Shorewall Events

Tom Eastep

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

2017/07/16


Caution

This article applies to Shorewall 4.5.19 and later and supersedes this article.

Overview

Shorewall events were introduced in Shorewall 4.5.19 and provide a high-level interface to the Netfilter recent match capability. An event is actually a list of (IP address, timestamp) pairs, and can be tested in a number of different ways:

  • Has event E ever occurred for IP address A (is the IP address in the list)?

  • Has event E occurred M or more times for IP address A?

  • Has Event E occurred in the last N seconds for IP Address A (is there an entry for the address with a timestamp falling within the last N seconds)?

  • Has Event E occurred M or more times in the last N seconds for IP address A (are there M or more entries for the address with timestamps falling within the last N seconds)?

The event interface is implemented as three parameterized Shorewall Actions:

SetEvent

This action initializes an event list for either the source or destination IP address in the current packets. The list will contain a single entry for the address that will have the current timestamp.

ResetEvent

This action removes all entries for either the source or destination IP address from an event list.

IfEvent

This action tests an event in one of the ways listed above, and performs an action based on the result.

Events are based on the Netfilter 'recent match' capability which is required for their use.

The recent-match kernel component is xt_recent which has two options that are of interest to Shorewall users:

ip_list_tot

The number of addresses remembered per event. Default is 100.

ip_pkt_list_tot

The number of packets (event occurrences) remembered per address. Default is 20.

These may be changed with the xt_recent module is loaded or on the kernel bootloader runline.

Details

Because these are parameterized actions, optional parameters may be omitted. Trailing omitted parameters may be omitted entirely while embedded omitted parameters are represented by a hyphen ("-").

Each event is given a name. Event names:

  • Must begin with a letter.

  • May be composed of letters, digits, hyphens ('-') or underscores ('_').

  • May be at most 29 characters in length.

SetEvent

SetEvent( event, [ action ], [ src-dst ], [ disposition ] )

event

Name of the event.

action

An action to perform after the event is initialized. May be any action that may appear in the ACTION column of shorewall-rules (5). If no action is to be performed, use COUNT.

src-dst

Specifies whether the source IP address (src) or destination IP address (dst) is to be added to the event. The default is src.

disposition

If the action involves logging, then this parameter specifies the disposition that will appear in the log entry prefix. If no disposition is given, the log prefix is determined normally. The default is ACCEPT.

ResetEvent

ResetEvent( event, [ action ], [ src-dst ], [ disposition ] )

event

Name of the event.

action

An action to perform after the event is reset. May be any action that may appear in the ACTION column of shorewall-rules (5). If no action is to be performed, use COUNT. The default is ACCEPT.

src-dst

Specifies whether the source IP address (src) or destination IP address (dst) is to be removed from the event. The default is src.

disposition

If the action involves logging, then this parameter specifies the disposition that will appear in the log entry prefix. If no disposition is given, the log prefix is determined normally.

IfEvent

IfEvent( event, [ action ], [ duration ], [ hitcount ], [ src-dst], [ command[:option]..., [ disposition ] )

event

Name of the event.

action

An action to perform if the test succeeds. May be any action that may appear in the ACTION column of shorewall-rules (5). The default is ACCEPT.

duration

Number of seconds over which the event is to be tested. If not specified, the test is not constrained by time.

hitcount

Specifies the minimum number of packets required for the test to succeed. If not specified, 1 packet is assumed.

src-dst

Specifies whether the source IP address (src) or destination IP address (dst) is to be tested. The default is src.

command

May be one of the following:

check

Simply test if the duration/hitcount test is satisfied. If so, the action is performed.

reset

Like check. If the test succeeds, the event will be reset before the action is taken. Requires the Mark in filter table capability in your kernel and iptables.

update

Like check. Regardless of whether the test succeeds, an entry with the current time and for the src-dst iP address will be added to the event.

The default is check.

option may be one of:

reap

Regardless of whether the test succeeds, entries for the src-dst IP address that are older than duration seconds will be deleted from the event.

ttl

Constrains the test to require that the packet TTL match the ttl in the original packet that created the entry.

disposition

If the action involves logging, then this parameter specifies the disposition that will appear in the log entry prefix. If no disposition is given, the log prefix is determined normally.

'show event' and 'show events' Commands

The CLI programs (/sbin/shorewall, /sbin/shorewall-lite, etc.) support show event and show events commands.

The show event command shows the contents of the events listed in the command while show events lists the contents of all events.

root@gateway:~# shorewall show events
Shorewall 4.5.19-Beta2 events at gateway - Sat Jul 13 07:17:59 PDT 2013

SSH
   src=75.101.251.91 : 2225.808, 2225.592 
   src=218.87.16.135 : 2078.490 

SSH_COUNTER
   src=65.182.111.112 : 5755.790 
   src=113.162.155.243 : 4678.249 

sticky001
   src=172.20.1.146 : 5.733, 5.728, 5.623, 5.611, 5.606, 5.606, 5.589, 5.588, 5.565, 5.551, 5.543, 5.521, 5.377, 5.347, 5.347, 5.345, 5.258, 5.148, 5.048, 4.949 
   src=172.20.1.151 : 41.805, 41.800 

sticky002
   src=172.20.1.213 : 98.122, 98.105, 98.105, 98.105, 98.088, 98.088, 98.088, 98.088, 98.058, 98.058, 80.885, 53.528, 53.526, 53.526, 53.510, 53.383, 53.194, 53.138, 53.072, 3.119 
   src=172.20.1.146 : 4.914, 4.914, 4.898, 4.897, 4.897, 4.896, 4.896, 4.896, 4.882, 4.881, 4.875, 4.875, 4.875, 4.875, 4.875, 4.875, 4.875, 4.874, 4.874, 4.874 

root@gateway:~# 

The SSH and SSH_COUNTER events are created using the following Automatic Blacklisting example. The sticky001 and sticky002 events are created by the SAME rule action.

Each line represents one event. The list of numbers following the ':' represent the number of seconds ago that a matching packet triggered the event. The numbers are in chronological sequence, so In this event, there were 20 packets from 172.20.1.146 that arrived between 5.733 and 4.949 seconds ago:

sticky001
   src=172.20.1.146 : 5.733, 5.728, 5.623, 5.611, 5.606, 5.606, 5.589, 5.588, 5.565, 5.551, 5.543, 5.521, 5.377, 5.347, 5.347, 5.345, 5.258, 5.148, 5.048, 4.949 

Note that there may have been earlier packets that also matched, but the system where this example was captured used the default value of the ip_pkt_list_tot xt_recent option (20).

The output of these commands is produced by processing the contents of /proc/net/xt_recent/*. You can access those files directly to see the raw data. The raw times are the uptime in milliseconds. The %CURRENTTIME entry is created by the show event[s] commands to obtain the current uptime.

Examples

Automatic Blacklisting

This example is for ssh, but it can be adapted for any application.

The name SSH has been changed to SSHLIMIT so as not to override the Shorewall macro of the same name.

/etc/shorewall/actions:

#ACTION               OPTION                   DESCRIPTION
SSHLIMIT                                       #Automatically blacklist hosts who exceed SSH connection limits
SSH_BLACKLIST                                  #Helper for SSHLIMIT

/etc/shorewall/action.SSH_BLACKLIST:

#
# Shorewall version 4 - SSH_BLACKLIST Action
#
?format 2
###############################################################################
#TARGET		SOURCE	DEST	PROTO	DPORT	SPORT
#
# Log the Reject
#
LOG:warn:REJECT
#
# And set the SSH_COUNTER event for the SOURCE IP address
#
SetEvent(SSH_COUNTER,REJECT,src)

/etc/shorewall/action.SSHLIMIT:

#
# Shorewall version 4 - SSHLIMIT Action
#
?format 2
###############################################################################
#TARGET		SOURCE	DEST	PROTO	DPORT	SPORT
#
# Silently reject the client if blacklisted
#
IfEvent(SSH_COUNTER,REJECT,300,1)
#
# Blacklist if 5 attempts in the last minute
#
IfEvent(SSH,SSH_BLACKLIST,60,5,src,check:reap)
#
# Log and reject if the client has tried to connect
# in the last two seconds
#
IfEvent(SSH,REJECT:warn:,2,1,-,update,Added)
#
# Un-blacklist the client
#
ResetEvent(SSH_COUNTER,LOG:warn,-,Removed)
#
# Set the 'SSH' EVENT and accept the connection
#
SetEvent(SSH,ACCEPT,src)

etc/shorewall/rules:

#ACTION               SOURCE         DEST      PROTO      DPORT
SSHLIMIT              net            $FW       tcp        22                        

Caution

The technique demonstrated in this example is not self-cleaning. The SSH_COUNTER event can become full with blackisted addresses that never attempt to connect again. When that happens and a new entry is added via SetEvent, the least recently seen address in the table is deleted.

Generalized Automatic Blacklisting

The above two actions are generalized in the AutoBL and AutoBLL actions released in Shorewall 4.5.19. Only AutoBL is invoked directly from your rules file; AutoBL invoked AutoBLL internally.

AutoBL

AutoBL( event, [ Interval ], [ hitcount ], [ successive ], [ blacklist-time ], [ disposition ], [ log_level ] )

event

Name of the event. The blacklisting event itself will be event_BL (analogous to SSH_COUNTER above).

interval

Interval, in seconds, over which hits are to be counted. Default is 60 seconds.

hitcount

Number of matching packets that will trigger automatic blacklisting when they arrive in interval seconds. Default is 5.

successive

If a matching packet arrives within this many seconds of the preceding one, it should be logged according to log_level and handled according to the disposition. If successive packets are not to be considered, enter 0. Default is 2 seconds.

blacklist-time

Time, in seconds, that the source IP address is to be blacklisted. Default is 300 (5 minutes).

disposition

The disposition of blacklisted packets. Default is DROP.

log_level

Log level at which packets are to be logged. Default is info.

To duplicate the SSHLIMIT entry in /etc/shorewall/rules shown above:

#ACTION               SOURCE         DEST      PROTO      DPORT
AutoBL(SSH,-,-,-,REJECT,warn)\
                      net            $FW       tcp        22                

Port Knocking

This example shows a different implementation of the one shown in the Port Knocking article.

In this example:

  1. Attempting to connect to port 1600 enables SSH access. Access is enabled for 60 seconds.

  2. Attempting to connect to port 1601 disables SSH access (note that in the article linked above, attempting to connect to port 1599 also disables access. This is an port scan defence as explained in the article).

To implement that approach:

/etc/shorewall/actions:

#ACTION               OPTION                   DESCRIPTION
Knock                                          #Port Knocking

/etc/shorewall/action.Knock:

#
# Shorewall version 4 - SSH_BLACKLIST Action
#
?format 2
###############################################################################
#ACTION               SOURCE         DEST      PROTO      DPORT
IfEvent(SSH,ACCEPT:info,60,1,src,reset)\
                      -              -         tcp        22
SetEvent(SSH,ACCEPT)  -              -         tcp        1600
ResetEvent(SSH,DROP:info)        

etc/shorewall/rules:

#ACTION               SOURCE         DEST      PROTO      DPORT
Knock                 net            $FW       tcp        22,1599-1601          

Stateful Port Knocking (knock with a sequence of ports)

Gerhard Wiesinger has contributed a Perl module that allows you to define portknocking sequences. Download the module and copy it into your site_perl directory.

Using Gerhard's module, a port-knocking rule is defined via a '?PERL' statement. This example opens the SSH port from net->fw using the knock sequence 52245, 15623, 19845:

?BEGIN PERL
use KnockEnhanced;
KnockEnhanced 'net', '$FW', {name => 'SSH1', log_level => 3, proto => 'tcp', target => 'ssh', knocker => [52245,15623,19845]};
?END PERL

A few notes on the parameters:

  • The first parameter is the rule SOURCE

  • The second parameter is the rule DEST

  • The third parameter is a Perl hash reference that defines the remaining parameters. Each parameter is specified via param => value.

    • proto is the protocol -- if not specified, the default is tcp

    • seconds is the timeout between successive events -- default is 60 seconds.

    • original_dest is the rule ORIGDEST

    • target is the port(s) that you are trying to open. May either be a single name or number, or it may be a list of names and/or numbers separated by commas and enclosed in square brackets ("[...]").

    • name is a name used as the base for event and chain names. If not supplied, the first target is used, in which case the first target must be a port name.

    • log_level specifies logging for the generated rules

    Note

    Port names and numbers may be optionally followed by a colon (":") and a protocol name or number to override the specified protocol.

The module itself contains additional examples of its usage.

Documentation


Frequently Used Articles

- FAQs - IPv4 Manpages - IPv6 Manpages - Configuration File Basics - Beginner Documentation - Troubleshooting

Shorewall 4.4/4.5/4.6 Documentation

Shorewall 4.0/4.2 Documentation


Shorewall 5.0 HOWTOs and Other Articles

- 6to4 and 6in4 Tunnels - Accounting - Actions - Aliased (virtual) Interfaces (e.g., eth0:0) - Anatomy of Shorewall - Anti-Spoofing Measures - AUDIT Target support - Bandwidth Control - Blacklisting/Whitelisting - Bridge/Firewall - Building Shorewall from GIT - Commands - Compiled Programs - Configuration File Basics - DHCP - DNAT - Docker - Dynamic Zones - ECN Disabling by host or subnet - Events - Extension Scripts - Fallback/Uninstall - FAQs - Features - Fool's Firewall - Forwarding Traffic on the Same Interface - FTP and Shorewall - Helpers/Helper Modules - Installation/Upgrade - IPP2P - IPSEC - Ipsets - IPv6 Support - ISO 3661 Country Codes - Kazaa Filtering - Kernel Configuration - KVM (Kernel-mode Virtual Machine) - Limiting Connection Rates - Linux Containers (LXC) - Linux-vserver - Logging - Macros - MAC Verification - Manpages (IPv4) (IPv6) - Manual Chains - Masquerading - Multiple Internet Connections from a Single Firewall - Multiple Zones Through One Interface - My Shorewall Configuration - Netfilter Overview - Network Mapping - No firewalling of traffic between bridge port - One-to-one NAT - Operating Shorewall - OpenVPN - OpenVZ - Packet Marking - Packet Processing in a Shorewall-based Firewall - 'Ping' Management - Port Forwarding - Port Information - Port Knocking (deprecated) - Port Knocking, Auto Blacklisting and Other Uses of the 'Recent Match' - PPTP - Proxy ARP - QuickStart Guides - Release Model - Requirements - Routing and Shorewall - Routing on One Interface - Samba - Shared Shorewall/Shorewall6 Configuration - Shorewall Events - Shorewall Init - Shorewall Lite - Shorewall on a Laptop - Shorewall Perl - Shorewall Setup Guide - SMB - SNAT - Split DNS the Easy Way - Squid with Shorewall - Starting/stopping the Firewall - Static (one-to-one) NAT - Support - Tips and Hints - Traffic Shaping/QOS - Simple - Traffic Shaping/QOS - Complex - Transparent Proxy - UPnP - Upgrade Issues - Upgrading to Shorewall 4.4 (Upgrading Debian Lenny to Squeeze) - VPN - VPN Passthrough - White List Creation - Xen - Shorewall in a Bridged Xen DomU - Xen - Shorewall in Routed Xen Dom0

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