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RE: suggestions on a good firewall
From: "Christopher Harrington" <charrington () syseng com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 13:13:53 -0400

Ahhh...maybe you should actually look at bugtraq before you open
yourself up like that.

# of vulns on PIX   --->  16
# of vulns on Checkpoint  ---> 30

"A new vulnerability is found every other week"...unfounded comments
like that do not help.

--Chris


-----Original Message-----
From: David Ellis [mailto:David.Ellis () unicam com] 
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2003 12:34 PM
To: Potter, Tim; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: suggestions on a good firewall


Actually the checkpoint implied rules are not actually hidden. You just
enable and disable through global properties, and I prefer checkpoint
over pix cause just look at the bugtraq record on pix. A new
vulnerability is found every other week

-----Original Message-----
From: Potter, Tim [mailto:Tim.Potter () clarkconsulting com] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 12:07 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: suggestions on a good firewall


Actually the PIX does have a "pretty" graphical interface.  I'm not fond
of it for many tasks, but the "PDM" can be good for someone newer to
managing a PIX.

Also, for a cheaper hardware-based application firewall I would go with
the Watchguard.  My application firewall of choice would be Sidewinder
or Checkpoint, but you can't beat the cost of the Watchguard.  Older
versions of the firmware required a reboot for every change, but they
have gotten much better with the newest firmware.

-Tim

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Ng [mailto:laptopalias1-mark () informationintelligence net] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 11:56 AM
To: salgak () speakeasy net; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: suggestions on a good firewall




Agreed.

A Windows box, properly locked down, can be a reliable firewall.

There's an element of truth to that - but I'm not sure I'd want to be
the person locking it down or keeping up to date with patches ;).  I
also wouldn't recommend Windows unless in an HA pair.

There's also a very strong argument for openbsd and PF too (stability,
proven track record of security) - however, it's not as manageable as
some other solutions.

Locking it down can be a chore, a much easier chore with Win2003
server, but still takes some expertise and finesse.  I prefer

I've not yet had any experience with 2k3, so I can't possibly comment.

hardware firewalls with a firmware basis, as they're harder to
exploit, but many brands have reliability issues.  I'm currently 
running Checkpoint and Gauntlet on Solaris, but this is a production 
environment I've inherited.

If you're in the hardware firewall market, I quite like Netscreen and
PIX. Netscreen had some issues with some software upgrades being a bit
buggy some time recently though iirc, but on the whole, they're fairly
solid firewalls that are easy to administer.  PIX's of course don't have
the pretty graphical interface, but are solid firewalls.  I don't like
Checkpoint, any firewall that comes by default with "Hidden Implied
Rules" doesn't wash with me (is this still the case with newer versions
of Checkpoint ?)


For a good, relatively inexpensive firewall, I'd recommend the
Linux-Mandrake firewall solution, running on commodity Intel hardware.

Simple to set up, fairly easy to run, easy to maintain.

Smoothwall definitely has its merits in this arena - and by extension
I'd imagine IPcop does too.


2. What can my sysadmin handle ?  A Junior MCSE handed a

To be honest, I don't really think an MCSE with small amounts of job
experience should ever be handed main security responsibility.  There's
merit to outsourcing security functions in this event if you're too
small to justify full time security staff or experienced systems
administrators with security experience.  Any firewall configured badly
is a bad firewall, be it IPcop, Smoothwall, OpenBSD/PF , Checkpoint or
whatever.

Regards,


Mark



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Vigilar's industry leading curriculum includes:  Security +, Check
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