One core topic when designing firewall policies is the following question: Is ping a security attack? Should ICMP echo-request messages be blocked in almost any directions?
My short answer: Ping is your friend. :) You won’t block hackers if you block ping. Instead, ping is quite useful for network administrators checking basic network connectivity. That is: I suggest to allow ping anywhere around, accept incoming connections from the Internet to the trusted networks.
Here comes a discussion: