Skip to main content

Burning Brain Cells, (and why the Focus-IDS mailing list is a waste)

Okay, I choose not to respond on Focus-IDS basically, because there are a bunch of tools on there that just, don't get it (TM).

.. And quit writing "Snort" in all caps. It's not "SNORT". Get it right. If you must, check the patents.

But it starts with this:
"Snort also has a lot of unique signatures that people have designed for highly specialized purposes. That is definitely a benefit to some organizations. But, those signatures are only useful in those unique situations. And all the commercial products support custom signatures - so you can do the same thing for your TP or ISS box."

Um, and what "unique situations" are you talking about? All of our signatures can be deployed on any network, and they will work just as well. We have a global impact now, despite how much people are refusing to admit that we are the most widely deployed IDS. Oh yeah, and I can review all my Snort signatures. Can you review all of ISS's? No. Cisco? TP? Yes, you can write your own, but can you see THEIRS?

"Furthermore, Snort rules are developed by volunteers (or Sourcefire)."

Lets try, developed by Sourcefire, (or volunteers). Last time I checked we have a descent sized budget and some SMART people over there in the VRT, and if I remember correctly.. We beat every IDS vendor to the punch on a bunch of the last 0-day Microsoft stuff. Example: (Sasser, Zotob..) We still get a lot of good signatures submitted through us which, we release to community. If the signature is really good, and someone submits it to VRT, and they are willing to have it put on the VRT rule list (because of licensing) it will most definitely be on there.

"As such, SNORT is usually behind the curve on new signatures. ISS, for example, does their own independent security research an has signatures to protect against things that Snort people don't even know about."

More FUD, he must be in sales. Apparently, he's never heard of our VRT, and apparently he didn't read my above post. Go ahead, I'll wait.

"Other vendors buy exploits from the hacker market - again giving them access to vulnerabilities long before it hits the public and subsequently the people who develop SNORT signatures."

Um, we get our "exploits" the same place you all get them. But it doesn't really matter, since we don't write signatures to detect the exploit, we write signatures to detect the vulnerability.

"The 90% thing you're coming up with is just false."

Runs on the list.

"A poorly maintained, tuned or implemented Snort sensor is just as useless as a poorly maintained, tuned, or implemented ISS sensor."

Um, its that way for every IDS.

"Now, I realize I sound like a ISS or TippingPoint sales person."

yes you do.

"And yes, I have a vested interest in such products because my company sells them." -- THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.


Popular posts from this blog

Offset, Depth, Distance, and Within

Without going off the deep-end here and discussing every single Snort rule keyword, I just wanted to touch on a few modifiers that people sometimes misunderstand.  They aren't difficult, and hopefully after this explanation and a few examples, I can clear some of the air around these five modifiers.

The five modifiers that I am talking about are
OffsetDepthDistanceWithinnocaseThese five modifiers are not keywords of themselves, but rather they apply as modifiers to another keyword.  That keyword is "content". The content keyword is one of the easiest pieces of the Snort rules language as all it does is look for a particular string.  So for instance if I wanted to look for the word "joel" within a packet.  A simple:
content:"joel";Would allow me to do that.  The interesting part comes into play when you want to specify where inside of a particular packet you want the string "joel" to be looked for.  If you are running just a plain content ma…

Writing Snort Rules Correctly

Let me start off by saying I'm not bashing the writer of this article, and I'm trying not to be super critical.  I don't want to discourage this person from writing articles about Snort rules.  It's great when people in the Snort community step up and explain some simple things out there.  There are mistakes, it comes with the territory.  If you choose to be one of the people that tries to write Snort rules, you also choose to be someone who wants to learn how to do it better.  That's why I write this blog post, not to bash the writer, but to teach.

I noticed this post today over at the "Tao of Signature Writing" blog, and to be honest I glanced over most of it figuring it was a rehash of things I've already read or things that have already been written from countless people about "Here's how you write Snort rules!".  I scrolled down quickly skimming, not reading at all really, and noticed this part:
Now, let us look at the second questio…

Safari 5.1.4 now available

Safari 5.1.4 now available, fixes issues and improves performance | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog:

Improve JavaScript performanceImprove responsiveness when typing into the search field after changing network configurations or with an intermittent network connectionAddress an issue that could cause webpages to flash white when switching between Safari windowsAddress issues that prevented printing U.S. Postal Service shipping labels and embedded PDFsPreserve links in PDFs saved from webpagesFix an issue that could make Flash content appear incomplete after using gesture zoomingFix an issue that could cause the screen to dim while watching HTML5 videoImprove stability, compatibility and startup time when using extensionsAllow cookies set during regular browsing to be available after using Private BrowsingFix an issue that could cause some data to be left behind after pressing the "Remove All Website Data" button