Dev/Firewall Refactoring

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How to refactor the firewall script while being sure there are no iptables or nftables changes


1) Store current iptables rules to file a.

sudo iptables-save-deterministic > a

2) Refactor the Kicksecure firewall code.

3) Reload Kicksecure Firewall.

If you are using Kicksecure inside Qubes, complete the following steps.

Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")Kicksecure ProxyVM (commonly named kicksecure)Reload Kicksecure Firewall

If you are using a graphical Kicksecure, complete the following steps.

Start MenuApplicationsSystemReload Kicksecure Firewall

If you are using a terminal-only Kicksecure, run. sudo kicksecure_firewall

4) Store current iptables rules to file b.

sudo iptables-save-deterministic > b

5) Compare files a and b.

Use console diff viewer or...

diff a b

Use a graphical diff viewer.

meld a b

6) There should be no diff.


sudo nft --stateless list ruleset > nftables-old

sudo nft --stateless list ruleset > nftables-new

systemcheck iptables test[edit]

Does not exist yet.

  • "systemcheck (which is somewhat a replacement for the lack of test suite) could indeed be useful to check if the loaded iptables rules match a hardcoded iptables dump. Yes, with additional firewalll add-ons that would be hard. Then these firewall add-ons could ship a dump that also gets verified. (iptables-dumps.d folder checked by systemcheck or so.) But then multiple firewall add-ons gets hard. Mutliple firewall add-ons and dumping, that kind of flexibility might be stretching what the Kicksecure project may be able to implement." (From (Forum) Bolt on for whonix_firewall - best place to put files? )
    • systemcheck could use this iptables diff facility to warn the user of non-standard / unexpected rules present. And, just like unwanted packages, could ask the user to run e.g. iptables-save-whonix to establish a new baseline. systemcheck would then pass, unless something else had changed things user unexpectedly, at which point systemcheck would again warn.

Split Kicksecure Firewall Script for better readability[edit]

From Patrick:
" I have been wondering for some time now if the firewall script should be split. A lot sections are being used by multiple packages, the firewall and vpn-firewall. Eventually further in future (corridor-gateway to be created one day)...

  • error_handler
  • source config folder
  • IPv6
  • more minor stuff (iptables_cmd, ip6tables_cmd)

Converted to shell functions. And added to helper-scripts.

The risk of changing firewall rules while refactoring is minimal because it can be verified:

However, the goal is to make the firewall scripts easier to read. Not more difficult to audit. I am not sure which style (all in one file vs split) makes it simpler at this point. "

  • Early files in firewall config foleder could contain bash scripting of the form:
function ScriptFuncPreloadElement1() { script lines, e.g. $iptables_cmd ''blah''}
    • Optionally followed, for inline / immediate execution rather than hooking in later within firewall script, with:
# (Within the same file == calling main().)
    • This separates code definition from code execution.
  • "The other question with firewall code injection, pre/post hooks is when to dispatch them? When you want to dispatch them depends on what you actually want to implement."
  • e.g.
if [ "$(type -t firewall_input_hook_end)" = "function" ]; then
    • However, such would only allow a single call per hook. (User would have to chain all calls within whonix_firewall.d) Perhaps array variables instead. Code would then be something like ScriptFuncPreloadElement1() as above, then
      • It would be up to the user to appropriately manage the array ordering.
    • Hooks within the firewall would then walk the appropriate array at the appropriate time.

Reference: (Forum) torrents, and being a good tor
Solution, part b demonstrates an example sample set of iptables rules that could be injected, within the firewall. (Proof of concept, only.)

Reference: (Forum) Favourite (whonix?) bash script boilerplate template?

  • (begins) a corralling of a standard scripting framework.

See Also[edit]

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