This firewalling information supplements our quickstart guide.
It includes tips for firewalling:
and a list of helpful resources.
Firewall rules on a standalone system doing IPsec can be very simple.
The first step is to allow IPsec packets (IKE on UDP port 500 plus ESP, protocol 50) in and out of your gateway. A script to set up iptables(8) rules for this is:
# edit this line to match the interface you use as default route # ppp0 is correct for many modem, DSL or cable connections # but perhaps not for you world=ppp0 # # allow IPsec # # IKE negotiations iptables -A INPUT -p udp -i $world --sport 500 --dport 500 -j ACCEPT iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp -o $world --sport 500 --dport 500 -j ACCEPT # ESP encryption and authentication iptables -A INPUT -p 50 -i $world -j ACCEPT iptables -A OUTPUT -p 50 -o $world -j ACCEPT
Optionally, you could restrict this, allowing these packets only to and from a list of known gateways.
A second firewalling step -- access controls built into the IPsec protocols -- is automatically applied:
These errors are logged. See our troubleshooting document for details.
As an optional third step, you may wish to filter packets emerging from your opportunistic tunnels. These packets arrive on an interface such as ipsec0, rather than eth0, ppp0 or whatever. For example, in an iptables(8) rule set, you would use:
In this way, you can apply whatever additional filtering you like to these packets.
The packets emerging on ipsec0 are likely to be things that a client application on your machine requested: web pages, e-mail, file transfers and so on. However, any time you initiate an opportunistic connection, you open a two-way connection to another machine (or network). It is conceivable that a Bad Guy there could take advantage of your link.
For more information, read the next section.
The basic firewalling for IPsec does not change when you support incoming connections as well as connections you initiate. You must still allow IKE (UDP port 500) and ESP (protocol 50) packets to and from your machine, as in the rules given above.
However, there is an additional security concern when you allow incoming opportunistic connections. Incoming opportunistic packets enter your machine via an IPSec tunnel. That is, they all appear as ESP (protocol 50) packets, concealing whatever port and protocol characteristics the packet within the tunnel has. Contained in the tunnel as they pass through ppp0 or eth0, these packets can bypass your usual firewall rules on these interfaces.
Consequently, you will want to firewall your ipsec interfaces the way you would any publicly accessible interface.
A simple way to do this is to create one iptables(8) table with all your filtering rules for incoming packets, and apply the entire table to all public interfaces, including ipsec interfaces.
On a gateway, the IPsec-related firewall rules applied for input and output on the Internet side are exactly as shown above. A gateway exchanges exactly the same things -- UDP 500 packets and IPsec packets -- with other gateways that a standalone system does, so it can use exactly the same firewall rules as a standalone system would.
However, on a gateway there are additional things to do:
You need additional rules to handle these things. For example, adding some rules to the set shown above we get:
# edit this line to match the interface you use as default route # ppp0 is correct for many modem, DSL or cable connections # but perhaps not for you world=ppp0 # # edit these lines to describe your internal subnet and interface localnet=188.8.131.52/24 internal=eth1 # # allow IPsec # # IKE negotiations iptables -A INPUT -p udp -i $world --sport 500 --dport 500 -j ACCEPT iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp -o $world --sport 500 --dport 500 -j ACCEPT # ESP encryption and authentication iptables -A INPUT -p 50 -i $world -j ACCEPT iptables -A OUTPUT -p 50 -o $world -j ACCEPT # # packet forwarding for an IPsec gateway # simplest possible rules $ forward everything, with no attempt to filter # # handle packets emerging from IPsec # ipsec+ means any of ipsec0, ipsec1, ... iptables -A FORWARD -d $localnet -i ipsec+ -j ACCEPT # simple rule for outbound packets # let local net send anything # IPsec will encrypt some of it iptables -A FORWARD -s $localnet -i $internal -j ACCEPT
On a production gateway, you would no doubt need tighter rules than the above.
For more information, see these handy resources: