Category Archives: Network

Computer networks over IPv4 and IPv6. Switching, Routing, and Firewalling.

Server-Verfügbarkeit: Monitoring-Werkzeuge

Angreifer verwenden gern Ping und Traceroute, um Server im Internet ausfindig zu machen. Das bringt viele Security-Admins in Versuchung, den Ping- und Traceroute-Verkehr mittels ihrer Firewall in ihrem Netz zu unterbinden. Doch damit behindern sie nur die Arbeit von Server-Administratoren, denn es gibt noch viel mehr Möglichkeiten, Server aufzuspüren.

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#heiseshow: IPv6 setzt sich langsam durch – die wichtigsten Fragen

Ich durfte zu Gast bei der #heiseshow zum Thema IPv6 sein. In Anlehnung an die Artikelserie über IPv6 in der c’t 7/2022, in der auch mein Artikel über die Vorteile von IPv6-Adressen erschienen ist, ging es bei diesem Video-Podcast um gängige Fragen zu IPv6 sowohl im Heimanwender- als auch im Enterprise-Segment. Ne knappe Stunde lief die Schose und ich empfand es als ziemlich kurzweilig. ;)

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DHCPv6 Relay Issue with Cisco ASA and Ubuntu

Some months ago, my co-worker and I ran into an interesting issue: a notebook with a newly installed Ubuntu 20.04 does only work with IPv4, but this office network is dual-stacked (IPv4 and IPv6). Other Linux clients as well as Windows and Mac systems still work fine. They all get an IPv4 configuration by DHCPv4 and an IPv6 configuration by stateful DHCPv6 from the same DHCP server, relayed by a Cisco ASA 5500-X. What’s wrong with Ubuntu 20.04?

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Publishing IPv6 NTP Servers with DHCPv6

During the last weeks, I had an interesting request to publish NTP servers to client systems by using DHCPv6 in an IPv6 only network. Our Fortigate (or me?) had to learn how to publish the information. Hence this post is not only about NTP and IPv6, but a small guide on how to walk through RFCs and how to get out the relevant information. I’m very happy I got the possibility to share my experience here. Thank you, Johannes!

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Pi-hole Installation Guide

You probably know already the concept of the Pi-hole. If not: It’s a (forwarding) DNS server that you can install on your private network at home. All your clients, incl. every single smartphone, tablet, laptop, and IoT devices such as smart TVs or light bulb bridges, can use this Pi-hole service as their DNS server. Now here’s the point: it not only caches DNS entries, but blocks certain queries for hostnames that are used for ads, tracking, or even malware. That is: You don’t have to use an ad- or track-blocker on your devices (which is not feasible on smart TVs or smartphone apps, etc.), but you’re blocking this kind of sites entirely. Nice approach!

Yes, there are already some setup tutorials for the Pi-hole out there. However, it’s not only about installing the mere Pi-hole, but setting it up with your own recursive DNS server (since the default installation forwards to public DNS servers), using DNSSEC, and adding some more adlists. That’s why I am listing my installation procedure here as well. However, it’s not a complete beginners guide. You’ll need some basic Linux know-how.

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Das Webernetz dahoam

Endlich war es soweit: Das eigene Haus stand vor der Tür und Johannes hat sich um die Netzwerkverkabelung und das Netzwerkdesign gekümmert. Hier eine Zusammenfassung meiner Gedanken und deren Umsetzung – offen für kritische Rückfragen, Verbesserungsvorschläge und Bewunderungsbekundungen. :)

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Decrypting TLS Traffic with PolarProxy

This is a guest blog post by Erik Hjelmvik, an expert in network forensics and network security monitoring at NETRESEC.

PolarProxy is a transparent TLS proxy that outputs decrypted TLS traffic as PCAP files. PolarProxy doesn’t interfere with the tunnelled data in any way, it simply takes the incoming TLS stream, decrypts it, re-encrypts it and forwards it to the destination. Because of this PolarProxy can be used as a generic TLS decryption proxy for just about any protocol that uses TLS encryption, including HTTPS, HTTP/2, DoH, DoT, FTPS, SMTPS, IMAPS, POP3S and SIP-TLS.

PolarProxy is primarily designed for inspecting otherwise encrypted traffic from malware, such as botnets that use HTTPS for command-and-control of victim PCs. Other popular use cases for PolarProxy is to inspect encrypted traffic from IoT devices and other embedded products or to analyze otherwise encrypted traffic from mobile phones and tablets. The fact that PolarProxy exports the decrypted traffic in a decrypted format without any TLS headers also enables users to inspect the decrypted traffic with products that don’t support TLS decryption, such as intrusion detection and network forensics products like Suricata, Zeek and NetworkMiner.

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Firewall Basics: Sent vs. Received Values

I got an interesting question through the comments section on my blog:

What does “Bytes sent/ Bytes received” mean in ACC screen of Palo Alto firewall? I mean, if 500MB of packets are sent from a source device and go through a firewall, get permitted to reach the destination, then the firewall should not see the packets as “sent” or “received”; the firewall just “processes” the packets regardless of the direction, I suppose.

Quite a good questions. Let’s have a look:

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Nping aka Layer 4 Ping

I was missing a generic layer 4 ping in my toolbox. Initially searching for a mere TCP ping, I have found Nping which completely satisfies my needs and gives so much more. ;)

What’s a layer 4 ping, and why? –> A normal ping (= ICMP echo-request) reveals whether the destination IP address, that is: the mere server/VM, is up and running. That’s great for a layer 3 networker since routing to and from the destination is already working. However, it does NOT reveal whether or not a service at layer 4 (TCP or UDP) is up and running as well. That’s what a layer 4 ping is about: sending TCP SYNs to the port in question, waiting for a “SYN ACK” (port is listening) or “RST”/no reply (port is not available). Common use cases: Waiting for a service to start again after an upgrade, or waiting for new firewall policies (to allow or deny) a certain port.

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Capturing – because I can: IS-IS, GLBP, VRRP

I am constantly trying to add more protocols to the Ultimate PCAP. Hence I used some time in my (old) Cisco lab to configure and capture the following protocols: IS-IS, GLBP, and VRRP. And since Alexis La Goutte sent me some CAPWAP traffic, this protocol is also added. All packets are now found in another update of the Ultimate PCAP. Here are some details:

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Adding some packets: RARP, SNAP, MPLS & More

The other day I was searching for a trace file with a decent protocol mix that could be used to introduce a few colleagues to Wireshark. This brought me to Johannes Weber and his Ultimate PCAP.

To get a first impression of a trace file I used Wireshark’s protocol hierarchy – and boy, that’s a lot of protocols. This was not exactly what I was looking for: This single trace file holds snippets from 2014 to 2020 with a myriad of protocols and IP networks. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like the protocol mix found in a network analysis project.

Nevertheless, the trace file caught my interest as a long time Wireshark user. After nearly 20 years of network analysis, I had my own collection of traces with a few odd frames. To my big surprise, I had recorded a few protocols that are not yet part of the Ultimate PCAP.

So here is my small contribution to this collection:

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Route-Based VPN Tunnel FortiGate <-> Cisco ASA

More than 6 years ago (!) I published a tutorial on how to set up an IPsec VPN tunnel between a FortiGate firewall and a Cisco ASA. As time flies by, ASA is now able to terminate route-based VPN tunnels (which is great!), we have IKEv2 running everywhere and enhanced security proposals. Hence, it’s time for an update:

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