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A Perspective-Retrospective Analysis of Diversity in Signature-Based Open-Source Network Intrusion Detection Systems

Asad, H., Adhikari, S. & Gashi, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-8017-3184 (2023). A Perspective-Retrospective Analysis of Diversity in Signature-Based Open-Source Network Intrusion Detection Systems. International Journal of Information Security, doi: 10.1007/s10207-023-00794-9


The signature-based network Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) entails relying on a pre-established signatures and IP addresses that are frequently updated to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape. To effectively evaluate the efficacy of these updates, a comprehensive, long-term assessment of the IDSs’ performance is required. This article presents a perspective-retrospective analysis of the Snort and Suricata IDSs using rules that were collected over a four year period. The study examines how these IDSs per form when monitoring malicious traffic using rules from the past, as well as how they behave when monitoring the same traffic using updated rules in the future. To accomplish this, a set of Snort Subscribed and Suricata Emerging Threats rules were collected from 2017 to 2020, and a labelled PCAP data from 2017-2018 was analysed using past and future rules relative to the PCAP date. In addition to exploring the evolution of Snort and Suricata IDSs, the study also analyses the functional diversity that exists between these IDSs. By examining the evolutionary behaviour of signature-based IDSs and their diverse configurations, the research provides valuable insights into how their performance can be impacted. These insights can aid security architects in combining and layering IDSs in a defence-in-depth deployment.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: Security, Diversity of Security Tools, Evolution of Diversity, Intrusion Detection Systems
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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