The Bro Project Renames Bro IDS to Zeek IDS

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by Bricata

One of the most powerful cybersecurity tools you have never heard of just got a new name.

The team leading The Bro Project has renamed the project to Zeek. The name change was announced to the open source community attending its annual conference, BroCon 2018, that wrapped up in mid-October.

For about 20 years, the project has championed the Bro IDS framework, which is a very powerful network monitoring tool that can capture hundreds of metadata fields about network connections. This metadata provides unmatched visibility into network traffic to identify behavior anomalies, such as suspicious or even threat activity.

The capabilities that Bro provides are so expansive, it conjures up important privacy discussions in network security monitoring. In fact, the namesake “Bro” stems from Orwellian roots – Big Brother – and the name was intended to serve as a constant reminder to users of the ethical responsibilities that come with the tool.

The Project Introduces Zeek IDS

Unfortunately, the term Bro has taken on new meaning in recent years. The project leadership team said in a blog post about the renaming, that it had “heard clear concerns from the Bro community that the name ‘Bro’ has taken on strongly negative connotations.”

The new name given to the project is Zeek. The designation is derived in part from a “fondness for quirky, pithy names for open-source projects” and inspiration from “Gary Larson’s use of Zeek characters in various ‘The Far Side’ cartoons.”

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