Introduction to Network-Based Intrusion Detection Systems Using Snort
Source: UnixReview - Posted by Dave Wreski   
Intrusion Detection This article will provide a basic overview of today's ID systems. It doesn't aim to be complete but gives a good starting point for further information. I will talk about different architecture approaches for ID systems, host and network based, to improve overall security for your business.. . . This article will provide a basic overview of today's ID systems. It doesn't aim to be complete but gives a good starting point for further information. I will talk about different architecture approaches for ID systems, host and network based, to improve overall security for your business. A general security framework using Snort as the basic Open Source IDS tool will be presented together with some suggestions on how to generate audit trails, anomaly event generation, and central logging over syslog(-ng).

will describe two different groups of intrusion detection systems, host- based and network-based. Host-based ID systems define the security on the system itself. These components can be of different nature and are available for all modern operating systems. For Unix derivates, you can find all kind of system surveillance tools starting with Tripwire and maybe ending with trusted security approaches. I'd like to mention a few tools available for the GNU/Linux system that I find quite interesting. Besides Tripwire for user space security, there are tools like kstat [Ref 10] or carbonite [Ref 14] for kernel space surveillance. Extensions like lomac [Ref 7], RSBAC [Ref 8], or selinux [Ref 9] can provide very advanced host-based ID security solutions for GNU/Linux.

On the other hand, we have the network-based intrusion detection systems. The basic purpose of a network-based IDS is to sniff all traffic on a network and to compare the network packets with certain patterns. If a pattern matches, an alarm is raised. There are a wide range of different network-based ID systems. A network-based IDS is a tool or a set of tools to inspect network traffic and generate alarms in case of bad traffic. It is not a packetfilter and should not be confused as such. One example of such an intrusion detection tool is Snort, a lightweight intrusion detection tool available for a variety of OS flavors. It's the only advanced Open Source intrusion detection tool comparable to commercial solutions such as NFR, Dragon, or ISS RealSecure.

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