypot trap. This post will discuss honeypot traps and why you should avoid them while scraping. Let’s get into it!

What Is a Honeypot?

A honeypot is a dummy system built to resemble a legitimately compromised system to lure in cybercriminals. A honeypot system is set up to lure attackers away from what they are really trying to do.

Security teams frequently use honeypots to examine harmful activities to mitigate vulnerabilities better.

On web scraping, many websites do not want bots to crawl their pages. There are many valid reasons why websites should discourage bots. Using bots, cybercriminals can scrape sensitive data or launch destructive assaults. Furthermore, some websites do not want competitors to use their data.

No matter what the reason is, most websites use more than one way to stop bots. Honeypot traps, which are meant to find or stop people from using their system illegally, are one type of safety measure.

If your web scraper gets caught in a honeypot, you could get banned or, even worse, get fake data that messes up your data analysis.

How Do Honeypots Work?

Honeypot traps fall into two categories: production honeypots and research honeypots.

Along with real production servers, a “honeypot” server is set up. This honeypot catches attacks on the system and keeps the attacker from going after the main system.

On the other hand, research honeypots gather information about attacks by cybercriminals. These honeypots tell security teams important things about how attackers work, which they can use to improve their defenses.

Honeypot traps work by luring web scrapers to them. To get the information they want, scrapers often try to fill out every field on a web form. This is where honeypot traps come in.

When the form is sent with certain fields filled out, the honeypot trap is set off, and the web scraper’s IP address is written down. Then, the IP address of the web scraper is often blocked or banned to stop bad things from happening.

Honeypot traps are a great way to keep web scrapers from getting into a website’s data. Also, they are very good at catching web scrapers while they are at it.

Types of Honeypot

Honeypot’s complexity is also reflected in various types based on the tasks they undertake and carry out. Listed below are some of these different types of honeypots.

Passive Honeypot

A passive honeypot has nothing to do with the people who might try to break in. Instead, it gathers information like the IP address, the attacker’s signature, and packet captures. The goal of a passive honeypot is to give information that can be used to improve security. Passive honeypots are very hard for attackers to find because they don’t do much.

Malware Honeypot

A malware honeypot is a system designed to attract malicious software. It is a dummy system that employs emulation to appear as if it contains files and data. They try to look like the most common attack methods so that attackers will attack the honeypot instead of the real system.

Spider Honeypot

Spider Honeypot catches web crawlers and scrapers by making web pages and links that crawlers can only find. This kind of honeypot can help a company learn more about bot activity and how to stop them from doing bad things.

Spam Honeypot

Spammers use bots to steal email addresses from websites and crawl the web. A spam honeypot is a website that contains a fake email address. When a spammer harvests the address, the owner of the website can deploy a spam honeypot to monitor or ban the address.


A honeynet is a group of honeypots that are linked together. Honeynets look like real networks, and they often have more than one system. They keep an eye on large, complicated networks where one honeypot might not be enough.

A “Honeywell” gateway looks at the traffic coming into a network and sends it to honeypots in a honeynet. The honeynet gets information about the attackers while keeping them from getting to the real network.

How to Avoid Honeypot Traps in Web Scraping

Since you won’t be doing anything bad, honeypots set up to catch cybercriminals shouldn’t be hard for you to avoid. But because you are using a bot to scrape the web, you might end up in a “honeypot” that is set up to trick you. Here are some ways to stay away from honeypot traps.

Verify Websites Before Scraping Them

Before you scrape data from a website, you should make sure that the data is correct. Even if you aren’t trying to do anything bad, security teams can set up a honeypot with your web scraper by making fake datasets. You could get kicked out, or even worse.

Scraping a fake database can hurt the quality of your data, which can lead to making wrong hypotheses. This is a very big risk.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi creates multiple security risks. Cybercriminals often target users over vulnerable networks. They can disguise honeypots as real hotspots to acquire your essential data.

Use Proxies

Without proxy servers, scraping websites is almost impossible. Even if you don’t get caught in a honeypot, many websites will block your IP address if they see bot-like behavior.

By hiding your real IP address and using a different proxy IP address for each request, these proxies will help you avoid bans and honeypots.

Don’ts When Choosing Your Proxy

Don’t Use Free Services

There are many free proxy servers on the Internet, and each one lets you choose from a different country. This may seem like a good idea, and in many situations, it is. But an old saying says that if you don’t pay for a service, you are the product.

To keep these free server websites running, their owners have to show ads. These ads may contain malware, and they may also keep track of your information.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Look for a company that has a customer service team that is always available. This method can answer all your questions and worries about proxies.

You could also join different Discord groups and ask about the service you want. But you should know that there are many ways to promote your business. They can easily say that the proxy you bought isn’t good and that you should use their suggestion instead. This can be good feedback, but sometimes they are just trying to promote their proxy service.

Don’t Think That Using Proxy is Illegal

Are proxies legal? Yes, but you should not abuse them for unlawful activities, such as downloading copy-protected content. The regulations of certain countries prohibit some proxy server uses. However, as long as you adhere to the authorized uses of proxies, their use is entirely lawful.


Honeypot traps are excellent methods for detecting and blocking cybercriminal activity. However, they can provide difficulties for genuine web scraping operations.

If you want your scraping operation to be successful, you’ll need to avoid many honeypot traps. By performing ethical web scraping, you can avoid many honeypots.

Using proxies is the most effective approach to evade honeypot traps. By utilizing a proxy, you can alter your IP address and a user agent to appear to be someone else on a website. It will assist you in avoiding being identified as a bot and being captured in a honeypot trap.