[Snort-users] Distributed Snort management

Shawn Truax Shawn.Truax at ...8509...
Fri May 23 04:55:02 EDT 2003

Having handled this exact problem we settled on the usage of a program called mudpit (http://www.fidelissec.com/mudpit.html).  One of the features that it offers, and I quote from their website, "Stability, including support for automatic recovery from network failures and outages with no information loss".   Your mileage will vary with hardware but you should be able to get a week worth of data spooled.  Which should be plenty.

Shawn Truax
Security Specialist
Corporate Security
155 University Ave.
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 3B7

>>> "Nelson, Ben" <bnelson at ...5464...> 05/21/03 09:15pm >>>
I have many snort sensors that are distributed across large geographic boundaries.  Maintaining and monitoring these installations is starting to become trouble-some.  I have started using SnortCenter to manage and push out rules (which is working great BTW), but I need to figure out a good way to centralize the data and alerts that Snort comes up with.

At first I thought that I could just make all of the sensors log to a centralized MySQL server (all logging to the same database) over stunnel or something like that, but what if a sensor loses connectivity to the MySQL server?  I'd lose all of the alerts generated during that time frame(I guess I could log them to flat files on disk as well, but that would defeat the purpose of using a database...no?)  

Then I though maybe I could set up TWO output directives to log all alerts to two separate databases (one local to the sensor and the remote one), but then re-synchronizing the sensor's database to the main MySQL server becomes a problem when connectivity is re-established.  

I could also just use MySQL's built in replication (over stunnel again).  That would solve my problem of re-synchronizing databases when connectivity came back (MySQL handles all of that), but then I'd have to have a separate database for each sensor since MySQL doesn't support replication of multiple masters to a single slave (does any database supported by snort do this?).  Ideally, I'd like to have all alerts from all sensors go into the SAME database.

Is anyone else in a similar situation?  What did you do to centralize your alerts?  I'm really open to suggestions......having ACID loaded onto EVERY sensor seems like a waste (not to mention a pain to check regularly).


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