[Snort-users] Is it really a HUB?

bmcdowell at ...7861... bmcdowell at ...7861...
Fri Nov 28 13:06:11 EST 2003

I wonder if perhaps there's a business opportunity here, or perhaps
simply an existing piece of hardware that would help deal with these

Imagine a tap/hub/whatever that one might plug into both the 10mbit and
100mbit 'sides' of such a device, and then deliver that combined
'signal' to a single ethernet port.  Or, potentially, combining the span
ports of two or more managed switches into a single 'signal feed'.

One could show up onsite, plug in the 'feed device' into one or more
ports on one or more devices and sniff away...

Just a random thought,


-----Original Message-----
From: snort-users-admin at lists.sourceforge.net
[mailto:snort-users-admin at lists.sourceforge.net]On Behalf Of
kenw at ...10492...
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003 2:17 PM
To: Matt Kettler
Cc: snort-users at lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Re: [Snort-users] Is it really a HUB?

On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 14:06:01 -0500, you wrote:

>At 11:31 PM 11/27/2003, kenw at ...10492... wrote:
>> >The problem is that the actual implementation may have more
>> >behavior than advertized.. all they've guaranteed is that the 10/100
>> >segments are bridged.. but that doesn't mean that the 100mbit ports
>> >be fully switched with respect to each other too.
>>According to Cisco's literature, these hubs provide "100-Mbps peak
>>aggregate throughput".  That implies no switching on the 100Mbps side.
>True, although they are free to give you more than advertised.
>are not specifications.
>I've encountered at least one dual-speed hub, a netgear model, that
>more like a switch than a hub between 100mbit ports. (I tried to hook a

>100mbit/sec sniffer in between two 100mbit devices and saw nothing).
>big difference is that it only supported half duplex, unlike most

Interesting.  I personally use a NetGear DS104 dual-speed hub, specially
purchased for such work.  I've never seen that behavior.  I do, though,
have to watch the port speed lights carefully, and hard-set the NIC
interface speed at times.

Vendor marketing types seem to see little harm in playing their usual
with terminology.  They're usually right, unfortunately.

>Basically all I was stating was that it *might* behave like a switch or
>hub.. Despite the Cisco literature, I still see nothing in there that 
>solidly ensures hub-like behaviors between 100mbit ports. Thus, I still
>that either behavior is possible.
>It could act like a hub, or a switch, and neither behavior is
guaranteed by 
>the spec.

True.  And it could even violate specs, for that matter (gee, that
happens ;-/ ).

The Principle of Least Amazement (aka Occam's Razor) would suggest that
auto-configuring sniffer NIC is the more likely culprit, and deserves
inspection.  But I would pay dearly for the ability to generate a
No Wierd Sh*t Zone.

K&M Systems Integration
Phone (403)274-7848
Fax   (403)275-4535
kenw at ...10492...

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