Snort rules application

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Snort rules application

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Welcome to the class titled ‘Snort Rules: Application’. The purpose of this class is to take the material you learned in the previous section, ‘Snort Rules: Syntax and Keywords’. This section will take those individual keywords, values and syntax to form complete rules. You will also learn how to analyze existing rules piece by piece to determine what the rule is looking for.

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  1. Snort Rules: Application Paul Ritchey, Jacob and Sundstrom, Inc. pritchey@jasi.com V1.0.0 1 Welcome to the class titled ‘Snort Rules: Application’. The purpose of this class is to take the material you learned in the previous section, ‘Snort Rules: Syntax and Keywords’. This section will take those individual keywords, values and syntax to form complete rules. You will also learn how to analyze existing rules piece by piece to determine what the rule is looking for. 1
  2. Agenda ! Rule Analysis ! Simple Rules ! Difficult Rules ! Advanced Rules ! Writing Rules ! Simple Rules ! Difficult Rules ! Advanced Rules ! Tying It All Together 2 The first half of this presentation will examine rules of increasing complexity. You will be taught how to analyze an existing rule to determine what it is looking for. This ability is key to understanding how to piece together a complete rule from scratch that matches the signature of an attack. The second half of the presentation will ask you to write rules from scratch of increasing difficulty. The process of creating these rules will be covered in a step by step process. This will show you a possible methodology you can use when creating rules on your own. The very last section will tie together everything you have learned so far, showing you a few of the options available for Snort output. This presentation covers Snort version 1.7. If you are using a newer version of Snort, please remember that new features may have been added or existing features may have been modified after this presentation was assembled. 2
  3. Rule Analysis: Simple Rules 3 This section will show you how to analyze simple rules, step by step. The analysis skills learned here will be built upon in later sections to analyze rules of increasing difficulty. This will help you later when you will be required to write rules from scratch. 3
  4. Rule Analysis: Simple Rules ! Learn to analyze simple rules. ! Signature based on rule header. ! Examples taken from snort.org rule set and www.whitehats.com. ! Use logical approach ! Analyze rule header first • Determine source and destination addresses and ports • Snort uses this section first. ! Analyze rule options next 4 In this section you will learn how to analyze simple rules. The rules were chosen because they do not incorporate packet attributes which can make some rules difficult to analyze. These are real life rules, taken directly from the rule set available from the snort.org web site and www.whitehats.com. This means that it’s possible to do further research on the exploits that the rules are designed to detect to fully round out your understanding of rules. This section will start with teaching you how to analyze rules based on a logical approach. The first step is to analyze the rule header. This determines what hosts, ports, protocols and traffic flow must be involved before Snort even starts to examine the rest of the rule – this allows Snort to quickly determine if it should completely analyze the rule against the options section, saving valuable time. Later sections will combine the analysis of the rule header with the options section for more complicated rules. 4
  5. Simple Rule #1: Back Orifice ! Background: ! Trojan ! Allows remote control of infected machine ! Rule: ! alert UDP $EXTERNAL any -> $INTERNAL 31337 \ (msg: "IDS188/trojan-probe-back-orifice";) 5 The first rule we are going to examine is one that looks for attempts at connecting Back Orifice trojans. This particular exploit works by means of a trojan that is somehow installed on the target machine. The trojan can be installed accidentally by end users running executables attached to email messages, downloading the trojan masquerading as a useful utility, etc. Once installed, the trojan opens a port and makes itself available for control from a remote host. Further information on this particular trojan can be obtained any of the major online security web sites. In depth analysis of this trojan is beyond the scope of this course. 5
  6. Simple Rule #1: Back Orifice (cont.) alert UDP $EXTERNAL any -> $INTERNAL 31337 \ (msg: "IDS188/trojan-probe-back-orifice";) ! Examine the rule header: ! Will ‘alert’ when triggered. ! Applies only to UDP traffic. ! Source defined by variable • $EXTERNAL = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 6 For this simple rule, the contents of the signature is completely contained in the rule header. This rule, when it is triggered, will execute the action ‘alert’. Alert means Snort will write an entry to the alert file and an entry to the logs unless they are overridden by command line options or other means. This rule only applies to UDP traffic. If snort the traffic Snort is examining is from another protocol, this rule will not be tested against them. The destination address is defined as a variable, HOME_NET. This variable is typically defined at the top of the rules file being used, and is set to the addresses Snort is monitoring. In this particular rule, the source address is also defined as a variable, named EXTERNAL. Typically, this is set to !$HOME_NET, meaning that the source address should be outside of the network address space Snort is monitoring. The UDP packet can, however, be originating from any of the possible ports on the source host, but must be destined specifically for the port 31337 (otherwise known as ‘eleet’) on the destination machine. 6
  7. Simple Rule #1: Back Orifice (cont.) alert UDP $EXTERNAL any -> $INTERNAL 31337 \ (msg: "IDS188/trojan-probe-back-orifice";) ! Examine rule options. ! No packet attributes are examined. ! Only includes message. ! Possibility of false-positives: ! Low likelihood of occurrence. ! High likelihood of false-positives. 7 Examining the rule options section, it is seen that the only option being used is the message option. This option provides a string that is used to tag alert and log entries, making it easier to determine what a log or alert entry represents. This rule is very simple. The only thing limiting the rule down to a specific subset of UDP traffic is the destination port. Since no packet attributes or options are specified, it is very likely that detects, although not often, may very well be false-positives. Any traffic, such as streaming audio or video, that happens to be destined for destination port 31337 will trigger this rule. Care must be taken when analyzing any available data to validate that the packet was truly a probe for Back Orifice or the master program contacting a Back Orifice client. 7
  8. Simple Rule #2: Deep Throat Trojan ! Background ! Trojan ! Allows remote control of infected host. ! Rule: ! alert udp any 2140 -> $HOME_NET 60000 \ (msg:"IDS106 - BACKDOOR SIGNATURE - DeepThroat 3.1 Server Active on Network";) 8 The next simple rule we will examine is one that detects Deep Throat trojans. Deep Throat is another trojan that can be accidentally installed by users who unknowingly execute attachments or download the software by accident. Once installed, the trojan opens a port that allows remote hosts to control the infected machine. 8
  9. Simple Rule #2: Deep Throat (cont.) alert udp any 2140 -> $HOME_NET 60000 \ (msg:"IDS106 - BACKDOOR SIGNATURE - \ DeepThroat 3.1 Server Active on Network";) ! Examine the rule header: ! Will ‘alert’ when triggered. ! Applies only to UDP traffic. ! Source specified as ‘any’ • ‘Any’ matches all possible IP addresses, including internal addresses. ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = internal network 9 For this simple rule, the contents of the signature is again completely contained in the rule header. This rule, when it is triggered, will execute the action ‘alert’. Alert means Snort will write an entry to the alert file and an entry to the logs unless they are overridden by command line options or other means. This rule only applies to UDP traffic. If snort the traffic Snort is examining is from another protocol, this rule will not be tested against them. Now the rule deviates from the previous example. Instead of specifying a variable for the source IP address, the keyword ‘any’ is specified. This means that the packet can originate from any possible IP address, there are no restrictions. However, the packet must originate from a specific port – 2140. The packet must be destined for the network the variable HOME_NET is set to, and to the specific port 6000. If the packet meets all of the above criteria, it will trigger the rule and will be logged to the alert file and logs with the message specified in the rule options section. I would like take a second to discuss the keyword ‘any’ that was specified for the source address. Snort is typically installed on a machine that resides in a ‘DMZ’. The DMZ sites outside of your internal network, and sees all traffic in bound from the internet to your network, or outbound from your network to the internet. It does not and should not see your internal traffic. Because of this, it would have been just as effective to replace the keyword ‘any’ with !$HOME_NET. 9
  10. Simple Rule #2: Deep Throat (cont.) alert udp any 2140 -> $HOME_NET 60000 \ (msg:"IDS106 - BACKDOOR SIGNATURE - \ DeepThroat 3.1 Server Active on Network";) ! Examine rule options. ! No packet attributes are examined. ! Only includes message. ! Possibility of false-positives: ! Low likelihood of occurrence. ! Likelihood of detect being a false-positives. 10 Examining the rule options section, we again that this rule like the previous example is only specifying the message option. This option provides a string that is used to tag alert and log entries, making it easier to determine what a log or alert entry represents. This rule is very simple. The only real limiting factors are the source and destination ports. Both ports are ephemeral ports, meaning they are out of the reserved range. Although unlikely, it’s possible that this port combination could be used during the course of a valid connection, and because there are no other criteria for the rule false-positive detects may be made. Most virus software should be capable of detecting this trojan if properly installed and used regularly. This increases the chances that a detect is a false-positive so care must be taken to fully resolve any detects. 10
  11. Rule Analysis: Complex Rules 11 In this section the rules presented for analysis are a little more complicated than the previous examples. Essentially they provide additional information about packets that are considered hostile beyond source and destination IPs and ports. 11
  12. Rule Analysis: Complex Rules ! Learn to analyze complex rules. ! Signature based on rule header. ! Signature also based on rule options. ! Examples taken from www.snort.org rule set and www.whitehats.com. ! Use logical approach ! Analyze rule header first ! Analyze rule options next • Specifies specific packet attributes • Can increase accuracy – decrease false positives 12 This section concentrates on analyzing more complicated rules – those containing packet attributes in the rule options section. In these rules, the signature doesn’t just consist of the contents of the rule header. It consists of the rule header and additional information specified in the rule options. This section will continue to build on the rule analysis technique that was used in the first section. Interpretation of the rule option section with different kinds of packet attributes will be introduced here. By adding packet attributes (such as TCP flags) to the rule options section, it’s possible to make rules more accurate, which can potentially reduce the number of false positives. The example rules used in this section are real world rules. They have been taken from the rule sets available at the www.snort.org web site and from the www.whitehats.com web site. 12
  13. Complex Rule #1: NetMetro ! Background: ! Trojan ! Allows remote control of infected machine ! Rule: ! alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 5031 -> $HOME_NET !53:80 \ (msg:"IDS79 - BACKDOOR SIGNATURE – NetMetro Incoming Traffic"; flags:PA;) 13 The rule we are going to examine next is one that detects the NetMetro trojan. NetMetro is another trojan that when installed allows remote control of the infected machine. Again, this trojan like any other can be accidentally installed by executing attachments to email messages, or downloading the trojan as it masquerades as a useful utility or game. Most virus detection software should detect this trojan as long as the signatures are properly maintained. 13
  14. Complex Rule #1: NetMetro (cont.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 5031 -> $HOME_NET !53:80 \ (msg:"IDS79 - BACKDOOR SIGNATURE - NetMetro Incoming Traffic"; flags:PA;) ! Examine the rule header: ! Will ‘alert’ when triggered. ! Applies only to TCP traffic. ! Source defined by variable • $EXTERNAL_NET = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 14 This rule when triggered will alert – meaning it will create an entry in the alerts file and create a log file, unless these options are overridden by command line options. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET, which means that the source address can be any IP address except the IPs belonging to your network. The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. This variable is set to the IP addresses your sensor is to monitor. Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file, but may also be set by command line options. The source port the traffic must originate from is port 5031. If the source port is anything but 5031, it will not match the rule header information and this rule will not be triggered. The destination port setting is more interesting. It specifies that the destination port can be any port except ports 53 through 80, inclusive. 14
  15. Complex Rule #1: NetMetro (cont.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 5031 -> $HOME_NET !53:80 \ (msg:"IDS79 - BACKDOOR SIGNATURE - NetMetro Incoming\ Traffic"; flags:PA;) ! Examine the rule options: ! TCP flags PUSH and ACK must be set. ! No other packet attributes examined. ! Likelihood of false positives: ! Low likelihood of occurrence. ! High likelihood of being false positive. 15 This rule is the first example of packet attributes being used in the rule options section. The attribute being tested is the TCP flags setting. In this case, the TCP flags PUSH and ACK must be set. Other flags, such as SYN, FIN, URG and the two reserved bits must NOT be set. No other packet attributes are examined beyond the TCP flag setting. For this particular rule, there is a low likelihood of false positives, although they will happen. The false positives are limited because the source port must exactly match 5031, and the destination port must be outside the specified range. The addition of packet attributes (in this case TCP flags) to the rule options section aids in reducing the possibility of false positives because it helps to narrow the possibility of matches somewhat. To rule out the possibility of a detect being a false positive, additional data possibly beyond what Snort provides may need to be examined. For example, if an outside user telnets in to a server in your network, it’s possible this rule may be triggered. The source port 5031 is an ephemeral port, meaning that is not a reserved port and available for anyone and any application to use. If the port 5031 is used by the person connecting to your telnet server, the rule will be triggered as soon as the TCP three way handshake is completed and the first packed with a payload is sent inbound to your network. Telnet runs on port 23, outside the range specified by the destination port setting that specifies what ports it cannot be. 15
  16. Complex Rule #2: Myscan ! Background: ! Port scanner. ! Allows remote detection of available services and OS fingerprinting. ! Rule: ! alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 - Scan - myscan"; ttl: >220; ack: 0; \ flags: S;) 16 The second difficult rule to be examined detects a particular tool used for scanning. This particular scanner can allow an attacker to easily determine what services are available on a host. Combined with the ability to determine the OS, and the hacker now has enough information to launch an effective attack. For this scanner certain packet attributes are hard coded in the original source code. This allowing an accurate rule to be written that can easily detect scans from this software. It can also allow the rule to be tuned to help eliminate false positives, increasing the accuracy. 16
  17. Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 - Scan -myscan"; ttl: >220; \ ack: 0; flags: S;) ! Examine the rule header: ! Will ‘alert’ when triggered. ! Applies only to TCP traffic. ! Source defined by variable • $EXTERNAL_NET = !$HOME_NET ! Destination defined by variable • $HOME_NET = your network 17 This rule when triggered will alert – meaning it will create an entry in the alerts file and create a log file, unless these options are overridden by command line options. It also only applies to TCP traffic that meets the criteria of the rest of the signature. The source address is specified by the variable EXTERNAL_NET. In most cases EXTERNAL_NET is set to !$HOME_NET, which means that the source address can be any IP address except the IPs belonging to your network. The destination address is specified by the variable HOME_NET. This variable is set to the IP address range your sensor is to monitor. Both of these variables are typically defined at the top of a rules file, but may also be set by command line options. The source port the traffic must originate from is port 10101. If the source port is anything but 10101, it will not match the rule header information and this rule will not be triggered. The destination port can be anything, specified by the keyword ‘any’. This means the rule does not care what port is used on the destination host. 17
  18. Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 - Scan -myscan"; ttl: >220; \ ack: 0; flags: S;) ! Examine the rule options: ! Time to live value must be greater than 220. ! Acknowledgement number must be zero (0). ! TCP flag SYN must be set. ! Likelihood of false positives: ! Low likelihood of occurrence. ! Low likelihood of being false positive. 18 In this rule’s option section, the packet attributes time to live (ttl), acknowledgement number (ack) and the TCP flag settings are examined. The first attribute that is examined, time to live, must have a value greater than or equal to 220. The second attribute, the acknowledgement number, must be zero (0). The last attribute, TCP flags, must have the SYN flag set. For this rule, there is a low likelihood that the rule will be triggered, but a very high likelihood that if it is triggered that it is NOT a false positive. There are many key items that lead to this conclusion and show that this rule is a very well written one. The next slide will show you the individual parts that combined together make this happen. 18
  19. Complex Rule #2: Myscan (cont.) alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET 10101 -> $HOME_NET any \ (msg: "IDS439 - Scan -myscan"; ttl: >220; \ ack: 0; flags: S;) ! Source Port ! High into ephemeral ports (non-reserved). ! Time To Live ! Only one OS uses setting greater than 220. ! Acknowledgement Number. ! Cannot normally be set to zero (0). ! Rule vulnerable to mutations. 19 The first item that helps tune this rule is the specification of a specific port for the source port. By specifying a specific value, only source addresses using that specific port might cause a trigger. Because the source port is such a high number, it is very unlikely – but possible, that source port will be used. Ephemeral ports, meaning the non-reserved ports, start at 1024 and go up. They are typically used in sequence, so for a source address to reach 10,101, it must have made many connections to other machines. The second item that helps tune this rule is the time to live value. Most operating systems specify a value much less than 220 when the packet is created. Only the Solaris 2.x operating system sets the time to live attribute to a value greater than 220. All other operating systems use values much less than 220. The last item that contributes to the rule’s tuning is the acknowledgement attribute value. The rule specifies that this attribute must be set to the value zero (0). Under normal conditions, the acknowledgement number can never be zero. Only in a crafted packet will this value ever be used. All of the above combine to make this a finely tuned rule that will not false positive very often. However it does depend on the above settings in the crafted packet not to be changed. This makes it vulnerable to mutations of the scanning utility. The source code for this utility is freely available, and by making a single simple alteration and recompiling it the rule will no longer detect it (although Snort’s scan detection preprocessor should detect it, but it will not identify the utility being used). 19
  20. Rule Analysis: Advanced Rules 20 This section provides analysis of advanced rules – those using more sophisticated packet attributes to examine the packet’s payload. These rules are the most difficult to write because they require close analysis of an attack’s signature and of the source code of the attack application if available. These types of rules also have the lowest likelihood of false positives because of the completeness of the examination of the packets. They are also the easiest to avoid triggering by making slight alterations in the application’s source code. 20
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