Tag Archives: Palo Alto Networks

"decisions" by Martin Fisch is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Detect DNS Spoofing: dnstraceroute

Another great tool from Babak Farrokhi is dnstraceroute. It is part of the DNSDiag toolkit from which I already showed the dnsping feature. With dnstraceroute you can verify whether a DNS request is indeed answered by the correct DNS server destination or whether a man-in-the-middle has spoofed/hijacked the DNS reply. It works by using the traceroute trick by incrementing the TTL value within the IP header from 1 to 30.

Beside detecting malicious DNS spoofing attacks, it can also be used to verify security features such as DNS sinkholing. I am showing the usage as well as a test case for verifying a sinkhole feature.

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Palo Alto DNS Proxy Rule for Reverse DNS

I am using the DNS Proxy on a Palo Alto Networks firewall for some user subnets. Beside the default/primary DNS server it can be configured with proxy rules (sometimes called conditional forwarding) which I am using for reverse DNS lookups, i.e., PTR records, that are answered by a BIND DNS server. While it is easy and well-known to configure the legacy IP (IPv4) reverse records, the IPv6 ones are slightly more difficult. Fortunately there are some good tools on the Internet to help reversing IPv6 addresses.

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Palo Alto FQDN Objects

While I tested the FQDN objects with a Palo Alto Networks firewall, I ran into some strange behaviours which I could not reproduce, but have documented them. I furthermore tested the usage of FQDN objects with more than 32 IP addresses, which are the maximum that are supported due to the official Palo Alto documentation. Here we go:

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Using NetFlow with nProbe for ntopng

This blog post is about using NetFlow for sending network traffic statistics to an nProbe collector which forwards the flows to the network analyzer ntopng. It refers to my blog post about installing ntopng on a Linux machine. I am sending the NetFlow packets from a Palo Alto Networks firewall.

My current ntopng installation uses a dedicated monitoring ethernet port (mirror port) in order to “see” everything that happens in that net. This has the major disadvantage that it only gets packets from directly connected layer 2 networks and vlans. NetFlow on the other hand can be used to send traffic statistics from different locations to a NetFlow flow collector, in this case to the tool nProbe. This single flow collector can receive flows from different subnets and routers/firewalls and even VPN tunnel interfaces, etc. However, it turned out that the “real-time” functionalities of NetFlow are limited since it only refreshes flows every few seconds/bytes, but does not give a real-time look at the network. It should be used only for statistics but not for real-time troubleshooting.

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Palo Alto VPN Speedtests

Once more some throughput tests, this time the Palo Alto Networks firewalls site-to-site IPsec VPN. Similar to my VPN speedtests for the FortiGate firewall, I set up a small lab with two PA-200 firewalls and tested the bandwidth of different IPsec phase 2 algorithms. Compared to the official data sheet information from Palo Alto that state an IPsec VPN throughput of 50 Mbps, the results are really astonishing.

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Palo Alto IPv4 vs. IPv6 Performance Speedtests

After I have done some speedtests on the FortiGate firewall I was interested in doing the same tests on a Palo Alto. That is: What are the throughput differences of IPv4 vs. IPv6, measured with and without security profiles, i.e., with and without threat prevention.

It turned out that the throughput is much higher than the official information from Palo Alto. Furthermore, I was not able to test the threat prevention at all, because non of my traffic (Iperf and mere HTTP) went through the antivirus engines. I have to test this again. However, here are the measured values so far:

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Palo Alto Software Download Failure

I had an error on my PA-200 with PAN-OS 7.0.5 while trying to download a new firmware version. “Error: There is not enough free disk space to complete the desired operation. […]”. Even the tips to delete older software, dynamic updates, etc., and to use the “set max-num-images count” command did not lead to a successful download.

Finally, the TAC support could solve the problem via root access to the Palo Alto firewall and by manually moving data files…

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IPv6 through IPv4 VPN Tunnel

IPv6 through IPv4 VPN Tunnel with Palo Alto

The most common transition method for IPv6 (that is: how to enable IPv6 on a network that does not have a native IPv6 connection to the Internet) is a “6in4” tunnel. Other tunneling methods such as Teredo or SixXS are found on different literatures as well. However, another method that is not often explained is to tunnel the IPv6 packets through a normal VPN connection. For example, if the main office has a native IPv6 connection to the Internet as well as VPN connections to its remote offices, it is easy to bring IPv6 subnets to these stations. Here comes an example with two Palo Alto firewalls.

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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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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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OSPFv3 for IPv6 Lab: Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper, Palo Alto, Quagga

Similar to my test lab for OSPFv2, I am testing OSPFv3 for IPv6 with the following devices: Cisco ASA, Cisco Router, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper SSG, Palo Alto, and Quagga Router. I am showing my lab network diagram and the configuration commands/screenshots for all devices. Furthermore, I am listing some basic troubleshooting commands. In the last section, I provide a Tcpdump/Wireshark capture of an initial OSPFv3 run.

I am not going into deep details of OSPFv3 at all. But this lab should give basic hints/examples for configuring OSPFv3 for all of the listed devices.

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Policy Based Forwarding on a Palo Alto with different Virtual Routers

This guide is a little bit different to my other Policy Based Forwarding blog post because it uses different virtual routers for both ISP connections. This is quite common to have a distinct default route for both providers. So, in order to route certain traffic, e.g., http/https, to another ISP connection, policy based forwarding is used.

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Palo Alto High Availability Heartbeat

Beside the HA1 and HA2 interfaces on a Palo Alto Networks firewall, there are the HA1/HA2 Backup and Heartbeat Backup options. I was a bit confused while reading the documentation of the high availability instructions since it did not clearly specify when and where to use the dedicated management port for what kind of “backup”.

Basically, it should read that there are two different ways on how to use the dedicated management for a HA Backup: the heartbeat backup OR the HA1 backup.

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