Defense in Depth

Intrusion detection systems themselves can be targeted with attacks ranging from efforts to subvert the IDS alerting mechanism by forcing false positives to be generated, to attempts to gain outright code execution by exploiting a vulnerability within the IDS. For example, both real and faked attacks can be sent over the Tor network in order to make the attacks appear to originate from IP addresses that are not associated with the attacker's network. In addition, remotely exploitable vulnerabilities occasionally crop up with intrusion detection systems (such as the Snort DCE/RPC preprocessor vulnerability; see http://www.snort.org/docs/advisory-2007-02-19.html).

The defense-in-depth principle applies not only to conventional computer systems (servers and desktops), but also to security infrastructure systems such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Hence, there is room to supplement existing intrusion detection/prevention systems with additional mechanisms.

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