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Identity on Cisco Firewalls : Administrative Access Control on IOS

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2/22/2015 8:46:00 PM
After studying in detail how to create and enforce identity-based rules for regular users who need to pass traffic through firewalls, you can now turn your attention to potential admin users attempting to execute commands on IOS devices. As discussed earlier, TACACS+ is a natural choice for this type of demand because two of its basic attributes (cmd and cmd-arg) lend themselves well to the challenge of individually authorizing any available command on IOS software.
  • Although the selection of the authentication protocol is one essential facet of the problem you need to solve, there are some important aspects to take into account:

  • Modern networks are characterized by an increasing number of infrastructure devices (routers, switches, firewalls, Wireless Access Points, and so on) that need to be managed. Scalability is a key topic here.

  • It is not typical for companies to have the level of expertise evenly distributed across branches and headquarters. Logical configuration of remote devices is frequently performed from the central site. Some sort of configuration profile that could be built once and deployed multiple times for similar devices would be of great value.

  • There are many examples of products that integrate several functional domains. Cisco Integrated Service Routers (ISR), for instance, can combine routing, switching, WLAN connectivity, WAN optimization, telephony, and security features, just to name a few. The challenge resides is that most of the time, there are distinct technical teams in charge of each knowledge segment, with different sets of metrics, and so on. How to ensure service integration while still separating teams? Traditional solutions that provide only all-or-nothing types of access control do not meet the flexibility requirements of complex environments. Granularity is fundamental.

Cisco Secure ACS implementation of the TACACS+ server portion helps to deal with the issues just raised. By supporting the creation of Shared Profile Components that can be applied to any number of user groups, scalability and manageability result. Two kinds of profiles deserve explicit reference:

  • Shell Command Authorization Sets: Flexible collections of commands that can include any command or, even more specifically, any command argument. Figures 1 and 2 show two sample command sets that were constructed using different logic. Although the first, named CMD1-Routers enables most commands and denies only specific ones, the second, CMD2-Routers, does the opposite, denying by default and enabling only what was explicitly permitted. It is relevant to point out that in the second command set some arguments of the show command were also denied. This provides an illustration of how powerful this resource is.

  • Network Device Groups (NDG): Sets of AAA Clients (NASes).

    Figure 1. Sample Shell Command Set That Denies Explicitly Listed Commands
    Figure 2. Sample Shell Command Set That Permits Explicitly Defined Commands

These types of CS-ACS profiles can be combined with command sets inside User groups to form a matrix of access privileges similar to that one illustrated in Table 1. Notice that members of one User group may now be assigned a different command set for each NDG. This section examines these concepts by presenting practical usage scenarios.

Table 1. Combining NDGs and Command Sets Inside User Groups
 NDG INTERNETNDG INTRANET
User Group GROUP1Command Set CMD1Command Set CMD2
User Group GROUP2Command Set CMD3Command Set CMD1

Example 1 reinforces the concept that individual command authorization is not supported by RADIUS. This is not a bug. It is just the nature of the protocol.

Example 1. Individual Command Authorization Is Not Supported by RADIUS
! Defining an AAA Server Group that uses the RADIUS protocol

aaa group server radius RADIUS1
server 172.21.21.250 auth-port 1812 acct-port 1813
server-private 172.21.21.250 auth-port 1812 acct-port 1813 key 7 13061E010803557878
!
! Attempting to configure command authorization using RADIUS

OUT(config)#aaa authorization commands 1 CMD1 group RADIUS1
%AAAA-4-SERVNOTACPLUS: The server-group "RADIUS1" is not a tacacs+ server group.
Please define "RADIUS1" as a tacacs+ server group.


Example 2 assembles the relevant commands to implement command authorization and accounting on IOS. Notice that IOS enables the usage of named method lists instead of just the default method list. This is useful when there is a need to implement different methods for the various types of access (Console, VTY, PPP, and so on).

Tip

It is good practice to always use named method lists even if you might have perceived it as more complex in a first contact with the resource. This approach guarantees much more flexibility if you need to add another AAA type of control later. Examples 3 through 6 illustrate the process of calling method lists into action.


Example 2. Basic Configuration for IOS Command Authorization and Accounting
aaa new-model
!
! Defining an AAA server-group called "TACACS1"

aaa group server tacacs+ TACACS1
server 172.21.21.250
server-private 172.21.21.250 key 7 14141B180F0B7B7977
!
! Defining the source interface for TACACS+ packets

ip tacacs source-interface Vlan21
!
! Defining a LOGIN method for the serial console (local authentication for this line)
aaa authentication login CONSOLE local

! Defining a LOGIN method for the VTY lines (Telnet and SSH)

aaa authentication login TERMINAL group TACACS1
!
! Authorization for EXEC sessions and execution of individual commands

aaa authorization exec EXEC1 group TACACS1
aaa authorization config-commands
aaa authorization commands 1 CMD1 group TACACS1
aaa authorization commands 15 CMD15 group TACACS1
!
! Accounting for EXEC sessions and execution individual commands

aaa accounting exec EXECLOG1 start-stop group TACACS1
aaa accounting commands 1 ACCT1 start-stop group TACACS1
aaa accounting commands 15 ACCT15 start-stop group TACACS1
!
! Applying the LOGIN authentication and EXEC accounting methods for the console line
line con 0
login authentication CONSOLE
accounting exec EXECLOG1
!
! Applying the LOGIN, Authorization and Accounting named Method Lists to the VTY lines
line vty 0 4
login authentication TERMINAL
authorization exec EXEC1
authorization commands 1 CMD1
authorization commands 15 CMD15
accounting exec EXECLOG1
accounting commands 1 ACCT1
accounting commands 15 ACCT15
transport input telnet ssh


Example 3 depicts the operation of the named method lists defined in Example 2 to control console line access. EXEC Authorization is not defined for the console line.

Example 4 illustrates access control to a VTY line (via telnet, in this case). In this example, a value of “15” to the privilege-level (priv-lvl=15) is assigned after EXEC Authorization.

Example 3. Console Session (Local Authentication and TACACS+ Accounting)
! Locally defined user "admin" connects to the console line

AAA/BIND(00000017): Bind i/f
AAA/ACCT/EVENT/(00000017): CALL START
Getting session id for NET(00000017) : db=8466336C
AAA/ACCT(00000000): add node, session 43
AAA/ACCT/NET(00000017): add, count 1
Getting session id for NONE(00000017) : db=8466336C
AAA/AUTHEN/LOGIN (00000017): Pick method list 'CONSOLE'
Username: admin
Password:
DMZ>
! Accounting for the EXEC session

AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000017): Pick method list 'EXECLOG1'
AAA/ACCT/SETMLIST(00000017): Handle ED000006, mlist 84664930, Name EXECLOG1
Getting session id for EXEC(00000017) : db=8466336C
AAA/ACCT(00000017): add common node to avl failed
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000017): add, count 2
AAA/ACCT/EVENT/(00000017): EXEC UP
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000017): Queueing record is START
AAA/ACCT(00000017): Accouting method=TACACS1 (TACACS+)
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000017): START protocol reply PASS
AAA/ACCT(00000017): Send START accounting notification to EM successfully


Example 4. Telnet Session - Highlighting EXEC Authorization
! Login Authentication, EXEC Authorization and EXEC Accounting succeed for VTY line
AAA/AUTHEN/LOGIN (00000018): Pick method list 'TERMINAL'
AAA/AUTHOR (0x18): Pick method list 'EXEC1'
AAA/AUTHOR/EXEC(00000018): processing AV cmd=
AAA/AUTHOR/EXEC(00000018): processing AV priv-lvl=15
AAA/AUTHOR/EXEC(00000018): Authorization successful
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000018): Pick method list 'EXECLOG1'
AAA/ACCT/SETMLIST(00000018): Handle ED000006, mlist 84664930, Name EXECLOG1
Getting session id for EXEC(00000018) : db=83CABEE4
AAA/ACCT(00000018): add common node to avl failed
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000018): add, count 2
AAA/ACCT/EVENT/(00000018): EXEC UP
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000018): Queueing record is START
AAA/ACCT(00000018): Accouting method=TACACS1 (TACACS+)
AAA/ACCT/EXEC(00000018): START protocol reply PASS
AAA/ACCT(00000018): Send START accounting notification to EM successfully


Example 5 illustrates a command authorization session for IOS that is in accordance with the configurations presented in Example 2 and with the command set defined in Figure 2. In this particular case, the command attempt is denied, therefore not producing an accounting record.

Figure 2. Reference Topology for the Analysis of Administrative Access Control


Figure 3 shows a sample Failed Attempts report in CS-ACS for denied commands. The last column of the table displays the Device Command Set that denied the execution of the command.

Figure 3. Sample IOS Command Authorization Failures in CS-ACS (“Failed Attempts”)

Example5. Command Authorization Session (Nonauthorized Command)
' Following up EXEC authorization, user2 attempts to execute the "show users" command
! AAA/AUTHOR: auth_need : user= 'user2' ruser= 'DMZ'rem_addr= '172.21.21.101' priv= 1 list= 'CMD1' AUTHOR-TYPE= 'command'
AAA: parse name=tty2 idb type=-1 tty=-1
AAA: name=tty2 flags=0x11 type=5 shelf=0 slot=0 adapter=0 port=2 channel=0
AAA/MEMORY: create_user (0x8465C574) user='user2' ruser='DMZ' ds0=0 port='tty2'
rem_addr='172.21.21.101' authen_type=ASCII service=NONE
priv=1 initial_task_id='0', vrf= (id=0)
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): Port='tty2' list='CMD1' service=CMD
AAA/AUTHOR/CMD: tty2(1549841260) user='user2'
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): send AV service=shell
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): send AV cmd=show
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): send AV cmd-arg=users
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): send AV cmd-arg=<cr>
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): found list "CMD1"
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(1549841260): Method=TACACS1 (tacacs+)
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (1549841260): user=user2
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (1549841260): send AV service=shell
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (1549841260): send AV cmd=show
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (1549841260): send AV cmd-arg=users
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (1549841260): send AV cmd-arg=<cr>
TAC+: (1549841260): received author response status = FAIL
AAA/AUTHOR (1549841260): Post authorization status = FAIL
AAA/MEMORY: free_user (0x8465C574) user='user2' ruser='DMZ' port='tty2'
rem_addr='172.21.21.101' authen_type=ASCII service=NONE priv=1 vrf= (id=0)


Example 6 illustrates a command authorization session for IOS that is in accordance with the configurations presented in Example 2 and with the command set defined in Figure 1.

Figure 4 shows a sample TACACS+ Administration report in CS-ACS. An accounting record for the show ip route command of example 6 is shown in this figure.

Figure 4. Sample IOS Command Accounting in CS-ACS (TACACS+ Administration)

Example 6. Command Authorization Session (Allowed Command)
! Authorized command is issued by user "user1". Command Accounting uses list "ACCT1"
AAA/AUTHOR: auth_need : user= 'user1' ruser= 'DMZ'rem_addr= '172.21.21.101' priv= 1 list= 'CMD1' AUTHOR-TYPE= 'command'
AAA: parse name=tty2 idb type=-1 tty=-1
AAA: name=tty2 flags=0x11 type=5 shelf=0 slot=0 adapter=0 port=2 channel=0
AAA/MEMORY: create_user (0x84D63A0C) user='user1' ruser='DMZ' ds0=0 port='tty2'
 rem_addr='172.21.21.101' authen_type=ASCII service=NONE priv=1 initial_task_id='0', vrf= (id=0)
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): Port='tty2' list='CMD1' service=CMD
AAA/AUTHOR/CMD: tty2(3985697951) user='user1'
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): send AV service=shell
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): send AV cmd=show
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): send AV cmd-arg=ip
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): send AV cmd-arg=route
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): send AV cmd-arg=<cr>
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): found list "CMD1"
tty2 AAA/AUTHOR/CMD(3985697951): Method=TACACS1 (tacacs+)
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (3985697951): user=user1
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (3985697951): send AV service=shell
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (3985697951): send AV cmd=show
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (3985697951): send AV cmd-arg=ip
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (3985697951): send AV cmd-arg=route
AAA/AUTHOR/TAC+: (3985697951): send AV cmd-arg=<cr>
TAC+: (-309269345): received author response status = PASS_ADD
AAA/AUTHOR (3985697951): Post authorization status = PASS_ADD
AAA/MEMORY: free_user (0x84D63A0C) user='user1' ruser='DMZ' port='tty2'
rem_addr='172.21.21.101' authen_type=ASCII service=NONE priv=1 vrf= (id=0)
AAA/ACCT/259(00000018): Pick method list 'ACCT1'
AAA/ACCT/SETMLIST(00000018): Handle 34000007, mlist 846E3288, Name ACCT1
[ output suppressed]


Figure 5 is intended to consolidate the processes of individual command authorization and accounting that can follow a successful EXEC authorization. In the start point of the flowchart, assume that the user has already been authenticated.

Figure 5. Flowchart for IOS TACACS+ Command Authorization and Accounting
Other  
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : User-Based Zone Policy Firewall (part 3) - Integrating Auth-Proxy and the ZFW
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : User-Based Zone Policy Firewall (part 2) - Establishing user-group Membership Awareness in IOS - Method 2
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : User-Based Zone Policy Firewall (part 1) - Establishing user-group Membership Awareness in IOS - Method 1
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  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : IOS User-Level Control with Auth-Proxy (part 3) - IOS Auth-Proxy with Downloadable ACLs
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : IOS User-Level Control with Auth-Proxy (part 2) - IOS Auth-Proxy with Downloadable Access Control Entries
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : IOS User-Level Control with Auth-Proxy (part 1)
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : ASA User-Level Control with Cut-Through Proxy (part 6) - HTTP Listener
  •  Identity on Cisco Firewalls : ASA User-Level Control with Cut-Through Proxy (part 5) - Cut-Through Proxy with Downloadable ACLs
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