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Re: PC Firewall Choices
From: Juliao Duartenn <juliao.duartenn () oblog pt>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 10:28:51 +0000

On Tue, 2006-01-17 at 23:33 -0500, greybrimstone () aim com wrote:
Thats assuming that malware isn't being designed for that firewall. I'm 
sure you already know that software is software regardless of the 
hardware that it is running on. Likewise a vulnerability is still a 
vulnerability...

I suppose you could r/o the system... but you need to write the confs 
somewhere right?

-Adriel


Configuration on a hardware firewall is usually a pretty stable thing -
you don't go around opening ports at random every day, now do you?

Most modern {linux|bsd} firewall implementations can now run from a
read-only device, namely CD-ROM, and also write their configuration to a
removable device that you can manually set RW or RO - floppy, USB pen,
etc.

Of course, since most implementations mount parts of the filesystem into
RAM, you're still vulnerable to attacks, they are merely non-permanent,
if you reboot you are clean again, albeit with the original hole still
present, i'd say.

There are, of course, solutions for that too, but I still haven't seen
one that really works - meaning that it can detect and prevent tampering
in real-time. The best thing I can remember is running tripwire against
a RO database on CD, but that can still be tampered with. Any thoughts?

Juliao


-----Original Message-----
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
To: Nick Hyatt <me () n33t org>
Cc: full-disclosure () lists grok org uk
Sent: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 21:08:39 -0500
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] PC Firewall Choices

  On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 18:59:52 MST, Nick Hyatt said:
Given the choice between one of those selections and a standard 
Linksys
router / firewall combo, wouldn't it be safer to go with the hardware
firewall? I find the configuration options to be quite a bit more 
in-depth,
and the hardware firewall doesn't get itself as stuck in the system 
as say,
ZA does.

Even more important, a hardware firewall can't be compromised as easily
by malware that's on a host behind the firewall.  It's easy for a 
program
on a PC to tell ZA to look the other way.  It's a little harder for it 
to
tell a hardware firewall to look the other way.

Unless of course, the firewall implements the UPnP "Pants Down!" RPC.. 
;)


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