Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Storage-based Intrusion Detection:
Watching Storage Activity for Suspicious Behavior

Adam G. Pennington, John D. Strunk, John Linwood Griffin,
Craig A.N. Soules, Garth R. Goodson, Gregory R. Ganger

October 2002

Keywords: Intrusion detection, IDS, virus detection, computer security

Storage-based intrusion detection allows storage systems to transparently watch for suspicious activity. Storage systems are well-positioned to spot several common intruder actions, such as adding backdoors, inserting Trojan horses, and tampering with audit logs. Further, an intrusion detection system (IDS) embedded in a storage device continues to operate even after client systems are compromised. This paper describes a number of specific warning signs visible at the storage interface. It describes and evaluates a storage IDS, embedded in an NFS server, demonstrating both feasibility and efficiency of storage-based intrusion detection. In particular, both the performance overhead and memory required (40 KB for a reasonable set of rules) are minimal. With small extensions, storage IDSs can also be embedded in block-based storage devices.

22 pages

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