Basic iptables Configuration

It’s always a good idea to setup a local firewall on hosts that are on unprotected networks. The internet “winds” blow harder and harder each day, and it’s only a matter of time before some daemon has an exploit that gets taken advantage of. I use CentOS 5 for all my web servers, and here is an example of the script I use to create a DEFAULT TO DENY set of firewall rules. This script generates a file called iptables in /etc/sysconfig.

I used to create a special rule for MySQL that only allowed connections from my own network, but lately I have been omitting this rule and tunneling the connection through ssh instead. That is why it is commented out in the script below.

### SCRIPT ###
# Drop all incoming traffic
/sbin/iptables -P INPUT DROP
# Drop all forwarded traffic
/sbin/iptables -P FORWARD DROP
# Allow all outgoing traffic
/sbin/iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT
# Allow returning packets
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# Allow incoming traffic on port 80 for web server
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
# Allow MySQL only from a certain network
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp -s XXX.XXX.XXX.0/24 --dport 3306 -j ACCEPT
# Allow local traffic
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
# Allow incoming SSH on port 22
#/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
# Allow ping
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p icmp -m icmp --icmp-type 8 -j ACCEPT
/sbin/iptables-save > /etc/sysconfig/iptables
chmod go-r /etc/sysconfig/iptables
/sbin/sudo service iptables restart
### /SCRIPT ###

Here is what /etc/sysconfig/iptables looks like after running this script:

# Generated by iptables-save v1.3.5 on Wed Dec 31 13:47:40 2008
:OUTPUT ACCEPT [12:8972]
-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 3306 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p icmp -m icmp --icmp-type 8 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p icmp -m icmp --icmp-type 8 -j ACCEPT
# Completed on Wed Dec 31 13:47:40 2008

After you are done, make sure you have iptables setup to start when the system boots.

# /sbin/chkconfig --list | grep iptables

iptables       	0:off	1:off	2:on	3:on	4:on	5:on	6:off

If it’s not on, just run:

/sbin/chkconfig iptables on

When Mac OSX SMB Connections Fail

Earlier today I had a problem with some Macs that could not establish SMB connections to our Windows File Server. There was no quick error, so the problem really “felt” like a firewall issue but strangely I was able to make a CLI connection to the file server using smbclient:

smbclient //server/share -U domain/username
Domain=[DOMAIN] OS=[Windows Server x] Server=[Windows Server x]
smb: \> exit

I started thinking that perhaps the Mac was doing NETBIOS name lookups and that nmbd might be knocking on the firewall. Turns out this was the problem. Opening up the following ports on the Windows File Server did the trick:

SMB uses ports:
UDP 137 (NETBIOS Name Service)
UDP 138 (NETBIOS Datagram Service)
TCP/UDP 139 (NETBIOS Session Service)

WARNING: Only open these ports to your trusted networks. Statistical data indicates that UDP ports 135 – 139 and TCP port 137 – 139 are amongst the most commonly scanned ports on remote computers.

MySQL Connection Over an ssl Tunnel

Rather than leave MySQL open to the world, consider firewalling it off and tunneling a connection over ssh.

This command will allow you to connect to your MySQL server on on localhost:7777.

ssh -L7777: