Security Configuration Guide: Zone-Based Policy Firewall, Cisco IOS XE Release 3S
MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT
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MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

The MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT feature provides support for the Microsoft (MS) Remote Procedure Call (RPC) application-level gateway (ALG) on the firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT). The MSRPC ALG provides deep packet inspection (DPI) of the MSRPC protocol. The MSRPC ALG works in conjunction with a provisioning system to allow the network administrator to configure match filters to define match criteria that can be searched in an MSRPC packet.

Prerequisites for MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

  • You must enable the Cisco IOS XE firewall and NAT before applying the MSRPC ALG on packets.

Restrictions for MSRPC AIC Support for Firewall and NAT

  • Only TCP-based MSRPC is supported.
  • You cannot configure the allow and reset commands together.
  • You must configure the match protocol msrpc command for DPI.

Information About MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

Application-Level Gateways

An application-level gateway (ALG), also known as an application-layer gateway, is an application that translates the IP address information inside the payload of an application packet. An ALG is used to interpret the application-layer protocol and perform firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT) actions. These actions can be one or more of the following depending on your configuration of the firewall and NAT:
  • Allow client applications to use dynamic TCP or UDP ports to communicate with the server application.
  • Recognize application-specific commands and offer granular security control over them.
  • Synchronize multiple streams or sessions of data between two hosts that are exchanging data.
  • Translate the network-layer address information that is available in the application payload.

The firewall opens a pinhole, and NAT performs translation service on any TCP or UDP traffic that does not carry the source and destination IP addresses in the application-layer data stream. Specific protocols or applications that embed IP address information require the support of an ALG.

MSRPC

MSRPC is a framework that developers use to publish a set of applications and services for servers and enterprises. RPC is an interprocess communication technique that allows the client and server software to communicate over the network. MSRPC is an application-layer protocol that is used by a wide array of Microsoft applications. MSRPC supports both connection-oriented (CO) and connectionless (CL) Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) RPC modes over a wide variety of transport protocols. All services of MSRPC establish an initial session that is referred to as the primary connection. A secondary session over a port range between 1024 to 65535 as the destination port is established by some services of MSRPC.

For MSRPC to work when firewall and NAT are enabled, in addition to inspecting MSRPC packets, the ALG is required to handle MSRPC specific issues like establishing dynamic firewall sessions and fixing the packet content after the NAT.

By applying MSRPC protocol inspection, most MSRPC services are supported, eliminating the need for Layer 7 policy filters.

MSRPC ALG on Firewall

After you configure the firewall to inspect the MSRPC protocol, the MSRPC ALG starts parsing MSRPC messages. The following table describes the types of Protocol Data Units (PDU) supported by the MSRPC ALG Support on Firewall and NAT feature:
Table 1 Supported PDU Types

PDU

Number

Type

Description

REQUEST

0

call

Initiates a call request.

RESPONSE

2

call

Responds to a call request.

FAULT

3

call

Indicates an RPC runtime, RPC stub, or RPC-specific exception.

BIND

11

association

Initiates the presentation negotiation for the body data.

BIND_ACK

12

association

Accepts a bind request.

BIND_NAK

13

association

Rejects an association request.

ALTER_CONTEXT

14

association

Requests additional presentation negotiation for another interface and/or version, or to negotiate a new security context, or both.

ALTER_CONTEXT_RESP

15

association

Responds to the ALTER_CONTEXT PDU. Valid values are accept or deny.

SHUTDOWN

17

call

Requests a client to terminate the connection and free the related resources.

CO_CANCEL

18

call

Cancels or orphans a connection. This message is sent when a client encounters a cancel fault.

ORPHANED

19

call

Aborts a request that in progress and that has not been entirely transmitted yet, or aborts a (possibly lengthy) response that is in progress.

MSRPC ALG on NAT

When NAT receives an MSRPC packet, it invokes the MSRPC ALG that parses the packet payload and forms a token to translate any embedded IP addresses. This token is passed to NAT, which translates addresses or ports as per your NAT configuration. The translated addresses are then written back into the packet payload by the MSRPC ALG.

If you have configured both the firewall and NAT, NAT calls the ALG first.

MSRPC Stateful Parser

The MSRPC state machine or the parser is the brain of the MSRPC ALG. The MSRPC stateful parser keeps all stateful information within the firewall or NAT depending on which feature invokes the parser first. The parser provides DPI of MSRPC protocol packets. It checks for protocol conformance and detects out-of-sequence commands and malformed packets. As the packet is parsed, the state machine records various data and fills in the correct token information for NAT and firewall inspection.

How to Configure MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT


Note


By default, MSRPC ALG is automatically enabled when NAT is enabled. There is no need to explicitly enable MSRPC ALG in the NAT-only configuration. You can use the no ip nat service msrpc command to disable MSRPC ALG on NAT.


Configuring a Layer 4 MSRPC Class Map and Policy Map

SUMMARY STEPS

    1.    enable

    2.    configure terminal

    3.    class-map type inspect match-any class-map-name

    4.    match protocol protocol-name

    5.    exit

    6.    policy-map type inspect policy-map-name

    7.    class type inspect class-map-name

    8.    inspect

    9.    end


DETAILED STEPS
     Command or ActionPurpose
    Step 1 enable


    Example:
    Router> enable
              
     
    Enables privileged EXEC mode.
    • Enter your password if prompted.
     
    Step 2 configure terminal


    Example:
    Router# configure terminal
              
     

    Enters global configuration mode.

     
    Step 3 class-map type inspect match-any class-map-name


    Example:
    Router(config)# class-map type inspect match-any msrpc-cmap
              
     

    Creates an inspect type class map for the traffic class and enters QoS class-map configuration mode.

     
    Step 4 match protocol protocol-name


    Example:
    Router(config-cmap)# match protocol msrpc
              
     
    Configures the match criteria for a class map on the basis of a specified protocol.
    • Only Cisco IOS XE stateful packet inspection-supported protocols can be used as match criteria in inspect type class maps.
     
    Step 5 exit


    Example:
    Router(config-cmap)# exit
              
     

    Exits QoS class-map configuration mode and enters global configuration mode.

     
    Step 6 policy-map type inspect policy-map-name


    Example:
    Router(config)# policy-map type inspect msrpc-pmap
              
     

    Creates a Layer 3 or Layer 4 inspect type policy map and enters QoS policy-map configuration mode.

     
    Step 7 class type inspect class-map-name


    Example:
    Router(config-pmap)# class type inspect msrpc-class-map
              
     

    Specifies the traffic (class) on which an action is to be performed and enters QoS policy-map class configuration mode.

     
    Step 8 inspect


    Example:
    Router(config-pmap-c)# inspect
              
     

    Enables Cisco IOS XE stateful packet inspection.

     
    Step 9 end


    Example:
    Router(config-pmap-c)# end
              
     

    Exits QoS policy-map class configuration mode and enters privileged EXEC mode.

     

    Configuring a Zone Pair and Attaching an MSRPC Policy Map

    SUMMARY STEPS

      1.    enable

      2.    configure terminal

      3.    zone security security-zone-name

      4.    exit

      5.    zone security security-zone-name

      6.    exit

      7.    zone-pair security zone-pair-name [source source-zone destination [destination-zone]]

      8.    service-policy type inspect policy-map-name

      9.    end


    DETAILED STEPS
       Command or ActionPurpose
      Step 1 enable


      Example:
      Router> enable
                
       
      Enables privileged EXEC mode.
      • Enter your password if prompted.
       
      Step 2 configure terminal


      Example:
      Rotuer# configure terminal
                
       

      Enters global configuration mode.

       
      Step 3 zone security security-zone-name


      Example:
      Router(config)# zone security in-zone
                
       

      Creates a security zone to which interfaces can be assigned and enters security zone configuration mode.

       
      Step 4 exit


      Example:
      Router(config-sec-zone)# exit
                
       

      Exits security zone configuration mode and enters global configuration mode.

       
      Step 5 zone security security-zone-name


      Example:
      Router(config)# zone security out-zone
                
       

      Creates a security zone to which interfaces can be assigned and enters security zone configuration mode.

       
      Step 6 exit


      Example:
      Router(config-sec-zone)# exit
                
       

      Exits security zone configuration mode and enters global configuration mode.

       
      Step 7 zone-pair security zone-pair-name [source source-zone destination [destination-zone]]


      Example:
      Router(config)# zone-pair security in-out source in-zone destination out-zone
                
       
      Creates a zone pair and enters security zone pair configuration mode.
      Note   

      To apply a policy, you must configure a zone pair.

       
      Step 8 service-policy type inspect policy-map-name


      Example:
      Router(config-sec-zone-pair)# service-policy type inspect msrpc-pmap
                
       
      Attaches a firewall policy map to the destination zone pair.
      Note   

      If a policy is not configured between a pair of zones, traffic is dropped by default.

       
      Step 9 end


      Example:
      Router(config-sec-zone-pair)# end
                
       

      Exits security zone pair configuration mode and enters privileged EXEC mode.

       

      Configuration Examples for MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

      Example: Configuring a Layer 4 MSRPC Class Map and Policy Map

      Router# configure terminal
      Router(config)# class-map type inspect match-any msrpc-cmap
      Router(config-cmap)# match protocol msrpc
      Router(config-cmap)# exit
      Router(config)# policy-map type inspect msrpc-pmap
      Router(config-pmap)# class type inspect msrpc-cmap
      Router(config-pmap-c)# inspect
      Router(config-pmap-c)# end
            

      Example: Configuring a Zone Pair and Attaching an MSRPC Policy Map

      Router# configure terminal
      Router(config)# zone security in-zone
      Router(config-sec-zone)# exit
      Router(config)# zone security out-zone
      Router(config-sec-zone)# exit
      Router(config)# zone-pair security in-out source in-zone destination out-zone
      Router(config-sec-zone-pair)# service-policy type inspect msrpc-pmap
      Router(config-sec-zone-pair)# end

      Additional References for MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

      Related Documents

      Related Topic

      Document Title

      Cisco IOS commands

      Cisco IOS Master Command List, All Releases

      NAT commands

      Cisco IOS IP Addressing Services Command Reference

      Security commands

      NAT ALGs

      “Using Application-Level Gateways with NAT” module

      ALG support

      NAT and Firewall ALG Support on Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers

      Technical Assistance

      Description

      Link

      The Cisco Support and Documentation website provides online resources to download documentation, software, and tools. Use these resources to install and configure the software and to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues with Cisco products and technologies. Access to most tools on the Cisco Support and Documentation website requires a Cisco.com user ID and password.

      http:/​/​www.cisco.com/​cisco/​web/​support/​index.html

      Feature Information for MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

      The following table provides release information about the feature or features described in this module. This table lists only the software release that introduced support for a given feature in a given software release train. Unless noted otherwise, subsequent releases of that software release train also support that feature.

      Use Cisco Feature Navigator to find information about platform support and Cisco software image support. To access Cisco Feature Navigator, go to www.cisco.com/​go/​cfn. An account on Cisco.com is not required.

      Table 2 Feature Information for MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

      Feature Name

      Releases

      Feature Information

      MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT

      Cisco IOS XE Release 3.5S

      The MSRPC ALG Support for Firewall and NAT feature provides support for the MSRPC ALG on the firewall and NAT. The MSRPC ALG provides deep packet inspection of the MSRPC protocol. The MSRPC ALG works in conjunction with a provisioning system to allow the network administrator to configure match filters that define match criteria that can be searched in an MSRPC packet.

      The following commands were introduced or modified: ip nat service msrpc, match protocol msrpc.