A lightweight intrusion detection system and intrusion prevention system for GNU/Linux systems
Snort - Example Snort output
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Downloaded by millions of people worldwide, and with over half a million registered users, Snort is an open source and free command-line application that can be successfully used for network intrusion prevention, detection and protection on any GNU/Linux operating system, capable of packet logging and real-time traffic analysis.

Features four different modes and rules

The project can be configured in four modes, Sniffer mode, Packet Logger mode, Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) mode, as well as the Inline mode. Additionally, Snort comes with predefined rules that can be downloaded from the project’s website, created by the community or by the Snort developers.

The most widely deployed IPS/IDS technology

Despite the fact that it runs from the command-line, Snort isn't very hard to use, but there are a lot of options for you to play with. It successfully combines the benefits of anomaly-based inspection, signature and protocol, making it the most widely deployed IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and IDS (Intrusion Detection System) technology.

Supported operating systems and availability

As it’s available for download as a universal sources archive, Snort is officially supported under numerous GNU/Linux distributions, but it officially supports, with binary packages, the Fedora, CentOS, FreeBSD and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures are supported at this time.

Getting started with Snort

Snort can be easily installed on numerous GNU/Linux flavors, as it is available for download from the default software repositories of popular Linux kernel-based operating systems. Gettings started documentation can be found on the project’s page, covering a vast amount of questions related on how to setup Snort on Debian, openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, FreeBSD and NetBSD OSes.

Reviewed by , last updated on October 24th, 2014

license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
developed by:
Sourcefire, Inc.
ROOT \ Security
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What's New in version
  • New additions:
  • Added the ability to specify additional custom 'x-forwarder-for' http field names. A new http inspection configuration element is used to specify a set of field names and their respective precedence order.
  • Added cache flow timeout for IP.
read full changelog

Application description

Snort is an open source, cross-platform and freely distributed command-line application that acts as a IDS (Intru...

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