It is natural when designing a network traffic analyzer to structure its analysis in terms of tracking the progression of each connection from the negotiation to begin it, through the connection's establishment and data transfer operations, to its termination. Unless carefully done, however, such a design can prove vulnerable to incorrect analysis during a cold start. That is, when the analyzer first begins to run, it is confronted with traffic from already-established connections for which the analyzer lacks knowledge of the connection characteristics negotiated when the connections were established.
For example, the TCP scrubber  requires a connection to go through the normal start-up handshake. However, if a valid connection is in progress, and the scrubber restarts or otherwise loses state, then it will terminate any connections in progress at the time of the cold start, since to its analysis their traffic exchanges appear to violate the protocol semantics that require each newly seen connection to begin with a start-up handshake.
The cold-start problem also affects the NIDS itself. If the NIDS restarts, the loss of state can mean that previously monitored connections are no longer monitorable because the state negotiated at connection setup time is no longer available. As we will show, techniques required to allow clean normalizer restarts can also help a NIDS with cold start (§ 6.2).
Finally, we note that cold start is not an unlikely ``corner case'' to deal with, but instead an on-going issue for normalizers and NIDS alike. First, an attacker might be able to force a cold start by exploiting bugs in either system. Second, from operational experience we know that one cannot avoid occasionally restarting a monitor system, for example to reclaim leaked memory or update configuration files. Accordingly, a patient attacker who keeps a connection open for a long period of time can ensure a high probability that it will span a cold start.