I am using Ubuntu and am wondering if installing Snort on my host can make me more vulnerable?

  • As Graham Hill suggested in his answer, can you please add the role of this server? What software will run on it, etc.
    – A.L
    Aug 12, 2014 at 2:21
  • it is not server, it is home desktop. for personal use. just wondering what kind of solution can be for protecting my home computers, for lonely protection i would use PSAD. but i wanted to protect my LAN,and mostly want to learn about IDS.
    – user53427
    Aug 12, 2014 at 5:16
  • Are the devices behind a firewall?
    – A.L
    Aug 12, 2014 at 9:47
  • You can also always experiment on a virtual machine.
    – brbtsl
    Aug 12, 2014 at 13:32
  • @user53427 Is your desktop or some services (SSH, web server, FTP, etc.) accessible from Internet? Do you use a router which share the Internet connection?
    – A.L
    Aug 13, 2014 at 17:59

2 Answers 2


Any software you install on your machine that takes input from other machines you do not control makes you more vulnerable.

You must balance the additional risk you add by installing Snort against the costs of any treatment for that risk you might implement and the benefits of installing it.

We can't do that for you because we don't know your threat model or why you want to install Snort.


Yes. But with the latest and greatest version, perhaps not so much that I would worry about it in your case.

You can always google 'snort vulnerabilities' and note that most really bad known exploits relate to old versions. That is a pattern you'll see often.

For protecting your home computer:

  1. Backup
  2. Update your software
  3. Close down all services you do not use
  4. Anti-virus software with latest virus definitions
  5. Hardware based/stand alone 'stateful' firewall with packet inspection

Not necessary in that order..

Snort is great, but depending on your background it's possible you should start somewhere else. And definitely use third-party software vs Snort.

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