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This paper reviews and assesses the analogy between the human immune system and network intrusion detection systems. The promising results from a growing number of proposed computer immune models for intrusion detection motivate this work. The paper begins by briefly introducing existing Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS's). A set of general requirements for network-based IDS's and the design goals to satisfy these requirements are identified by a careful examination of the literature. An overview of the human immune system is presented and its salient features that can contribute to the design of competent network-based IDS's are analysed. The analysis shows that the coordinated actions of several sophisticated mechanisms of the human immune system satisfy all the identified design goals.
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