SGI: Security

firewall: irix or openbsd

I have one dying Pentium133. it have been my trust firewall and lame web server (http, mysql, ssh) for years.

I have two boxes available: another pentium133 with openBSD and a Indy R4k with irix6.5 (just the plain foundations discs instaled yet, but i have the 6.5.22 discs somewhere)

I confess i've only used irix to run visualization programs, i don't even know how to start seting it up as a firewall. Is it a good idea?
While there are some docs on the net about securing IRIX and configuring ipfilters, I'd go with OpenBSD for a firewall -- clear track record, excellent documentation, secure "by default", and so on. I'm not saying that it's impossible to use IRIX as a firewall system, just that it will take a lot more effort and knowledge to secure it and to keep it secure.
Especially considering that with IP24 you're limited to IRIX 6.5.22 and down, and no new security patches are being built for those releases (patches are only verified on current release c, c-1, c-2, c-3).

Another good reason is that you are experienced building firewalls in xBSD. You could have some problems if you're learning on something that security-critical :shock: . Not will, just could, and there's no reason to risk it. Have some fun with the Indy instead.
Thanks for the tips! i've just realised also that i only have one network interface in the indy :) so it's not really an option. Well, back to try to make it display full screen mpeg video then... eventualy... damn procrastination!
You may be interested in the m0n0wall and pfsense projects. They're both embedded distributions based on FreeBSD.

They should work on a P133, but I haven't tried it on that old of a system. I have a converted thin client running m0n0wall based on a Geode 300MHz processor.

It may be worth a try. Good luck in whatever you choose.
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The only thing secure about IRIX is that it's so old nobody remembers how to break it...

No, seriously. Go for OpenBSD. You'll love it.
$DEITY knows I love IRIX but its security features are a joke. Go OpenBSD, you won't regret it.
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out of curiosity, how much electricity does indy r4k draw?
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Security by obscurity ;) OpenBSD + SGI hardware for firewall is kick ass combination
but SUN hardware is also a good choice as Risk architecture are less prone to buffer overflows(not that any is know for OpenBSD but still).
I would try to avoid i386 hardware for firewall just because every idiot now is playing with it hardware.
On the another hand if you want to save money on your electric bill fanless MiniITX mother boards are great way to go. They run i386 however.
The new x86s have execute disable, and with a well-built firewall there won't be many holes to get into anyway. Indeed, a case could be made favoring a big arch (x86, SPARC, probably AXP), as more people will be looking for the little issues and fixing them, and while very few issues will be platform-dependant, you know the x86 ones will be found and fixed. Just keep on top of things and you'll be fine.

The big downside with many workstations as firewalls (especially old workstations) is finding the second network interface. Indigo/Indy really looses out there. Sbus is pretty common, but it's hard to argue with a well-built PCI PC (emphasis on well-built, junk H/W will make your life miserable with problems).
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toxygen wrote: out of curiosity, how much electricity does indy r4k draw?

I think I measured mine to be in the 50-60W range with a newish 15k RPM disk.
Scrap the pentium and use NetBSD on the Indy ;)
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Oko wrote: Risk architecture

do you mean RISC?

Oko wrote: ... are less prone to buffer overflows

Do they not use return addresses on the stack?
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Why not go with a small and cheap linksys or netgear (or similar) router?
I'm not sure about the Indy , but I read it should several Linux distributions ( Debian for sure) as well as some, if not all, *BSD variants.

I don't know how efficient an Indy is, I've never owned one. But, if you want to run a nice, efficient, firewall (and more not), you could also get one of those ARM -based barebones and run OpenBSD on it. If you'd like to do a tiny bit more than just a firewall, the ARM -based Iyonix PC is also a good choice. In good ARM fashion, no fan required. I think you can even trick those things out with USB ports and SCSI-controllers. As ARM Linux is not extremely common, it should therefore be quite safe too. But then, the very same can also be said about MIPS of course. ;)

Just my ยข2...

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porter wrote:
Oko wrote: Risk architecture

do you mean RISC?

Oko wrote: ... are less prone to buffer overflows

Do they not use return addresses on the stack?

Mostly, it's that most buffer-overflow-based shellcode exploits use x86 opcodes in their trickery, this will just explosively segfault on a MIPS or other non-x86. I once built a webserver using a SPARC machine in part because of this. (The customer in question wanted Apache+Solaris+Postgresql+Python regardless of arch, though.)