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ntopng Installation

Some time ago I published a post introducing ntopng as an out-of-the-box network monitoring tool. I am running it on a Knoppix live Linux notebook with two network cards. However, I have a few customers that wanted a persistent installation of ntopng in their  environment. So this is a step-by-step tutorial on how to install ntopng on a Ubuntu server with at least two NICs.

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Where to terminate Site-to-Site VPN Tunnels?

When using a multilayer firewall design it is not directly clear on which of these firewalls remote site-to-site VPNs should terminate. What must be considered in such scenarios? Differentiate between partners and own remote offices? Or between static and dynamic peer IPs? What about the default routes on the remote sites?

Following is a discussion about different approaches and some best practices. Since not all concepts work with all firewall vendors, the following strategies are separated by common firewalls, i.e., Cisco ASA, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper ScreenOS, Palo Alto.

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Tufin SecureTrack: Adding Devices

Since a few weeks I am using Tufin SecureTrack in my lab. A product which analyzes firewall policies about their usage and their changes by administrators (and much more). Therefore, the first step is to connect the firewalls to SecureTrack in two directions: SSH from SecureTrack to the device to analyze the configuration, as well as Syslog from the device to SecureTrack to real-time monitor the policy usage.

This blog post shows the adding of the following firewalls into Tufin: Cisco ASA, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper ScreenOS, and Palo Alto PA.

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MRTG/Routers2: Template FortiGate

A few weeks ago I constructed an MRTG/Routers2 template for the Fortinet FortiGate firewalls. I am using it for monitoring the FortiGate from my MRTG/Routers2 server. With the basic MRTG tool “cfgmaker” all graphs for the interfaces are generated automatically. My template is an add-on that appends graphs for CPU, memory, and disk usage, as well as connections and VPN statistics. Furthermore, it implements the ping statistics graph and a “short summary”, which only shows the system relevant graphs.

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CLI Commands for FortiGate Firewalls

CLI Commands for Troubleshooting FortiGate Firewalls

This blog post is a list of common troubleshooting commands I am using on the FortiGate CLI. It is not complete nor very detailled, but provides the basic commands for troubleshooting network related issues that are not resolvable via the GUI. I am not focused on too many memory, process, kernel, etc. details. These must only be used if there are really specific problems. I am more focused on the general troubleshooting stuff.

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Basic IPv6 Configuration on a FortiGate Firewall

It’s really great that the FortiGate firewalls have a DHCPv6 server implemented. With this mandatory service, IPv6-only networks can be deployed directly behind a FortiGate because the stateless DHCPv6 server provides the DNS server addresses. (This is unlike Palo Alto or Cisco which have no DHCPv6 server implemented.)

However, the configuration on the FortiGate is really bad because nothing of the IPv6 features can be set via the GUI. (And this is called a Next-Generation Firewall? Not only the features count, but also the usability!) Everything must be done through the CLI which is sometimes hard to remember. Therefore I am publishing this memo of the appropriate CLI configuration commands.

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FortiGate 2-Factor Authentication via SMS

Two-factor authentication is quite common these days. That’s good. Many service providers offer a second authentication before entering their systems. Beside hardware tokens or code generator apps, the traditional SMS on a mobile phone can be used for the second factor.

The FortiGate firewalls from Fortinet have the SMS option built-in. No feature license is required for that. Great. The only thing needed is an email-to-SMS provider for sending the text messages. The configuration process on the FortiGate is quite simple, however, both the GUI as well as the CLI are needed for that job. (Oh Fortinet, why aren’t you improving your GUI?)

Here is a step-by-step configuration tutorial for the two-factor authentication via SMS from a FortiGate firewall. My test case was the web-based SSL VPN portal.

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Freigestellt2

Bessere Antennen für den ADS-B Flugzeugempfang

Seit mittlerweile mehr als einem Jahr betreibe ich aus Spaß einen eigenen Flightradar Server. Außerdem hatte ich einen weiteren ADS-B Empfänger am Raspberry Pi in Betrieb genommen. Was also noch gefehlt hat ist eine Verbesserung der Empfangsqualität, sprich: bessere Antennen als die mitgelieferten Stummeldinger. Dafür habe ich zusätzlich zu der beim DVB-T Stick mitgelieferten Antenne drei weitere Antennen gekauft und getestet um herauszufinden, wie ich den Empfang maximieren kann. Schnell wurde klar, dass sie alle nicht für den Empfang von ADS-B Signalen taugen. Daher griff ich zur Selbstbastellösung, von denen es im Internet einige gibt, und zeige hier meine Bastelei sowie die Testergebnisse der deutlich besseren Antennen. Continue reading Bessere Antennen für den ADS-B Flugzeugempfang

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Handstaubsauger Akkupack erneuert

Hier mal ein kleiner Do-it-Yourself Beitrag. Einfache Aufgabenstellung: Der Akkupack in unserem überlebensnotwendigem Handstaubsauger (AEG Junior 2.0) ist nach einigen Jahren faktisch nicht mehr zu gebrauchen. Ein neuer musste her. Und es stand natürlich fest, dass kein neuer Handstaubsauger, sondern nur ein neuer Akkupack da rein musste. Bei Reichelt fand ich schließlich etwas größere Akkus als die original verbauten, welche eine ordentliche Portion mehr an Leistung haben.

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Cisco ASA Remote Access VPN for Android

The native Android IPsec VPN client supports connections to the Cisco ASA firewall. This even works without the “AnyConnect for Mobile” license on the ASA. If only a basic remote access VPN connection is needed, this fits perfectly. It uses the classical IPsec protocol instead of the newer SSL version. However, the VPN tunnel works anyway.

In this short post I am showing the configuration steps on the ASA and on the Android phone in order to establish a remote access VPN tunnel.

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Palo Alto Remote Access VPN for Android

For a basic remote access VPN connection to a Palo Alto Networks firewall (called “GlobalProtect”), the built-in VPN feature from Android can be used instead of the GlobalProtect app from Palo Alto itself. If the additional features such as HIP profiling are not needed, this variant fits perfectly.

I am showing a few screenshots and logs from the Android smartphone as well as from the Palo Alto to show the differences.

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IPv6 Dyn Prefix Problems

I am lucky to have a full dual-stack ISP connection at home. However, the ISP only offers a dynamic IPv6 prefix with all of its disadvantages (while no single advantage). In this post, I am summarizing the limitations of a dynamic prefix and some of the ideas on how to overcome them. I am always comparing the “IPv6 dynamic prefix” state with the legacy “dynamic IPv4 address” situation. I suppose that some of these problems will hit many small office / home office locations during the next years.

Of course, IPv6 ISP connections with dynamic prefixes should only be purchased at private home sites. It is no problem to have new IPv6 addresses there because all connections are outbound. However, many small remote offices (SOHO) might rely on such cheap ISP connections, too. If they provide some servers in a DMZ or other components such as network cameras, building components with IPv6 connections, etc., they will run into these kind of problems. (The remote office could even tunnel every outbound IPv6 traffic through a VPN to the headquarter. But if it wants to use a local breakout, this won’t be an alternative.)

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IPv6 VPN Routing with Dynamic Prefixes

How to route traffic inside an IPv6 site-to-site VPN tunnel if one side offers only dynamic IPv6 prefixes? With IPv4, the private network segments were statically routed through the tunnel. But with a dynamic prefix, a static route is not possible. That is, a dynamic routing protocol must be used. Here is an example of how I used OSPFv3 for IPv6 between my VPN endpoints.

In detail, I have a home office with a dual stack ISP connection. However, this connection has a dynamic IPv6 prefix: After every reboot or lost connection of the firewall, I get a new IPv6 prefix. This is really bad for building a site-to-site VPN to the headquarter. Since I don’t want to use any kind of NAT/NPTv6 with unique local addresses, I am talking OSPFv3 over the VPN tunnel in order to route the dynamic prefix range (global unicast) via the tunnel.

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Juniper ScreenOS: DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation

The Juniper ScreenOS firewall is one of the seldom firewalls that implements DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation (DHCPv6-PD). It therefore fits for testing my dual stack ISP connection from Deutsche Telekom, Germany. (Refer to this post for details about this dual stack procedure.)

It was *really* hard to get the correct configuration in place. I was not able to do this by myself at all. Also Google did not help that much. Finally, I opened a case by Juniper to help me finding the configuration error. After four weeks of the opened case, I was told which command was wrong. Now it’s working. 😉 Here we go.

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IPv6 Site-to-Site VPN Recommendations

With global IPv6 routing, every single host has its own global unicast IPv6 address (GUA). No NAT anymore. No dirty tricks between hosts and routers. Great. Security is made merely by firewalls and policies. Site-to-site VPNs between partners can be build without address conflicts. Great again!

However, one problem to consider is the proper IPv6 routing via site-to-site VPNs since both sides now can reach each other even without a VPN. This was (mostly) not true with IPv4 in which both partners heavily relied on private RFC 1918 addresses that were not routable in the Internet. If specific IPv6 traffic should flow through a VPN but does actually traverse the Internet, it would be easy for a hacker to eavesdrop this traffic, leading to a security issue!

The following principles should be realized properly to assure that IPv6 traffic is never routed through the mere Internet when a site-to-site VPN tunnel is in place. Even in a failure of that tunnel. The principles can be applied to any IPv6 tunnels between partners, remote sites, home offices, etc., as long as the other site has its own global unicast IPv6 address space. (For VPNs in which a sub-prefix from the headquarters prefix is routed to a remote site, the situation behaves different. This article focuses on the routing between different IPv6 adress spaces.)

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