SYNwall - A Zero-Configuration (IoT) Firewall

SYNwall – A Zero-Configuration (IoT) Firewall

Zero config (IoT) firewall.

SYNwall is a project built (for the time being) as a Linux Kernel Module, to implement a transparent and no-config/no-maintenance firewall.

Basics

Usually IoT devices are out of a central control, with low profile hardware, tough environmental conditions and…we have no time to dedicate to maintain the security. So, may be we can not patch our IoT infrastructure and it will be very hard to maintain a “firewall-like” access control.

The idea is to create a de-centralized one-way OneTimePassword code to enable the NETWORK access to the device. All the traffic not containing the OTP will be discarded. No prior knowledge about who need to access is required, we just need a Pre-Shared Key to deploy. The protection will be completely transparent to the application level, because implemented at network protocol level (TCP and UDP).

Install

This repository contains the Linux Kernel module. It has been tested with 3.x, 4.x and 5.x version on X86_64, ARM, MIPS and AARCH64 architectures.

It requires the current kernel headers for compilation, which can be usually installed with the proper package manager. For example on Debian like distros:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Than, it should be enough to run the compilation:

make

Configuration

The module can be loaded in the usual way, with insmod or modprobe.

It has several parameters that allow you to customize the behaviour:

  • Pre-Shared Key used for the OneTimePassword

    psk:

    The PSK, must be a sequence of bytes from 32 to 1024. It will be part of the OTP, so the length of it will influence the size of the OTP injected in the packet. Without this parameter, the module will not load.

  • Enable UDP

    enable_udp: 0

    Enable/Disable the OTP for UDP protocol. By default it is disabled. Set to 1 to enable it. The OTP on UDP requires the module to be active on both of the communicating devices, since the OTP must be removed (by the module) before the packet is forwarded to the application level. If this is not true, you may experience weird behaviors. The UDP connection tracking, relies on conntrack module, so you may have to insert it to use this functionality (this depends on the installation). An error will be displayed in the kernel log if so.

    NOTE: by default, port 53 (DNS) and 123 (NTP) are blacklisted for outgoing connection, so the OTP is not added. If you need to change this, look for udp_blacklist[] array. I will add a parameter for this in the future.

  • Time precision parameter

    precision: 10

    The OTP is computed also with the current device time. Since the date could be different on the participating devices, you can “round” the time on a specific value, to allow time skew. Default is 10.

    The precision is expressed in power of two (you may argue why…it has been a decision to increase performance and have low impact on low end devices):

         ...
    9 -> 1 second
    10 -> 8 seconds
    ...

    Precision under 8 is probably not going to work.

    If you increase the precision value at 11 or more, consider to increase also the MAX_TRASH value in SYNgate_netfilter.c

  • Disable the OTP for outgoing packets

    disable_out: 0

    You may want to disable the OTP in outgoing packet, by settings this to 1. In this case the module will just drop the packets without OTP, but it will not participate to the communication mesh with other SYNwall devices. It can be useful in case of issues with the outgoing packets on uplink devices.

  • Enable DoS protection

    enable_antidos: 0

    This option can be enabled by setting this to 1. If set, this will limit the OTP computation on the device to a given number (allow_otp_ms variable, set to 1000 by default). In this case, only one OTP computation per second is allowed, preserving the CPU time of the device in case of a DoS attack.

  • Enable IP Spoofing protection

    enable_antispoof: 0

    By default the IP is not part of the OTP. This could lead to some replay attack. You can enable the antispoof protection to be fully safe. This may break the communication if some NATs are in place between the devices.

  • Delay in starting up the module functionalities (ms)

    load_delay: 10000

    You can decide to wait a while before activating the protection after the module load. This could be useful, in case of issues and after a reboot, to gain access to the device. The default is 10 seconds.

  • List of ports for port knocking failsafe

    portk: 0,0,0,0,0

    If the device clock is going bananas, it could be difficult to get access. One way could be the “delay” discussed before, but you can also set a sequence of “port knocking” which can disable the module for a while. The list, if defined, must be of 5 TCP ports. If the module identify a SYN packet on these ports in one second, it disable itself for the same time set as “load_delay”. NOTE: if you actively use the sequence, remember to change it, since it can be easily sniffed!

Example of usage

WARNING: this is going to drop all the traffic to your device, so be sure to know how to access with another SYNwall device or by disabling it remotely (port knocking).

sudo insmod SYNwall.ko psk=123456789012345678901234567890123 precision=10 portk=12,13,14,15,16 load_delay=5000 enable_udp=1

Project Structure

SYNwall repository:

  • SYNwall_netfilter (.c and .h): Netfilter main package, with hooks and basic process functions
    • SYNauth (.c and .h): authentication functions, used to manage hashes and crypt stuff
    • SYNquark (.c and .h): Quark hashing implementation, directly based on the work done by Jean-Philippe Aumasson (@veorq) at https://github.com/veorq/Quark
  • SYNgate_netfilter (.c and .h): Netfilter package for SOCKS server module. It implements only the “outgoing” packet marking and is able to manage multiple PSK and Networks

SYNwall_distrib repository:

  • Ansible scripts for automatic distribution. See README.md there

SYNwall_ATAES132 repository:

  • PoC for secure EEPROM usage (PSK storage). See README.md there

SYNwall_docs repository:

  • Some docs, videos, DEMOs

Performance

Everything has been implemented to be used on low end devices, with very low resources. The choice of Quark hashing for the crypto hash has been done for this reason. The overhead added by the OTP computation is almost invisible in the regular usage:

whilst you can see a consistent CPU saving when a lot of traffic is sent to the device:

SYNgate

As a companion tool, the repository has also the SYNgate module. The SYNgate has been built with the same logic of the base module SYNwall, but it is working for multiple networks and PSK. You can define a multiple set of networks (with the related PSK and other options). The idea is to install it on a SOCKS server, to allow to use it for different protocols and destinations. The SYNwall_VM repository contains some script to build such a system with a SOCKS server and the module pre-installed.

SYNgate is working only on outgoing traffic.

To compile the SYNgate module, just use:

make SYNGATE=1

SYNgate Configuration

The module can be loaded in the usual way, with insmod or modprobe.

It has several parameters that allow you to customize the behaviour. It is very similar to the SYNwall configuration, but with a different logic: parameters are (comma separated) list of values and all of them have to be specified. The first value of a list correspond to the first of the others. Not all params are available, just the ones that make sense (remember the SYNgate will not affect incoming traffic):

It has only one parameter different from the SYNwall config, the dstnet_list

  • Destination network

    dstnet_list: ip1/mask1[,ip2/mask2]…

    List of networks in the IP/MASK format. Example: 192.168.1.0/24. If an IP is given (instead of network address), the network will be computed. All the IPs belonging to this network, will have the connection parameters (PSK, precision, etc) specified in the other lists, at the same array index.

  • Pre-Shared Key used for the OneTimePassword

    psk_list: pks1[,pks2]…

    The PSK, must be a sequence of bytes from 32 to 1024. It will be part of the OTP, so the length of it will influence the size of the OTP injected in the packet. Without this parameter, the module will not load.

  • Enable UDP

    enable_udp_list: {0|1}[,{0|1}]…

    Enable/Disable the OTP for UDP protocol. Set to 0 to disable it or 1 to enable it. The OTP on UDP requires the module to be active on both of the communicating devices, since the OTP must be removed (by the module) before the packet is forwarded to the application level. If this is not true, you may experience weird behaviors. The UDP connection tracking, relies on conntrack module, so you may have to insert it to use this functionality (this depends on the installation). An error will be displayed in the kernel log if so.

    NOTE: by default, port 53 (DNS) and 123 (NTP) are blacklisted for outgoing connection, so the OTP is not added. If you need to change this, look for udp_blacklist[] array. I will add a parameter for this in the future.

  • Time precision parameter

    precision_list: {9|10|…}[,{9|10|…}]…

    The OTP is computed also with the current device time. Since the date could be different on the participating devices, you can “round” the time on a specific value, to allow time skew.

    The precision is expressed in power of two (you may argue why…it has been a decision to increase performance and have low impact on low end devices):

         ...
    9 -> 1 second
    10 -> 8 seconds
    ...
  • Enable IP Spoofing protection

    enable_antispoof_list: {0|1}[,{0|1}]…

    Enable/Disable the antispoof protection. Set to 0 to disable it or 1 to enable it. By default the IP is not part of the OTP on SYNwall. This could lead to some replay attack. You can enable the antispoof protection to be fully safe. This may break the communication if some NATs are in place between the devices.

Example of usage

Example with two networks directly from CLI:

sudo insmod SYNgate.ko dstnet_list=10.1.1.0/24,198.168.10.0/24 psk_list=d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e,efebceec0de382839cd38bffcdc6bf0c enable_udp_list=0,0 precision_list=10,9 enable_antispoof_list=0,1

or using a configuration file:

sudo cat /etc/modprobe.d/SYNgate.conf
# SYNgate config file
# Keep it safe!!
options SYNgate dstnet_list=10.1.1.0/24,198.168.10.0/24
options SYNgate psk_list=d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e,efebceec0de382839cd38bffcdc6bf0c
options SYNgate enable_udp_list=0,0
options SYNgate precision_list=10,9
options SYNgate enable_antispoof_list=0,1

License

GPL-3.0

Author Information

Sorint.Lab

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