[Oisf-users] Suricata 4.0 rule fork

Charles Devoe Charles.Devoe at cisecurity.org
Wed Nov 29 18:11:00 UTC 2017

So if I understand this correctly.  There are Emerging Threats rules for 1.X, 2.X, and 4.X.  Are there no 3.X rulesets?

Charles DeVoe Jr.
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From: Oisf-users [mailto:oisf-users-bounces at lists.openinfosecfoundation.org] On Behalf Of Jason Williams
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 12:07 PM
To: Alan Amesbury <amesbury at oitsec.umn.edu>
Cc: oisf-users at openinfosecfoundation.org
Subject: Re: [Oisf-users] Suricata 4.0 rule fork

On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 10:29 AM, Alan Amesbury <amesbury at oitsec.umn.edu<mailto:amesbury at oitsec.umn.edu>> wrote:
This message made its way to me via a coworker; my "digest" version apparently isn't due out for another half hour or so, so apologies for any misquoting.

Francis Trudeau wrote:

> The new Suricata 4.0 rules have been live on the production servers
> since Thanksgiving.  Sorry for the notification delay, we wanted to
> see what happened over the US holiday weekend, and everything looks
> good.
> Please use the version number of your engine in the URL you use to
> retrieve the set.  We changed how it works now, and some paths that
> worked before will no longer work.  This was done to ensure people got
> the right set for their engine.  Please check your sensors and make
> sure everything is updating correctly.

Are rulesets backwards compatible?  For example, can I run a ruleset intended for a v2.x version of Suricata on a 4.x version?  I have a pair of sensors that for ${REASON} haven't been able to upgrade.  The bulk are on a v3.x version, but I have some running 2.x.

As suricata has kept compatibility with old versions, and we still have a Suricata 2.0 ruleset, at this time you can run an ET ruleset intended for a v2.x version of Suricata on a 4.x version.

Also, is there a definitive list of the ruleset version differences somewhere, e.g., which features require which engine version?  I looked at


Other than patch notes (https://suricata-ids.org/2017/07/27/suricata-4-0-released/<https://suricata-ids.org/2017/07/27/suricata-4-0-released/>) not to my knowledge. Many rule related improvements, such as http/tls buffers were introduced in 4 that we (ET) couldn't pass up, hence the fork. Tons of under the hood stuff that makes 4.0 much better.

but didn't see any v3.x vs v4.x differences highlighted.  In contrast, I see notes specific to v1.x and v2.x in section "Appendix A - Buffers, list_id values, and Registration Order for Suricata 1.3.4" (although the table in is unreadable due to truncation).

Alan Amesbury
University Information Security

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