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Re: ipf

On Wed, May 30, 2001 at 12:10:52AM -0500, Jeff Bachtel wrote:
> What would be the security advantage? Packet filters don't parse
> strings, or execve() programs, they filter. And thats it.

Well, in this day in age, people like to do other things than just
block according to the ip header details.  Searching a packet data is
a popular request nowadays for people in search of a filewall.

> The reason you _don't_ put a packet filter in userspace is that a
> context switch is added for each packet that traverses the firewall.

Is the overhead of a context switch that much nowadays?  If so, then
that's another area of work.  The only real problem I see is the extra
copy of the packet in memory, which could be solved with an mmap()ed
interface (right??).

> And the only language to choose for a BSD packet filter is C. That is,
> if you want it to be capable of handling linespeed.

[ I won't bite on the language flamewar ]

> (in short, the only thing userland about a firewall should be the
> control programs)

I understand where you're coming from, but then again, your reasoning
is the same as Microsoft's reasoning for putting SMB into the NT kernel.

Michael Samuel <michael@miknet.net>