Security Wars: Can Intrusion Detection Even The Score?

Tuesday, 16 July 2002, 1:01 AM EST

The 2002 CSI/FBI Survey underscored the pervasiveness of the network intrusion problem. Ninety percent of respondents reported security breaches within the past 12 months, with 39 percent admitting to 10 or more incidents.

Intrusion techniques never stop evolving, of course. The latest attack tools range from stealthy port scanners to automated root kits. To cite just one example, the popular port scanner nmap can now identify over 100 different operating system releases, hiding the source of the scan by sending out decoy packets.

Meanwhile, enterprises using existing IDS face very high false alarm rates. "The simple approaches that most of today's commercial ID systems use to detect attacks are, in most cases, unreliable. Even a very low frequency of false alarms can obscure true attack signals. Improvements in diagnostic accuracy are critically needed," according to a recent report by Carnegie Mellon' s Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

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