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Intrusion detection systems (IDSs) fall into two high-level categories: network-based systems (NIDS) that monitor network behaviors, and host-based systems (HIDS) that monitor system calls. In this work, we present a general technique for both systems. We use anomaly detection, which identifies patterns not conforming to a historic norm. In both types of systems, the rates of change vary dramatically over time (due to burstiness) and over components (due to service difference). To efficiently model such systems, we use continuous time Bayesian networks (CTBNs) and avoid specifying a fixed update interval common to discrete-time models. We build generative models from the normal training data, and abnormal behaviors are flagged based on their likelihood under this norm. For NIDS, we construct a hierarchical CTBN model for the network packet traces and use Rao-Blackwellized particle filtering to learn the parameters. We illustrate the power of our method through experiments on detecting real worms and identifying hosts on two publicly available network traces, the MAWI dataset and the LBNL dataset. For HIDS, we develop a novel learning method to deal with the finite resolution of system log file time stamps, without losing the benefits of our continuous time model. We demonstrate the method by detecting intrusions in the DARPA 1998 BSM dataset.