Snort Rules: Application

Paul Ritchey, Jacob and Sundstrom, Inc. pritchey@jasi.com

V1.0.0

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Welcome to the class titled ‘Snort Rules: Application’. The purpose of this class is to take the material you learned in the previous section, ‘Snort Rules: Syntax and Keywords’. This section will take those individual keywords, values and syntax to form complete rules. You will also learn how to analyze existing rules piece by piece to determine what the rule is looking for.

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Agenda
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Rule Analysis
Simple Rules ! Difficult Rules ! Advanced Rules
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Writing Rules
Simple Rules ! Difficult Rules ! Advanced Rules
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Tying It All Together
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The first half of this presentation will examine rules of increasing complexity. You will be taught how to analyze an existing rule to determine what it is looking for. This ability is key to understanding how to piece together a complete rule from scratch that matches the signature of an attack. The second half of the presentation will ask you to write rules from scratch of increasing difficulty. The process of creating these rules will be covered in a step by step process. This will show you a possible methodology you can use when creating rules on your own. The very last section will tie together everything you have learned so far, showing you a few of the options available for Snort output. This presentation covers Snort version 1.7. If you are using a newer version of Snort, please remember that new features may have been added or existing features may have been modified after this presentation was assembled.

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Rule Analysis: Simple Rules

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This section will show you how to analyze simple rules, step by step. The analysis skills learned here will be built upon in later sections to analyze rules of increasing difficulty. This will help you later when you will be required to write rules from scratch.

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Rule Analysis: Simple Rules
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Learn to analyze simple rules.
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Signature based on rule header.

Examples taken from snort.org rule set and www.whitehats.com. ! Use logical approach
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Analyze rule header first
• Determine source and destination addresses and ports • Snort uses this section first.

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Analyze rule options next
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In this section you will learn how to analyze simple rules. The rules were chosen because they do not incorporate packet attributes which can make some rules difficult to analyze. These are real life rules, taken directly from the rule set available from the snort.org web site and www.whitehats.com. This means that it’s possible to do further research on the exploits that the rules are designed to detect to fully round out your understanding of rules. This section will start with teaching you how to analyze rules based on a logical approach. The first step is to analyze the rule header. This determines what hosts, ports, protocols and traffic flow must be involved before Snort even starts to examine the rest of the rule – this allows Snort to quickly determine if it should completely analyze the rule against the options section, saving valuable time. Later sections will combine the analysis of the rule header with the options section for more complicated rules.

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Simple Rule #1: Back Orifice
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Background:
Trojan ! Allows remote control of infected machine
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Rule:
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alert UDP $EXTERNAL any -> $INTERNAL 31337 \ (msg: "IDS188/trojan-probe-back-orifice";)

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The first rule we are going to examine is one that looks for attempts at connecting Back Orifice trojans. This particular exploit works by means of a trojan that is somehow installed on the target machine. The trojan can be installed accidentally by end users running executables attached to email messages, downloading the trojan masquerading as a useful utility, etc. Once installed, the trojan opens a port and makes itself available for control from a remote host. Further information on this particular trojan can be obtained any of the major online security web sites. In depth analysis of this trojan is beyond the scope of this course.

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Simple Rule #1: Back Orifice (cont. and is set to the addresses Snort is monitoring. Alert means Snort will write an entry to the alert file and an entry to the logs unless they are overridden by command line options or other means. If snort the traffic Snort is examining is from another protocol. when it is triggered. will execute the action ‘alert’. the contents of the signature is completely contained in the rule header. however. meaning that the source address should be outside of the network address space Snort is monitoring. ! Applies only to UDP traffic.) alert UDP $EXTERNAL any -> $INTERNAL 31337 \ (msg: "IDS188/trojan-probe-back-orifice". This variable is typically defined at the top of the rules file being used. but must be destined specifically for the port 31337 (otherwise known as ‘eleet’) on the destination machine. HOME_NET.) ! Examine the rule header: Will ‘alert’ when triggered. the source address is also defined as a variable. The UDP packet can. this rule will not be tested against them. this is set to !$HOME_NET. This rule only applies to UDP traffic. named EXTERNAL. This rule. In this particular rule. be originating from any of the possible ports on the source host. ! Source defined by variable ! • $EXTERNAL = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 6 For this simple rule. Typically. The destination address is defined as a variable. 6 .

it is seen that the only option being used is the message option. This rule is very simple. may very well be false-positives. ! High likelihood of false-positives. The only thing limiting the rule down to a specific subset of UDP traffic is the destination port.Simple Rule #1: Back Orifice (cont. No packet attributes are examined. Since no packet attributes or options are specified.) ! Examine rule options.) alert UDP $EXTERNAL any -> $INTERNAL 31337 \ (msg: "IDS188/trojan-probe-back-orifice". it is very likely that detects. ! ! Possibility of false-positives: Low likelihood of occurrence. 7 . such as streaming audio or video. ! Only includes message. ! 7 Examining the rule options section. This option provides a string that is used to tag alert and log entries. that happens to be destined for destination port 31337 will trigger this rule. Care must be taken when analyzing any available data to validate that the packet was truly a probe for Back Orifice or the master program contacting a Back Orifice client. making it easier to determine what a log or alert entry represents. Any traffic. although not often.

Simple Rule #2: Deep Throat Trojan ! Background Trojan ! Allows remote control of infected host. 8 .1 Server Active on Network".BACKDOOR SIGNATURE . the trojan opens a port that allows remote hosts to control the infected machine. ! ! Rule: ! alert udp any 2140 -> $HOME_NET 60000 \ (msg:"IDS106 .) 8 The next simple rule we will examine is one that detects Deep Throat trojans. Deep Throat is another trojan that can be accidentally installed by users who unknowingly execute attachments or download the software by accident. Once installed.DeepThroat 3.

the keyword ‘any’ is specified. the packet must originate from a specific port – 2140. Alert means Snort will write an entry to the alert file and an entry to the logs unless they are overridden by command line options or other means. The packet must be destined for the network the variable HOME_NET is set to. If the packet meets all of the above criteria. will execute the action ‘alert’. This means that the packet can originate from any possible IP address. This rule only applies to UDP traffic. I would like take a second to discuss the keyword ‘any’ that was specified for the source address. ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = internal network 9 For this simple rule. it would have been just as effective to replace the keyword ‘any’ with !$HOME_NET. and sees all traffic in bound from the internet to your network.) alert udp any 2140 -> $HOME_NET 60000 \ (msg:"IDS106 . This rule. it will trigger the rule and will be logged to the alert file and logs with the message specified in the rule options section.BACKDOOR SIGNATURE \ DeepThroat 3. Source specified as ‘any’ • ‘Any’ matches all possible IP addresses. The DMZ sites outside of your internal network. and to the specific port 6000.) ! Examine the rule header: ! ! ! Will ‘alert’ when triggered. Snort is typically installed on a machine that resides in a ‘DMZ’. Applies only to UDP traffic. there are no restrictions. However.1 Server Active on Network". or outbound from your network to the internet. 9 .Simple Rule #2: Deep Throat (cont. this rule will not be tested against them. including internal addresses. Now the rule deviates from the previous example. If snort the traffic Snort is examining is from another protocol. when it is triggered. the contents of the signature is again completely contained in the rule header. Because of this. Instead of specifying a variable for the source IP address. It does not and should not see your internal traffic.

) alert udp any 2140 -> $HOME_NET 60000 \ (msg:"IDS106 . meaning they are out of the reserved range.Simple Rule #2: Deep Throat (cont. 10 ! Possibility of false-positives: ! ! Examining the rule options section. Only includes message. This increases the chances that a detect is a false-positive so care must be taken to fully resolve any detects. Although unlikely. This option provides a string that is used to tag alert and log entries. Low likelihood of occurrence. and because there are no other criteria for the rule false-positive detects may be made. This rule is very simple.) ! Examine rule options. 10 . making it easier to determine what a log or alert entry represents. it’s possible that this port combination could be used during the course of a valid connection. Both ports are ephemeral ports.1 Server Active on Network". we again that this rule like the previous example is only specifying the message option. ! ! No packet attributes are examined. The only real limiting factors are the source and destination ports.BACKDOOR SIGNATURE .\ DeepThroat 3. Likelihood of detect being a false-positives. Most virus software should be capable of detecting this trojan if properly installed and used regularly.

11 . Essentially they provide additional information about packets that are considered hostile beyond source and destination IPs and ports.Rule Analysis: Complex Rules 11 In this section the rules presented for analysis are a little more complicated than the previous examples.

This section will continue to build on the rule analysis technique that was used in the first section.org rule set and www.whitehats. The example rules used in this section are real world rules.whitehats. ! Examples taken from www. Interpretation of the rule option section with different kinds of packet attributes will be introduced here. ! Signature also based on rule options. By adding packet attributes (such as TCP flags) to the rule options section. it’s possible to make rules more accurate. 12 . They have been taken from the rule sets available at the www. It consists of the rule header and additional information specified in the rule options. the signature doesn’t just consist of the contents of the rule header. In these rules. ! Use logical approach ! Analyze rule header first ! Analyze rule options next ! • Specifies specific packet attributes • Can increase accuracy – decrease false positives 12 This section concentrates on analyzing more complicated rules – those containing packet attributes in the rule options section.snort.org web site and from the www. Signature based on rule header.Rule Analysis: Complex Rules ! Learn to analyze complex rules.snort.com. which can potentially reduce the number of false positives.com web site.

Complex Rule #1: NetMetro ! Background: Trojan ! Allows remote control of infected machine ! ! Rule: ! alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 5031 -> $HOME_NET !53:80 \ (msg:"IDS79 . Again. flags:PA. this trojan like any other can be accidentally installed by executing attachments to email messages.) 13 The rule we are going to examine next is one that detects the NetMetro trojan. Most virus detection software should detect this trojan as long as the signatures are properly maintained.BACKDOOR SIGNATURE – NetMetro Incoming Traffic". 13 . NetMetro is another trojan that when installed allows remote control of the infected machine. or downloading the trojan as it masquerades as a useful utility or game.

but may also be set by command line options. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET. Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file. flags:PA. it will not match the rule header information and this rule will not be triggered.NetMetro Incoming Traffic".Complex Rule #1: NetMetro (cont. ! Applies only to TCP traffic. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. It specifies that the destination port can be any port except ports 53 through 80.) ! Examine the rule header: Will ‘alert’ when triggered. The destination port setting is more interesting. 14 . The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET.BACKDOOR SIGNATURE . This variable is set to the IP addresses your sensor is to monitor. inclusive. ! Source defined by variable ! • $EXTERNAL_NET = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 14 This rule when triggered will alert – meaning it will create an entry in the alerts file and create a log file. The source port the traffic must originate from is port 5031. which means that the source address can be any IP address except the IPs belonging to your network. unless these options are overridden by command line options.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 5031 -> $HOME_NET !53:80 \ (msg:"IDS79 . The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. If the source port is anything but 5031.

Telnet runs on port 23. To rule out the possibility of a detect being a false positive. In this case. it’s possible this rule may be triggered. The attribute being tested is the TCP flags setting. URG and the two reserved bits must NOT be set. there is a low likelihood of false positives.NetMetro Incoming\ Traffic".Complex Rule #1: NetMetro (cont. flags:PA. the TCP flags PUSH and ACK must be set. If the port 5031 is used by the person connecting to your telnet server. For this particular rule. meaning that is not a reserved port and available for anyone and any application to use. The source port 5031 is an ephemeral port. the rule will be triggered as soon as the TCP three way handshake is completed and the first packed with a payload is sent inbound to your network. 15 . ! No other packet attributes examined. ! 15 This rule is the first example of packet attributes being used in the rule options section. The addition of packet attributes (in this case TCP flags) to the rule options section aids in reducing the possibility of false positives because it helps to narrow the possibility of matches somewhat. and the destination port must be outside the specified range. The false positives are limited because the source port must exactly match 5031. ! ! Likelihood of false positives: Low likelihood of occurrence.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 5031 -> $HOME_NET !53:80 \ (msg:"IDS79 . such as SYN. No other packet attributes are examined beyond the TCP flag setting. outside the range specified by the destination port setting that specifies what ports it cannot be. For example. although they will happen. ! High likelihood of being false positive. if an outside user telnets in to a server in your network. additional data possibly beyond what Snort provides may need to be examined.BACKDOOR SIGNATURE . FIN. Other flags.) ! Examine the rule options: TCP flags PUSH and ACK must be set.

Complex Rule #2: Myscan ! Background: Port scanner. ! ! Rule: ! alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 . and the hacker now has enough information to launch an effective attack.Scan . ack: 0.) 16 The second difficult rule to be examined detects a particular tool used for scanning. ! Allows remote detection of available services and OS fingerprinting. Combined with the ability to determine the OS. ttl: >220. For this scanner certain packet attributes are hard coded in the original source code. This allowing an accurate rule to be written that can easily detect scans from this software. This particular scanner can allow an attacker to easily determine what services are available on a host. It can also allow the rule to be tuned to help eliminate false positives. increasing the accuracy. \ flags: S.myscan". 16 .

Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont.Scan -myscan". it will not match the rule header information and this rule will not be triggered. The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET. which means that the source address can be any IP address except the IPs belonging to your network. ! Source defined by variable ! • $EXTERNAL_NET = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 17 This rule when triggered will alert – meaning it will create an entry in the alerts file and create a log file. 17 . ! Applies only to TCP traffic. The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. unless these options are overridden by command line options. The destination port can be anything. This means the rule does not care what port is used on the destination host. ttl: >220. Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file. This variable is set to the IP address range your sensor is to monitor. The source port the traffic must originate from is port 10101. \ ack: 0. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. If the source port is anything but 10101. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET. flags: S.) ! Examine the rule header: Will ‘alert’ when triggered. but may also be set by command line options.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 . specified by the keyword ‘any’.

ttl: >220. must have the SYN flag set. TCP flags. For this rule.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 .Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont. TCP flag SYN must be set. Acknowledgement number must be zero (0). The next slide will show you the individual parts that combined together make this happen. time to live. the acknowledgement number. Low likelihood of being false positive. 18 . The second attribute.) ! Examine the rule options: ! ! ! Time to live value must be greater than 220. acknowledgement number (ack) and the TCP flag settings are examined. There are many key items that lead to this conclusion and show that this rule is a very well written one. The last attribute. must be zero (0). but a very high likelihood that if it is triggered that it is NOT a false positive. 18 ! Likelihood of false positives: ! ! In this rule’s option section. flags: S. there is a low likelihood that the rule will be triggered. The first attribute that is examined.Scan -myscan". must have a value greater than or equal to 220. the packet attributes time to live (ttl). Low likelihood of occurrence. \ ack: 0.

the acknowledgement number can never be zero. Cannot normally be set to zero (0). flags: S. ack: 0. The source code for this utility is freely available. The last item that contributes to the rule’s tuning is the acknowledgement attribute value. They are typically used in sequence.101.Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont. 19 Time To Live ! Acknowledgement Number. only source addresses using that specific port might cause a trigger. it must have made many connections to other machines. ! Rule vulnerable to mutations.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ \ (msg: "IDS439 . Only one OS uses setting greater than 220. 19 . Most operating systems specify a value much less than 220 when the packet is created. All of the above combine to make this a finely tuned rule that will not false positive very often. meaning the non-reserved ports. By specifying a specific value. This makes it vulnerable to mutations of the scanning utility. Under normal conditions. Only the Solaris 2. Only in a crafted packet will this value ever be used. The second item that helps tune this rule is the time to live value. Because the source port is such a high number. it is very unlikely – but possible. All other operating systems use values much less than 220.x operating system sets the time to live attribute to a value greater than 220. The rule specifies that this attribute must be set to the value zero (0). that source port will be used. start at 1024 and go up. Ephemeral ports. but it will not identify the utility being used). so for a source address to reach 10.Scan -myscan". The first item that helps tune this rule is the specification of a specific port for the source port. and by making a single simple alteration and recompiling it the rule will no longer detect it (although Snort’s scan detection preprocessor should detect it. However it does depend on the above settings in the crafted packet not to be changed.) ! ! ! ! Source Port ! High into ephemeral ports (non-reserved). ttl: >220.

20 . These rules are the most difficult to write because they require close analysis of an attack’s signature and of the source code of the attack application if available. They are also the easiest to avoid triggering by making slight alterations in the application’s source code. These types of rules also have the lowest likelihood of false positives because of the completeness of the examination of the packets.Rule Analysis: Advanced Rules 20 This section provides analysis of advanced rules – those using more sophisticated packet attributes to examine the packet’s payload.

It consists of the rule header and additional information specified in the rule options. it’s possible to make rules more accurate. The example rules used in this section are real world rules. the signature doesn’t just consist of the contents of the rule header. 21 .whitehats. ! Examples taken from www. ! Use logical approach ! Analyze rule header first ! Analyze rule options next ! • Specifies specific packet attributes • Can increase accuracy – decrease false positives 21 This section concentrates on analyzing more complicated rules – those containing packet attributes in the rule options section. This section will continue to build on the rule analysis technique that was used in the first section. ! Signature also based on rule options.org rule set and www. Interpretation of the rule option section with different kinds of packet attributes will be introduced here.snort.com. In these rules. which can potentially reduce the number of false positives.whitehats.org web site and from the www. Signature based on rule header.snort. They have been taken from the rule sets available at the www. By adding packet attributes (such as TCP flags) to the rule options section.Rule Analysis: Advanced Rules ! Learn to analyze difficult rules.com web site.

! ! Rule: ! alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 21 (msg: "IDS458 .FTP wuftp260-tf8". If the exploit is successful. flags: PA.) \ \ \ 22 The first advanced rule we will examine is one that exploits a bug in an ftp daemon provided by www. In this case the exploit is known as the wuftp2600.org that is used as a replacement for many native ftp daemons on some flavors of Unix. the attacker is instantly granted root access on a high numbered port that is opened up.wu-ftpd. as well as coming native in many Linux distributions. 22 . content: "|31C0 31DB 31C9 B046 CD80 31C0 31DB 4389 D941 B03F CD80|".Advanced Rule #1: Wu-FTP Exploit ! Background: Exploits a bug in wu-ftp daemon. ! Allows instant root access.c exploit which was originally distributed in a broken form.

but may also be set by command line options. However. The source port is set to the keyword ‘any’. unless these options are overridden by command line options. 23 . Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file. meaning that the TCP packet can originate from any possible port on the source host.FTP wuftp260-tf8". This variable is set to the IP addresses your sensor is to monitor. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET. The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 21 \ (msg: "IDS458 . the packet must be destined for port 21. ! Applies only to TCP traffic. Port 21 is a well known reserved port that is used to provide FTP services.Advanced Rule #1: Wu-FTP Exploit (cont. \ content: "|31C0 31DB 31C9 B046 CD80 31C0 31DB \ 43 89D941 B03F CD80|". which means that the source address can be any IP address except the IPs belonging to your network.) ! Examine the rule header: Will ‘alert’ when triggered. ! Source defined by variable ! • $EXTERNAL_NET = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 23 This rule when triggered will alert – meaning it will create an entry in the alerts file and create a log file. The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET. flags: PA.

however these are typically other exploits which this rule doesn’t apply to and should have a different rule written to detect them.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 21 \ (msg: "IDS458 . It’s possible to have other flag settings without the PUSH flag set and still have a payload. although possible. The first attribute is the TCP flag settings. Only packets with a payload should be applied against this rule.) ! Examine the rule options: TCP flags PUSH and ACK must be set.Advanced Rule #1: Wu-FTP Exploit (cont. it’s very likely that it is a positive detect. ! Examines payload for specific values.FTP wuftp260-tf8". more specifically an anonymous FTP session and initiating a buffer overflow. 24 . ! ! Likelihood of false positives: Low likelihood of occurrence. The second attribute specified examines the packet’s payload. \ content: "|31C0 31DB 31C9 B046 CD80 31C0 31DB \ 4389 D941 B03F CD80|". These packets will have the PUSH flag set indicating that data is being sent. This rule is tuned ever so slightly by the TCP flags attribute. When detects do occur. The exploit detected here works by initiating a proper TCP connection. two packet attributes are examined in order to detect the exploit. detects will very rarely occur primarily because of the very specific content that is being searched for. ! Low likelihood of being false positive. The examination of a packets payload is triggered by specifying the keyword ‘content’. The content value. ! 24 For this rule. In this example the content that is being searched for is given in hex values. flags: PA. For this rule. is very unlikely to occur during a normal FTP session. hence this rule’s high level of accuracy. For this rule. the PUSH and ACK TCP flags must be set. which is denoted by the enclosing pipe (‘|’) symbols.

! ! Rule: ! alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 80 (msg:"IDS265 . ! Allows arbitrary execution of code on server. 25 . The web daemon affected by this vulnerability runs on Windows 95.) \ \ \ 25 The second advanced rule we will examine is a web based exploit.Web cgi cgitest".exe Exploit ! Background: Web exploit.Advanced Rule #2: cgitest. nocase. content:"cgitest. which is one of the more lethal types of attacks an attacker can use.exe|0d0a|user". which limits the possible ramifications of a successful attack that might exist on a Unix or Windows NT machine. offset:4. The ‘cgitest.exe’ is a CGI that if it is left installed on a particular web server can allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the web server. The exploit works because of a buffer overflow vulnerability. flags: AP.

nocase. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. ! Source defined by variable ! • $EXTERNAL_NET = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 26 This rule when triggered will alert – meaning it will create an entry in the alerts file and create a log file. 26 . the packet must be destined for port 80.Advanced Rule #2: cgitest.exe Exploit (cont. the rule should be duplicated for each of the ports being used. ! Applies only to TCP traffic. If there are web daemons used on your network using alternative ports.exe|0d0a|user". which means that the source address can be any IP address except the IPs belonging to your network. However.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 80 (msg:"IDS265 . Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file. flags: AP. content: "cgitest. The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET. but may also be set by command line options. This variable is set to the IP addresses your sensor is to monitor. unless these options are overridden by command line options. The source port is set to the keyword ‘any’. meaning that the TCP packet can originate from any possible port on the source host.Web cgi cgitest".) \ \ \ ! Examine the rule header: Will ‘alert’ when triggered. Port 80 is one of the most common ports used for web daemons. The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. offset:4. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET.

The exploit detected here works by initiating a proper TCP connection to a web server.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 80 (msg:"IDS265 . Only packets with a payload should be applied against this rule. and can be interspersed between each other. It’s possible to have other flag settings without the PUSH flag set and still have a payload.Advanced Rule #2: cgitest. it can be tuned by specifying the ‘offset’ and ‘depth’ options. effectively ignoring the first 3 bytes. the PUSH and ACK TCP flags must be set. however these are typically other exploits which this rule doesn’t apply to and should have a different rule written to detect them.exe Exploit (cont.exe|0d0a|user". Note the use of the ‘nocase’ option. This example shows how ASCII and hex values can be combined to form a payload signature. The second attribute specified examines the packet’s payload. 27 . detects will very rarely occur primarily because of the very specific content that is being searched for. and then executing the ‘cgitest. In this example the content that is being searched for is a combination of two sections of ASCII data and one section of hex values. The examination of a packets payload is triggered by specifying the keyword ‘content’. two packet attributes are examined in order to detect the exploit. The content value. To help reduce the overhead of processing that must take place. When detects do occur. offset:4. These packets will have the PUSH flag set indicating that data is being sent.Web cgi cgitest". ! Examines payload for specific values. The first attribute is the TCP flag settings. For this rule. This rule tells Snort to start examining the payload 4 bytes in. The content attribute can be a very resource intensive attribute to use.) \ \ \ ! Examine the rule options: TCP flags PUSH and ACK must be set. ! Low likelihood of being false positive. flags: AP. it can appear in any possible combination of upper and lower case letters possible. These options reduce the amount of a packet’s payload that must be inspected by Snort. it’s very likely that it is a positive detect. This informs Snort that for the ASCII content being searched for. ! 27 For this rule. For this rule. In this rule. This may not seem like a lot. only the ‘offset’ option is used. ! ! Likelihood of false positives: Low likelihood of occurrence. nocase. content: "cgitest. although possible. is very unlikely to occur during a normal web sessions by chance. This rule is tuned ever so slightly by the TCP flags attribute. but by ignoring 3 bytes of every packet on a very busy network can quickly add up.ext’ CGI on that server and causing a buffer overflow.

A specification for a needed rule will be provided. all of which may be correct.Writing Rules 28 In this section will demonstrate how to write a few rules from scratch of increasing difficulty. 28 . Keep in mind that for some types of rules there may be several possible answers. followed by a possible solution.

Writing Rules: Simple Rule ! Your boss wants to know about all ICMP echo requests (pings) coming into your network. 29 . Write the rule. He would like to have Snort record this packets for future analysis and to see if there are any trends. Please briefly pause this presentation now and resume it when you have written the rule. Write the rule using the variable HOME_NET to represent your network address space. using the variable HOME_NET to represent your network address space. The alert message should contain the text ‘Inbound Ping’. The rule should both alert and log. 29 Your boss is concerned about inbound ICMP echo requests from outside addresses.

the rule is to both alert and log. We also used the ‘itype’ attribute with a value of ‘8’ to limit the rule to only record echo requests – otherwise known as pings. In the rules option section we set the message option to the appropriate value as requested. To do this.Writing Rules: Simple Rule (cont.) ! Possible Answer: alert icmp !$HOME_NET any -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg:“Inbound Ping". the rule’s action field must be set to the value ‘alert’. Snort rules always require a port to be specified. it will be ignored by Snort when evaluating a packet against this rule. and the source address field is set to ‘!$HOME_NET’. 30 . We could have used any value for this field. Therefore the protocol field is set to ICMP. itype: 8. so specifying the not sign (‘!’) with the HOME_NET variable represents all addresses except those in your network. We were also told to only record inbound ICMP echo requests.) 30 According to the specification given on the previous slide. but ICMP does not use ports so we used the keyword ‘any’ as a placeholder. It is needed only to satisfy the rule parser when Snort reads and process the rules file on startup. We were told that the variable HOME_NET would represent our internal network.

including satellite offices. Also list the command line option that must be included for this rule to be effective. The address space at the satellite office you work at is the Class B 10.1. you decided to write a rule to ignore inbound packets from this scanning box. corporate headquarters decided to run a periodic scan against all IP addresses the company owns. Please briefly pause this presentation now and resume it when you have written the rule.1. What command line option must also be included? 31 In order to try to keep a step ahead of the hackers.Writing Rules: Simple Rule #2 ! Corporate headquarters routinely runs a scan of all IPs owned by the company. Tired of filtering through the false positives caused by this routine scanning.1. 31 .168.x. 192.x. Write a rule that will cause Snort to ignore all inbound TCP packets from the scanning machine. including the satellite office you work at.

but also has a special requirement that must not be forgotten.0. This can be a useful capability in order to reduce false positives or to ignore traffic from a particular host. the keyword ‘any’.0/16 any ! Snort Command Line: ! Snort –c snortrules -o 32 This is a simple rule to write. Since the source port can vary.1.1.0/16. This tells Snort to drop the packet being inspected when the rule is triggered.) ! Possible Answer: ! pass tcp 192. then the pass rules last. 192. so the protocol field in the rule was set to the value ‘TCP’. This effectively ignores pass rules. You were told this rule should ignore TCP traffic. the rule’s action field must be set to the value ‘pass’. The destination address field is set to the proper CIDR notation for the satellite office. the keyword ‘any’ was specified. you must specify the ‘-o’ option. Snort must be told to process the ‘pass’ rules first.1. The source address was set to the specific host from corporate headquarters. The destination port is set to the same value as the source port. To ignore packets.1. In order for this rule to be effective. then alert and log rules.1/32 any -> 10. 10. This causes Snort to process pass rules first.Writing Rules: Simple Rule #2 (cont.168. By default Snort processes alert and log rules first. it can be any in the entire range possible. 32 . To reverse this order.0.1. indicating that we don’t care what the source port is.168.

1.Writing Rules: Difficult Rule ! Odd behavior has been detected on your anonymous FTP server.168. Please briefly pause this presentation now and resume it when you have written the rule.0 class C address space.1.2) to a single file. 33 During routine monitoring of your logs on your anonymous FTP server. Write a Snort rule that will accomplish this. Write a rule to log all activity to this server (192. 33 . In order to investigate this matter further. you have decided to log all FTP activity to this server to a separate log file so you can see the full session.1. you have detected some behavior that just doesn’t seem normal. The source of the possible anomalous behavior is the 10.

1. For the source IP we specified the class C where the potentially hostile traffic is originating from using CIDR notation.1. along with the destination port of 21.) \ \ 34 For this rule. but just in case the traffic is hostile and the attacker tries to use a reserved port we decided to use ‘any’ instead. we really don’t care about having them. We could have specified the range of ports from 1. we decided to specify the keyword ‘any’. Since the source port can be any of the ephemeral ports.1. 34 . To record the activity. we have specified the ‘session’ option which will record all printable (ASCII) information.168. logto: “anonftp”. We don’t really want to have every packet’s header written to the alerts file.2/32 21 (msg: “FTP activity to anonymous FTP server”.Writing Rules: Difficult Rule (cont. session: printable. we specified the ‘log’ action. For the destination address we specified its full IP address in CIDR notation.024 and up. This will conveniently log all of the activity to a single file making it easy to review any activity that is recorded.) ! Possible Answer: log 10.0/24 any -> 192. We have also redirected the output to the file ‘anonftp’ by using the ‘logto’ option. Port 21 is the ‘control’ port for FTP sessions where we can record the commands and responses of the user and server.

and each packet has the same sequence number. 35 . The packets also include the payload ‘Boo!’ and have only the SYN TCP flag set. Oddly enough there is a payload of varying length that always contains the string ‘Boo!’ imbedded somewhere. 35 The next rule to write is one for a new fictitious scan that has been seen recently. Write a rule that will both alert and log. The only TCP flag set is the SYN flag. This particular scan use port 53 for both the source and destination ports.168.Writing Rules: Advanced Rule ! A new (fictitious) probe has been detected from a new scanner called ‘pr0b3z’. the PUSH flag is not set.x.1. The scan originates from port 53 to port 53 and has a TCP sequence number of 123456789 for every packet. Although there is a payload. Please briefly pause this presentation now and resume it when you have written the rule. The network being monitored is the class C address space of 192.

1. These scans can originate anywhere so we have specified the keyword ‘any’ as the source IP. so we can’t specify the ‘offset’ or ‘depth’ options to limit the amount of processing Snort will have to do. In the rules option section we specified on output message that’s descriptive and will mean something to us when we review the alerts file and log data later.168. The content option was used to search packets for a payload that contains the ASCII string ‘Boo!’. We used the ‘seq’ packet attribute to specify the sequence number.Writing Rules: Advanced Rule (cont. From the description we have been given the sequence number is the same for all packets. Since both the source and destination ports use 53. content: “Boo!”. and no other flags.0/24 53 \ (msg: “Inbound Scan: Pr0b3z”.) ! Possible Answer: alert any 53 -> 192. We’ll specify this in the rule using the ‘flags’ attribute and this will indirectly limit the amount of payload processing Snort will have to do because although it is possible to have a payload in a SYN packet it is a rare occurrence. For the destination addresses we specified our network using standard CIDR notation. But. According to the description this string can appear anywhere in the payload. the description given to use said that the packets only have the SYN flag set.) 36 For this rule we set the action field to the standard ‘alert’ action. we have set both in the rule to that number. \ seq: 123456789. We want this activity to be written to both the alert file and the log file – especially if we later run SnortSnarf on these files which we use during our analysis work. flags: S. 36 .

37 . showing how the detects being monitored for are provided to you when they are detected. This last section will what you have learned and tie it all together showing how those rules would be used in real world situations.Tying It All Together 37 You have learned how to write rules and all of the syntax and keywords that go along with it. Sample Snort output is supplied as well.

Special Note: This directory must already exist.5.5:80 TCP TTL:46 TOS:0x0 ID:19678 ******A* Seq: 0xE4F00003 Ack: 0x0 Win: 0xC00 38 When using Snort.1 root root 2512 Mar 22 06:58 alert cat alert [**] NMAP TCP ping! [**] 03/21-13:33:51. The default directory Snort writes all of its output to is ‘/var/log/snort’.2. but the log files can contain additional information the alert files does not if certain options are turned on.3.2 root root 4096 Mar 22 06:58 1.4:60216 -> 192. and turn on additional options that cannot be specified by command line options. Snort will process the file to build a list of anomalies to detect for alerting and logging. Instead.4 -rw------.5 drwx-----.880120 1. Snort will not create this directory automatically if it does not exist. it will write the activity to the alerts file and the log directory and files. After Snort has run for a while and detected anomalous behaviour.2. The content of these files is similar. Snort will issue an error message and exit. 38 . you will most often use it along with a rules file which tells Snort what to consider as hostile.168. Examining the alert file. With this option you specify the rules file that you want to use.Specifying Rules File snort -c snort-lib ls -l /var/log/snort drwx-----.2 root root 4096 Mar 22 06:58 192.5. The ‘-c’ command line option is the one you will use to do this.168. we see that the information it contains is simply the message from the triggered rule and the header information from the packet. While Snort is running.3. if it detects any packets that match any of the rules it will write the activity out to the alert file and to a logging subdirectory in a log file.

168.5 . Changing directories to one of the ones listed .5.Specifying Rules File (cont. the file TCP:12345-2985 represents activity from the host 192. For instance.2. we will examine one of the log subdirectories found in ‘/var/log/snort’.5 sent IP 1. Examining the contents of that file you see that source IP 192. A well known trojan named Netbus uses this port.4:2985 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x0 ID:9173 DF **S***** Seq: 0x9C9B544A Ack: 0x0 Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => MSS: 1460 SackOK TS: 9306314 0 NOP WS: 0 root root root 232 Mar 22 06:58 TCP:12345-2985 232 Mar 22 06:58 TCP:12346-1611 243 Mar 22 06:58 TCP:6969-2701 39 Continuing from the previous slide.3.5.5.) snort -c snort-lib cd 192.192.1 root cat TCP:12345-2985 [**] Netbus/GabanBus [**] 03/21-13:33:54.168.5 that used the TCP protocol and has a source port of 12345 and a destination port of 2985.we see additional files that house all logged activity originating from that IP.5:12345 -> 1.5. The reason this traffic was logged there is because a rule fired that checks for traffic to or from port 12345.4 traffic to destination port 2985.1 root -rw------.5.168.168.1 root -rw------.168. 39 .275350 192.2. ls -l total 12 -rw------.5.3.

/log " " " Output placed in directory . we have created a log file in the current directory and want the activity recorded there.Log Alerts to Directory .168.1 root root root root 4096 Mar 22 08:16 1.2 root drwx-----.2. Snort will not create this directory on its own./log alerts file contains alerts generated by Snort IP subdirectories with logged payloads ls -l .3. as well as creating the logging directories and log files here.5 -rw-------.4 4096 Mar 22 08:16 2512 Mar 22 08:16 alerts 40 By default. 40 . Snort places the logs and alerts in /var/log/snort. Remember – the directory you tell Snort to write the alert and logs to must already exist. In this case.2 root 192./log drwx-----.5./log snort -c snort-lib -l . You can specify a default directory by using the ‘-l’ option and the name of the directory where you want the information placed. This is the same as if everything was written to the default directory ‘/var/log/snort’. Snort will then record all alerts to an alert file in this directory.

There are also output plugins available to log packets to a XML formatted file as well as a variety of SQL databases (e. logging can be totally disabled if not desired.g. This is often done with high traffic volume so as not to bog down Snort with the logging process. Oracle) Finally. you can take any detect that is discovered and log in tcpdump raw output binary format. this will log the traffic that triggered the scan in some kind of human readable format. MySQL. Alternatively. PostgreSQL.Logging Options • Default: Full logging to default Snort directory Binary: tcpdump binary output to a single log file None: Disable logging Database: Log packets to SQL database XML: Log packets in portable XML format 41 • • • • The default method of logging is to capture the output generated from Snort detects and store it in the default Snort directory /var/log/snort. The log files (or file if you are logging in binary format) are the only place the FULL packet will be written out to including the payload. This is only recommended if you are not interested in the payload of packets that trigger rules. Depending on other command line options or rules options you use. 41 .

Alerting Options • • • • • • • Full: writes alert message and header information to alert file (default) Fast: writes alert message and condensed header to alert file None: disable alerts Syslog: send alert messages to syslog SMB: send WinPopup messages to Windows hosts via ‘smbclient’ Database: Send alerts to SQL database XML: Write alerts in a portable XML format 42 Alerts are an abbreviated format of capturing the detect. followed only by a data/timestamp and source and destination ports and addresses. as well as to an XML formatted file. Fast alerting does not include the full packet header information. None will disable alerting all together. followed by a date/timestamp and full packet header information. Fast alerting on the other hand writes the message (if any) in the rule is again written first. but write them to the syslog facilities. Syslog alerts send messages in a format similar to the fast alerts. When using this level of alerting. Full alerting is Snort’s default behaviour. the message (if any) in the rule is written to the alert file first. The default method is to capture the detect in the file /var/log/snort/alert. 42 . The fast method writes partial information to the alert file. There are also options available to send alerts to a database. Windows host via SMB alerts.

Logging will create multiple files under multiple directories based on the IP number of the source host. The actual contents of the files record the payload of the packet(s) involved. It also provides a convenient one stop place to do quick searches for items that may be of interest. The directory name (IP number) indicates the source IP that triggered the logging activity. This is a better overview of what is happening on the network versus the more detailed captures for logging. such as specific exploits or specific hosts. The log files are there to allow follow forensic analysis of events. and the contents are files named according to the protocol and ports involved. Logs exist to allow the user to analyse the exact packets that caused an alert in addition to any other packets that are possibly related to the alert event. Alerts exist to let the user know that something has happened and to give that user enough information to decide whether the alert warrants further investigation immediately.possibly decoded through application layer 43 You may be wondering what the difference between logging and alerting is. Alerts are more abbreviated captures of the detect that can all be found in a single file. 43 . Logging and alerting are conceptually different in a few ways. the alert files exist merely to give the user a single place to monitor for Snort events.Alert and Logging Differences • • • • • Alerts are all contained in one file Alerts are decoded through transport layer only Logging produces multiple files Logging creates a directory structure by IP numbers Subdirectories contain activity .

with the exception of the packet payload which can be optionally included in the log files. followed immediately by the packet’s decoded header information which can vary depending on the protocol of the packet. Relayi ng denied.Alert and Logging Format [**] IDS249 .SMTP Relaying Denied [**] Alert/Log Message Text 10/09-02:34:59.168. The date and timestamp represent the time on the sensor when the detect was made.com>. the source and destination addresses and ports involved in the detect appear.1 <blahblahrs@blahblahb l. Alert and log records are identical.7. 44 .168.2:25 -> 192. Next.1. This essentially labels each detect as it is written to disk. making it easy to determine why the packet was logged. Timestamp Ethernet (optional) DF 192.. both the hex representation of the payload and the ASCII printable characters will be displayed. Optionally following the date and timestamp is the ethernet information.. log file only) 44 This slide shows you the general format of the alert and log files.775359 FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF -> FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF type:0x800 len:0x71 Date.. Hex and ASCII (optional.200. Both log and alert messages start with the message text included in the rule.2:25432 TCP TTL:255 TOS:0x0 ID:24915 *****PA* Seq: 0x30AC5391 Ack: 0x1E3E4A55 Win: 0x2238 Packet Header (varies) 35 35 30 20 35 2E 37 2E 31 20 3C FF FF FF FF 2D FF FF FF FF FF FF 40 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF 2E 63 6F 6D 3E 2E 2E 2E 20 52 65 6C 61 79 69 6E 67 20 64 65 6E 69 65 64 0D 0A 550 5. If the packet payload is included in the logs. Packet Payload. The next item written is a date and timestamp.

flags: PA. The above rule will be used for most of the detects.143. We will put this single rule in the rules file name ‘snortrules’ to simplify the logging and alert messages generated.168.168. Content: "anonymous". 45 In the next several slides. This rule says that we want to alert if any ftp connection is generated to the 192.0/24 21 (msg: "anonymous FTP attempt".143 network that has the PUSH and ACK flags set and has a content of 'anonymous' in the payload.Logging/alert Examples • The following rule will be used to test various options to log and alert: \ \ alert tcp any any > 192. 45 . different options will be shown to explain various logging and alerting choices. nocase) • Place the above rule in rules file ‘snortrules’.

15:1536-> 192.350754 192. It contains the packet information decoded through the TCP transport layer as can be seen by examining the file. we specify that we want to use a default logging directory of logdir. 46 . That triggers a detect and causes Snort to create an entry in the alerts file. It contains the output that was generated for the detect. This has to be an existing directory.143.168. Next.143 network using a username of anonymous.143. we notice that there is a file named ‘alert’.168.16:21 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x10 ID:18558 DF *****PA* Seq: 0x7C451B73 Ack: 0x7DC44632 Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => NOP NOP TS: 27713449 92831 46 In this first example.168. [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-11:58:06. in this case since we did not specify the alert level Snort will default to ‘full’.Alert and Log snort -l logdir -c snortrules In directory logdir you will find a file named alert. We run Snort using our one rule found in ‘snortrules’. what you don't see above is we attempt to ftp to a host on the 192. If we examine the contents of logdir directory.

168. we discover a file name TCP:1526-21. we discover a subdirectory 192.168. If we ‘cd’ into that directory.143. 47 . This is a log directory.143.15 contains a file: TCP:1536-21 [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-11:58:06.Alert and Log (Cont) The directory logdir contains a subdirectory named: 192.143.16:21 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x10 ID:18558 DF *****PA* Seq: 0x7c451b73 Ack: 0x7dc44632 win: 0x7d78 TCP options => NOP NOP TS: 27713449 92831 47 In the same logdir directory.168.143.168. We find the same message generated in the alert file.168. The filename identifies the protocol (TCP) as well as the source (1526) and destination ports (21) involved in the detect. The subdirectory 192.15:1536 -> 192.350754 192.143.15.15 that represents the hostile IP that attempted the anonymous ftp access.

We follow the same process as before and discover that we have an alert file in logdir which is the same as before. still written in a human readable format.168.888357 192. the date/timestamp and the hosts involved.168. The alert file still contains the message from the triggered rule.143.143.16:21 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x10 ID:20566 DF *****PA* Seq: 0x7C451B73 Ack: 0x7DC44632 Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => NOP NOP TS: 27713449 92831 48 Now we add the ‘-d’ option to the same command used previously. which says to decode the application layer. It also still contains the full packet header information. Note that the contents of the alert file have not changed from what would normally be recorded. 48 .Alert and Log With Decode snort -l logdir -c snortrules -d In directory logdir the file alert has the following contents: [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-12:03:59.15:1537 -> 192.

15.. The left portion contains the hex values of the payload. The directory 192. 49 If you now look at the log file.143. you will not only see the information contained in the alerts file.15 contains file named: TCP:1537-21 [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-12:03:59.15:1537 ->192.143.888357 192.168.16:21 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x10 ID:20566 DF *****PA* Seq: 0x94102D52 Ack: 0x94529A7B Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => NOP NOP TS: 27748803 128108 55 53 45 52 20 61 6E 6F 6E 79 6D 6F 75 73 0D 0A USER anonymous. while the right portion contains the ASCII representation.Alert and Log With Decode (Cont) The directory logdir contains the subdirectory 192.168.168.168.143. The output of the packet’s payload is broken into two parts. 49 . but now the actual payload of the packet at the bottom of the alert.143.

50 .168.143. This creates a single binary file instead of creating many subdirectories with files in them that may contain only one packet.16:21 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x10 ID:18558 DF *****PA* Seq: 0x7C451B73 Ack: 0x7DC44632 Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => NOP NOP TS: 27713449 92831 50 The ‘-b’ option allows you to log the packets to a tcpdump file instead of the normal decoded ASCII files. Instead Snort can open one file and continuously write to that file for the entire duration Snort is running.15:1536 -> 192. It also relieves Snort from having to create directories and constantly opening and closing files to write out the information in ASCII format. [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-11:58:06. Logging using the binary format is much more efficient than having Snort write out a completely decoded packet in an ASCII format.Alert and Log in Binary snort -l logdir -c snortrules -d -b The directory logdir contains the file alert.168. If you are deploying Snort on high capacity networks or Snort starts to drop packets. log in binary format.350754 192.143.

The name has the date of the capture (0428 . This requires less work of Snort to capture and is used when there is a lot of traffic on the network and there is a concern for packets being dropped. 51 In the logdir directory. This can be read either using Snort with the ‘-r’ option or with tcpdump with the ‘-r’ option. we find a file snort-0428@1158.Alert and Log in Binary (Cont) In directory logdir we find the following file: snort-0428@1158.log which is a tcpdump raw binary output file of the detect that was captured.April 28th) and the time of the capture (11:58 AM). 51 .log This is a tcpdump binary output of entire packet.

03/21-13:33:51. indicating that the software used to create the dump file collected 144 bytes for each packet collected.4:1399 -> 192.raw. This is Snort’s way of informing you that it is reading from a file and not from the network interface.5:693 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x0 ID:7570 DF **S***** Seq: 0x9C55968F Ack: 0x0 Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => MSS: 1460 SackOK TS: 9306083 0 NOP WS: 0 52 Another useful ability of Snort is the ‘-r’ command line option.raw.168.Reading Tcpdump Files snort -vd -r tcpdump.raw. This assumes that we have collected ‘tcpdump. Also.4:1398 -> 192. In the example shown here.5. This option instructs Snort to read from tcpdump binary files instead of the network interface. Readback mode can be especially useful for busy networks where full and constant processing on the sensor itself may not be feasible..3. snaplen = 144 Entering readback mode.5. This can be done if you've collected data using tcpdump from another sensor or other tcpdump compatible software. or instructed Snort to log in binary.5:2307 TCP TTL:64 TOS:0x0 ID:7569 DF **S***** Seq: 0x9C857C3C Ack: 0x0 Win: 0x7D78 TCP Options => MSS: 1460 SackOK TS: 9306083 0 NOP WS: 0 03/21-13:33:51. In that case you can pull the data back periodically and run Snort on the retrieved data without using extra CPU cycles on the sensor itself. note the ‘snaplen = 144’.data’ instead of from the network interface. we are using Snort in verbose mode. That is the tcpdump snapshot length.2. 52 .3.960219 1.data Initializing Network Interface..168.data’ earlier and it contains tcpdump binary data.. Note the ‘Entering readback mode’.2. but this time we use the ‘-r’ switch to tell Snort to read its input from ‘tcpdump...960269 1. sending the data to the screen.

silicondefense. SnortSnarf will allow you to drill down to the packet that triggered a specific alert. One tool that has proven to be popular as well as being very useful is SnortSnarf.com/snortsnarf/ snortsnarf.pl /var/log/snort/alert 53 There are tools available that will help you with the analysis of the alert and log files. This is easier than trying to assess what is happening by looking at the alerts file.html) • Alert wrap-up html files • Specific source/destination alert html files • Optionally linked to log files for packet inspection • • Located in snort directory contrib subdirectory http://www. If logging was turned on in Snort.Pl • perl script to take alerts: – Formats Snort alert and log files into html output – Places output in following files for ‘drill down’: • Overall summary of detected alerts (index. The SnortSnarf program is intended to help you view your Snort alerts in an orderly fashion using a web browser. SnortSnarf creates an index.Snortsnarf.html file containing a summarized list of alerts. 53 . At the next level down. and you provide the directory the logs are located in. At the top level. and allows you to drill down from the general list of alerts to the specific packet that triggered the alert (providing logging was turned on and the decode option was specified). an html file is created containing each of the same alerts in a single file.

1 (Jim Hoagland and Stuart Staniford) 54 This is a sample index page created by SnortSnarf. you can click on the signature name and a page displaying information about the signature will be displayed.SnortSnarf Output Snortsnarf: Snort signatures in snort.SMTP Relaying Denied 1 1 1 Summary UDP scan 6 1 1 Summary Generated by Snortsnarf v100400. 54 . The information displayed can include a sample rule that would detect the traffic.alert et al 7 alerts processed. To see additional details.alert •snort_portscan. and the total number of source and destination hosts involved. sample packets. For some signatures. It lists the signatures that were detected. Files included: •snort. click on the summary link which will display a page containing information about the selected alerts. and further explanation of the exploit. such as the ‘SMTP Relaying Denied’ example shown here.775359 on 10/09 Latest alert at 03:00:36 on 10/9 Signature (click for definition) # Alerts # Sources # Destinations Detail link IDS249 .log Earliest alert at 02:34:59. number of times it was triggered. This page contains a summarized list of alerts that were triggered during the time period listed.

200.alert •snort_portscan.775359 on 10/09 Latest such alert at 02:34:59. you arrive at this page. and the number of destination hosts involved for both of those totals.775359 on 10/09 IDS249 .2 # Alerts (sig) 1 # Alerts (total) 1 # Dsts (sig) 1 # Dsts (total)) 1 Destinations receiving this attack signature Destinations 192.1 (Jim Hoagland and Stuart Staniford) 55 When clicking on the link from the summarized index page.Summary of alerts in snort. In this case only one alert of the type ‘SMTP Relaying Denied’ is listed and it involved only one source and destination IP. If there were multiple instances of this alert. including all of the hosts that were involved.1. the grant total of alerts triggered by the host for all alerts. Looking in files: •snort.2 # Alerts (sig) 1 # Alerts (total) 1 # Srcs (sig) 1 # Srcs (total)) 1 Generated by Snortsnarf v100400.168. Clicking on the source IP address will take you to the alerts triggered by that source host for this signature.log Earliest such alert at 02:34:59. they would all be listed here. This page lists all of the source and destination hosts involved with the selected alert.alert et al for signature: IDS249 .SMTP Relaying Denied 1 alerts on this signature. 55 . The chart to the right of the address shows you how many alerts were triggered by that host for this specific alert.168.SMTP Relaying Denied 1 sources 1 destinations Sources triggering this attack signature Source 192.

216 as a source •1 instances of IDS249 .181.2 DNS lookup at: Amenesi Riherds Princeton [**] IDS249 .775359 on 10/09 Latest: 02:34:59.alert et al Looking in files: •snort.216.alert •snort_portscan.168.log Earliest: 02:34:59.All 1 alerts from 192.168.SMTP Relaying Denied Whois lookup at: ARIN RIPE APNIC Geektools There are 1 distinct destination IPs in the alerts of the type on this page.2 in snort.SMTP Relaying Denied [**] 56 56 .1.775359 on 10/09 1 different signatures are present for 206. 192.1.

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