Access lists perform packet filtering to control which packets move through the network and where. Such controls help to limit network traffic and restrict the access of users and devices to the network. Access lists have many uses, and therefore many commands accept a reference to an access list in their command syntax. Access lists can be used to do the following:
An access control list (ACL) consists of one or more access control entries (ACE) that collectively define the network traffic profile. This profile can then be referenced by Cisco IOS XR software features such as traffic filtering, route filtering, QoS classification, and access control. There are 2 types of ACLs:
Standard ACLs- Verifies only the source IP address of the packets. Traffic is controlled by the comparison of the address or prefix configured in the ACL, with the source address found in the packet.
Extended ACLs- Verifies more than just the source address of the packets. Attributes such as destination address, specific IP protocols, UDP or TCP port numbers, DSCP, and so on are validated. Traffic is controlled by a comparison of the attributes stated in the ACL with those in the incoming or outgoing packets.
Cisco IOS XR does not differentiate between standard and extended access lists. Standard access list support is provided for backward compatibility.
Purpose of IP Access Lists
Filter incoming or outgoing packets on an interface.
Filter packets for mirroring.
Redirect traffic as required.
Restrict the contents of routing updates.
Limit debug output based on an address or protocol.
Control vty access.
Identify or classify traffic for advanced features, such as congestion avoidance, congestion management, and priority and custom queueing.
How an IP Access List Works
An access list is a sequential list consisting of permit and deny statements that apply to IP addresses and possibly upper-layer IP protocols. The access list has a name by which it is referenced. Many software commands accept an access list as part of their syntax.
An access list can be configured and named, but it is not in effect until the access list is referenced by a command that accepts an access list. Multiple commands can reference the same access list. An access list can control traffic arriving at the router or leaving the router, but not traffic originating at the router.
Source address and destination addresses are two of the most typical fields in an IP packet on which to base an access list. Specify source addresses to control packets from certain networking devices or hosts. Specify destination addresses to control packets being sent to certain networking devices or hosts.
You can also filter packets on the basis of transport layer information, such as whether the packet is a TCP, UDP, ICMP, or IGMP packet.
The following image illustrates the workflow of an ACL.
IP Access List Process and Rules
Use the following process and rules when configuring an IP access list:
The software tests the source or destination address or the protocol of each packet being filtered against the conditions in the access list, one condition (permit or deny statement) at a time.
If a packet does not match an access list statement, the packet is then tested against the next statement in the list.
If a packet and an access list statement match, the remaining statements in the list are skipped and the packet is permitted or denied as specified in the matched statement. The first entry that the packet matches determines whether the software permits or denies the packet. That is, after the first match, no subsequent entries are considered.
If the access list denies the address or protocol, the software discards the packet and returns an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Host Unreachable message. ICMP is configurable in the Cisco IOS XR software.
If no conditions match, the software drops the packet because each access list ends with an unwritten or implicit deny statement. That is, if the packet has not been permitted or denied by the time it was tested against each statement, it is denied.
The access list should contain at least one permit statement or else all packets are denied.
Because the software stops testing conditions after the first match, the order of the conditions is critical. The same permit or deny statements specified in a different order could result in a packet being passed under one circumstance and denied in another circumstance.
Only one access list per interface, per protocol, per direction is allowed.
Inbound access lists process packets arriving at the router. Incoming packets are processed before being routed to an outbound interface. An inbound access list is efficient because it saves the overhead of routing lookups if the packet is to be discarded because it is denied by the filtering tests. If the packet is permitted by the tests, it is then processed for routing. For inbound lists, permit means continue to process the packet after receiving it on an inbound interface;
means discard the packet.
Outbound access lists process packets before they leave the router. Incoming packets are routed to the outbound interface and then processed through the outbound access list. For outbound lists, permit means send it to the output buffer; deny means discard the packet.
An access list can not be removed if that access list is being applied by an access group in use. To remove an access list, remove the access group that is referencing the access list and then remove the access list.
Before removing an interface, which is configured with an ACL that denies certain traffic, you must remove the ACL and commit your configuration. If this is not done, then some packets are leaked through the interface as soon as the no interface <interface-name> command is configured and committed.
An access list must exist before you can use the
access group command.
ACL Filtering by Wildcard Mask and Implicit Wildcard Mask
Address filtering uses wildcard masking to indicate whether the software checks or ignores corresponding IP address bits when comparing the address bits in an access-list entry to a packet being submitted to the access list. By carefully setting wildcard masks, an administrator can select a single or several IP addresses for permit or deny tests.
Wildcard masking for IP address bits uses the number 1 and the number 0 to specify how the software treats the corresponding IP address bits. A wildcard mask is sometimes referred to as an inverted mask, because a 1 and 0 mean the opposite of what they mean in a subnet (network) mask.
You do not have to supply a wildcard mask with a source or destination address in an access list statement. If you use the
keyword, the software assumes a wildcard mask of 0.0.0.0.
Unlike subnet masks, which require contiguous bits indicating network and subnet to be ones, wildcard masks allow noncontiguous bits in the mask.
You can also use CIDR format (/x) in place of wildcard bits. For example, the IPv4 address 184.108.40.206 0.255.255.255 corresponds to 220.127.116.11/8 and for IPv6 address 2001:db8:abcd:0012:0000:0000:0000:0000 corresponds to 2001:db8:abcd:0012::0/64.
Including Comments in Access Lists
You can include comments (remarks) about entries in any named IP access list using the remark access list configuration command. The remarks make the access list easier for the network administrator to understand and scan. Each remark line is limited to 255 characters.
The remark can go before or after a permit or deny statement. You should be consistent about where you put the remark so it is clear which remark describes which permit or deny statement. For example, it would be confusing to have some remarks before the associated permit or deny statements and some remarks after the associated statements. Remarks can be sequenced.
Remember to apply the access list to an interface or terminal line after the access list is created.