Ok, its been ages since I actually had snort up and running, so long in fact that the last time I used it, ACID was still the best way to deal with the alerts! Well after a couple of days (well a couple of hours here and there at least) I have a fully functional set of snort sensors in place on public and private segments of my networks, all feeding to a centralised database with “BASE” handling the analysis! woohoo. small victories are the best!
I can definatley say its come a long way. It was much easier to install, and only took a small amount of syntax debugging to figure out the configs. During my research / re-learning curve though it would seem that version 2.8 with the stream5 processor is not as good as version 2.4 with the flow processor at detecting portscans. This was certainley the concensus of the community, and after a bit of playing I can agree. However, I now have sfPortscan running with stream5 and its seems pretty accurate to me, so I am certainly happy with the results.
BASE is also a welcome move onwards from what used to be a very clunky interface. It seems light and intuitive, with decent features. I think it could do with the addition of some basic graphs, rather than having to use the graph engine to define your graphs each time, but on the whole i think it is certainly a good alternative to spending a large amount of money on a commercial product. Certainly the ability to abstract the managemnet interface, data storage and sensors from each other gives you a highly scaleable model to use a basis for a large scale deployment.
Of course, if you don't fancy the pain of compiling code from scratch, or your just dam lazy, check out EasyIDS for a complete “IDS in a box” that gives you everything I just said with none of the hastle!
….You just can't ingore the momentum that opensource has gained 😉