Skip to main content

Palo Alto Firewall Management Hardening


So you got a fresh new firewall, out of the box. You are done with the basic configuration, placed it into your network, connected the management interface to the management network (Either you have a dedicated management switch / infrastructure which promises a true out of band connectivity or you create a "pseudo" separate network using management VLANs).





Of course, it is already recommended to have a firewall protecting the management network, the since compromise on this network can directly lead to access to each of the devices, with catastrophic outcome. In spite of this, there are several management hardening steps that should be carried out to ensure that the firewall's management access is as secure as it can be.


  1. Disable telnet (TCP 21) and HTTP (TCP 80)
    Telnet and HTTP send data in clear text and all it takes is a carefully crafted SPAN / RSPAN session to forward a copy of the communication to a remote machine where the captured traffic (including clear text passwords) can be sniffed.

  1. Allow SSH (TCP 22) and HTTPS (TCP 443)
    Both SSH and HTTPS encrypt traffic and no matter how much traffic is sniffed.. it is close to impossible to decrypt the traffic unless you have a private key, which the attacker wouldn't have (unless the administrator is naive enough to leave it lying on an unattended PC or a public exposed S3 bucket)

  1. Valid certificate for HTTPS access to the firewall
    Either generate a self-signed certificate for the firewall from the trusted source or install a public CA (certificate authority) certificate. Make sure that acceptable cipher and encryption levels are used.

  1. Allow communication from the trusted IP addresses
    The firewall administrators should usually belong to a particular subnet in the office. Palo Alto provides an option to allow for a couple of IPs / subnets only to get management access to the firewall. For eg. if you permit only 10.1.1.0/24 to access the firewall for administration, no other IP address would be able to access the firewall.

  1. Change the default login credentials
    The default username password for the website are : admin / admin. "admin" username is the default superuser account. Create another username with superuser privileges and delete the "admin" username.

  1. SNMP settings
    Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is known to have vulnerabilities and there are several ways in which they can be exploited. However, most real-time monitoring tools necessitate the use of SNMP protocol, which is more or less unavoidable. Make sure that the SNMP community string is fairly complex.

  1. Ensure 'Idle timeout' is less than or equal to 10 minutes for device management
    Making the firewall administrator login after an idle timeout ensures that an unauthorized user cannot access the firewall when the administrator inadvertently forgets logging out of the firewall.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Checkpoint - Exporting Objects in CSV format

Be it a Network Operations Manager, Security Architect or a Security Auditor, the people up the hierarchy always harangue the Security Engineers to compile the list of firewall objects or rules or policies or the traffic statistics and so on.. This can turn out to be quite hectic especially if there are no built in features to systematically provide the output in a "layman-readable" format. Come, Checkpoint's "Object Explorer..."  which not only provides the output in the "layman-readable" format, but also provides in-built filtering mechanisms, thereby ensuring that the Security Engineer doesn't have to rely on Google for building his scarce Microsoft Excel data filtering skills. The following screenshots will show how easy it is, with Checkpoint R80.10 to generate the firewall configuration inventory. On the SmartConsole Unified Portal, navigate to Menu >> Open Object Explorer... Select the Categories you wish to see in your output: Click o

Tejas Jain - GCP Constraints & Random Facts

1.  Google Cloud Interconnect Security Cloud Interconnect does not encrypt the connection between your on-premises network and Google's network. Cloud VPN cannot be used with Dedicated Interconnect For additional security, use application-level encryption or your own VPN 2. While using Cloud CDN, the default time-to-live (TTL) for content caching is 3600 seconds = 60 mins 3. Cloud NAT sends only the translation logs and error logs to Cloud Logging service. 4. GCP Dedicated Interconnect - On Premises network device requirements:     10-Gbps circuits, single mode fiber or 100-Gbps circuits, single mode fiber     IPv4 link local addressing     LACP, even if you are using single circuit     EBGP-4 with multi-hop     802.1Q VLANs 5. While using Cloud VPN, the recommended MTU to be configured on the peer VPN  gateway = 1460 bytes 6. Each instance must have at least one network interface. The maximum number of network instances per instance is 8, depending on the instance's machine

MITRE ATT&CK - Kerberos Vulnerabilities and Security

From the previous post, the summary of Kerberos authentication process is as below: For the initial authentication, the user’s client machine sends a request to the KDC  Authentication Service (AS) . The request includes details like the user’s username, and the date and time. All information except the username is encrypted using the hash of the user’s password. The KDC AS uses the username to look up its copy of the user’s password hash and uses it to decrypt the rest of the request. If the decryption is successful, that means the client used the correct password hash and the user has successfully authenticated. Once the user is authenticated, the KDC AS sends the user’s client a  ticket granting ticket   (TGT) . The TGT includes a unique session key and a timestamp that specifies how long that session is valid (normally 8 or 10 hours). Importantly, before sending the TGT, the KDC encrypts it using the password hash for a special account, the  KRBTGT account.  That password hash is s