Literature Database Entry


Felix Erlacher and Falko Dressler, "How to Test an IDS? GENESIDS: An Automated System for Generating Attack Traffic," Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM 2018, Workshop on Traffic Measurements for Cybersecurity (WTMC 2018), Budapest, Hungary, August 2018, pp. 46–51.


Evaluating the attack coverage of signature-based Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) is a necessary but difficult task. Often, live or recorded real-world traffic is used. However, firstly, real-world network traffic is hard to come by at larger scale and the few available traces usually do not contain application layer payload. Secondly and more importantly, it contains only very few realistic attacks. So, the question remains how to test a NIDS? We propose GENESIDS, a system that automatically generates user definable HTTP attacks and, thus, allows for straightforward creation of network traces (or live traffic) where the number of different detectable events is only confined by the given attack definitions. By using an input format that follows the Snort syntax, the system can take advantage of thousands of realistic attack definitions. Our system can be used in combination with traffic generators to maintain typical load patterns as background traffic. Our evaluation shows that GENESIDS is able to reliably produce a very broad variation of HTTP attacks. GENESIDS is available as Open Source software.

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Felix Erlacher
Falko Dressler

BibTeX reference

    author = {Erlacher, Felix and Dressler, Falko},
    doi = {10.1145/3229598.3229601},
    title = {{How to Test an IDS? GENESIDS: An Automated System for Generating Attack Traffic}},
    ccs-acm_authorize = {},
    pages = {46--51},
    publisher = {ACM},
    address = {Budapest, Hungary},
    booktitle = {ACM SIGCOMM 2018, Workshop on Traffic Measurements for Cybersecurity (WTMC 2018)},
    month = {8},
    year = {2018},

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