Re: [fw-wiz] Layer 2 (stealth) firewalls - PBR?

Paul, I will answer below.

On Tue, 8 Apr 2008, Paul D. Robertson wrote:

On Mon, 7 Apr 2008, Darden, Patrick S. wrote:

Except that a layer two device can't tell if something is multicast or
broadcast or unicast or Anything in ipv4 or ipv6.... That's sorta the
definition of a layer two device. If it could discriminate amongst
layer 3 traffic, it would be a layer 3 device--a router, firewall, etc.

I've been doing networking since the broadband/baseband LAN thing a long
time ago, and I'm pretty cognizant of how it all works...

Chest thumping. Gotchya.

Layer 2 devices like switches have to forwrd layer 3 multicast packets out
ports for the multicast group, so they in essence have to peek up a layer
even though they're not "routers, firewalls, etc." They also have to
forward layer 3 broadcasts out all ports in a LAN or VLAN, once again
without being "routers, firewalls, etc."

Layer 2 devices forward based on MAC addresses. End of story. They do
NOT peak up the stack. ARP/RARP bridges the gap between layer 2 and 3,
but layer 2 devices such as NICs, hubs, bridges, and layer 2 switches do
not rely on IP or any other layer 3 protocol whatsoever for forwarding.

You seem to be conflating layer 3 multicast/broadcast/unicast Packets with
broadcast/unicast Frames. To begin with, packets are not frames, and
layer 2 devices cannot interpret packets.

You state "They also have to forward layer 3 broadcasts out all ports in a
LAN" which is patently false--if a 128 port layer 2 switch has 64 ports on and the other 64 ports on, then a broadcast sent
to will only hit the correct 64 ports. The switch decides
this on the layer 2 level, not the layer 3 level. Based on MAC addresses.
The thing is, the frames the switch gets have MACs in them. Based on the
ARP table. And the switch uses these MACs to forward the frames.

Finally, there are alyer 2 broadcasts and layer 2 multicast addresses.
I'd suggest a Google of "layer 2 multicast addresss" for your increased
edification, and a good read of the IPv6 RFCs- because if you don't think
this stuff is going to be where "interesting" attacks and "poor
implementations" happen...

I think this is the problem. You are confusing layer 2 unicast/broadcast
frames with layer 3 unicast/multicast/broadcast packets. Certainly layer
2 devices do unicast and broadcast, but again NOT based on IP or any other
layer 3 protocol. Layer 2 Unicast and Broadcast are all in relation to
collision domains: a unicast is a frame transmission out one collission
domain (one port) perhaps multiple times (several unicasts in the case of
a layer 3 broadcast/multicast), whereas a broadcast is a frame transmision
out all collission domains (flooding all ports with the frame, usually in
the case of a frame containing an unknown MAC).

IPv6 has nothing to do with layer 2. I am going to completely ignore this

This is a quote from Cisco's CCNP literature that might help you
understand layer 2 a little better:

A switch is basically a multiport transparent bridge, where each switch
port is its own Ethernet LAN segment, isolated from the others. Frame
forwarding is based completely on the MAC addresses contained in each
frame, such that the switch won't forward a frame unless it knows the
destination's location.
The entire process of forwarding Ethernet frames then becomes figuring out
what MAC addresses connect to which switch ports.
Incoming frames also include the destination MAC address. Again, the
switch looks this address up in the address table, hoping to find the
switch port and VLAN where the address is attached. If it is found, the
frame can be forwarded on out that switch port. If the address is not
found in the table, the switch must take more drastic actionthe frame is
forwarded in a "best effort" fashion by flooding it out all switch ports
assigned to the source VLAN.

Paul D. Robertson "My statements in this message are personal
paul@xxxxxxxxxxxx which may have no basis whatsoever in fact."

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