Snort is a free, open-source network intrusion detection system (IDS) that monitors network traffic in real-time and alerts system administrators when it detects potential security threats. It was first developed in 1998 by Martin Roesch and has since become one of the most widely used intrusion detection tools in the world.
Snort IDS is designed to be flexible and customizable, making it an ideal tool for a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises. It can be deployed on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Additionally, Snort has a large and active user community that regularly contributes to its development and shares new rules and configurations.
The core functionality of Snort IDS is based on signature detection, which involves comparing incoming network traffic against a database of known attack patterns or "signatures". When a match is found, Snort generates an alert, allowing system administrators to take appropriate action. Snort also supports a variety of other detection methods, including protocol analysis, statistical anomaly detection, and application layer protocol analysis.
One of the key advantages of Snort IDS is its ability to be customized to meet the specific security needs of an organization. Snort supports the creation of custom rules, allowing organizations to define their own signatures and detection criteria. This enables them to detect threats that are unique to their network environment.
In addition to its core functionality as an IDS, Snort also has a number of additional features and capabilities. These include packet logging and forensic analysis, network traffic analysis and visualization, and the ability to integrate with other security tools and platforms.