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Tag Archives: firewall hardware

Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

Ukrainian Police have this week busted out two separate groups of hackers involved in carrying out DDoS attacks against news agencies and stealing money from Ukrainian citizens, respectively.

According to the authorities, the four suspected hackers they arrested last week, all aged from 26 to 30 years, stole more than 5 million Hryvnia (around 178,380 USD) from the bank accounts of Ukrainian citizens by hacking into their computers.

The suspects carried out their attacks by scanning vulnerable computers on the Internet and infecting them with a custom Trojan malware to take full remote control of the systems

The group then apparently enabled key-logging on the infected computers in an attempt to capture banking credentials of victims when the owners of those infected computers fill in that information on any banking site or their digital currency wallet.

Once getting a hold on the victims banking and financial data, the attackers logged into their online banking accounts and transferred the funds or cryptocurrencies to the accounts controlled by the attackers.

Besides stealing money, the suspects also left the backdoor on the victims’ computers for further control, so that they can use them in the future for carrying out other illicit activities.

Criminal proceedings against all the four people have been initiated under several articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, including theft and unauthorized interference with the work of computers, automated systems, computer networks or telecommunication networks.

 

Two Ukrainian DDoS Hackers Arrested

In a separate press release, Police today announced the arrest of two other hackers, 21- and 22-years-old, suspected of performing DDoS attacks against several critical Ukrainian resources, including news sites of the city of Mariupol and several state educational institutions.

According to the authorities, the duo developed two DDoS hacking tools which they used to send hundreds of automatic queries to their targeted regional information resources every second, eventually making their service unavailable.

The pair is currently facing up to six years in prison under article 361 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which includes unlawful interference with the work of computers, automated systems, computer networks or telecommunication networks.

WatchGuard Firewall

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Watch Guard’s Solutions

Our unique approach to network security focuses on bringing best-in-class, enterprise-grade security to any organization, regardless of size or technical expertise. Ideal for SMB, Midsize, and Distributed Enterprise organizations, our network security appliances are designed from the ground-up to focus on ease of deployment, use, and ongoing managing in addition to providing the highest security possible.

Not only does WatchGuard offer the greatest collection of network security services on a single platform, we do so in a way that has proven to be the most agile, able to adapt to new and evolving threat vectors faster than any other solution on the market.

We are a security company and we want the best protection for every customer, every time. As such, we strongly recommend the adoption of our full security suite. When running our Total Security Suite, our Firebox network security appliances offer the strongest security against network threats. However, every Firebox can be purchased as a standalone NGFW appliance as well, however, we never recommend the deployment of an NGFW without other security mechanisms in place. The best approach to security is a layered approach.

WatchGuard offers the most comprehensive portfolio of security services in the industry, from traditional intrusion prevention, gateway antivirus, application control, spam prevention, and URL filtering, to more advanced services for protecting against evolving malware, ransomware, and data breaches. Each security service is delivered as an integrated solution within an easy-to-manage and cost-effective Firebox appliance.

Basic Security Services

The Basic Security Suite includes all the traditional network security services typical to a UTM appliance: Intrusion Prevention Service, Gateway AntiVirus, URL filtering, application control, spam blocking and reputation lookup. It also includes our centralized management and network visibility capabilities, as well as, our standard 24×7 support.

Intrusion Prevention

Intrusion Prevention Service uses continually updated signatures to scan traffic on all major protocols, providing real-time protection against network threats, including spyware, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and buffer overflows.

URL Filtering

In addition to automatically blocking known malicious sites, WatchGuard WebBlocker delivers granular content and URL filtering tools to block inappropriate content, conserve network bandwidth, and increase employee productivity.

Gateway AntiVirus

Leverage our continuously updated signatures to identify and block known spyware, viruses, trojans, worms, rogueware and blended threats – including new variants of known viruses. At the same time, heuristic analysis tracks down suspicious data constructions and actions to make sure unknown viruses don’t slip by.

Network Discovery

A subscription-based service for Firebox appliances that generates a visual map of all nodes on your network, making it easy to see where you may be at risk. It helps ensure only authorized devices are connected while detecting all open ports and protocols.

Reputation-Based Threat Prevention

A powerful, Cloud-based web reputation service that aggregates data from multiple feeds to provide real-time protection from malicious sites and botnets, while dramatically improving web processing overhead.

Spam Prevention

Real-time, continuous, and highly reliable protection from spam and phishing attempts. WatchGuard spamBlocker is so fast and effective, it can review up to 4 billion messages per day, while providing effective protection regardless of the language, format, or content of the message.

Application Control

Allow, block, or restrict access to applications based on a user’s department, job function, and time of day. It’s never been easier to decide who, what, when, where, why and how applications are used on your network.

Advanced Security Services – Only in the Total Security Suite

The Total Security Suite includes all services offered with the Basic Security Suite plus artificial intelligence enhanced advanced malware protection, DNS level protection, next-generation cloud sandboxing, data loss protection, enhanced network visibility capabilities, cloud-hosted threat correlation and scoring, and the ability to take action against threats right from Dimension, our network visibility platform. It also includes upgraded Gold level 24×7 support.

APT Blocker

APT Blocker uses an award-winning next-generation sandbox to detect and stop the most sophisticated attacks including ransomware, zero day threats, and other advanced malware designed to evade traditional network security defenses.

Threat Detection and Response

Security data collected from the Firebox and WatchGuard Host Sensor is correlated by enterprise-grade threat intelligence to detect, prioritize and enable immediate action against malware attacks.

Access Portal

Access Portal provides a central location for access to Cloud-hosted applications, and secure, clientless access to internal resources with RDP and SSH.

Data Loss Prevention ( DLP )

Prevent data breaches and enforce compliance by scanning text and files to detect sensitive information attempting to exit your network, whether it is transferred via email, web, or FTP.

IntelligentAV

IntelligentAV is a signature-less anti-malware solution that relies on artificial intelligence to automate malware discovery. Leveraging deep statistical analysis, it can classify current and future malware in mere seconds.

DNSWatch

Reduce malware infections by detecting and blocking malicious DNS requests, redirecting users to a safe page with information to reinforce security best practices.

Watchguard Firewall Appliances

Firebox T15

Enterprise-grade security in a small package – the T15 is ideal for sites with a few users and simple networking needs, such as remote virtual offices and homes. Available with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.

Firebox T35 & Firebox T55

Perfect for small to midsize organizations looking for a small form factor, Power over Ethernet (PoE+), and strong throughput and security. Available with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.

Firebox T70

Fastest tabletop throughput – necessary for sites with over 50 employees or busy, high user traffic locations such as retail shops and hotels. Two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports are ideal for adding Wi-Fi access points.

Rackmount Firebox Appliances

1U rackmount, total security appliances with screaming fast performance ideal for mid-sized and distributed enterprise organizations.

Watchguard Product Matrix Datasheets

Watchguard Product Matrix Datasheets

Watchguard Product Matrix Datasheets

Watchguard Product Matrix Datasheets

WatchGuard Firewall Price

Watch Guard Firewall Price
WatchGuard Firewall Firebox T15 with 1-Year Total Security Suite
( For 10 User )
Rs. 43,520/-
WatchGuard Firewall Firebox T35 with 1-Year Total Security Suite
( For 30 User )
Rs. 86,020/-
WatchGuard Firewall Firebox T70 with 1-Year Total Security Suite
( For 50 User )
Rs. 1,36,000/-
WatchGuard Firewall Firebox M270 with 1-Year Total Security Suite
( For 100 User )
Rs. 2,81,220/-
WatchGuard Firewall Firebox M370 with 1-Year Total Security Suite
( For 150 User )
Rs. 3,58,060/-

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What is a firewall?

What is a Firewall? and How Does It Work?

Introduction

A firewall is a system that provides network security by filtering incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of user-defined rules. In general, the purpose of a firewall is to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of unwanted network communications while allowing all legitimate communication to flow freely. In most server infrastructures, firewalls provide an essential layer of security that, combined with other measures, prevent attackers from accessing your servers in malicious ways.

This guide will discuss how firewalls work, with a focus on stateful software firewalls, such as iptables and FirewallD, as they relate to cloud servers. We’ll start with a brief explanation of TCP packets and the different types of firewalls. Then we’ll discuss a variety of topics that a relevant to stateful firewalls. Lastly, we will provide links to other tutorials that will help you set up a firewall on your own server.

TCP Network Packets

Before discussing the different types of firewalls, let’s take a quick look at what Transport Control Protocol (TCP) network traffic looks like.

TCP network traffic moves around a network in packets, which are containers that consist of a packet header—this contains control information such as source and destination addresses, and packet sequence information—and the data (also known as a payload). While the control information in each packet helps to ensure that its associated data gets delivered properly, the elements it contains also provides firewalls a variety of ways to match packets against firewall rules.

It is important to note that successfully receiving incoming TCP packets requires the receiver to send outgoing acknowledgment packets back to the sender. The combination of the control information in the incoming and outgoing packets can be used to determine the connection state (e.g. new, established, related) of between the sender and receiver.

Types of Firewalls

Let’s quickly discuss the three basic types of network firewalls: packet filtering (stateless), stateful, and application layer.

Packet filtering, or stateless, firewalls work by inspecting individual packets in isolation. As such, they are unaware of connection state and can only allow or deny packets based on individual packet headers.

Stateful firewalls are able to determine the connection state of packets, which makes them much more flexible than stateless firewalls. They work by collecting related packets until the connection state can be determined before any firewall rules are applied to the traffic.

Application firewalls go one step further by analyzing the data being transmitted, which allows network traffic to be matched against firewall rules that are specific to individual services or applications. These are also known as proxy-based firewalls.

In addition to firewall software, which is available on all modern operating systems, firewall functionality can also be provided by hardware devices, such as routers or firewall appliances. Again, our discussion will be focused on stateful software firewalls that run on the servers that they are intended to protect.

Firewall Rules

As mentioned above, network traffic that traverses a firewall is matched against rules to determine if it should be allowed through or not. An easy way to explain what firewall rules looks like is to show a few examples, so we’ll do that now.

Suppose you have a server with this list of firewall rules that apply to incoming traffic:

  1. Accept new and established incoming traffic to the public network interface on port 80 and 443 (HTTP and HTTPS web traffic)
  2. Drop incoming traffic from IP addresses of the non-technical employees in your office to port 22 (SSH)
  3. Accept new and established incoming traffic from your office IP range to the private network interface on port 22 (SSH)

Note that the first word in each of these examples is either “accept”, “reject”, or “drop”. This specifies the action that the firewall should do in the event that a piece of network traffic matches a rule. Accept means to allow the traffic through, reject means to block the traffic but reply with an “unreachable” error, and drop means to block the traffic and send no reply. The rest of each rule consists of the condition that each packet is matched against.

As it turns out, network traffic is matched against a list of firewall rules in a sequence, or chain, from first to last. More specifically, once a rule is matched, the associated action is applied to the network traffic in question. In our example, if an accounting employee attempted to establish an SSH connection to the server they would be rejected based on rule 2, before rule 3 is even checked. A system administrator, however, would be accepted because they would match only rule 3.

Default Policy

It is typical for a chain of firewall rules to not explicitly cover every possible condition. For this reason, firewall chains must always have a default policy specified, which consists only of an action (accept, reject, or drop).

Suppose the default policy for the example chain above was set to drop. If any computer outside of your office attempted to establish an SSH connection to the server, the traffic would be dropped because it does not match the conditions of any rules.

If the default policy were set to accept, anyone, except your own non-technical employees, would be able to establish a connection to any open service on your server. This would be an example of a very poorly configured firewall because it only keeps a subset of your employees out.

Incoming and Outgoing Traffic

As network traffic, from the perspective of a server, can be either incoming or outgoing, a firewall maintains a distinct set of rules for either case. Traffic that originates elsewhere, incoming traffic, is treated differently than outgoing traffic that the server sends. It is typical for a server to allow most outgoing traffic because the server is usually, to itself, trustworthy. Still, the outgoing rule set can be used to prevent unwanted communication in the case that a server is compromised by an attacker or a malicious executable.

In order to maximize the security benefits of a firewall, you should identify all of the ways you want other systems to interact with your server, create rules that explicitly allow them, then drop all other traffic. Keep in mind that the appropriate outgoing rules must be in place so that a server will allow itself to send outgoing acknowledgements to any appropriate incoming connections. Also, as a server typically needs to initiate its own outgoing traffic for various reasons—for example, downloading updates or connecting to a database—it is important to include those cases in your outgoing rule set as well.

Writing Outgoing Rules

Suppose our example firewall is set to drop outgoing traffic by default. This means our incoming accept rules would be useless without complementary outgoing rules.

To complement the example incoming firewall rules (1 and 3), from the Firewall Rules section, and allow proper communication on those addresses and ports to occur, we could use these outgoing firewall rules:

  1. Accept established outgoing traffic to the public network interface on port 80 and 443 (HTTP and HTTPS)
  2. Accept established outgoing traffic to the private network interface on port 22 (SSH)

Note that we don’t need to explicitly write a rule for incoming traffic that is dropped (incoming rule 2) because the server doesn’t need to establish or acknowledge that connection.

Firewall Software and Tools

Now that we’ve gone over how firewalls work, let’s take a look at common software packages that can help us set up an effective firewall. While there are many other firewall-related packages, these are effective and are the ones you will encounter the most.

Iptables

Iptables is a standard firewall included in most Linux distributions by default (a modern variant called nftables will begin to replace it). It is actually a front end to the kernel-level netfilter hooks that can manipulate the Linux network stack. It works by matching each packet that crosses the networking interface against a set of rules to decide what to do.

To learn how to implement a firewall with iptables, check out these links:

  • How To Set Up a Firewall Using IPTables on Ubuntu 14.04
  • How To Implement a Basic Firewall Template with Iptables on Ubuntu 14.04
  • How To Set Up an Iptables Firewall to Protect Traffic Between your Servers

UFW

UFW, which stands for Uncomplicated Firewall, is an interface to iptables that is geared towards simplifying the process of configuring a firewall.

To learn more about using UFW, check out this tutorial: How To Setup a Firewall with UFW on an Ubuntu and Debian Cloud Server.

FirewallD

FirewallD is a complete firewall solution available by default on CentOS 7 servers. Incidentally, FirewallD uses iptables to configure netfilter.

To learn more about using FirewallD, check out this tutorial: How To Configure FirewallD to Protect Your CentOS 7 Server.

If you’re running CentOS 7 but prefer to use iptables, follow this tutorial: How To Migrate from FirewallD to Iptables on CentOS 7.

Fail2ban

Fail2ban is an intrusion prevention software that can automatically configure your firewall to block brute force login attempts and DDOS attacks.

To learn more about Fail2ban, check out these links:

  • How Fail2ban Works to Protect Services on a Linux Server
  • How To Protect SSH with Fail2Ban on Ubuntu 14.04
  • How To Protect an Nginx Server with Fail2Ban on Ubuntu 14.04
  • How To Protect an Apache Server with Fail2Ban on Ubuntu 14.04

Conclusion

Now that you understand how firewalls work, you should look into implementing a firewall that will improve your security of your server setup by using the tutorials above.

A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet. If you can’t start Windows Firewall or you are getting an error, use Microsoft free tool to diagnose and fix problems.

  • If you use a computer at home, the most effective and important first step you can take to help protect your computer is to turn on a firewall.
  • Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP SP2 or higher have a firewall built-in and turned on by default. (Note: Support for Windows XP ended in April 2014.)
  • If you have more than one computer connected in the home, or if you have a small-office network, it is important to protect every computer. You should have a hardware firewall (such as a router) to protect your network, but you should also use a software firewall on each computer to help prevent the spread of a virus in your network if one of the computers becomes infected.
  • If your computer is part of a business, school, or other organizational network, you should follow the policy established by the network administrator.

Automatically diagnose and fix problems with Windows Firewall

Follow these steps to automatically repair Windows Firewall problems:
 
    • Select the Download button on this page.
    • In the File Download dialog box, click Run or Open, and then follow the steps in the Windows Firewall Troubleshooter.
Notes
  • This troubleshooter might be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for versions of Windows in other languages.
  • If you’re not on the computer that has the problem, save the troubleshooter to a flash drive or a CD, and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
Download
What it fixes
    • Windows Firewall isn’t the default firewall
    • Windows Firewall doesn’t start
    • Windows couldn’t start Windows Firewall (Service-specific error 5 (0x5))
    • Remote Assistance isn’t working because it’s blocked by Windows Firewall
    • You’re unable to access shared files and printers because sharing is blocked by Windows Firewall
    • BFE service is missing
    • Firewall won’t start (Error Code 80070424)
Runs on
    • Windows 7
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 10

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network security device located between your internal network and the wider Internet. A firewall monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic – blocking or allowing it based on a set of configurable rules.

Firewalls are a fundamental piece of security and typically form the first line of defence on a network. Acting as a filter against bad connections from the outside world.

A firewall works by comparing the data sent into or out of the network against a list of rules. Based on the results of the rule checking, the firewall will then either block or allow the connection.

How does a firewall work?

Firewalls work by inspecting data packets (small chunks of data) against an internal list of rules. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • IP addresses – filter out traffic from suspicious IPs
  • Domain names – block traffic from known malicious domains
  • Ports – deny traffic trying to enter through a certain port
  • Contents – block data packets containing certain keywords

A firewall scans the contents of the packet and then determines whether to let it through based on the rules in place. On a typical network setup, all connections to the Internet flow through the firewall. Meaning it inspects all inbound or outgoing packets.

How does firewall inspection work?

The process of inspection involves comparing a packet’s contents against the firewall’s set of rules. Depending on if the rule is setup as a blacklist or whitelist, it will react differently to a match.

  • A blacklist rule will block any packets which match the criteria.
  • A whitelist rule will block any packets which don’t match the criteria.

A firewall’s rules are highly configurable. Meaning you can make the packet inspection process unique to your security setup. Here are some examples of how you could use custom firewall rules:

  • Creating a whitelist for your own company IP. Preventing any outsiders from accessing what’s behind the firewall.
  • Making a blacklist for the IP of a known malicious file server. Stopping it from distributing malware onto your network.
  • Creating a whitelist for certain domain extensions (.com, .co.uk .edu e.t.c.) on outgoing traffic. Blocking staff from accessing potentially dangerous sites.

Why are firewalls important?

Firewalls are often compared to a lock on the door to your network. But it might be more accurate to say that a firewall is the door.

Without a firewall in place, any connection can flow freely in or out of your network. Including connections from known malicious sources. This means you could experience unauthorised access to networked files. Leading to a data breach, malware infection or worse.

You need a firewall to filter out the bulk of malicious connections. And there’s a lot of malicious connections. One study found that within 52 seconds of being online, servers were being probed by hackers. With an average rate of 757 connection attempts per hour.

Are firewalls hardware or software?

Firewalls can be either a hardware appliance or a piece of software which runs on a machine. So, the answer is both.

Not helpful, I know.

But the main difference between the two is this:

  • Software firewalls tend to protect the individual machine it’s installed upon, typically a laptop or PC
  • Hardware firewalls usually protect many machines or an entire network.

What types of firewall are there?

Circuit-level

Circuit level firewalls are a type of firewall that monitors transmission control protocol (TCP) handshaking. It ensures that the communication between packets is legitimate and not malicious.

Stateful inspection

A firewall with stateful inspection considers the state of current connections when filtering packets. This means that the firewall can block the packet in one case but allowed in another. Depending on the current state of the connection.

Unified threat management (UTM)

Whilst technically not a type of firewall, UTM is instead an advanced security appliance which combines the security functions of many different security appliances. One of these being a firewall. We have an article explaining everything you need to know about UTM if you wish to learn more.

What is a next-generation firewall?

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) contains all the normal defences that a traditional firewall has and more. The most common additions are intrusion prevention software and application control. But certain vendors have other bonus security features. NGFWs are also capable of deep packet inspection which enables more robust filters.

Intrusion prevention software monitors network activity to detect and stop vulnerability exploits from occurring. This is usually done by monitoring for breaches against the network policies in place.

Application control software sets up a hard filter for programs that can send or receive data over the Internet. This can either be done by blacklist (blocks any programs in the filter) or by whitelist (blocks any programs not in the filter).

What is deep packet inspection?

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is a type of packet inspection which analyses the full contents of a data packet. Instead of only information in a packet’s header (where it is coming from and going to).

This enables DPI to filter out malicious packets, such as viruses and trojans, with better accuracy. As rather than only looking at the sender and destination, the packet’s contents can be used in filters as well.

This allows DPI to uncover a broader range of security threats because it will discover packets with a malicious payload but an innocuous header.

Where did the name firewall come from?

A final piece of trivia: the name firewall originated from the real-world application of fire partitions used in buildings. These would be walls that were implemented into a building to act as a barrier to stop fire spreading from one room to another.

The similarity between a fire spreading through a building and a computer virus spreading through a network prompted the same name to be adopted for the network device.

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