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Pattern overlap in bit-parallel implementation of regular expression repetition quantifiers
by Brendan Cronin; Xiaojun Wang
International Journal of Security and Networks (IJSN), Vol. 8, No. 4, 2013

 

Abstract: Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) in Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (NIDPS) typically involves the matching of packet payloads against attack signatures in the form of regular expressions (regexes). Existing research into the handling of the constrained {min, max} repetition syntax used in many regexes mainly proposes the use of a counting mechanism which avoids inefficient unrolling of the repeated sub-expression. However, many regexes cannot be handled as their format makes them susceptible to the problem of counter overlap. In this paper, we present a memory-centric bit-parallel hardware architecture that overcomes the issue of counter overlap through the use of a bit serial First-In-First-Out (FIFO) queue. The memory-centric rather than logic-centric nature of the design has the advantage of allowing dynamic updates to individual attack signatures. The solution proposed in this paper is targeted at ASIC and FPGA platforms and we present experimental results for a proof-of-concept design.

Online publication date: Sun, 08-Dec-2013

 

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