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RE: suggestions on a good firewall
From: "Christopher Harrington" <charrington () syseng com>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 08:23:46 -0400

The FIXUP protocol is there to correct irregular behavior in normal
protocols. For example, the FTP Fixup allows traffic in on port 20 when
the traffic originated on 21. The SMTP fixup disallows certain SMTP
commands that could be used for nefarious purposes. The PIX cannot shun
traffic based on what the FIXUP protocols detect. There is no dynamic
ACL creation possible.

The PIX is not a true application level firewall. I can send NETCAT
traffic over HTTP and the PIX will never know. Whereas the Checkpoints
and Raptors can detect anomalies in traffic, and act on them.

--Chris


-----Original Message-----
From: Ivan Coric [mailto:ivan.coric () workcoverqld com au] 
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2003 7:42 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com; Christopher Harrington;
David.Ellis () unicam com
Subject: RE: suggestions on a good firewall


HI Chris,
I beg to differ, Cisco has a command called "fixup", which is used to
set application inspection.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/secursw/ps2120/products_configura
tion_guide_chapter09186a00800eb727.html#wp1063233


cheers



Ivan Coric
IT Technical Security Officer
Information Technology
WorkCover Queensland
Ph: (07) 30066414 Fax: (07) 30066424
Email: ivan.coric () workcoverqld com au

"Christopher Harrington" <charrington () syseng com> 05/25/03 12:51pm

Ok...I agree that they 2 are different firewalls. Cisco does not do
application level inspection, Checkpoint does for example.

NG fp3 came out fall of 2002 (about ??), about the same time as PIX 6.2.
We are tied :), the PIX has had 2 vulns since version 6.2 came out.

BTW I never said I disliked Checkpoint, to the contrary actually. I just
take exceptions to incorrect statements. 

--Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: David Ellis [mailto:David.Ellis () unicam com] 
Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2003 8:53 PM
To: Christopher Harrington; security-basics () securityfocus com 
Subject: RE: suggestions on a good firewall


I am talking about the new version of checkpoint, not 4.1 or 4.0. I am
talking about NGFP3. Checkpoint doesn't even support the earlier
versions anymore. And Cisco's Idea of stateful packet inspection is
actually reverse engineered Checkpoint. Checkpoint developed it and even
have a patent on stateful packet inspection technology. They even tried
to bring Cisco to court for saying they were stateful packet inspection
firewalls but Cisco won due to the way they worded it. Also OPSEC
standards (Open Platform for Security) Is brought to you by Checkpoint
Systems. I love Checkpoint firewalls as you can see. :-) 
They also have a secure platform which can load on a system which runs
on a stripped down linux and you can even go with nokia appliance which
comes with Checkpoint NG. I personally think Cisco should stay with
routers and switches (which they are great at).

Then look at the stats after you look up checkpoint NG fp3

# of vulns on PIX   --->  16
# of vulns on Checkpoint  ---> 2

Thanks for listening :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Harrington [mailto:charrington () syseng com] 
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 1:14 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com 
Subject: RE: suggestions on a good firewall

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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Now! --UP TO 30% off classes in select cities-- 
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