There has been a lot of confusion between the rule update packs. Some people would see the word "snortrules-snapshot-CURRENT_s.tar.gz" in the rulepack name, or the "snortrules-snapshot-2.8_s.tar.gz" name, and not know which ones to use, or which version of rulepack to use with which version of Snort, so hopefully with this change we've eliminated that confusion. Now the Snort RulePacks are specific to "Version released".
What does that mean for you?
If you are using 188.8.131.52 and are updating to 2.8.6 (recommended)
You need to go into your oinkmaster / pulledpork / wget / any updater that you are using, and change the name of the rulepack you are grabbing to the version that is specific to your environment, so if you are changing to 2.8.6, you will not only need to update to 2.8.6, but you will also need to change your rulepack name to:
If you are using 184.108.40.206, and are NOT planning to update to 2.8.6 at this time
You STILL need to go into your oinkmaster/pulledpork/wget/any updater that you are using and change the name of the rulepack you are pulling to the version that is specific to your environment.
In short, everyone that uses Snort will need to make this change. For the next 30-days, the "snortrules-snapshot-CURRENT.tar.gz" and "snortrules-snapshot-2.8.tar.gz" links will symlink to the "snortrules-snapshot-2853.tar.gz". So if you update to 2.8.6 you will need to change to the appropriate rulepack.
These symlinks will exist for the next 30-days.
If you are a Snort VRT rules subscriber (aka, you pay for it), the symlinks will be of use to you for 30-days, however, you are strongly encouraged to make the change now so that after the symlinks are removed, you won't get 404 errors.
If you are NOT a Snort VRT rules subscriber (aka, registered user, you don't pay for it, and you get the rulepack after the "30-day free window" is lifted) you need to make the change. So for example, if snortrules-snapshot-CURRENT.tar.gz is in your rule download URL, you need to update it to snortrules-snapshot-2853.tar.gz (or snortrules-snapshot-2860.tar.gz if you update). The Symlinks will NEVER apply to you, as the new packages won't be available to registered users for 30 days.
If you are running a version of Snort that is < 220.127.116.11.
You will need to modify oinkmaster / pulledpork / wget / whatever update system you are using to remove 18.104.22.168 version specific rule keywords or Snort will fail to load. Please update to 22.214.171.124 at least, or move to 2.8.6.
The Snort.conf file that is in each rulepack is ALSO version specific now. (Yeah!)
The rulepacks will also be significantly smaller because of the fact that since the rulepacks are locked to the version of Snort they support, only the SO rules for the specific rulepack version are included. For instance, the 2853 rulepack will only contain SO rules for 126.96.36.199.
Also be sure and read the VRT blog for further information: http://vrt-sourcefire.blogspot.com