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Checkpoint Firewall Upgrade from R67 VSX to R77.10 VS & CIFS Resources

Checkpoint Firewall Upgrade from R67 VSX to R77.10 VS & CIFS Resources

I have some Crossbeam X80 hardware running R67 VSX for some virtual firewalls.  Life is good and everything worked fine.  I planned and executed an upgrade plan for these blades to move to Checkpoint R77.10 VS.  The policy upgrade process and software upgrade process went with zero errors.  When we tried to push the policy to the firewalls, it would fail.  The errors, during a debug, were ambiguous at best.

What was the eventual issue?  CIFS Resources with greater then 25 file shares.  It seems the IPS in R77 has a hard limit of 25 shares in CIFS resources.  We use CIFS resources as an extra level of protection when 3rd Parties access our Windows File Shares.

Most of our CIFS resources had less then 25 file shares, so they needed no change.  But, a single 3rd party accessed quite a few shares.  So, the revert back to a straight CIFS service group on these rules and removal of the CIFS resource in the firewall policy allowed a successful push of the policy to the gateway.

NOTE TO SELF: Keep that one in your back pocket.

Checkpoint Firewall: SecureXL and PPPoE do not play well

Checkpoint Firewall: SecureXL and PPPoE do not play well

I recently had to upgrade an R70 Checkpoint firewall to R77.10.  Due to a variety of issues, this required a nuke and rebuild of the firewall via USB key to upgrade to R77.10.

The upgrade went fine, but during testing the firewall passed no traffic. This was an unusual config, the internet service was a PPPoE connection.

After a fair amount of troubleshooting went into this problem.  It wasn’t until a fw ctl zdebug -m fw + drop  command was run that the problem become obvious.  The following error was displayed:

;[fw4_0];fw_log_drop_ex: Packet proto=6 159.7.34.61:10002 -> 126.246.75.211:80 dropped by cphwd_offload_conn Reason: VPN and/or NAT traffic between accelerated and non-accelerated interfaces or between non-accelerated interfaces is not allowed;

A quick look on Checkpoint’s Support Site gave us Solution ID: sk79880.

SYMPTOMS

Kernel debug shows (fw ctl zdebug -m fw + drop) that traffic is dropped:

‘… is dropped by cphwd_offload_conn Reason: VPN and/or NAT traffic between accelerated and non-accelerated interfaces or between non-accelerated interfaces is not allowed’

CAUSE

No fix is required; the system is functioning as designed.

SecureXL does not support Point-to-Point interfaces (PPP, PPTP, PPPoE). In case a PPP-interface is detected, SecureXL disables itself on that interface (hence the name ‘non-accelerated interface’).

Refer to the following note in any ‘Performance Pack Administration Guide’ (R65, R70, R71, R75, R75.20, R75.40, R75.40VS, R76):

Note: Performance Pack is automatically disabled on PPTP and PPPoE interfaces.

If a connection is detected, which flows through even one such non-accelerated interface, and this connection is NATed and/or sent over VPN, it will be dropped, because SecureXL is not able to handle it: because of NAT (Client Side or Server Side) and/or VPN, some connection parameters are not available – SecureXL is not able to determine how to pass such connection.

SOLUTION

Possible steps:

  1. Change the rulebase, so that the problematic connection is not sent through such non-accelerated interface(s).
  2. Disable NAT on the problematic connection.
  3. Change the rulebase, so that the problematic connection is not sent over VPN.
  4. Disable SecureXL completely (via ‘fwaccel off’ command and via ‘cpconfig’ menu).

We disabled SecureXL and had no problems since.

 

 

Cisco Router to Checkpoint FW-1 — IPSEC VPN Headaches with Supernetting

Cisco Router to Checkpoint FW-1 — IPSEC VPN Headaches with Supernetting

I setup quite a few IPSEC site-to-site VPNs.  Hundreds maybe.  Most go fine.  10 minutes on the line, bing, bam boom, we have a working IPSEC tunnel.

My company uses Cisco router/ASRs for our termination points for IPSEC VPNs.  We also have Checkpoint firewalls doing the filtering.  Why the separation?  Because we love a good headache.

My biggest headache comes from when a third party is using a Checkpoint firewall as the VPN termination point and I am using my Cisco router.  Checkpoint firewalls, often by default, will super-net the encryption domain.  So, I might be using a /32 host ACL on my Cisco, the Checkpoint is sending a /24 or larger ACL.  This does not play well in Cisco land and Phase 2 usually fails.

The hard part with this is figuring out this is happening, because it’s not obvious.  What I have found is turning on a single debug command makes all the difference in the world.

debug crypto ipsec

This shows all kinds of nasty IPSEC messages when a tunnel is negotiating.  You try finding the error on a box that has 75 tunnels terminating on it.  It is not easy! But, as the debug messages are scrolling by, one little entry can give you all the help you need:

Feb 1 17:20:39: Crypto mapdb : proxy_match
src addr : 142.184.211.75
dst addr : 121.98.112.0/25
protocol : 0
src port : 0
dst port : 0

On this particular tunnel (IPs changed to protect the innocent) the third party was supposed to be NATing behind a /32 address on the 121.98.112.0 network.  But, his Checkpoint box was super-netting behind the /25 network.  Bad Checkpoint.

I was able to pick it up from that debug message and let him know to change his config.  Five minutes later, IPSEC tunnel was up, Phase 1 and Phase 2 setup and communication was clean.

 

How to configure a Checkpoint UTM device without using the GUI

How to configure a Checkpoint UTM device without using the GUI

There is an annoying aspect of configuring a Checkpoint UTM appliance, you are forced to enter the web based GUI to do some basic config before using the command line interface (CLI) to complete the install.  If you try to use the CLI before using the GUI, you receive the following message:

Welcome to VPN-1 UTM Appliance

You can not use the ‘sysconfig’ and ‘cpconfig’ utilities until you successfully complete the First Time Wizard in the Administration web GUI.

Press Enter to continue…

If you run the following command, this message is not displayed and you can use the CLI for the full config:

  • SecurePlatform OS:
    /opt/spwm/conf/wizard_accepted
  • Gaia OS:
    /etc/.wizard_accepted