Snort (software)

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Snort ids logo.png
Developer(s)Cisco Systems
Stable release[1] / October 10, 2019; 32 days ago (2019-10-10)
Preview release
3.0[2] / August 29, 2018; 14 months ago (2018-08-29)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC
Operating systemCross-platform[3]

Snort is a free open source network intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS) [4] created in 1998 by Martin Roesch, founder and former CTO of Sourcefire.[5][6] Snort is now developed by Cisco, which purchased Sourcefire in 2013.[7][8][9]

In 2009, Snort entered InfoWorld's Open Source Hall of Fame as one of the "greatest [pieces of] open source software of all time".[10]


Snort's open source network-based intrusion detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS) has the ability to perform real-time traffic analysis and packet logging on Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Snort performs protocol analysis, content searching and matching.

The program can also be used to detect probes or attacks, including, but not limited to, operating system fingerprinting attempts, semantic URL attacks, buffer overflows, server message block probes, and stealth port scans.[11]

Snort can be configured in three main modes: 1. sniffer, 2. packet logger, and 3. network intrusion detection.[12]

Sniffer Mode

The program will read network packets and display them on the console.

Packet Logger mode

In packet logger mode, the program will log packets to the disk.

Network Intrusion Detection System Mode

In intrusion detection mode, the program will monitor network traffic and analyze it against a rule set defined by the user. The program will then perform a specific action based on what has been identified.[13]

Third-party tools[edit]

There are several third-party tools interfacing Snort for administration, reporting, performance and log analysis:


  1. ^ downloads
  2. ^ downloads
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jeffrey Carr (2007-06-05). "Snort: Open Source Network Intrusion Prevention". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  5. ^ Larry Greenemeier (2006-04-25). "Sourcefire Has Big Plans For Open-Source Snort". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  6. ^ Staff (2008-04-04). "100 Most Influential People in IT". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  7. ^ "Cisco Announces Agreement to Acquire Sourcefire". Cisco Systems. 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
  8. ^ "Cisco to Buy Sourcefire, a Cybersecurity Company, for $2.7 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  9. ^ "Snort: The World's Most Widely Deployed IPS Technology". Cisco. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  10. ^ Doug Dineley; High Mobley (2009-08-17). "The Greatest Open Source Software of All Time". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  11. ^ James Stanger (2011). How to Cheat at Securing Linux. Burlington, MA: Elsevier. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-08-055868-4.
  12. ^ Snort Team (2012-01-01). "Snort Usage".
  13. ^ Snort team (2013-04-05). "Snort Usage".
  14. ^

External links[edit]