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Old 12-26-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2008
Location: idaho
Distribution: Debian Etch
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How safe is default ipmasq install?

My little linksys router died and I'm not able to go get a new one for a while. I had an old extra pc sitting around so I decided to try installing linux on it and turning it into a router. After 3 hours I had successfully used the forums to figure out how to set my static ip for my internal dev, install dhcp3-server, and configure the dhcpd.conf file correctly for my other computers to get dhcp from my new linux machine. I spent a while trying to set up iptables but couldn't get that to work, then saw someone say to try "apt-get install ipmasq" and instantly the internet started working on all my computers.

I've been using linux for about a total of 4 hours now so I really don't know what I'm doing, or what I've even really done.

I'm worried that my computers aren't safe now? I use to be behind the firewall (my old router) and now I have no idea if I'm wide open. Is ipmasq safe? If I just turn on my windows firewalls am I safe?

Any advice would be awesome! Thank you all in advance, and for all the information I already got just to set up my dhcp server and gateway!

Btw, I installed Debian Etch if that matters...
Old 12-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,896

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I had never heard of ipmasq until I read your post. But i just looked it up to see what it was. The description sounds reasonable, but, of course, I can't vouch for something I haven't looked at. Most (but not all) of the information about what it is doing would be in indicated by the firewall rules it sets up. On the running system, you can list the rules with the following commands run as root:

iptables -t nat -nvL
iptables -nvL
I omitted the command for listing rules for the "mangle table" since 1) I doubt they are used,and 2) I have no experience with them.

If you could post the output of the above two commands, I (and others) would have a chance to asses the rules.

But since you are running this (if I understand correctly) on a PC whose sole purpose is to act as a firewall, I suggest you look into distrubtions that are made specifically for that purpose. This really isn't something that fits my current setup, so I am not well versed in what is available. But a little over a year I did take some time to look at a distro called IPCop. After playing with it for several hours I was fairly impressed with it. You can Google for it if you are interested. There may be others that are as good or better. I can't say ...

Last edited by blackhole54; 12-29-2008 at 12:28 PM.


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