There is nothing like a good old-fashioned mud-slinging battle. As long as you aren’t the one covered in mud, that is. I read about the Death of Snort and started laughing. The first thing they teach you in marketing school is when no one knows who you are, go up to the biggest guy in the room and kick them in the nuts. You’ll get your ass kicked, but at least everyone will know who you are.
That’s exactly what the folks at OISF (who drive the Suricata project) did, and they got Ellen Messmer of NetworkWorld to bite on it. Then she got Marty Roesch to fuel the fire and the end result is much more airtime than Suricata deserves. Not that it isn’t interesting technology, but to say it’s going to displace Snort any time soon is crap. To go out with a story about Snort being dead is disingenuous. But given the need to drive page views, the folks at NWW were more than willing to provide airtime. Suricata uses Snort signatures (for the most part) to drive its rule base. They’d better hope it’s not dead.
But it brings up a larger issue of when a technology really is dead. In reality, there are few examples of products really dying. If you ended up with some ConSentry gear, then you know the pain of product death. But most products are around around ad infinitum, even if they aren’t evolved. So those products aren’t really dead, they just become irrelevant. Take Cisco MARS as an example. Cisco isn’t killing it, it’s just not being used as a multi-purpose SIEM, which is how it was positioned for years. Irrelevant in the SIEM discussion, yes. Dead, no.
Ultimately, competition is good. Suricata will likely push the Snort team to advance their technology faster than in the absence of an alternative. But it’s a bit early to load Snort onto the barbie – even if it is the other white meat. Yet, it usually gets back to the reality that you can’t believe everything you read. Actually you probably shouldn’t believe much that you read. Except our stuff, of course.
Photo credit: “Roasted pig (large)” originally uploaded by vnoel