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This chapter is from the book

Global Properties

The global properties of the policy can be accessed from the Policy, Global Properties menu. This brings up a dialog showing all the property sections, along with their values. The important ones will be examined in more detail.

FireWall-1 Implied Rules

The options under the FireWall-1 Implied Rules section are shown in Figure 3.5.

The changes to these settings add implicit rules into the rule base. If an option is enabled, you have three choices of where it will be placed in the rule base:

  • First—The rule will be placed before the explicit rules.

  • Last—The rule will be placed after the explicit rules.

  • Before Last—The rule will be placed before the last explicit rule.

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 The FireWall-1 global properties—defaults shown.

The significance of the Before Last option is that it doesn’t interfere with the cleanup rule, which drops all traffic. If you have a cleanup rule and place the implicit rule in the last position, it will never be consulted.

The choice of First versus Last/Before Last has to do with your rule base. Again, an incorrect choice may cause your stealth rules to block packets that the implicit rule would otherwise allow.

The options in the FireWall-1 implied rules cover basic behavior of the firewall itself:

  • Accept VPN-1 & FireWall-1 Control Connections—Allows required communications between SmartConsole clients, the SmartCenter management server, and enforcement points.

  • Accept Outgoing Packets Originating from Gateway—Lets the enforcement point itself send packets to other destinations.

  • Accept RIP—Accepts Routing Information Protocol packets (UDP port 520).

  • Accept Domain Name over UDP (Queries)—Allows DNS requests to traverse the firewall.

  • Accept Domain Name over TCP (Zone Transfer)—Allows DNS zone transfers (such as secondary DNS servers pulling a zone from the primary), and large TCP responses to DNS queries.

  • Accept ICMP Requests—Allows all ICMP messages, including echo-response and echo-reply packets.

  • Accept CPRID Connections (SmartUpdate)—Accepts connections to the Check Point Remote Installation Daemon for FireWall-1 upgrades.

  • Accept Dynamic Address Modules’ DHCP Traffic—Allows modules configured as dynamically addressed to accept DHCP packets.

By default, control connections, CPRID, DHCP, and packets originating from the gateway itself are accepted.

Note that it is possible to lock yourself out of the firewall by pushing control connections to the end of the policy, or disallowing them entirely. After this point, you will not be able to push a policy to fix it!

Security Servers

Check Point security servers provide deeper inspection of some protocols by taking over part of the connection for popular services. The properties here control the welcome messages that the services provide, any upstream HTTP proxies, and HTTP servers to protect.

Much of the functionality is now available under SmartDefense, but you will be expected to know where this configuration is.

Stateful Inspection Properties

Stateful Inspection relies heavily on tracking connections that pass through the firewall. To avoid running out of memory from too many connections, the firewall must know when to stale out older ones. Also, the firewall must know how to deal with protocols that don’t have intrinsic state, such as UDP and other IP protocols.

Figure 3.6 shows the default settings for the Stateful Inspection properties.

The Default Session Timeouts control how long state table entries will be held. Those called "virtual sessions" do not have intrinsic state in the protocol, but Stateful Inspection tracks state nonetheless. For example, if a host sends an ICMP packet to another host, Stateful Inspection will open a state table entry watching for reply packets.

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.6 Stateful Inspection default timeouts and other properties.

Likewise, with UDP protocols, replies are tracked based on source and destination address and ports, called Stateful UDP. Where a UDP protocol is defined as a service in the objects tree, replies can be accepted by checking the Accept Replies option in the advanced properties of the service itself. Where there is no service defined, this global property sets the behavior. If the reply is on a different port, the Any Port option must be checked to accept the packet.

For Stateful ICMP, replies to echo-requests are accepted if the Replies box is checked. The Errors box controls whether ICMP error messages are allowed. If an upper-layer connection was permitted by the rule base but resulted in an ICMP error message from the remote host, this option will allow it through.

As with the Stateful UDP options, you have the option of allowing response packets in unknown services to be accepted.

One of the benefits of tracking every facet of the conversations flowing through the firewall is that you know the state of the connection on both ends, and can drop anything that is out of the ordinary. For example, in a TCP connection, if the firewall sees a packet for an established connection, but knows the connection doesn’t exist, it will drop it if the Drop Out of State TCP Packets option is checked.

Log and Alert

The Log and Alert properties control the tracking type of some internal events. For example, the VPN Successful Key Exchange property dictates how you are notified when a VPN connection is made. The options you have in this page are the same tracking options you have in the rule base.

Alert Commands is a related set of properties that controls how some of the events are actually run. For example, if an alert is set to email, this page defines how the email is sent. This is also where the user-defined alerts are defined.

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