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Snort is a free and open source network intrusion prevention system (NIPS) and network intrusion detection system (NIDS) capable of performing packet logging and real-time traffic analysis on IP networks. Snort was written by Martin Roesch and is now developed by Sourcefire, of which Roesch is the founder and CTO. Integrated enterprise versions with purpose built hardware and commercial support services are sold by Sourcefire.

Combining the benefits of signature, protocol and anomaly based inspection Snort is the most widely deployed IDS/IPS technology worldwide. With millions of downloads and over 225,000 registered users Snort has become the de facto standard for IPS.

Snort performs protocol analysis, content searching/matching, and is commonly used to actively block or passively detect a variety of attacks and probes, such as buffer overflows, stealth port scans, web application attacks, SMB probes, and OS fingerprinting attempts, amongst other features. The software is mostly used for intrusion prevention purposes, by dropping attacks as they are taking place. Snort can be combined with other free software such as sguil, OSSIM, and the Basic Analysis and Security Engine (BASE) to provide a visual representation of intrusion data.


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