A Heuristic Process for Local Inconsistency Diagnosis in Firewall Rule Sets

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Executive Summary

Writing and managing firewall ACLs are hard and error-prone tasks for a wide range of reasons. During these tasks, inconsistent rules can be introduced. An inconsistent firewall ACL implies in general a design error, and indicates that the firewall is accepting traffic that should be denied or vice versa. However, the administrator is who ultimately decides if an inconsistent rule is a fault or not. Although many algorithms to diagnose inconsistencies in firewall ACLs have been proposed, they have different drawbacks regarding many aspects of the consistency management problem, which can prevent their use in a wide range of real-life situations.

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