SnortSam Readme.rules

This file explains the syntax of the "fwsam" statement in the Snort rule files. It is currently just ripped from the old FAQ. I may clean it up later if needed.

Once the snort.conf file is configured, you need to modify the rules so that they invoke the blocking request. This is done by adding following statement to the rule:

fwsam: who{how},time;

Can be: src, source, dst, dest, destination

IP address to be blocked according to snort rule (some rules are reversed, i.e. homenet -> any and you want to block any, so DST would be appropriate)

Optional. Can be: In, out, src, dest, either, both, this, conn, or connection Tells the firewall to block packets INcoming from host, OUTgoing to host, EITHERway, or only THIS connection (IP/service pair). (If you have a Checkpoint firewall, See 'fw sam' for more information.)

time: Duration of block in seconds. (Accepts 'days', 'months', 'weeks', 'years', 'minutes', 'seconds', 'hours'. Alternatively, a value of 0, or the keyword 'PERManent', 'INFinite', or 'ALWAYS', will block the host permanently. Be very careful with this!) Tells the firewall how long to block packets from the host.


fwsam: src[either],15min (blocks to and from source for 15 minutes) or dst[in], 2 days 4 hours (blocks from dest. for 2 days and 4 hours) or src, 1 hour (blocks to and from source for an hour)

Defaults to: src[either],5min

That means "fwsam: dst" will block the destination (right IP in Snort rule) inbound and outbound for 5 minutes.

This statement is very dependent on the rule itself. Here are some real Snort example rules:

alert tcp any any -> $HTTP_SERVERS 80 (msg:"WEB-MISC http directory traversal"; flags: A+;

"..\\";reference:arachnids,298; fwsam: 15 minutes;)

The rule applies to a connection from any to your servers. That means the source is the attacker, the destination is you. The above fwsam statement will block the source for 15 minutes.

alert tcp $HOME_NET 23 -> any any (msg:"TELNET not on console"; flags: A+; content:"not on system console"; nocase; reference:arachnids,365; fwsam: dest, 1 day;)

This rule applies to connections from your host to the attacker. The source is your system, the destination is the attacker. That means you would want to block the destination. Above fwsam statement will block the destination for a whole day.

Both examples will block incoming and outgoing connections to the attackers. If you wanted to block only incoming connections, but want to allow outgoing connections to the attacker (maybe for an investigative scan), then the fwsam statements would have to be modified with [in] to explicitly block only incoming connections.

i.e. fwsam: src[in], 15 minutes fwsam: dest[in], 1 day

For modifying Snort rules, it is best that you first figure out, who you want to block (which depends on the rule itself). Then you have to decide if you want to completely block the offender, or only block incoming (or perhaps only block outgoing connections). Finally, decide how long you want to block them.

It is recommended that you start with short time intervals for testing purposes and increase the time once the rule is 'tuned'.

Instead of modifying the Snort rules, you can also create a file named which has to be in the same directory as Snort's file (typically etc). In this file you can list the fwsam option using following syntax:


For example:

src, 15 min

Alternatively, you may use a | (pipe) instead of a : (colon). This has the same effect as adding "fwsam: src, 15min;" to the Snort rule with SID 1023.

You can specify options in both places (rules and file), but the sid file takes priority. The file has to be in the same directory as the other Snort config files (ie.

-- MattJonkman - 09 Mar 2007

Topic revision: r1 - 2007-03-09 - MattJonkman
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