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I need to allow people to connect to my box, and then drop connections after a few seconds, regardless of whether the client is submitting data. Is this possible?

In addition, can I create a completely fake server? (i.e. only allow in-memory changes of files, to fool any attackers connecting into thinking that the server is real?)

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These are called honeypots :) – Jacob Mar 12 '12 at 4:14
There is plenty of good information on Security.SE about setting up and running honeypots. – Ladadadada Mar 12 '12 at 7:04
you want a honeypot, but for the drop after 5 seconds, just make a script that sleeps for 5 seconds and put it as the user's shell in /etc/passwd. – Sirex Mar 12 '12 at 9:38

You are searching 'honeypots'.

If you want to have fake SSH server, you can try kippo. It allow to you make a scenario for the attackers, they can upload some files to the special filesystem and so on. For setting kippo, you can see this URL.

If you want to use fake servers for another services, see for example this link. There is mentioned some other programs, which are runs as a honeypots and can emulate Windows (Dionaea), web services (Glastopf), and web browsers too (Jsunpack-n).

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