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Network Services Pentesting
Suricata & Iptables cheatsheet
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Iptables

Chains

Iptables chains are just lists of rules, processed in order. You will always find the following 3, but others such as NAT might also be supported.
  • Input โ€“ This chain is used to control the behavior for incoming connections.
  • Forward โ€“ This chain is used for incoming connections that arenโ€™t actually being delivered locally. Think of a router โ€“ data is always being sent to it but rarely actually destined for the router itself; the data is just forwarded to its target. Unless youโ€™re doing some kind of routing, NATing, or something else on your system that requires forwarding, you wonโ€™t even use this chain.
  • Output โ€“ This chain is used for outgoing connections.
# Delete all rules
iptables -F
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# List all rules
iptables -L
iptables -S
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# Block IP addresses & ports
iptables -I INPUT -s ip1,ip2,ip3 -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 443 -j DROP
iptables -I INPUT -s ip1,ip2 -p tcp --dport 443 -j DROP
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# String based drop
## Strings are case sansitive (pretty easy to bypass if you want to check a SQLi for example)
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport <port_listening> -m string --algo bm --string '<payload>' -j DROP
iptables -I OUTPUT -p tcp --sport <port_listening> -m string --algo bm --string 'CTF{' -j DROP
## You can also check for the hex, base64 and double base64 of the expected CTF flag chars
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# Drop every input port except some
iptables -P INPUT DROP # Default to drop
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 8000 -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT
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# Persist Iptables
## Debian/Ubuntu:
apt-get install iptables-persistent
iptables-save > /etc/iptables/rules.v4
ip6tables-save > /etc/iptables/rules.v6
iptables-restore < /etc/iptables/rules.v4
##RHEL/CentOS:
iptables-save > /etc/sysconfig/iptables
ip6tables-save > /etc/sysconfig/ip6tables
iptables-restore < /etc/sysconfig/iptables

Suricata

Install & Config

# Install details from: https://suricata.readthedocs.io/en/suricata-6.0.0/install.html#install-binary-packages
# Ubuntu
add-apt-repository ppa:oisf/suricata-stable
apt-get update
apt-get install suricata
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# Debian
echo "deb http://http.debian.net/debian buster-backports main" > \
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list
apt-get update
apt-get install suricata -t buster-backports
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# CentOS
yum install epel-release
yum install suricata
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# Get rules
suricata-update
suricata-update list-sources #List sources of the rules
suricata-update enable-source et/open #Add et/open rulesets
suricata-update
## To use the dowloaded rules update the following line in /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml
default-rule-path: /var/lib/suricata/rules
rule-files:
- suricata.rules
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# Run
## Add rules in /etc/suricata/rules/suricata.rules
systemctl suricata start
suricata -c /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml -i eth0
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# Reload rules
suricatasc -c ruleset-reload-nonblocking
## or set the follogin in /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml
detect-engine:
- rule-reload: true
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# Validate suricata config
suricata -T -c /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml -v
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# Configure suricata as IPs
## Config dropto generate alerts
## Search for the following lines in /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml and remove comments:
- drop:
alerts: yes
flows: all
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## Forward all packages to the queue where suricata can act as IPS
iptables -I INPUT -j NFQUEUE
iptables -I OUTPUT -j NFQUEUE
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## Start suricata in IPS mode
suricata -c /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml -q 0
### or modify the service config file as:
systemctl edit suricata.service
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[Service]
ExecStart=
ExecStart=/usr/bin/suricata -c /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml --pidfile /run/suricata.pid -q 0 -vvv
Type=simple
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systemctl daemon-reload

Rules Definitions

A rule/signature consists of the following:
  • The action, that determines what happens when the signature matches.
  • The header, defining the protocol, IP addresses, ports and direction of the rule.
  • The rule options, defining the specifics of the rule.

Valid actions are

  • alert - generate an alert
  • pass - stop further inspection of the packet
  • drop - drop packet and generate alert
  • reject - send RST/ICMP unreach error to the sender of the matching packet.
  • rejectsrc - same as just reject
  • rejectdst - send RST/ICMP error packet to receiver of the matching packet.
  • rejectboth - send RST/ICMP error packets to both sides of the conversation.

Protocols

  • tcp (for tcp-traffic)
  • udp
  • icmp
  • ip (ip stands for โ€˜allโ€™ or โ€˜anyโ€™)
  • layer7 protocols: http, ftp, tls, smb, dns, ssh... (more in the docs)

Source and Destination Addresses

It supports IP ranges, negations and list of addresses:
Example
Meaning
! 1.1.1.1
Every IP address but 1.1.1.1
![1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.2]
Every IP address but 1.1.1.1 and 1.1.1.2
$HOME_NET
Your setting of HOME_NET in yaml
[$EXTERNAL_NET, !$HOME_NET]
EXTERNAL_NET and not HOME_NET
[10.0.0.0/24, !10.0.0.5]
10.0.0.0/24 except for 10.0.0.5

Source and Destination Ports

It supports port ranges, negations and lists of ports
Example
Meaning
any
any address
[80, 81, 82]
port 80, 81 and 82
[80: 82]
Range from 80 till 82
[1024: ]
From 1024 till the highest port-number
!80
Every port but 80
[80:100,!99]
Range from 80 till 100 but 99 excluded
[1:80,![2,4]]
Range from 1-80, except ports 2 and 4

Direction

It's possible to indicate the direction of the communication the rule is applying to:
source -> destination
source <> destination (both directions)

Keywords

There are hundreds of options that Suricata has to search for the specific packet you are looking for, here It will be mentioned someone that if found interesting, but check the documentation for more!
# Meta Keywords
msg: "description"; #Set a description to the rule
sid:123 #Set a unique ID to the rule
rev:1 #Rule revision number
config classification: not-suspicious,Not Suspicious Traffic,3 #Classify
reference: url, www.info.com #Reference
priority:1; #Set a priority
metadata: key value, key value; #Extra metadata
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# Filter by geolocation
geoip: src,RU;
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# ICMP type & Code
itype:<10;
icode:0
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# Filter by string
content: "something"
content: |61 61 61| #Hex: AAA
content: "http|3A|//" #Mix string and hex
content: "abc"; nocase; #Case insensitive
reject tcp any any -> any any (msg: "php-rce"; content: "eval"; nocase; metadata: tag php-rce; sid:101; rev: 1;)
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# Replaces string
## Content and replace string must have same length
content:"abc"; replace: "def"
alert tcp any any -> any any (msg: "flag replace"; content: "CTF{a6st"; replace: "CTF{u798"; nocase; sid:100; rev: 1;)
## The replace works in both input and output packets
## But it only modifies the first match
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# Filter by regex
pcre:"/<regex>/opts"
pcre:"/NICK .*USA.*[0-9]{3,}/i"
drop tcp any any -> any any (msg:"regex"; pcre:"/CTF\{[\w]{3}/i"; sid:10001;)
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# Other examples
## Drop by port
drop tcp any any -> any 8000 (msg:"8000 port"; sid:1000;)
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