Towards effective and robust list-based packet filter for signature-based network intrusion detection: an engineering approach

Weizhi Meng, Wenjuan Li, Lam For Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Network intrusion detection systems (NIDSs) which aim to identify various attacks, have become an essential part of current security infrastructure. In particular, signature-based NIDSs are being widely implemented in industry due to their low rate of false alarms. However, the signature matching process is a big challenge for these systems, in which the cost is at least linear to the size of an input string. As a result, overhead packets will be a major issue for practical usage, where the incoming packets exceed the maximum capability of an intrusion detection system (IDS). To mitigate this problem, packet filtration is a promising solution to reduce unwanted traffic. Motivated by this, in this work, a list-based packet filter was designed and an engineering method of combining both blacklist and whitelist techniques was introduced. To further secure such filters against IP spoofing attacks, a lightweight but efficient IP verification mechanism was developed. In the evaluation, a list-based packet filter was deployed in both simulated and real network environments under honest and dishonest scenarios. Experimental results demonstrate that the developed list-based packet filter is effective in traffic filtration as well as workload reduction, and is robust against IP spoofing attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-215
Number of pages12
JournalHKIE Transactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Intrusion detection system
  • IP verification
  • list generation
  • network packet filter
  • network security and performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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