Tag Archives: TCP RST

Who sends TCP RSTs?

At SharkFest’22 EU, the Annual Wireshark User and Developer Conference, I attended a beginners’ course called “Network Troubleshooting from Scratch”, taught by the great Jasper Bongertz. In the end, we had some high-level discussions concerning various things, one of them was the insight that TCP RSTs are not only sent from a server in case the port is closed, but are also commonly sent (aka spoofed) from firewalls in case a security policy denies the connection. Key question: Can you distinguish between those spoofed vs. real TCP RSTs? Initially, I thought: no, you can’t, cause the firewalls out there do a great job.

It turned out: you can!

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Palo Alto blocks SMTP Virus with 541 Response

While preparing for some Palo Alto Networks certifications I read something about the antivirus capabilities of blocking viruses via email by sending an SMTP response code of 541 to the sender (link). This was new for me since I thought the Palo Alto would only block IP connections (TCP RST) but not send layer 7 messages (SMTP codes). But actually, it does so by spoofing the IP address of the destination SMTP host. Cool stuff. Of course, I needed to test this. Here we go. ;)

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