[Snort-sigs] Suggestions for new attack response rules

Joe Patterson jpatterson at ...2901...
Tue Dec 7 06:50:07 EST 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason [mailto:security at ...704...]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 12:11 AM
> To: Joe Patterson
> Cc: Brian caswell; snort-sigs at lists.sourceforge.net
> Subject: Re: [Snort-sigs] Suggestions for new attack response rules
> I would be interested in hearing what your issues with the current tag
> functionality are. I suspect that there is anything wrong that cannot be
> remedied easily as it relates to tag functionality. There might be
> features that are desired but that is a different question.

I have to plead some ignorance on this.  Long ago I looked at tagging, and
found it woefully inadequate, and IIRC, slated for deprecation.  I ignored
it for quite some time after that, while looking for something better.
While I wasn't looking, tagging got better.

Looking at the *current* implementation of tagging, it is *far* better.  It
does what I would want it to do, it tags a flow.  The thing that I am
somewhat unsure of at this point is how the various front-ends to snort deal
with tagged data.  How does it show up in sguil, acid, base, etc?  I
honestly don't know, I haven't played around with tagging using those
front-ends.  It may be that they handle that data wonderfully, and if so,
great, that's one less reason to add in the flowbits-based rules (although
there is still some reason - because tagging is limited to capturing only a
certain number of bytes or time interval, it doesn't do content matching.
An attacker could, as you pointed out, send a pipelined request for a large
document, and then his exploit code, and tagging would only catch the
document, not any of the response to the exploit.  If you look for content
{such as something that looks like an http response code} you *should* get a
little bit of both.)

So, I don't know how well the front ends handle tagged data, but I *know*
they handle alerts well.  That's why my first attempts were alert-based.
Perhaps tagging is a better way to do it, even if it is a bit less flexible.


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