Stratosphere Linux IPS

The Stratosphere IPS (slips from now on), a behavioral-based intrusion detection and prevention system that uses machine learning algorithms to detect malicious behaviors. It is part of a larger suite of programs that include the Stratosphere Windows IPS and the Stratosphere Testing Framework.

This alpha version receives flows from a ra client (Argus Suite) and process them using a specific algorithm. The purpose of the Alpha version is to get feedback from the community, please send us your bug reports, feature requests and ideas. See the Stratosphere IPS Website.


Slips (using Argus) has been tested on Linux Debian 8 and Apple OSX 10.9.5.


The idea of slips is to focus on the machine learning part of the detection and not in capturing the network traffic. That is why the traffic is received from an external Argus instance. Argus captures the packets in the networks and makes them available to anyone connecting to the Argus port. Argus do not send the packets until somebody ask for them.

The basic architecture is to read the flows from an Argus instance using the ra tool and to send the flows to slips as standard input. This way of working is very good because we can analyze the traffic of our own computer, and also we can analyze the traffic of a remote network or any other computer where an Argus instance is running. Actually if you run the Argus program in any Windows, Mac or router, slips can analyze the traffic.


To use this alpha version you will need an argus instance running and listening in one port.

  • If you don’t have an Argus instance, first install it:

    • Source install from Argus.

    • In Debian and Ubuntu you can do:
      sudo apt-get install argus argus-clients

  • To run argus in your own computer you should do:

    • argus -B localhost -F [slipsfolder]/argus.conf

      This will run argus in your interface, open the port 902 in the localhost address only and run in background. See the argus configuration file and the Argus documentation for more information. (port 902 is used because is not in the default port list of nmap, so there are fewer chances that anybody will find it).
  • Then you start the slips program receiving packets from a ra client.

    • ra -F [slipsfolder]/ra.conf -n -Z b -S | ./ -m models -p

      This will read the network traffic in your computer and try to detect some malicious behavior by applying the models in the folder models.

Warning! You should wait at least one hour before Argus starts sending flows to slips. After this first hour the flows will arrive continually, but Argus is configured to read packets for one hour before it can create the flows. The best way of avoiding this is to let Argus run in the computer all the time and just connect with slips when you want. Remember: when is running Argus do not store the packets.


The core of the slips program is not only the machine learning algorithm, but more importantly the behavioral models. The behavioral models are created with the Stratosphere Testing Frameworkand are exported by our research team. This is very important because the models are curated to maximize the detection. If you want to play and create your own behavioral models see the Stratosphere Testing Framework documentation.

The behavioral models are stored in the models folder and will be updated regularly. In this version you should pull the git repository by hand to update the models.

The Detection Models Included in the Actual version 0.2alpha

The version 0.2alpha of the Stratosphere Linux IPS includes the following malicious behavioral models (2015-12-15).

  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC-23-2228.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC.Miuref.Attempt-4-129.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-Unknown-CC.Attempt-2-2233.stfm
  • From-Normal-TCP-HTTP-LastFM-30-546.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC-25-2230.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC.PlainText-1-13.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-Unknown-Lurk.CC-1-2223.stfm
  • From-Normal-TCP-HTTP-WebPage-1-25.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC.Bitcoin.Miner-2-14.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-Flu.CC-3-142.stfm
  • From-Botnet-UDP-DNS-DGA-1-4.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC.Cridex-1-106.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-Zeus.CC-1-139.stfm
  • From-Botnet-UDP-DNS-DGA-17-2242.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-HTTP-CC.Dridex-7-100.stfm
  • From-Botnet-TCP-Unknown-CC-10-24.stfm
  • From-Botnet-UDP-DNS-DGA-18-2243.stfm

These models were learned and verified from real malware that was captured and that is published in the Dataset Section. So far there is no control on which models are used so if you don’t want to use them anymore you have to remove them by hand from the models folder.


This alpha version of slips comes with the following features:

  • If you execute slips without the -m parameter it will not detect any behavior in the network but just print the tuples (see the Stratosphere web page for more information). So actually you can also use slips to see what is happening in your network even without detection.
  • Use -a to restrict the minimum amount of letters that the tuples had to have to be considered for detection. The default is a minimum of 3 letters which is enough for having at least one periodic letter.
  • slips works by separating the traffic in time windows. This allows it to report to the user the detections in a fixed amount of time. The default time window is now 1 minute but you can change it with the parameter -w (a time window of five minutes is also recommended). (Warning: In the future we will update this to also consider the detection of IP addresses instead of tuples)
  • If you want to tell slips to actually try to detect something, you should specify -m to tell slips where to find the behavioral models.
  • The -p option tells slips to print the tuples that were detected. Even if the detection is working, without -p the tuples are not printed.
  • If you want to be alerted of any detection without looking at the screen you can specify -s to have a sound alert. You need to install the pygames libraries.
  • If you want to avoid doing any detection you should use -D.