All posts by Johannes Weber

How to install Palo Alto’s PAN-OS on a FortiGate

It happens occasionally that a customer has to choose between a Palo and a Forti. While I would always favour the Palo for good reasons, I can understand that the Forti is chosen for cost savings, for example.

Fortunately, there is a hidden way of installing PAN-OS, the operating system from Palo Alto Networks, on FortiGate hardware firewalls. Here’s how you can do it:

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DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation on Palo Alto’s NGFW

Finally! With PAN-OS 11.0 a long missing IPv6 feature was introduced: DHCPv6-PD aka prefix delegation. For the first time, we can now operate a PAN-OS firewall directly on the Internet (the IPv6-Internet that is) on many kinds of ISP connections. Remember: To get a routed IPv6 prefix requires DHCPv6-PD (if you’re not a BGP-homed enterprise). Hence, without that feature, we could not connect to the Internet with a Palo directly.

With DHCPv6-PD, the firewall can receive a prefix from the ISP (commonly a /48 or a /56), while handing out /64s to downstream layer 3 interfaces. Here we go:

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DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation

What is DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation? Coming from IPv4, you’re already familiar with DHCP (for IPv4) which hands out IPv4 addresses to clients. The same applies to (stateful) DHCPv6: it hands out IPv6 addresses to clients.

However, with IPv6 we’re heavily dealing with subnets rather than just single addresses. Again, you’re familiar with IPv4: For an IPv4-based ISP connection, you’re getting either a single public IPv4 address or a small subnet such as a /29, /28, or the like for your WAN interface. For an IPv6-based ISP connection, you’re getting a subnet which includes multiple unique subnets to be used for other layer 3 segments rather than a single address (with NAT on the CPE). This is where DHCPv6 prefix delegation (commonly abbreviated as DHCPv6-PD) kicks in: It hands out IPv6 subnets to routers.

Let’s have a closer look:

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More Capture Details III

Another update of the Ultimate PCAP is available. Again, there are some special new packets in there which I want to point out here. Feel free to download the newest version to examine those new protocols and packets by yourself. Featuring: SNMPv3, WoL, IPMI, HSRP, Zabbix, Pile of Poo, and Packet Comments. ✅

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Contributing to Wireshark (without any coding skills!)

For many years I was afraid to open new issues for open-source tools since I am not a coder at all and won’t ever be able to fix some of the problems. Many times I got answers like “The source is open, go ahead and fix it yourself”. This brought me to a point where I simply stopped proposing new ideas and features.

This has changed since I was at SharkFest’22 EUROPE (the Wireshark Developer and User Conference), especially at a session from Uli Heilmeier called “Contribute to Wireshark – the low hanging fruits” [PDF].

TL;DR: You don’t need to be a programmer to contribute to Wireshark! E.g., submit new feature requests, report bugs or write at the wiki.

And that is exactly what I would like to recommend to you. This post is about giving examples, that even minor errors and thoughts are appreciated by the Wireshark team. But, of course, if you actually have coding skills, please go ahead and fix some of the issues. ;)

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Basic NTP Client Test on Windows: w32tm

When implementing NTP servers, it’s always an interesting part to check whether the server is “up and running” and reachable from the clients. While I’ve done many basic NTP checks out of Linux, I lacked a small docu to do this with Windows. It turned out that there’s no need for third-party software because Windows already includes a tool to test NTP connections: w32tm.

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Minor Palo Bug: ICMPv6 Errors sourced from Unspecified Address

During my IPv6 classes, I discovered a (minor) bug at the NGFW from Palo Alto Networks: ICMPv6 error messages, such as “time exceeded” (type 3) as a reply of traceroute, or “destination unreachable” (type 1) as a reply of a drop policy, are not correctly sourced from the IPv6 address of the data interface itself, but from the unspecified address “::”. Here are some details:

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Verbindungsaufbau Deutsche Glasfaser

Als netzwerktechnisches Spielkind beschäftige ich mich nicht nur mit den Netzwerken großer Firmenumgebungen, sondern auch mit meinem eigenen Anschluss daheim. Vor vielen Jahren habe ich dem echten Dual-Stack Anschluss der Deutschen Telekom mal auf die Finger geguckt – heute ist die Variante der Deutschen Glasfaser an der Reihe, welches zwar ein Dual Stack, aber ohne eigene öffentliche IPv4 Adresse ist. Quasi ein halbes DS-Lite. Kernfrage für mich war: Kann ich die Fritzbox (mit ihren mitgelieferten Presets für verschiedene ISPs) durch eine echte Enterprise-Firewall ersetzen, die ja leider nicht unbedingt alle Sprecharten wie PPPoE im Subinterface oder PPP IPv6CP unterstützen.


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Stateful DHCPv6 Capture (along with Relaying)

For my IPv6 training classes, I was missing a capture of a stateful DHCPv6 address assignment. That is: M-flag within the RA, followed by DHCPv6 messages handing out an IPv6 address among others. Therefore, I set up a DHCPv6 server on an Infoblox grid and furthermore used a Palo Alto NGFW as a DHCPv6 relay to it. I captured on two points: from the client’s point of view (getting to the relay) and from the server’s point of view (unicast messages from the relay). And since I was already there anyway, I additionally captured the same process for DHCPv4. So, here we go:

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Palo Alto: Instant Commit

Finally! With PAN-OS 11.0 Palo Alto Networks introduced an “instant commit”. That is: You no longer have to commit (and wait and wait and wait) until your changes are live, but everything you do is IMMEDIATELY active. Just as on any other firewall, e.g., the Fortis.

Here is how you can enable it along with some use cases and drawbacks:

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Scanning SSH Servers

For administrative purposes, SSH is used quite often. Almost everyone in IT knows it. Keywords: OpenSSH, simply using “ssh <hostname>” on your machine, PuTTY for Windows, username + password or public key authentication, TCP port 22, simple firewall rules, ignoring the fingerprints ?‍♂️, SCP and SFTP. That’s it – basically.

However, it gets much more complicated if you look into the details. You have to deal with many different types and representations of fingerprints, as well as crypto algorithms. Troubleshooting specific connection problems is challenging.

To get an overview of your SSH server’s configuration is to scan them with appropriate tools. I’m showing two of them here: ssh_scan and the Nmap script “ssh2-enum-algos“.

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