Книга: Iptables Tutorial 1.2.2

INPUT chain

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INPUT chain

The INPUT chain, as I have written it, uses mostly other chains to do the hard work. This way we do not get too much load from iptables, and it will work much better on slow machines which might otherwise drop packets at high loads. This is done by checking for specific details that should be the same for a lot of different packets, and then sending those packets into specific user specified chains. By doing this, we can split down our rule-set to contain much less rules that need to be traversed by each packet and hence the firewall will be put through a lot less overhead by packet filtering.

First of all we do certain checks for bad packets. This is done by sending all TCP packets to the bad_tcp_packets chain. This chain contains a few rules that will check for badly formed packets or other anomalies that we do not want to accept. For a full explanation of the bad_tcp_packets chain, take a look in the The bad_tcp_packets chain section in this chapter.

At this point we start looking for traffic from generally trusted networks. These include the local network adapter and all traffic coming from there, all traffic to and from our loopback interface, including all our currently assigned IP addresses (this means all of them, including our Internet IP address). As it is, we have chosen to put the rule that allows LAN activity to the firewall at the top, since our local network generates more traffic than the Internet connection. This allows for less overhead used to try and match each packet with each rule and it is always a good idea to look through what kind of traffic mostly traverses the firewall. By doing this, we can shuffle around the rules to be more efficient, leading to less overhead on the firewall and less congestion on your network.

Before we start touching the "real" rules which decide what we allow from the Internet interface and not, we have a related rule set up to reduce our overhead. This is a state rule which allows all packets part of an already ESTABLISHED or RELATED stream to the Internet IP address. This rule has an equivalent rule in the allowed chain, which are made rather redundant by this rule, which will be evaluated before the allowed ones are. However, the --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED rule in the allowed chain has been retained for several reasons, such as people wanting to cut and paste the function.

After this, we match all TCP packets in the INPUT chain that comes in on the $INET_IFACE interface, and send those to the tcp_packets, which was previously described. Now we do the same match for UDP packets on the $INET_IFACE and send those to the udp_packets chain, and after this all ICMP packets are sent to the icmp_packets chain. Normally, a firewall would be hardest hit by TCP packets, than UDP and last of them all ICMP packets. This is in normal case, mind you, and it may be wrong for you. The absolute same thing should be looked upon here, as with the network specific rules. Which causes the most traffic? Should the rules be thrown around to generate less overhead? On networks sending huge amounts of data, this is an absolute necessity since a Pentium III equivalent machine may be brought to its knees by a simple rule-set containing 100 rules and a single 100mbit Ethernet card running at full capacity if the rule-set is badly written. This is an important piece to look at when writing a rule-set for your own local network.

At this point we have one extra rule, that is per default opted out, that can be used to get rid of some excessive logging in case we have some Microsoft network on the outside of our Linux firewall. Microsoft clients have a bad habit of sending out tons of multicast packets to the 224.0.0.0/8 range, and hence we have the opportunity to block those packets here so we don't fill our logs with them. There are also two more rules doing something similar to tasks in the udp_packets chain described in the The UDP chain.

Before we hit the default policy of the INPUT chain, we log it so we may be able to find out about possible problems and/or bugs. Either it might be a packet that we just do not want to allow or it might be someone who is doing something bad to us, or finally it might be a problem in our firewall not allowing traffic that should be allowed. In either case we want to know about it so it can be dealt with. Though, we do not log more than 3 packets per minute as we do not want to flood our logs with crap which in turn may fill up our whole logging partition, also we set a prefix to all log entries so we know where it came from.

Everything that has not yet been caught will be DROPed by the default policy on the INPUT chain. The default policy was set quite some time back, in the Setting up default policies section, in this chapter.

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