[Snort-users] A complication with an unconventional use of Snort

Leon Ward leon.ward at ...1935...
Tue Sep 19 12:06:33 EDT 2006


Have you thought about using Snort's unified output and then  
processing it with barnyard at a later date?


On 19 Sep 2006, at 16:49, bahdko at ...71... wrote:

> I have snort sensors deployed in an uncommon scenario, and I'm  
> having a complication I'm hoping someone could give me input on.
> The first part of the process does not experience problems.
> The data from the LAN is first gathered by a snort process that is  
> run that just creates a binary file. The snort program that does  
> this is started like so:
> /usr/local/bin/snort -l /var/log/snort -bD -i eth1
> This process results in a binary log file named something similar  
> to snort.log.1126876613.
> Then, when the Snort program has been restarted and the binary log  
> file is closed, the second part of the process is as follows.
> I use another instance of Snort to read this binary log file and re- 
> log it into a fully-expanded ASCII format. An example command I use  
> to do this is as follows:
> /usr/local/bin/snort -dvCeq -K ascii -r /var/log/snort/snort.log. 
> 1126876613 net -D -l /var/log/asciilogs/
> The result of this operation is that there are directories within / 
> var/log/asciilogs that contain all of the packet information, in  
> ASCII, from the binary file.
> My problem is this:
> During this second instance of Snort, Snort appears to take the  
> entire binary log file, no matter how big it is, and steadily read  
> the whole thing into memory as it processes it. I can watch in  
> "top" as the memory and swap available on the machine are steadily  
> sucked away until the amount of memory displacing the binary file  
> size are represented, and then the process ends and frees up the  
> memory.
> Does Snort really have to do it this way and take all of that  
> memory? I know that Snort is processing this file sequentially,  
> more or less packet-by-packet, it would seem that it shouldn't be  
> necessary to hold the entire file in memory the whole time.
> I periodically have some binary log files that exceed the swap 
> +memory of my sensor, and I can't process those because of the way  
> Snort is doing this.
> Thanks,
> --Laura
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Security Engineer UK
Sourcefire  (The originators of Snort)
400 Thames Valley Park Drive,
Thames Valley Park
Reading,  RG6 1PT, United Kingdom

Tel:      +44 (0) 1189 653 555
Mob:    +44 (0) 7818 067 304
Fax:     +44 (0) 1189 653 554

leon.ward at ...1935...


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