Tag Archives: cron

Block and Unblock Ports on Your Firewall Quickly

Introduction

This blog just shares and explains the function of a script I created for *nux based systems that can be used to quickly block and unblock ports on your firewall. It works with both IPTables and FirewallD. It can also be easily configured to work with a cron and ran at key times.

There are several reasons why you might want to quickly block a port on your firewall.

  • Maybe you suspect someone is intruding or violating your system.
  • Maybe you want to leave your computer running (it’s crunching data for you), but for security reasons you want to close all of the ports when you’re not around (such as after work hours or over the weekend).

The Goods

At the present time, the script supports blocking inbound tcp and udp ports. It also supports blocking port ranges.
Simply copy this into a script file which I called blockport.sh (don’t forget to make it executable) and place it in your path:

#!/bin/sh
# Name: blockport.sh
# Author: Chris Caron <lead2gold@gmail.com>
# Date: Jul 17th, 2015
# Description: A simple script that blocks and unblocks outbound traffic
#              The intent is to set up a cron that will block stuff at night
#              and then unblock it in the morning every day preventing
#              any unnecessary things from making outbound requests.
#
# Dependencies: sed, logger, grep, and iptables
#
# This script must run as root!

SCRIPTNAME=$(basename $0)
IPTABLES_BIN=iptables
IPTABLES_PRINT=echo

# Set the command to what you want to actually do
# some scripts explicitly reference the above
IPTABLES=$IPTABLES_PRINT
IPTABLES=$IPTABLES_BIN

# Default Line Numbers (where inserts will take place
IPTABLES_OUTPUT_LINE=${IPTABLES_OUTPUT_LINE:=1}
IPTABLES_INPUT_LINE=${IPTABLES_INPUT_LINE:=1}

show_syntax () {
   echo "Syntax: \$> $SCRIPTNAME <Action> [Options]"
   echo "  Actions:"
   echo "     -l"
   echo "     --list                  List the ports blocked by this script."
   echo
   echo "     -bo PORT"
   echo "     --block-outbound=PORT   Blocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can"
   echo "                              use space or comma to delimite multiple ports"
   echo "     -uo PORT"
   echo "     --unblock-outbound=PORT Unblocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp)"
   echo "                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to"
   echo "                              delimit multiple ports"
   echo "     -bi PORT"
   echo "     --block-inbound=PORT    Blocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can"
   echo "                              use space or comma to delimite multiple ports"
   echo "     -ui PORT"
   echo "     --unblock-inbound=PORT  Unblocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp)"
   echo "                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to"
   echo "                              delimit multiple ports"
   echo ""
}

clean_ports(){
   # A Simple function that cleans up port ranges
   local PORTS=$(echo $1 | sed -e 's/[, \\/]\+/ /g' -e 's/[;-]\+/:/' \
             -e 's/[^:0-9 ]//g' -e 's/^[^0-9]\+//g' -e 's/[^0-9]\+$//g')
   [ -z "$PORTS" ] && return 1
   echo "$PORTS"
   return 0
}

indexes() {
   # Possible types are OUTPUT, INPUT, and FORWARD
   local TYPE=$1
   # A simple function that returns the index(es) of a iptable
   # entry (if it's blocked or not).
   local PORTS=$(clean_ports $2)
   [ $? -ne 0 ] && return 1

   local INDEXES=""
   # This magical line was constructed off of what i learned here:
   # http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/129087/grep-log-and-get-text-between-log-delimiters
   # It extracts the DROP lines we created in the OUTPUT Chain
   for PORT in $PORTS; do
      INDEX=$($IPTABLES_BIN -nL --line-numbers | \
         grep -zPo "(\n?Chain $TYPE [^\n]*\n)\K(.|\n)+?[^\n][^Cc](.|\n)+?(?=\nChain [^\n]*\n)" | \
                egrep 'DROP' | egrep '^[0-9]' | egrep " dpts?:$PORT[ \t]*\$" | \
                sed -e 's/^[ \t]*\([0-9]\+\)[^0-9].*/\1/g')
      INDEXES="$INDEXES $INDEX"
   done

   [ -z "$INDEXES" ] && return 1

   # Sort the INDEXES (largest # to smallest) because we want to
   # process the list backwards
   INDEXES=$(echo $INDEXES | tr -s '[:space:]' '\n' | sort -n -r | uniq)
   echo $INDEXES
   return 0
}

unblock() {
   # Possible types are OUTPUT, INPUT, and FORWARD
   local TYPE=$1
   # A simple function that returns the index(es) of a iptable
   # entry (if it's blocked or not).
   local PORTS=$2

   # Defaults
   [ -z "$TYPE" ] && TYPE=INPUT

   # Stores the indexes (if set)
   local INDEXES="$(indexes $TYPE $PORTS)"
   [ -z "$INDEXES" ] && return 0

   # Sort the INDEXES (largest # to smallest) because we want to
   # process the list backwards
   INDEXES=$(echo $INDEXES | tr -s '[:space:]' '\n' | sort -n -r | uniq)

   for INDEX in $INDEXES; do
      $IPTABLES -D $TYPE $INDEX
   done
   logger "INFO - blockport.sh: Unblocked $TYPE $PORTS"
   return 0
}

block(){
   # Possible types are OUTPUT, INPUT, and FORWARD
   local TYPE=$1
   # A simple function that returns the index(es) of a iptable
   # entry (if it's blocked or not).
   local PORTS=$(clean_ports $2)
   [ $? -ne 0 ] && return 1

   # Defaults
   [ -z "$TYPE" ] && TYPE=INPUT

   # If indexes already exist, then we don't have to do anything
   local INDEXES="$(indexes $TYPE $PORTS)"
   [ ! -z "$INDEXES" ] && return 0

   local LINE=$(eval "echo \$IPTABLES_${TYPE}_LINE")
   [ -z $LINE ] && LINE=1
   for PORT in $PORTS; do
      $IPTABLES -I $TYPE $LINE -p tcp -s 0/0 --destination-port $PORT -j DROP
      $IPTABLES -I $TYPE $LINE -p udp -s 0/0 --destination-port $PORT -j DROP
   done
   logger "INFO - blockport.sh: Blocked $TYPE $PORTS"
   return 0
}

list() {
   echo
   for TYPE in "INPUT" "OUTPUT" ; do
      echo "Listing $TYPE Ports Blocked:"
      $IPTABLES_BIN -nL --line-numbers | \
         grep -zPo "(\n?Chain $TYPE [^\n]*\n)\K(.|\n)+?[^\n][^Cc](.|\n)+?(?=\nChain [^\n]*\n)" | \
         egrep 'DROP' | egrep '^[0-9]' | egrep " dpts?:[0-9:]+[ \t]*\$"
      echo
   done
   return 0
}

##########################################################
##                          Main                        ##
##########################################################
PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin
if [ $(whoami) != "root" ]; then
   echo "Error: you must be root to execute this script."
fi

ACTION="x"
RETVAL=0
while : ; do
   case $1 in
      -l) list; exit 0 ;;
      --list) list; exit 0 ;;
      -bo) ACTION='bo';
           block "OUTPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --block-outbound) ACTION='bo';
           block "OUTPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--block-outbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -uo) ACTION='uo';
           unblock "OUTPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --unblock-outbound) ACTION='uo';
           unblock "OUTPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--unblock-outbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -bi) ACTION='bi';
           block "INPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --block-inbound) ACTION='bi';
           block "INPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--block-inbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -ui) ACTION='ui';
           unblock "INPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --unblock-inbound) ACTION='ui';
           unblock "INPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--unblock-inbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -h) show_syntax ; exit 0 ;;
      --help) show_syntax ; exit 0 ;;
       *) if [ -z "$1" ]; then break; fi
          echo "[error] Invalid option '$1' specified; see --help (-h) for more info."
          exit 1
          ;;
   esac
done

if [ $ACTION == "x" ]; then
   show_syntax
   exit 1
fi

exit $RETVAL

Again, I state: this script must be ran as root (because it wraps IPTables). So stick sudo in front of it’s calls if running as a regular user (assuming you’re set up with sudoer’s privileges).

Syntax

Syntax: $> blockport.sh  [Options]
  Actions:
     -l
     --list                  List the ports blocked by this script.

     -bo PORT
     --block-outbound=PORT   Blocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can
                              use space or comma to delimit multiple ports
     -uo PORT
     --unblock-outbound=PORT Unblocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp)
                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to
                              delimit multiple ports
     -bi PORT
     --block-inbound=PORT    Blocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can
                              use space or comma to delimit multiple ports
     -ui PORT
     --unblock-inbound=PORT  Unblocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp)
                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to
                              delimit multiple ports

Demo

Here is a simple example that just blocks 2 ports. We can chain more than one port by placing a comma in between each one. It is also valid to keep using one switch after another (they’ll be executed in order).

# Here is how easy it is to use; first we'll block (inbound) ports 80 and 443
blockport.sh -bi 80,443

# This is also valid syntax:
#    blockport.sh -bi 80 -bi 443

# We know they're blocked now, but we can have a look anyway:
blockport.sh -l
# The output will look like this:
# Listing INPUT Ports Blocked:
# 1    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:443
# 2    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:443
# 3    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:80
# 4    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:80
#
# Listing OUTPUT Ports Blocked:
#

# We can reverse this by typing:
blockport.sh -ui 80,443

# This is also valid syntax:
# blockport.sh -ui 80 -ui 443

You can do ranges too; just use the colon (:) or hyphen (-). In the example below, we block a range of outgoing traffic from a system:

# Below blocks outbound ports 20, 21, and all ports (and including) 8000-8500.
blockport.sh -bo 20,21,8000-8500

# This is also valid syntax:
#    blockport.sh -bo 20 -bo 21 -bo 8000-8500

# We know they're blocked now, but we can have a look anyway:
blockport.sh -l
# The output will look like this:
# Listing INPUT Ports Blocked:
#
# Listing OUTPUT Ports Blocked:
# 1    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpts:8000:8500
# 2    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpts:8000:8500
# 3    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:21
# 4    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:21
# 5    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:20
# 6    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:20

# We can reverse this by typing:
blockport.sh -uo 20,21,8000-8500

# This is also valid syntax:
# blockport.sh -uo 20 -uo 21 -uo 8000-8500

Note: You can only unblock what you block. Here is an example of what I mean:

# Blocking a range:
blockport.sh -bo 8000-8500

# You CAN NOT just unblock a port from it (this will not work):
blockport.sh -uo 8400

# Similarly, you can not block individual ports and then try to unblock them
# as a range:
blockport.sh -bo 20,21

# You CAN NOT just unblock this as a range (this will not work):
blockport.sh -uo 20-21

Caution
This script is intended to be an instant port blocker. It intentionally destroys any pre-established connections utilizing the port marked. Keep this in mind so that you don’t block yourself out of your own Server or VPS. Hence DON’T CLOSE PORT 22 unless you know what and why you’re doing it. You have been warned! 🙂

Use Cases
Suppose you want to deny access out of a server you host for your company after hours, you could create a cron like this:

# Block defined outbound ports at around 5:30pm every evening on Weekdays
# (Mon - Fri)
30 17 * * 1-5 /root/bin/blockport.sh -bo 80,443,22,21 &>/dev/null

# Unblock the defined ports every morning at 7am on Weekdays
# (Mon - Fri) keeping them blocked over the weekends
0 7 * * 1-5 /root/bin/blockport.sh -uo 80,443,22,20,21 &>/dev/null

Alternatively, maybe something looked bad in /var/log/messages or /var/log/audit/audit.log to you and you simply just want to immediately block the port.

Credit

If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

Datetools: Date Manipulation and Cron Alternative For Linux

Introduction to Datetools

I wrote Datetools (in C++) to allow the manipulation of date time from the command line. It greatly simplified my life and maybe it will help yours out too!. It comprises of two core applications:

  • Dateblock: allows you to block until a scheduled period of time arrives unlike sleep which blocks for a set period of time. I found this so helpful, I ended up additionally building in an python extension for it.
  • Datemath: This application is just a simple way of preforming simple math on the system date.

The source code can be found here on GitHub if you’re interested in compiling it yourself. Or you can just scroll to the bottom of this blog where I provided the packaged goods.

Dateblock

The tool works very similarly to cron and sleep (a combination of the two); you can pass it a crontab string if that’s what you’re used too, or you can simply pass it in variables as arguments as well (as all other commands work):

Here’s is an example of what I mean:

# block until a minute divisible by 10 is reached:
# ex: HH:00, HH:10, HH:20, HH:30, HH:40, and HH:50
dateblock --minute=/10
# We will only reach this line when the above scheduled time has
# been met.
echo "Scheduled time reached; current time is: $(date)"

An equivalent crontab entry would look like this:

# block until a minute divisible by 10 is reached:
/10 * * * * echo "Scheduled time reached; current time is: $(date)"

Dateblock can also do another cool feature called ‘drifting’ which allows you to schedule processes on delayed cycles… Note that drifting is always specified in seconds. For example:

# Unblock on 5 minute cycles, but 2 minutes (120 seconds) into them:
# ex: HH:02, HH:07, HH:12, HH:17, HH:22, etc..
dateblock --minute=/5 --drift=120
# We will only reach this line when the above scheduled time has
# been met.
echo "Scheduled time reached; current time is: $(date)"

An equivalent crontab entry would look like this:

# block until a minute divisible by 10 is reached:
/5 * * * * sleep 120; echo "Scheduled time reached; current time is: $(date)"

The complexity of the tool can be as powerful as you want it to be:

# Unblock only on hours divisible by 5 on the 1st through to the 14th
# of every month (as well as the 20th). Unblock only when 30 seconds
# of that minute has elapsed.
 dateblock -o /5 -d 1-14,20 -s 30
# We will only reach this line when the above scheduled time has
# been met.
echo "Scheduled time reached; current time is: $(date)"

There is no way to reproduce this in a crontab unless the 30 second reference at the end is unnecessary… in that case:

# block until a minute divisible by 10 is reached:
0 /5 1-14,20 * * sleep 120; echo "Scheduled time reached; current time is: $(date)"

Just like crontabs, dateblock supports minute, hour, day of month, month and day of week. In addition, dateblock support seconds too. dateblock accepts traditional crontab entries as well as arguments:

#     day of week (0 - 6) (Sunday=0) --+
#     month (1 - 12) ---------------+  |
#     day of month (1 - 31) -----+  |  |
#     hour (0 - 23) ----------+  |  |  |
#     min (0 - 59) --------+  |  |  |  |
#  ***sec (0 - 59) -----+  |  |  |  |  |
#                       |  |  |  |  |  |
#                       -  -  -  -  -  -
# Dateblock Cron Entry: *  *  *  *  *  *
# Cron Crontab Entry:      *  *  *  *  *

# Unblock on the specific hours of 0 and 12:
# ex: HH:00, HH:12
$> dateblock --cron="0 0 00,12"

You’ll notice in the above, I didn’t bother specifying the remaining cron fields… In this case they will assume the default of *. But you can feel free to specify a * for readability. The other thing to observe is the addition of the second column which isn’t present in a regular crontab entry. It’s rules are no different then what you’ve already learned from other fields.

Testing

Simply adding a –test (-t) switch to your dateblock entry will allow you to test the tool in a debugging mode to which it will present to you the current time followed by when it would have unblocked for had you not provided the –test (-t) switch. It’s a great way to calculate when the next processing time will be.

Python Extension

To handle scheduled processes for my websites, I created a python extension for dateblock. This allowed to extend it’s flexibility with other offline processing… consider the following example:

from dateblock import dateblock
while True:
    # /5 as first argument means unblock on the 5th second of each minute
    dateblock('/5')
    print 'begin processing ...'
    # your code here...
    # if you want, you can even report the next unblock time
    print 'Done processing; blocking until %s' % 
        dateblock('/5', block=False).strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')

You can also also access the drift as such:

from dateblock import dateblock
print 'Unblock at %s' % 
    dateblock('/5', drift=120, block=False).strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')

Finally the python extension allows you to pass in a datetime object as an argument for calculating a time based on another (and not the current time which is the default).

from dateblock import dateblock
from datetime import datetime
from datetime import timedelta

# 31 days ago
reftime = datetime.now() - timedelta(days=31)

print('Would blocking until %s' % 
    dateblock('/5', drift=120, block=False, )
      .strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S') + 
    " if time was %s" % reftime
      .strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S'))

Things to Consider

Just like sleep, dateblock uses SIGALARM to manage its wake up time. Therefore if your code relies heavily on SIGALARM for another purposes, dateblock may not be a solution for you since you could interrupt it’s reliability (though not likely). This really shouldn’t be a big concern because this exact same warning comes with the sleep libraries we’ve been using for years. But it does mean that sleep could interfere with dateblock just as dateblock could interfere with sleep if they were both used in separate threads.

Dateblock vs Sleep

Dateblock vs Sleep

Why would I use dateblock over sleep?

Scheduling is the key… If your program relies completely on sleep, then the only thing you’re accomplishing is cpu throttling (controlling unnecessary thrashing). This is approach is fine if you’re going to just retry connecting to an unresponsive server in ?? seconds. But what if timing becomes an important factor of your application? The dateblock tool ensures you only unblock at absolute times vs sleep which unblocks at relative times with respect to when it was called.

Dateblock also allows your program to chronologically work in turn with other applications that may be on their own processing cycle. Such as something delivering data at the top of every hour. You may wish to have your program wake up 5 min after the top of each hour to perform the processing regardless of when your program was started.

Datemath

There isn’t as much to be said about Datemath; I personally never found a Linux/Unix tool that would allow me to script date/time calculations from the command line. For that reason, this tool exists.
Here is an example of the tools function:

# what time is it now?
date +'%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S'
# The above output was '2013-10-26 09-42-21' at the time of this blog
# what time will it be 5 months and 3 days from now
datemath --months=5 --days=3 --format='%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S'
# the above output was '2014-03-29 09-42-21' at the time of this blog
# and this makes sense... this is the calculation we want.

The tool supports negative values for calculating into the past as well and will handle leap years in the calculations too.

# what time is it now?
date +'%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S'
# The above output was '2013-10-26 09-45-45' at the time of this blog
# What was the current date 753 days ago?
datemath --days=-753 --format='%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S'
# the above output was '2011-10-04 09-45-45' at the time of this blog
# and this makes sense... this is the calculation we want.

No Python Module For Datemath

There is no python module for datemath because Python’s datetime and timedelta libraries already provide a fantastic solution for the same problem datemath solves…

# Simple code example to show why it really isn't
# necessary to port datemath to Python:
from datetime import datetime
from datetime import timedelta
in_the_past = datetime.now() - timedelta(minutes=15)
print '15 minutes ago: %s' % in_the_past
                              .strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')

Just give me the goods

No problem, below are the RPMS as well as their accompanied source packages:

Package Download Description
dateblock
el6.rpm
/
el7.rpm
The powerful (cron like) command line interface (CLI) tool.
python-dateblock
el6.rpm
/
el7.rpm
The python extension for dateblock.
datemath
el6.rpm
/
el7.rpm
The datemath command line interface tool.
datetools
el6.rpm
/
el7.rpm
An optional package which includes licensing and information.

Note: The source rpm can be obtained here which builds everything you see in the table above. It’s not required for the application to run, but might be useful for developers or those who want to inspect how I put the package together.

No way, I’m building this myself; I don’t trust you

That’s okay, I understand; here is how you can build it yourself:

# Install 'mock' into your environment if you don't have it already
# This step will require you to be the superuser (root) in your native
# environment.
yum install -y mock

# Grant your normal every day user account access to the mock group
# This step will also require you to be the root user.
usermod -a -G mock YourNonRootUsername

At this point it’s safe to change from the ‘root‘ user back to the user account you granted the mock group privileges to in the step above. We won’t need the root user again until the end of this tutorial when we install our built RPM.

# Create an environment we can work in
mkdir datetool-build

# Change into our temporary working directory
cd datetool-build

curl -L --output datetools-0.8.1.tar.gz \
   https://github.com/caronc/datetools/archive/v0.8.1.tar.gz

# Extract Spec File
tar xfz datetools-0.8.1.tar.gz \
   datetools-0.8.1/datetools.spec \
      --strip-components=1

# Initialize Mock Environment
mock -v -r epel-6-x86_64 --init

# Now install our dependencies
mock -v -r epel-6-x86_64 --install boost-devel libstdc++-devel 
          glib-devel python-devel autoconf automake libtool

# Copy in our downloaded content:
mock -v -r epel-6-x86_64 --copyin datetools-0.8.1.tar.gz
   /builddir/build/SOURCES
mock -v -r epel-6-x86_64 --copyin datetools.spec 
   /builddir/build/SPECS

# Shell into our environment
mock -v -r epel-6-x86_64 --shell

# Change to our build directory
cd builddir/build

# Build our RPMS
rpmbuild -ba SPECS/datetools.spec

# we're now done with our mock environment for now; Press Ctrl-D to exit
# or simply type exit on the command line of our virtual environment
exit

Future Considerations

This is totally up in the air, at the moment the tool does everything I needed at the time. However I could see the following becoming a useful feature in the future:

  • Pass in a different time into both programs (instead of always working with the current time) (You can already do this with the dateblock python extension).
  • Have dateblock additionally take in a program and arguments as input to have it automatically execute the call to it when the scheduled time is reached. In addition to this, it means the dateblock tool would daemonize itself and run in the background on reoccurring schedules.
  • Add a devel package and create a shared library for C++ linking; perhaps the binary tools and extensions could link here too. Right now the library is just so small it’s really nothing to just include it statically as it is now.
  • Got an idea of your own? Pass it along! You can also submit a pull request to me on GitHub here.

Credit

Please note that this information took me several days to put together and test thoroughly. I may not blog often; but I want to re-assure the stability and testing I put into everything I intend share.

If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this information, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.