While I have some Checkpoint certifications, and my job title is Network Security Engineer, this does not make me an expert across all firewall products. Certainly, there are many similarities, and there is indeed a lot of transferable knowledge and skills, each product has it own set of unique things. This can vary as widely as how a packet is inspected, the order of NAT vs. firewall rules, etc... I came across a forum post on Sophos' website which I have been referring to quite often. For my own personal notes, I will put the important details below.

Early this year, I discovered my server was acting... kinda wonky (details here). In short, I feared that my server had been hijacked for some other, nefarious purposes. After that, I decided to start a forensics analysis, detailed here. 8 months later, after much additional research, I am looking back at my notes and writing up my "final word" on the matter.

I had come across an old Nokia IP260 here at work. The device is long since end-of-life, no longer supported, won't be RMA'd... It can only run versions of IPSO and Checkpoint so ancient that it borders upon useless (and in fact maybe even dangerous). But the hardware works perfectly fine. It boots, loads, and all Checkpoint services operate, if you can get your hands on a license (which you can't, really, because it is so old, end-of-life, and unsupported). So what to do with the hardware? Sure I can cannibalize it for a 20GB Laptop HDD and 1GB Flash card, but the device workes better as a whole... It would be nice to make it function in some manner.

The IP Appliance Operating System, IPSO, is based off of FreeDSB. pfSense is based off FreeBSD. Looks like a match made in heaven. I've read some articles and forum posts about getting different OSes running on IP330, IP560, IP380, etc... But nothing on an IP260. Here is my work at attempting this, and the discoveries made along the way.

In an earlier article, I "reviewed" 4 different Open Soure UTM (Unified Threat Management) products, and 1 closed source (but still free) product. While not necessarily Open-Source, it still fits well within my "Zero-Cost" Proof-of-Concept. Here I will cover my experiences with actually installing it on an old desktop PC, configuring, and configuring it as a firewall.

I am working to have a network setup using as much open-sourced software as possible. This website is a perfect example; Linux Webserver and Joomla, and Open-source website framework. The next thing on my list of open-source softrwares is a good UTM Firewall device. For the uninitiated, UTM stands for Unified Threat Management. As opposed to just a basic firewall that blocks and allows traffic, I want something that offers a complete package, with Site-to-Site (IPSec) VPN, Client-to-Site (Remote Access) VPN, and easy-to-use management. There are a number of options that would possibly fit this bill. Here is a rundown of the Firewalls I have found and how they do/don't work.