OPNsense as an IPv6 Firewall (Testing IPv6 Security Devices, Part 1)

As the Cisco Labs measurements show, IPv6 is a protocol that cannot be ignored any more. In some countries, like Belgium, Greece, Germany, the US, etc. the percentage of the users employing IPv6 is about 30% or even to 50%, and, based on the estimations, the increase of IPv6 traffic will continue to grow exponentially. So, it’s time to ensure that our firewall supports IPv6 as well.


While there are several open-source based solutions regarding firewalls, Linux-based or FreeBSD-based ones, this is not also the case when we want IPv6 support as well. Since m0n0wall project has officially ended, the only two options actually left for open-source users seeking for an iPv6 firewall are OPNsense and pfSense (if someone has an additional suggestion, please let me know).


Whilst pfSense supports IPv6 for quite a long time, as a firewall from a security perspective has a significant disadvantage: As of version 2.3.3 Community Edition it does not allow the filtering of IPv6 datagrams based on the used IPv6 Extension Headers. Therefore, if its administrator wants to filter e.g. IPv6 traffic carrying a Hop-by-Hop header, a Destination Options header, etc. (see [RFC 2460] for more details on IPv6 Extension headers), he simply cannot do it. And I do consider the capability of filtering IPv6 Extension headers really important for the reasons demonstrated here and here. In my opinion, this capability should be configurable.Therefore, I decided to give OPNsense a try since it seems to be the only open-source solutions that currently offers IPv6 Extension headers filtering capabilities.


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