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Firewalls are crucial elements in network security, and have been widely deployed in most businesses and institutions for securing private networks. The function of a firewall is to examine each incoming and outgoing packet and decide whether to accept or to discard the packet based on its policy. Due to the lack of tools for analyzing firewall policies, most firewalls on the Internet have been plagued with policy errors. A firewall policy error either creates security holes that will allow malicious traffic to sneak into a private network or blocks legitimate traffic and disrupts normal business processes, which in turn could lead to irreparable, if not tragic, consequences.
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