iptables: a simple cheatsheet

Whether you’re a novice user or a system administrator, iptables is a mandatory knowledge!

iptables is the userspace command line program used to configure the Linux 2.4.x and later packet filtering ruleset.
When a connection tries to establish itself on your system, iptables looks for a rule in its list to match it to.
If it doesn’t find one, it resorts to the default action.

How it works

iptables uses three different chains to allow or block traffic: input, output and forward

  • Input – This chain is used to control the behavior for incoming connections.
  • Output – This chain is used for outgoing connections.
  • Forward – This chain is used for incoming connections that aren’t actually being delivered locally like routing and NATing.

Let’s start to configure rules

By default all chains are configured to the accept rule, so during the hardening process the suggestion is to start with a deny all configuration and then open only needed ports:

iptables --policy INPUT DROP
iptables --policy OUTPUT DROP
iptables --policy FORWARD DROP

Display rules

Verbose print out all active iptables rules

# iptables -n -L -v

…same output with line numbers:

# iptables -n -L -v --line-numbers

Finally, same data output but related to INPUT/OUTPUT chains:

# iptables -L INPUT -n -viptables -L OUTPUT -n -v --line-numbers

List Rules as for a specific chain

# iptables -L INPUT

same data with rules specifications:

# iptables -S INPUT

rules list with packet count

# iptables -L INPUT -v

Delete/Insert rules

Delete Rule by Chain and Number

# iptables -D INPUT 10

Delete Rule by Specification

# iptables -D INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID -j DROP

Flush All Rules, Delete All Chains, and Accept All

# iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
# iptables -P FORWARD ACCEPT
# iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT
# iptables -t nat -F
# iptables -t mangle -F
# iptables -F
# iptables -X

Flush All Chains

# iptables -F

Flush a Single Chain

# iptables -F INPUT

Insert Rule

# iptables -I INPUT 2 -s 202.54.1.2 -j DROP

Rules examples

Allow Loopback Connections

# iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPTiptables -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT

Allow Established and Related Incoming Connections

# iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

Allow Established Outgoing Connections

# iptables -A OUTPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Internal to External

# iptables -A FORWARD -i eth1 -o eth0 -j ACCEPT

Drop Invalid Packets

# iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID -j DROP

Block an IP Address

# iptables -A INPUT -s 192.168.1.10 -j DROP

Block and IP Address and Reject

# iptables -A INPUT -s 192.168.1.10 -j REJECT

Block Connections to a Network Interface

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -s 192.168.1.10 -j DROP

Allow All Incoming SSH

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 22 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow Incoming SSH from Specific IP address or subnet

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --dport 22 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 22 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow Outgoing SSH

# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --sport 22 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow Incoming Rsync from Specific IP Address or Subnet

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --dport 873 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 873 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow Incoming HTTP

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 80 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow Incoming HTTPS

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 443 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 443 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow Incoming HTTP and HTTPS

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dports 80,443 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dports 80,443 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow MySQL from Specific IP Address or Subnet

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --dport 3306 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 3306 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow MySQL to Specific Network Interface

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -p tcp --dport 3306 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -o eth1 -p tcp --sport 3306 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow PostgreSQL from Specific IP Address or Subnet

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --dport 5432 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 5432 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow PostgreSQL to Specific Network Interface

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -p tcp --dport 5432 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -o eth1 -p tcp --sport 5432 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Block Outgoing SMTP Mail

# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 25 -j REJECT

Allow All Incoming SMTP

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 25 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 25 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow All Incoming IMAP

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 143 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 143 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow All Incoming IMAPS

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 993 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 993 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow All Incoming POP3

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 110 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 110 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Allow All Incoming POP3S

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 995 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 995 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Drop Private Network Address On Public Interface

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s 192.168.1.0/24 -j DROP
# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s 10.0.0.0/8 -j DROP

Drop All Outgoing to Facebook Networks
Get Facebook AS:

# whois -h v4.whois.cymru.com " -v $(host facebook.com | grep "has address" | cut -d " " -f4)" | tail -n1 | awk '{print $1}'

Drop:

# for i in $(whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS1273' | grep "^route:" | cut -d ":" -f2 | sed -e 's/^[ \t]*//' | sort -n -t . -k 1,1 -k 2,2 -k 3,3 -k 4,4 | cut -d ":" -f2 | sed 's/$/;/') ; do  iptables -A OUTPUT -s "$i" -j REJECTdone

Log and Drop Packets

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s 10.0.0.0/8 -j LOG --log-prefix "IP_SPOOF A: "
# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s 10.0.0.0/8 -j DROP

By default everything is logged to /var/log/messages file:

# tail -f /var/log/messagesgrep --color 'IP SPOOF' /var/log/messages

Log and Drop Packets with Limited Number of Log Entries

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s 10.0.0.0/8 -m limit --limit 5/m --limit-burst 7 -j LOG --log-prefix "IP_SPOOF A: "
# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s 10.0.0.0/8 -j DROP

Drop or Accept Traffic From Mac Address

# iptables -A INPUT -m mac --mac-source 00:0F:EA:91:04:08 -j DROP
# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --destination-port 22 -m mac --mac-source 00:0F:EA:91:04:07 -j ACCEPT

Block or Allow ICMP Ping Request

# iptables -A INPUT -p icmp --icmp-type echo-request -j DROP
# iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -p icmp --icmp-type echo-request -j DROP

Specifying Multiple Ports with multiport

# iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m multiport --dports ssh,smtp,http,https -j ACCEPT

Load Balancing with random* or nth*

_ips=("172.31.250.10" "172.31.250.11" "172.31.250.12" "172.31.250.13")for ip in "${_ips[@]}" ; do  iptables -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 80 -m state --state NEW -m nth --counter 0 --every 4 --packet 0 \    -j DNAT --to-destination ${ip}:80done

or

_ips=("172.31.250.10" "172.31.250.11" "172.31.250.12" "172.31.250.13")for ip in "${_ips[@]}" ; do  iptables -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 80 -m state --state NEW -m random --average 25 \    -j DNAT --to-destination ${ip}:80done

Restricting the Number of Connections with limit and iplimit*

# iptables -A FORWARD -m state --state NEW -p tcp -m multiport --dport http,https -o eth0 -i eth1 -m limit --limit 20/hour --limit-burst 5 -j ACCEPT

or

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW --dport http -m iplimit --iplimit-above 5 -j DROP

Maintaining a List of recent Connections to Match Against

# iptables -A FORWARD -m recent --name portscan --rcheck --seconds 100 -j DROPiptables -A FORWARD -p tcp -i eth0 --dport 443 -m recent --name portscan --set -j DROP

Matching Against a string* in a Packet’s Data Payload

# iptables -A FORWARD -m string --string '.com' -j DROP
# iptables -A FORWARD -m string --string '.exe' -j DROP

Time-based Rules with time*

# iptables -A FORWARD -p tcp -m multiport --dport http,https -o eth0 -i eth1 -m time --timestart 21:30 --timestop 22:30 --days Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri -j ACCEPT

Packet Matching Based on TTL Values

# iptables -A INPUT -s 1.2.3.4 -m ttl --ttl-lt 40 -j REJECT

Protection against port scanning

# iptables -N port-scanningiptables -A port-scanning -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,ACK,FIN,RST RST -m limit --limit 1/s --limit-burst 2 -j RETURNiptables -A port-scanning -j DROP

SSH brute-force protection

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport ssh -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -m recent --setiptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport ssh -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -m recent --update --seconds 60 --hitcount 10 -j DROP

Syn-flood protection

# iptables -N syn_floodiptables -A INPUT -p tcp --syn -j syn_floodiptables -A syn_flood -m limit --limit 1/s --limit-burst 3 -j RETURN
# iptables -A syn_flood -j DROPiptables -A INPUT -p icmp -m limit --limit  1/s --limit-burst 1 -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A INPUT -p icmp -m limit --limit 1/s --limit-burst 1 -j LOG --log-prefix PING-DROP:
# iptables -A INPUT -p icmp -j DROPiptables -A OUTPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT

Mitigating SYN Floods With SYNPROXY

# iptables -t raw -A PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --syn -j CT --notrack
# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID,UNTRACKED -j SYNPROXY --sack-perm --timestamp --wscale 7 --mss 1460
# iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID -j DROP

Block New Packets That Are Not SYN

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp ! --syn -m state --state NEW -j DROP

or

# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp ! --syn -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -j DROP

Force Fragments packets check

# iptables -A INPUT -f -j DROP

XMAS packets

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL ALL -j DROP

Drop all NULL packets

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL NONE -j DROP

Block Uncommon MSS Values

# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -m tcpmss ! --mss 536:65535 -j DROP

Block Packets With Bogus TCP Flags

# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags FIN,SYN,RST,PSH,ACK,URG NONE -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags FIN,SYN FIN,SYN -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN,RST -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags FIN,RST FIN,RST -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags FIN,ACK FIN -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ACK,URG URG -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ACK,FIN FIN -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ACK,PSH PSH -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL ALL -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL NONE -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL FIN,PSH,URG -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL SYN,FIN,PSH,URG -j DROP
# iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL SYN,RST,ACK,FIN,URG -j DROP

Block Packets From Private Subnets (Spoofing)

_subnets=("224.0.0.0/3" "169.254.0.0/16" "172.16.0.0/12" "192.0.2.0/24" "192.168.0.0/16" "10.0.0.0/8" "0.0.0.0/8" "240.0.0.0/5")for _sub in "${_subnets[@]}" ; do  iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -s "$_sub" -j DROPdoneiptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -s 127.0.0.0/8 ! -i lo -j DROP

Saving Rules

On Debian Based systems:

# netfilter-persistent save

On RedHat Based systems

# service iptables save

References


Related posts

One comment

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.