This section contains a collection of useful firewall3 configuration examples based on the UCI configuration files. All of these can be added on the LuCI Network → Firewall → Traffic Rules page.
In keeping with the underlying netfilter service, the first matching rule will run its target and (with a couple of exceptions) filtering stops; no subsequent rules are checked. LuCI has the capability to move rules up and down to sort them correctly.
See Reference Network Topology for a visual representation of the network used to test the examples here. These examples cover only IPv4 networks.
The term station is used to refer to any electronic device that can source or sink packets through, or to/from, the router. This can be a web server, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, IoT device on the LAN-side or the WAN-side. The netfilter rules match stations and traffic types to allow packets to continue through the network stack or not.
Unless otherwise noted, all rules have been tested mostly with netcat and curl.
enabled option in each rule is toggled between tests to verify the specific rule causes the expected behavior - on will cause packets to be accepted or not, off will cause the opposite behavior.
Before modifying rules, make sure to back-up your current
The default configuration accepts all LAN traffic, but blocks all incoming WAN traffic on ports not currently used for connections or NAT. The reference topology blocks all LAN and WAN traffic, requiring a rule to open port(s) for a service.
config rule option target 'ACCEPT' option src 'wan' option proto 'tcp' option dest_port '22' option name 'ACCEPT-SSH-WAN-DEVICE' option enabled '1'
This example enables stations on the WAN-side to use SSH to access the router (the default destination).
If the WAN-side of the router is connected to the internet this rule allows any public site SSH access to your router. Once a portscanner discovers the open SSH port it will repeatedly try to break in - even with a strong pub key these attacks can be a nuisance.
Use src_ip and dest_ip options to match on specific subnets.
config rule option target 'ACCEPT' option src 'wan' option family 'ipv4' option proto 'tcp' option src_ip '192.168.3.0/24' option dest_port '22' option name 'ACCEPT-SSH-INTERNAL-DEVICE' option enabled '1'
This example enables SSH access to the router from any station in the private
192.168.3.0/24 address block.
It will not match any other src IP address.
When using an IPv4 address set the family to ipv4, otherwise fw3 warns
! Skipping due to different family of ip address.
When public-facing servers run behind the firewall (e.g. mail server), each is susceptible to attacks: SSH probing, SPAM, screen-scraping, etc.
Customers of the large overseas ISPs (particular China and Vietnam) have made spam attacks into an artform, generating blocks of prose to confuse spam filters, sprinkling emails across many source stations and many subnets. The best way to counter this is to block the main originating network sending the spam.
config rule option src 'wan' option dest 'lan' option proto 'tcp' option src_ip '220.127.116.11/16' option dest_port '25' option target 'DROP' option name 'DROP-WAN-0001' option enabled '1'
In this example, stations in a Beijing network are sending email spam in bursts of three with different content incrementing ipv4 addresses across subnets! This rule DROPS all incoming traffic on port 25 (SMTP) from any station in their network. DROP silently discards the packet rather than REJECT which returns a response to the source.
Once the number of blocked networks grows to more than a couple dozen (there are thousands of spamming sites), then adding each to the firewal config becomes prohibitive to manage. Two alternatives are:
ipsetmechanism described in ipset examples
The example below creates a rule in the netfilter FORWARD chain, rejecting traffic from the LAN-side to the WAN-side on the ports 1000-1100.
config rule option src 'lan' option dest 'wan' option dest_port '1000-1100' option proto 'tcpudp' option target 'REJECT' option name 'REJECT-LAN-WAN-PORTS' option enabled '1'
The following rule blocks HTTP/S connections from all LAN-side stations to a single public site.
Use a DNS utility (
nslookup) to map the public domain name to its IP address.
config rule option src 'lan' option dest 'wan' option proto 'tcp' option family 'ipv4' option dest_ip '18.104.22.168' option dest_port '80 443' option target 'REJECT' option name 'REJECT-LAN-SITE-HTTP' option enabled '1'
Notice the dest_port option has two ports: HTTP and HTTPS. When there is white space in the list it must be surrounded by single quotes.
If the source or destination is the router itself then the option is not explicitly defined in a rule. For reference, these rules are added to the netfilter INPUT (to the router) and OUTPUT (from the router) chains.
config rule option dest 'wan' option dest_ip '22.214.171.124' option family 'ipv4' option proto 'icmp' option target 'REJECT' option name 'REJECT-DEVICE-DNS' option enabled '1'
This rule causes netfilter to reject any icmp echo from the router (OUTPUT chain) to the public google DNS server. This rule is not particularly useful but serves as an illustrative example.
An example is give at Blocking IPs based on their hostname This is really useful if large CDNs need to be filtered based on their names. It is also capable to filter DDNS hosts. It has also the advantage to allow for other subdomains (like www.) by just filtering the root-domain-name (like example.com).
The following rule can be used for parental access control.
config rule option src 'lan' option dest 'wan' option src_mac '4C:EB:42:32:0C:9E' option proto 'tcpudp' option start_time '21:00:00' option stop_time '09:00:00' option utc_time '0' option weekdays 'Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri' option target 'REJECT' option name 'REJECT-LAN-WAN-TIME' option enabled '1'
When this rule is enabled, it will block all TCP and UDP access from STA2 to the internet on weekdays between 21:00 and 09:00.
By default, the time will be UTC unless the
utc_time option is cleared.
These time/date matches use the netfilter
xt_time kernel module, which is included in the release.
/proc/modules to confirm it is loaded.
Remove the time and day options to always block WAN-side access for the station.
this type of rule is very useful for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. A lot can change in a smartphone but the wifi MAC is always the same.
config rule option src 'wan' option dest 'lan' option proto 'ah' option target 'ACCEPT' config rule option src 'wan' option dest 'lan' option proto 'esp' option target 'ACCEPT'
For some configurations you also have to open port 500/UDP for the ISAKMP protocol.
config rule option src 'wan' option dest 'lan' option proto 'udp' option src_port '500' option dest_port '500' option target 'ACCEPT'
Scenario: having one or more VPN tunnels using OpenVPN, with the need of defining a zone to forward the traffic between the VPN interfaces and the LAN.
First list the interfaces in /etc/config/network, for example, as written below. Be careful on the limits of interface naming in terms of name length, read more)
config interface 'tun0' option ifname 'tun0' option proto 'none' config interface 'tun1' option ifname 'tun1' option proto 'none'
Then create the zone in /etc/config/firewall, for example one zone for all the vpn interfaces.
config zone option name 'vpn_tunnel' list network 'tun0' list network 'tun1' option input 'ACCEPT' # the traffic towards the router from the interface will be accepted # (as for the lan communications) option output 'ACCEPT' # the traffic from the router to the interface will be accepted option forward 'REJECT' # traffic from this zone to other zones is normally rejected
Then we want to communicate with the “lan” zone, therefore we need forwardings in both ways (from lan to wan and viceversa).
config forwarding option src 'lan' option dest 'vpn_tunnel' # if a packet from lan wants to go to the vpn_tunnel zone # let it pass config forwarding option src 'vpn_tunnel' option dest 'lan' # if a packet from vpn_tunnel wants to go to the lan zone # let it pass
This will create a lot of “automatic” iptables rules (because automatic scripting is not as efficient as raw iptable commands in
/etc/firewall.user) but those rules will be more clear in the luci webinterface and also more readable for less expert users.
In general remember that forwardings are relying how routing rules are defined, and afterwards which zones are defined on which interfaces.
This example declares a zone which matches any Linux network device whose name begins with “ppp”.
config zone option name 'example' option input 'ACCEPT' option output 'ACCEPT' option forward 'REJECT' option device 'ppp+'
This example declares a zone which maches any TCP stream in the
config zone option name 'example' option input 'ACCEPT' option output 'ACCEPT' option forward 'REJECT' option subnet '10.21.0.0/16' option extra '-p tcp'
This example declares a zone which maches any TCP stream from and to port
config zone option name 'example' option input 'ACCEPT' option output 'ACCEPT' option forward 'REJECT' option extra_src '-p tcp --sport 22' option extra_dest '-p tcp --dport 22'
I have not tested this, but it seems reasonable.
In reality, the monthly cost of a block of public IPv4 addresses makes sense for ISPs that distribute the addresses to customers for a fee and larger corporations that need public addresses for their internet presence (e.g. web, mail, name servers, remote offices)
If your LAN is running with public IP addresses, then you definitely don't want NAT (masquerading). But you may still want to run a stateful firewall on the router, so that stations on the LAN-side are not reachable from the WAN-side.
To do this, add the
conntrack option to the WAN zone:
config zone option name 'wan' list network 'wan' list network 'wan6' option input 'REJECT' option output 'ACCEPT' option forward 'REJECT' option masq '0' option mtu_fix '1' option conntrack '1'