Snort – intrusion prevention system

Snort is an open source network intrusion prevention and detection system utilizing a rule-driven language, which combines the benefits of signature, protocol and anomaly based inspection methods.

It can perform real-time traffic analysis, alerting, blocking and packet logging on IP networks. It utilizes a combination of protocol analysis and pattern matching in order to detect a anomalies, misuse and attacks. It detects a variety of attacks and probes, such as buffer overflows, stealth port scans, CGI attacks, SMB probes, OS fingerprinting attempts, and much more.

Snort uses a flexible rules language to describe activity that can be considered malicious or anomalous as well as an analysis engine that incorporates a modular plugin architecture. Snort is capable of detecting and responding in real-time, sending alerts, performing session sniping, logging packets, or dropping sessions/packets when deployed in-line.

Features include:

  • 3 primary functional modes:
    • Packet Sniffer like tcpdump.
    • Packet logger (useful for network traffic debugging etc).
    • Full blown network intrusion, detection, and prevention system.
  • Performs TCP stream reassembly.
  • Stateful protocol analysis.
  • Handles IP dedragmentation.
  • Logs the full packets when alerts are generated.
  • Support multiple packet processing threads.
  • Use a shared configuration and attribute table.
  • Use a simple, scriptable configuration.
  • Make key components pluggable.
  • Autodetect services for portless configuration.
  • Support sticky buffers in rules.
  • Autogenerate reference documentation.
  • Provide better cross platform support.
  • Facilitate component testing.
  • Use a shared network map.

Support: Documentation, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Cisco Systems
License: GNU General Public License v2.0

Snort is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Network Intrusion Detection Systems

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