Encrypted traffic should be ignored by Snort for both performance reasons and to reduce false positives. The SSL Dynamic Preprocessor (SSLPP) decodes SSL and TLS traffic and optionally determines if and when Snort should stop inspection of it.
Typically, SSL is used over port 443 as HTTPS. By enabling the SSLPP to inspect port 443 and enabling the noinspect_encrypted option, only the SSL handshake of each connection will be inspected. Once the traffic is determined to be encrypted, no further inspection of the data on the connection is made.
By default, SSLPP looks for a handshake followed by encrypted traffic traveling to both sides. If one side responds with an indication that something has failed, such as the handshake, the session is not marked as encrypted. Verifying that faultless encrypted traffic is sent from both endpoints ensures two things: the last client-side handshake packet was not crafted to evade Snort, and that the traffic is legitimately encrypted.
In some cases, especially when packets may be missed, the only observed response from one endpoint will be TCP ACKs. Therefore, if a user knows that server-side encrypted data can be trusted to mark the session as encrypted, the user should use the 'trustservers' option, documented below.