Snort - Network Intrusion Prevention and Detection System
Snort is an open source network intrusion prevention and detection system (IDS/IPS) developed by Sourcefire. Snort can perform protocol analysis and content searching/matching. It can be used to detect a variety of attacks and probes, such as buffer overflows, stealth port scans, CGI attacks, SMB probes, OS fingerprinting attempts, and much more.
Snort has a real-time alerting capability as well, incorporating alerting mechanisms for syslog, a user specified file, a UNIX socket, or WinPopup messages to Windows clients. Snort has three primary uses: a straight packet sniffer like tcpdump, a packet logger (useful for network traffic debugging, etc), or a full-blown network intrusion prevention system.