iptables alternatives

Looking for an alternative tool to replace iptables? During the review of iptables we looked at other open source tools. Based on their category, tags, and text, these are the ones that have the best match.

Top 3

  1. nftables (network traffic filtering)
  2. Douane (application firewall)
  3. Anti-DDOS (configuration tool to reduce impact of DDoS)

These tools are ranked as the best alternatives to iptables.

Alternatives (by score)

67

nftables

Introduction

nftables is supposed to replace netfilter as the primary interface of network filtering. It is available since Linux kernel 3.13. Both netfilter and nftables have been co-authored by Patrick McHardy.

Project details

nftables is written in C.

Strengths and weaknesses

  • + The source code of this software is available

    Typical usage

    • Network traffic filtering

    nftables review

    81

    Douane

    Introduction

    Douane is an application firewall that blocks unknown or unwanted traffic. It provides a more fine-grained filtering as it looks at the combination of application and used network ports. This is useful when allowing common browse traffic on port 80 and 443. Instead of all applications being able to use this port, only the ones that are granted access will be able to do so. When a new connection is not trusted yet, Douane will ask to allow or deny the traffic stream.

    Project details

    Douane is written in C, C++, GTK+.

    Strengths and weaknesses

    • + The source code of this software is available

      Typical usage

      • Network traffic filtering

      Douane review

      64

      Anti-DDOS

      Introduction

      This script could be useful for system and network administrators that want to learn about better defending the network against lots of network packets. The Linux kernel has a default configuration that is optimized for performance. To further secure it, changes need to be made to these kernel settings. The Anti-DDoS tool will help with setting up the configuration.

      Project details

      Anti-DDOS is written in shell script.

      Strengths and weaknesses

      • + Very low number of dependencies
      • + The source code of this software is available
      • - No releases on GitHub available

      Typical usage

      • DDoS protection
      • Network traffic filtering

      Anti-DDOS review

      60

      SCUTUM

      Introduction

      The primary goal of this solution is to prevent ARP spoofing by other computers on the local network. It uses a whitelist and blocks all other systems sending possible malicious ARP requests (e.g. with spoofing attack).

      Project details

      SCUTUM is written in Python.

      Strengths and weaknesses

      • + The source code of this software is available
      • - Full name of author is unknown

      Typical usage

      • Firewall management
      • Network traffic filtering

      SCUTUM review

      68

      vallumd

      Introduction

      This tool provides a centralized method to distribute ipset blacklists.

      Project details

      vallumd is written in C.

      Strengths and weaknesses

      • + The source code of this software is available

        vallumd review

        60

        Assimilator

        Introduction

        A tool like Assimilator can be of great help to 'normalize' all firewall rules into one place. Especially when a company uses different firewalls, each with their own syntax and specifics. Assimilator will then simplify the way firewall rules are created and managed.

        Project details

        Assimilator is written in Python.

        Strengths and weaknesses

        • + The source code of this software is available

          Typical usage

          • Network traffic filtering

          Assimilator review

          74

          FireHOL

          Introduction

          FireHOL is promoted as an iptables stateful packet filtering firewall for humans. It also comes with FireQOS, which a bandwidth shaper based on tc.

          Project details

          FireHOL is written in shell script.

          Strengths and weaknesses

          • + More than 500 GitHub stars
          • + The source code of this software is available

            Typical usage

            • Firewall management
            • Network traffic filtering

            FireHOL review

            60

            opensvp

            Introduction

            Tools like opensvp can be used to test the strength of a configuration from the outside. It makes it a good tool for penetration testing and security assessments. While people may feel safe to have a firewall in place, it might be unknowingly vulnerable to several attacks on protocol level. This tool helps with finding these weaknesses.

            Project details

            opensvp is written in Python.

            Strengths and weaknesses

            • + The source code of this software is available

              Typical usage

              • Application testing
              • Defense testing
              • Penetration testing
              • Security assessment

              opensvp review

              56

              0trace.py

              Introduction

              This security tool enables the user to perform hop enumeration (similar to traceroute). Instead of sending actual packets, it uses an established TCP connection.

              Project details

              0trace.py is written in Python.

              Strengths and weaknesses

              • + Project is mature (10+ years)
              • - Unknown project license

              Typical usage

              • Bypassing firewall rules
              • Bypassing security measures
              • Reconnaissance

              0trace.py review

              63

              360-FAAR

              Introduction

              360-FAAR is a tool written in Perl to parse policies and logs from firewalls. It can compare firewall policies and translate between a policy and log data. Supported firewalls include Checkpoint FW1, Cisco ASA, and Netscreen ScreenOS.

              Project details

              360-FAAR is written in Perl.

              Strengths and weaknesses

              • + Project is mature (5+ years)
              • + The source code of this software is available

                Typical usage

                • Firewall auditing
                • Log analysis
                • Security assessment
                • Security reviews

                360-FAAR review

                60

                Chiron

                Introduction

                Chiron is a security assessment framework for IPv6. It provides several modules including an IPv6 scanner, IPv6 Local Link, IPv4-to-IPv6 proxy, IPv6 attack module, and IPv6 proxy. These modules help to perform an assessment, like a penetration test.

                The tool uses IPv6 extension headers to create a headers chain. This may allow evading security devices like IDS, IPS, and firewalls. Due to the flexibility of the framework, the tool can also be used to perform fuzzing of the IPv6 stack of a device.

                Project details

                Chiron is written in Python.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + The source code of this software is available
                • - No releases on GitHub available

                Typical usage

                • Network analysis
                • Network scanning
                • Network security monitoring

                Chiron review

                64

                DFWFW (Docker Firewall Framework)

                Introduction

                DFWFW, short of Docker Firewall Framework, offers easy administration of the iptables rules of Docker containers. It updates using event streams.

                Project details

                DFWFW is written in Perl.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + The source code of this software is available
                • - Full name of author is unknown

                Typical usage

                • Firewall management

                DFWFW review

                56

                FireAway

                Introduction

                FireAway is a security tool to test the security of a firewall by trying to bypass its rules. It will use different methods to hide data or avoid detection by the firewall itself. This tool can be used for both defensive as offensive security.

                Project details

                FireAway is written in Python.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + The source code of this software is available
                • - No releases on GitHub available
                • - Unknown project license

                Typical usage

                • Bypassing firewall rules
                • Firewall auditing
                • Network traffic filtering
                • Penetration testing

                FireAway review

                67

                Knock

                Introduction

                Knock implements the principle of port knocking. It does so by using libpcap to sniff network traffic on interfaces and then use that to see if it matches a predefined sequence of steps.

                Project details

                Knock is written in C.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + Project is mature (10+ years)
                • - No updates for a while

                Knock review

                56

                LPFW (LeoPard FloWer)

                Introduction

                LPFW is the abbreviation for LeoPard FloWer and is an application firewall for Linux.

                Project details

                LPFW is written in C++, Python.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + The source code of this software is available
                • - Unknown project license

                Typical usage

                • Network traffic filtering

                LPFW review

                78

                OpenSnitch

                Introduction

                OpenSnitch is a tool based on Little Snitch, a macOS application level firewall. All outgoing connections are monitored and the user is alerted when a new outgoing connection occurs. This allows the user to detect and block any unwanted connections.

                Project details

                OpenSnitch is written in Golang.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + More than 3000 GitHub stars
                • + The source code of this software is available
                • - No releases on GitHub available

                Typical usage

                • Network traffic filtering

                OpenSnitch review

                60

                pyknock

                Introduction

                Port knocking tools typically hide services from the outside world by requesting a 'secret'. This secret is like a special way of knocking on a door, to let others know you can be trusted. It does not replace a password or other method of authentication, yet adds another layer to it.

                Project details

                pyknock is written in Python.

                Strengths and weaknesses

                • + The source code of this software is available
                • - No releases on GitHub available

                Typical usage

                • Network traffic filtering
                • System hardening

                pyknock review

                Some relevant tool missing as an alternative to iptables? Please contact us with your suggestion.