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For a long time, firewalls have played an important role in network security, protecting many of them against the attacks of malicious users. The implementation of firewalls can be classified into two categories: packet-filtering and proxy-based. Packet-filtering firewalls have gained enormous popularity because of the high performance and easy deployment features. However new generation of network attacks (Worms, viruses etc.) have penetrated the protection of the traditional packet-filtering firewalls. Application-layer firewalls (Traditionally called proxy servers) are given increasing attention recently. The two weaknesses, poor performance and complicated deployment procedures, have hindered the spread of application-layer firewalls.
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