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

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

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

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

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

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. 11 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only one OS uses setting greater than 220. The second item that helps tune this rule is the time to live value. All of the above combine to make this a finely tuned rule that will not false positive very often.) ! ! ! ! Source Port ! High into ephemeral ports (non-reserved). ! Rule vulnerable to mutations. 19 Time To Live ! Acknowledgement Number. They are typically used in sequence. The first item that helps tune this rule is the specification of a specific port for the source port. but it will not identify the utility being used). Most operating systems specify a value much less than 220 when the packet is created. The source code for this utility is freely available.101.Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont. only source addresses using that specific port might cause a trigger.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ \ (msg: "IDS439 . Under normal conditions. that source port will be used. it must have made many connections to other machines. Only the Solaris 2. ack: 0. the acknowledgement number can never be zero. Ephemeral ports. 19 . All other operating systems use values much less than 220. flags: S. Only in a crafted packet will this value ever be used. By specifying a specific value. 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.x operating system sets the time to live attribute to a value greater than 220.Scan -myscan". meaning the non-reserved ports. so for a source address to reach 10. Cannot normally be set to zero (0). The rule specifies that this attribute must be set to the value zero (0). Because the source port is such a high number. it is very unlikely – but possible. start at 1024 and go up. ttl: >220. However it does depend on the above settings in the crafted packet not to be changed. The last item that contributes to the rule’s tuning is the acknowledgement attribute value. This makes it vulnerable to mutations of the scanning utility.

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

the signature doesn’t just consist of the contents of the rule header.snort.com web site. ! Signature also based on rule options.whitehats. In these rules. It consists of the rule header and additional information specified in the rule options.org rule set and www.Rule Analysis: Advanced Rules ! Learn to analyze difficult rules. The example rules used in this section are real world rules.com.snort. 21 . This section will continue to build on the rule analysis technique that was used in the first section.whitehats. Interpretation of the rule option section with different kinds of packet attributes will be introduced here. 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.org web site and from the 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. which can potentially reduce the number of false positives. it’s possible to make rules more accurate. Signature based on rule header. ! Examples taken from www.

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

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. However. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET.Advanced Rule #1: Wu-FTP Exploit (cont.) ! Examine the rule header: Will ‘alert’ when triggered. \ content: "|31C0 31DB 31C9 B046 CD80 31C0 31DB \ 43 89D941 B03F CD80|". Port 21 is a well known reserved port that is used to provide FTP services. the packet must be destined for port 21. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. flags: PA. This variable is set to the IP addresses your sensor is to monitor. The source port is set to the keyword ‘any’. ! Applies only to TCP traffic. but may also be set by command line options.FTP wuftp260-tf8".) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 21 \ (msg: "IDS458 . 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. ! 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 destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. 23 . unless these options are overridden by command line options.

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

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

In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET. 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. The source port is set to the keyword ‘any’. the rule should be duplicated for each of the ports being used.exe|0d0a|user". If there are web daemons used on your network using alternative ports. ! Applies only to TCP traffic.Web cgi cgitest".) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET 80 (msg:"IDS265 . However. This variable is set to the IP addresses your sensor is to monitor. Port 80 is one of the most common ports used for web daemons. 26 . The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET. content: "cgitest. The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. meaning that the TCP packet can originate from any possible port on the source host. unless these options are overridden by command line options. Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file. but may also be set by command line options.Advanced Rule #2: cgitest. 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.exe Exploit (cont. flags: AP. the packet must be destined for port 80. nocase. offset:4.

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

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

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

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

you decided to write a rule to ignore inbound packets from this scanning box.1.1. including the satellite office you work at.168. Also list the command line option that must be included for this rule to be effective. 31 . The address space at the satellite office you work at is the Class B 10.1. What command line option must also be included? 31 In order to try to keep a step ahead of the hackers.x. including satellite offices.Writing Rules: Simple Rule #2 ! Corporate headquarters routinely runs a scan of all IPs owned by the company. 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. Tired of filtering through the false positives caused by this routine scanning. Write a rule that will cause Snort to ignore all inbound TCP packets from the scanning machine.x. 192.

0. Since the source port can vary.1.) ! Possible Answer: ! pass tcp 192. By default Snort processes alert and log rules first.168.0. the keyword ‘any’. This tells Snort to drop the packet being inspected when the rule is triggered. The source address was set to the specific host from corporate headquarters. The destination address field is set to the proper CIDR notation for the satellite office.1. 10. This effectively ignores pass rules. but also has a special requirement that must not be forgotten. You were told this rule should ignore TCP traffic.1. This causes Snort to process pass rules first.1/32 any -> 10. To reverse this order. The destination port is set to the same value as the source port. To ignore packets.1. This can be a useful capability in order to reduce false positives or to ignore traffic from a particular host. In order for this rule to be effective. the rule’s action field must be set to the value ‘pass’.Writing Rules: Simple Rule #2 (cont.0/16. 192. then the pass rules last. indicating that we don’t care what the source port is. 32 . Snort must be told to process the ‘pass’ rules first. so the protocol field in the rule was set to the value ‘TCP’. then alert and log rules.168. the keyword ‘any’ was specified. it can be any in the entire range possible.0/16 any ! Snort Command Line: ! Snort –c snortrules -o 32 This is a simple rule to write. you must specify the ‘-o’ option.1.

33 During routine monitoring of your logs on your anonymous FTP server.2) to a single file.168. you have decided to log all FTP activity to this server to a separate log file so you can see the full session. 33 . Write a Snort rule that will accomplish this. you have detected some behavior that just doesn’t seem normal.1. In order to investigate this matter further.1. Please briefly pause this presentation now and resume it when you have written the rule. Write a rule to log all activity to this server (192.0 class C address space.Writing Rules: Difficult Rule ! Odd behavior has been detected on your anonymous FTP server. The source of the possible anomalous behavior is the 10.1.

2/32 21 (msg: “FTP activity to anonymous FTP server”. To record the activity.168. along with the destination port of 21. For the source IP we specified the class C where the potentially hostile traffic is originating from using CIDR notation. but just in case the traffic is hostile and the attacker tries to use a reserved port we decided to use ‘any’ instead. We could have specified the range of ports from 1. We have also redirected the output to the file ‘anonftp’ by using the ‘logto’ option. logto: “anonftp”. we decided to specify the keyword ‘any’.1.1. This will conveniently log all of the activity to a single file making it easy to review any activity that is recorded.024 and up.1. We don’t really want to have every packet’s header written to the alerts file.) ! Possible Answer: log 10. we specified the ‘log’ action. Since the source port can be any of the ephemeral ports.) \ \ 34 For this rule.0/24 any -> 192. we really don’t care about having them. we have specified the ‘session’ option which will record all printable (ASCII) information.Writing Rules: Difficult Rule (cont. Port 21 is the ‘control’ port for FTP sessions where we can record the commands and responses of the user and server. For the destination address we specified its full IP address in CIDR notation. 34 . session: printable.

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

flags: S. 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. \ seq: 123456789. Since both the source and destination ports use 53.0/24 53 \ (msg: “Inbound Scan: Pr0b3z”. According to the description this string can appear anywhere in the payload. content: “Boo!”.168. We used the ‘seq’ packet attribute to specify the sequence number.) ! Possible Answer: alert any 53 -> 192.1. 36 . For the destination addresses we specified our network using standard CIDR notation. These scans can originate anywhere so we have specified the keyword ‘any’ as the source IP. But. we have set both in the rule to that number.Writing Rules: Advanced Rule (cont. the description given to use said that the packets only have the SYN flag set. The content option was used to search packets for a payload that contains the ASCII string ‘Boo!’. and no other flags.) 36 For this rule we set the action field to the standard ‘alert’ action. 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. 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. From the description we have been given the sequence number is the same for all packets.

Tying It All Together 37 You have learned how to write rules and all of the syntax and keywords that go along with it. 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. Sample Snort output is supplied as well. 37 .

it will write the activity to the alerts file and the log directory and files. but the log files can contain additional information the alert files does not if certain options are turned on.4 -rw------.2.5. Instead. The content of these files is similar.880120 1.168. Examining the alert file.5. With this option you specify the rules file that you want to use. Snort will not create this directory automatically if it does not exist. Snort will issue an error message and exit. The ‘-c’ command line option is the one you will use to do this. Special Note: This directory must already exist. 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.1 root root 2512 Mar 22 06:58 alert cat alert [**] NMAP TCP ping! [**] 03/21-13:33:51.2. you will most often use it along with a rules file which tells Snort what to consider as hostile.2 root root 4096 Mar 22 06:58 1.3.4:60216 -> 192.5:80 TCP TTL:46 TOS:0x0 ID:19678 ******A* Seq: 0xE4F00003 Ack: 0x0 Win: 0xC00 38 When using Snort. 38 . While Snort is running.168.2 root root 4096 Mar 22 06:58 192. Snort will process the file to build a list of anomalies to detect for alerting and logging.5 drwx-----. The default directory Snort writes all of its output to is ‘/var/log/snort’. we see that the information it contains is simply the message from the triggered rule and the header information from the packet.Specifying Rules File snort -c snort-lib ls -l /var/log/snort drwx-----. and turn on additional options that cannot be specified by command line options. After Snort has run for a while and detected anomalous behaviour.3.

) snort -c snort-lib cd 192. Changing directories to one of the ones listed .5. ls -l total 12 -rw------.1 root cat TCP:12345-2985 [**] Netbus/GabanBus [**] 03/21-13:33:54. For instance.1 root -rw------.5.168. the file TCP:12345-2985 represents activity from the host 192.5 that used the TCP protocol and has a source port of 12345 and a destination port of 2985.168.Specifying Rules File (cont.4 traffic to destination port 2985.5 . Examining the contents of that file you see that source IP 192. A well known trojan named Netbus uses this port.5. we will examine one of the log subdirectories found in ‘/var/log/snort’. The reason this traffic was logged there is because a rule fired that checks for traffic to or from port 12345.5.192. 39 .5:12345 -> 1.4:2985 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.5 sent IP 1.5.5.3.168.we see additional files that house all logged activity originating from that IP.2.168.1 root -rw------.275350 192.168.2.3.

2. Remember – the directory you tell Snort to write the alert and logs to must already exist. Snort places the logs and alerts in /var/log/snort. You can specify a default directory by using the ‘-l’ option and the name of the directory where you want the information placed./log " " " Output placed in directory .3.2 root drwx-----. This is the same as if everything was written to the default directory ‘/var/log/snort’.168. we have created a log file in the current directory and want the activity recorded there.Log Alerts to Directory .5 -rw-------.1 root root root root 4096 Mar 22 08:16 1.2 root 192.4 4096 Mar 22 08:16 2512 Mar 22 08:16 alerts 40 By default. In this case. Snort will then record all alerts to an alert file in this directory./log drwx-----.5. Snort will not create this directory on its own./log alerts file contains alerts generated by Snort IP subdirectories with logged payloads ls -l . as well as creating the logging directories and log files here./log snort -c snort-lib -l . 40 .

you can take any detect that is discovered and log in tcpdump raw output binary format. 41 . This is only recommended if you are not interested in the payload of packets that trigger rules. this will log the traffic that triggered the scan in some kind of human readable format. PostgreSQL. Depending on other command line options or rules options you use.g. There are also output plugins available to log packets to a XML formatted file as well as a variety of SQL databases (e. This is often done with high traffic volume so as not to bog down Snort with the logging process. 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. logging can be totally disabled if not desired. Oracle) Finally. Alternatively. MySQL.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 fast method writes partial information to the alert file. Fast alerting does not include the full packet header information. When using this level of alerting. followed only by a data/timestamp and source and destination ports and addresses. None will disable alerting all together. Syslog alerts send messages in a format similar to the fast alerts. but write them to the syslog facilities. Windows host via SMB alerts. There are also options available to send alerts to a database. Full alerting is Snort’s default behaviour.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. 42 . 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. as well as to an XML formatted file. 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.

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 . 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. Logging will create multiple files under multiple directories based on the IP number of the source host. The directory name (IP number) indicates the source IP that triggered the logging activity.possibly decoded through application layer 43 You may be wondering what the difference between logging and alerting is. The log files are there to allow follow forensic analysis of events. It also provides a convenient one stop place to do quick searches for items that may be of interest. 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. such as specific exploits or specific hosts. The actual contents of the files record the payload of the packet(s) involved. and the contents are files named according to the protocol and ports involved. This is a better overview of what is happening on the network versus the more detailed captures for logging. 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. 43 . Alerts are more abbreviated captures of the detect that can all be found in a single file.

Relayi ng denied. Timestamp Ethernet (optional) DF 192. The date and timestamp represent the time on the sensor when the detect was made. Hex and ASCII (optional.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. with the exception of the packet payload which can be optionally included in the log files.200. both the hex representation of the payload and the ASCII printable characters will be displayed..com>. This essentially labels each detect as it is written to disk. The next item written is a date and timestamp.SMTP Relaying Denied [**] Alert/Log Message Text 10/09-02:34:59. 44 . log file only) 44 This slide shows you the general format of the alert and log files. Alert and log records are identical.2:25 -> 192.Alert and Logging Format [**] IDS249 .1. If the packet payload is included in the logs.775359 FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF -> FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF type:0x800 len:0x71 Date. making it easy to determine why the packet was logged. the source and destination addresses and ports involved in the detect appear.1 <blahblahrs@blahblahb l. Next.7.168. Packet Payload. followed immediately by the packet’s decoded header information which can vary depending on the protocol of the packet.. Optionally following the date and timestamp is the ethernet information..168. Both log and alert messages start with the message text included in the rule.

168. Content: "anonymous".Logging/alert Examples • The following rule will be used to test various options to log and alert: \ \ alert tcp any any > 192. This rule says that we want to alert if any ftp connection is generated to the 192. 45 In the next several slides.0/24 21 (msg: "anonymous FTP attempt". The above rule will be used for most of the detects. We will put this single rule in the rules file name ‘snortrules’ to simplify the logging and alert messages generated.143. different options will be shown to explain various logging and alerting choices. flags: PA. nocase) • Place the above rule in rules file ‘snortrules’.143 network that has the PUSH and ACK flags set and has a content of 'anonymous' in the payload.168. 45 .

we notice that there is a file named ‘alert’. It contains the packet information decoded through the TCP transport layer as can be seen by examining the file. If we examine the contents of logdir directory.168. Next. [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-11:58:06. what you don't see above is we attempt to ftp to a host on the 192.Alert and Log snort -l logdir -c snortrules In directory logdir you will find a file named alert. That triggers a detect and causes Snort to create an entry in the alerts file. we specify that we want to use a default logging directory of logdir.143.168.143.143 network using a username of anonymous. This has to be an existing directory.15:1536-> 192. We run Snort using our one rule found in ‘snortrules’. in this case since we did not specify the alert level Snort will default to ‘full’. 46 .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. It contains the output that was generated for the detect.350754 192.168.

168.168. we discover a subdirectory 192.143.143.143.15. we discover a file name TCP:1526-21. We find the same message generated in the alert file.168.15 that represents the hostile IP that attempted the anonymous ftp access.15 contains a file: TCP:1536-21 [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-11:58:06.16:21 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.Alert and Log (Cont) The directory logdir contains a subdirectory named: 192.15:1536 -> 192. 47 .168. If we ‘cd’ into that directory. The filename identifies the protocol (TCP) as well as the source (1526) and destination ports (21) involved in the detect.350754 192. This is a log directory.143.168. The subdirectory 192.143.

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. Note that the contents of the alert file have not changed from what would normally be recorded. the date/timestamp and the hosts involved. still written in a human readable format.143.888357 192. We follow the same process as before and discover that we have an alert file in logdir which is the same as before.143. The alert file still contains the message from the triggered rule.168. 48 . It also still contains the full packet header information.Alert and Log With Decode snort -l logdir -c snortrules -d In directory logdir the file alert has the following contents: [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-12:03:59.168.15:1537 -> 192.

15 contains file named: TCP:1537-21 [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-12:03:59.Alert and Log With Decode (Cont) The directory logdir contains the subdirectory 192.143. The directory 192. The output of the packet’s payload is broken into two parts.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.168.143. while the right portion contains the ASCII representation.143.168..168.15. you will not only see the information contained in the alerts file. 49 . but now the actual payload of the packet at the bottom of the alert.168.15:1537 ->192.888357 192.143. 49 If you now look at the log file. The left portion contains the hex values of the payload.

143. [**] Anonymous FTP attempt [**] 04/28-11:58:06.143.15:1536 -> 192.Alert and Log in Binary snort -l logdir -c snortrules -d -b The directory logdir contains the file alert. Instead Snort can open one file and continuously write to that file for the entire duration Snort is running. log in binary format.168. Logging using the binary format is much more efficient than having Snort write out a completely decoded packet in an ASCII format.350754 192. This creates a single binary file instead of creating many subdirectories with files in them that may contain only one packet. It also relieves Snort from having to create directories and constantly opening and closing files to write out the information in ASCII format. 50 .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 50 The ‘-b’ option allows you to log the packets to a tcpdump file instead of the normal decoded ASCII files. If you are deploying Snort on high capacity networks or Snort starts to drop packets.

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

5. This assumes that we have collected ‘tcpdump.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 03/21-13:33:51.4:1399 -> 192.raw..3. This can be done if you've collected data using tcpdump from another sensor or other tcpdump compatible software.raw.. note the ‘snaplen = 144’. snaplen = 144 Entering readback mode. That is the tcpdump snapshot length. This option instructs Snort to read from tcpdump binary files instead of the network interface.5. sending the data to the screen. Note the ‘Entering readback mode’. 03/21-13:33:51.raw. Also. Readback mode can be especially useful for busy networks where full and constant processing on the sensor itself may not be feasible.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. In the example shown here.2.data Initializing Network Interface. or instructed Snort to log in binary. 52 .Reading Tcpdump Files snort -vd -r tcpdump.3.168.960269 1. indicating that the software used to create the dump file collected 144 bytes for each packet collected.data’ instead of from the network interface.2.. 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..4:1398 -> 192.168. This is Snort’s way of informing you that it is reading from a file and not from the network interface. we are using Snort in verbose mode.data’ earlier and it contains tcpdump binary data. but this time we use the ‘-r’ switch to tell Snort to read its input from ‘tcpdump..960219 1.

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). One tool that has proven to be popular as well as being very useful is SnortSnarf.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.pl /var/log/snort/alert 53 There are tools available that will help you with the analysis of the alert and log files. At the top level. and you provide the directory the logs are located in. SnortSnarf will allow you to drill down to the packet that triggered a specific alert.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. The SnortSnarf program is intended to help you view your Snort alerts in an orderly fashion using a web browser.Snortsnarf. 53 . At the next level down. an html file is created containing each of the same alerts in a single file. This is easier than trying to assess what is happening by looking at the alerts file.silicondefense.html file containing a summarized list of alerts.com/snortsnarf/ snortsnarf. SnortSnarf creates an index. If logging was turned on in Snort.

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

alert •snort_portscan.2 # Alerts (sig) 1 # Alerts (total) 1 # Dsts (sig) 1 # Dsts (total)) 1 Destinations receiving this attack signature Destinations 192. The chart to the right of the address shows you how many alerts were triggered by that host for this specific alert.775359 on 10/09 IDS249 . they would all be listed here.alert et al for signature: IDS249 . including all of the hosts that were involved. If there were multiple instances of this alert.SMTP Relaying Denied 1 sources 1 destinations Sources triggering this attack signature Source 192.168.2 # Alerts (sig) 1 # Alerts (total) 1 # Srcs (sig) 1 # Srcs (total)) 1 Generated by Snortsnarf v100400.SMTP Relaying Denied 1 alerts on this signature.200. the grant total of alerts triggered by the host for all alerts. This page lists all of the source and destination hosts involved with the selected alert.1. Clicking on the source IP address will take you to the alerts triggered by that source host for this signature.168.log Earliest such alert at 02:34:59. Looking in files: •snort. you arrive at this page. 55 . and the number of destination hosts involved for both of those totals.775359 on 10/09 Latest such alert at 02:34:59.Summary of alerts in snort.1 (Jim Hoagland and Stuart Staniford) 55 When clicking on the link from the summarized index page. In this case only one alert of the type ‘SMTP Relaying Denied’ is listed and it involved only one source and destination IP.

All 1 alerts from 192.168.2 in snort. 192.216.SMTP Relaying Denied [**] 56 56 .log Earliest: 02:34:59.168.775359 on 10/09 Latest: 02:34:59.1.775359 on 10/09 1 different signatures are present for 206.216 as a source •1 instances of IDS249 .1.alert et al Looking in files: •snort.alert •snort_portscan.2 DNS lookup at: Amenesi Riherds Princeton [**] IDS249 .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.181.