Using Antrea with IDS

This guide will describe how to use Project Antrea with threat detection engines, in order to provide network-based intrusion detection service to your Pods. In this scenario, Antrea is used for the default Pod network. For the sake of this guide, we will use Suricata as the threat detection engine, but similar steps should apply for other engines as well.

The solution works by configuring a TrafficControl resource applying to specific Pods. Traffic originating from the Pods or destined for the Pods is mirrored, and then inspected by Suricata to provide threat detection. Suricata is configured with IDS mode in this example, but it can also be configured with IPS/inline mode to proactively drop the traffic determined to be malicious.


The general prerequisites are:

  • a K8s cluster running a K8s version supported by Antrea.
  • kubectl

The TrafficControl capability was added in Antrea version 1.7. Therefore, an Antrea version >= v1.7.0 should be used to configure Pod traffic mirroring.

All the required software will be deployed using YAML manifests, and the corresponding container images will be downloaded from public registries.

Practical steps

Step 1: Deploy Antrea

For detailed information on the Antrea requirements and instructions on how to deploy Antrea, please refer to getting-started.md. As of now, the TrafficControl feature gate is disabled by default, you will need to enable it like the following command.

To deploy the latest version of Antrea, use:

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/antrea-io/antrea/main/build/yamls/antrea.yml | \
  sed "s/.*TrafficControl:.*/      TrafficControl: true/" | \
  kubectl apply -f -

You may also choose a released Antrea version.

Step 2: Configure TrafficControl resource

To replicate Pod traffic to Suricata for analysis, create a TrafficControl with the Mirror action, and set the targetPort to an OVS internal port that Suricata will capture traffic from. This cookbook uses tap0 as the port name and performs intrusion detection for Pods with the app=web label:

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: crd.antrea.io/v1alpha2
kind: TrafficControl
  name: mirror-web-app-to-tap0
        app: web
  direction: Both
  action: Mirror
      name: tap0

Step 3: Deploy Suricata as a DaemonSet

Suricata supports many possible configuration options, but we will just focus on the basics in the cookbook. The YAML file for Suricata DaemonSet is included in the resources directory. The DaemonSet uses the image jasonish/suricata from https://github.com/jasonish/docker-suricata.

As the TrafficControl resource configured in the second step mirrors traffic to tap0, we run Suricata in the host network and specify the network interface to tap0.

  hostNetwork: true
    - name: suricata
      image: jasonish/suricata:latest
        - /usr/bin/suricata
        - -i
        - tap0

Suricata uses Signatures (rules) to trigger alerts. We use the default ruleset installed at /var/lib/suricata/rules of the image jasonish/suricata.

The directory /var/log/suricata contains alert events. We mount the directory as a hostPath volume to expose and persist them on the host:

    - name: suricata
        - name: host-var-log-suricata
          mountPath: /var/log/suricata
    - name: host-var-log-suricata
        path: /var/log/suricata
        type: DirectoryOrCreate

To deploy Suricata, run:

kubectl apply -f docs/cookbooks/ids/resources/suricata.yml


To test the IDS functionality, you can create a Pod with the app=web label, using the following command:

kubectl create deploy web --image nginx:1.21.6

Let’s log into the Node that the test Pod runs on and start tail to see updates to the alert log /var/log/suricata/fast.log:

tail -f /var/log/suricata/fast.log

You can then generate malicious requests to trigger alerts. For ingress traffic, you can fake a web application attack against the Pod with the following command (assuming that the Pod IP is


The following output should now be seen in the log:

05/17/2022-04:29:51.717452  [**] [1:2008942:8] ET POLICY Dlink Soho Router Config Page Access Attempt [**] [Classification: Attempted Administrator Privilege Gain] [Priority: 1] {TCP} ->

For egress traffic, you can kubectl exec into the Pods and generate malicious requests against external web server with the following command:

kubectl exec deploy/web -- curl -s http://testmynids.org/uid/index.html

The following output should now be seen in the log:

05/17/2022-04:36:46.706373  [**] [1:2013028:6] ET POLICY curl User-Agent Outbound [**] [Classification: Attempted Information Leak] [Priority: 2] {TCP} ->
05/17/2022-04:36:46.708833  [**] [1:2100498:7] GPL ATTACK_RESPONSE id check returned root [**] [Classification: Potentially Bad Traffic] [Priority: 2] {TCP} ->

Getting Started

To help you get started, see the documentation.