Several months ago, I decided to explore a somewhat obscure topic of outbound per-application firewall control in Linux. A concept that Windows users are well familiar with, it’s been around for ages, providing Windows folks with a heightened sense of – if not practical factual – protection against rogues residing in their system and trying to phone home.
In Linux, things are a little different, but with the growing flux of Windows converts arriving at the sandy shores of open-source, the notion of need for outbound control of applications has also risen, giving birth to software designed to allay fears if not resolve problems. My first attempt to play with Leopard Flower and Douane was somewhat frustrating. Now, I’m going to revisit the test, focusing only on the former.
Leopard Flower firewall is an interesting concept. Misplaced, though, for most parts. It caters to a Windows need that does not exist on Linux, and to be frank, has no place in the Microsoft world either. Then, it also tries to resolve a problem of control and knowledge by requiring the user to exercise the necessary control and knowledge. But if they had those to begin with, they wouldn’t need to dabble in per-application firewalls. Furthermore, the software is still fairly immature. There are at least half a dozen little things and changes that can be implemented to make lpfw more elegant, starting with installation and followed by service and GUI model, prompts, robustness, and a few others.
CoreOS pushes the open-source container security project to the 1.0 milestone and production stability.
As container use grows, there is an increasing need to understand from a security perspective what is actually running in a container. That's the goal of CoreOS' Clair container security project, which officially hits the 1.0 milestone today, in an effort to help organizations validate container application security.