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Sampling Techniques to Accelerate Pattern Matching in Network Intrusion Detection Systems

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6 Author(s)
Ficara, D. ; Dept. of Inf. Eng., Univ. of Pisa, Pisa, Italy ; Antichi, G. ; Di Pietro, A. ; Giordano, S.
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Modern network devices need to perform deep packet inspection at high speed for security and application-specific services. Instead of standard strings to represent the dataset to be matched, state-of-the-art systems adopt regular expressions, due to their high expressive power. The current trend is to use Deterministic Finite Automata (DFAs) to match regular expressions. However, while the problem of the large memory consumption of DFAs has been solved in many different ways, only a few works have focused on increasing the lookup speed. This paper introduces a novel yet simple idea to accelerate DFAs for security applications: payload sampling. Our approach allows to skip a large portion of the text, thus processing less bytes. The price to pay is a slight number of false alarms which require a confirmation stage. Therefore, we propose a double-stage matching scheme providing two new different automata. Results show a significant speed-up in regular traffic processing, thus confirming the effectiveness of the approach.

Published in:

Communications (ICC), 2010 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

23-27 May 2010