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Firepower initial config doesn't seem to block threats - any help appreciated



A client of mine has recently purchased two ASA 5516-X with Firepower devices and, not being very experienced with the product, I can't seem to get it to block simple threats.


Details of one of the units is in the text below, but basically I don’t believe that the IPS is preventing traffic that it should (and is permitting all traffic).

I suspect that this is a very simple configuration issue but I don’t understand why the traffic is not being dropped as I suspect that it should.  Any help with this would be most appreciated.

Some problem details


We have deployed the ASA 5516-X in a VLAN

 # show ver

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance Software Version 9.8(3)8
Firepower Extensible Operating System Version 2.2(2.97)
Device Manager Version 7.9(2)152

Compiled on Tue 07-Aug-18 22:53 PDT by builders

System image file is "disk0:/asa983-8-lfbff-k8.SPA"

# show module

Mod  Card Type                                    Model              Serial No.
---- -------------------------------------------- ------------------ -----------
   1 ASA 5516-X with FirePOWER services, 8GE, AC, ASA5516            JAD224702H9
sfr FirePOWER Services Software Module           ASA5516            JAD224702H9

Mod  MAC Address Range                 Hw Version   Fw Version   Sw Version
---- --------------------------------- ------------ ------------ ---------------
   1 70b3.1779.602d to 70b3.1779.6035  3.2          1.1.14       9.8(3)8
sfr 70b3.1779.602c to 70b3.1779.602c  N/A          N/A          6.3.0-83
Mod  SSM Application Name           Status           SSM Application Version
---- ------------------------------ ---------------- --------------------------
sfr ASA FirePOWER                  Up               6.3.0-83
Mod  Status             Data Plane Status     Compatibility
---- ------------------ --------------------- -------------
   1 Up Sys             Not Applicable
sfr Up                 Up


The system has been deployed with a Bridged connection (BVI) translating between VLAN 500 and 2501.
I have a device with IP host address of .4 in VLAN 500 and a second windows PC with host address of .180 in VLAN 2501
Packets are passing through the ASA Firewall between these devices and are being directed to the SFR module.  The SFR Module is sensing the traffic and allowing it.
Logs from the ASA and FirePower are confirming that this is occurring.

However when I use NMAP to simulate various attacks and scans, the SFR does not appear to be providing any protection and is still allowing the traffic.

 have attached parts of the Firepower rules.  I have tried various ways to implement the same thing all without changing the behavior.

No intrusions show in the firepower log but I can see the connections.  I can also verify that the packets are getting through.

I have tried various TCP and UDP port-scans, DOS Scripts, vulnerability scripts using nMap.

Thanks for any assistance...





Config of ASA:

: Saved

: Serial Number: JAD224702H9
: Hardware:   ASA5516, 8192 MB RAM, CPU Atom C2000 series 2416 MHz, 1 CPU (8 cores)
: Written by enable_15 at 10:52:44.695 WST Thu Dec 20 2018
ASA Version 9.8(3)8
firewall transparent
hostname IPS1
domain-name x.local
enable password
no mac-address auto

interface GigabitEthernet1/1
 channel-group 1 mode active
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/2
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/3
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/4
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/5
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/6
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/7
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface GigabitEthernet1/8
 no nameif
 no security-level
interface Management1/1
 nameif management
 security-level 0
 ip address y.32.1.200
interface BVI250
 ip address x.30.132.240
interface Port-channel1
 lacp max-bundle 8
 nameif Po1
 security-level 0
interface Port-channel1.500
 vlan 500
 bridge-group 250
 nameif FCRMon-Current
 security-level 50
interface Port-channel1.2501
 vlan 2501
 bridge-group 250
 nameif FCRMon-Test
 security-level 50
ftp mode passive
clock timezone WST 8
dns server-group DefaultDNS
 domain-name x.local
same-security-traffic permit inter-interface
access-list SFR_REDIRECT extended permit ip any any
access-list global_access extended permit ip any any
pager lines 24
logging enable
logging asdm informational
mtu management 1500
mtu Po1 1500
mtu FCRMon-Current 1500
mtu FCRMon-Test 1500
no failover
no monitor-interface service-module
icmp unreachable rate-limit 1 burst-size 1
asdm image disk0:/asdm-792-152.bin
no asdm history enable
arp timeout 14400
no arp permit-nonconnected
arp rate-limit 16384
access-group global_access global
timeout xlate 3:00:00
timeout pat-xlate 0:00:30
timeout conn 1:00:00 half-closed 0:10:00 udp 0:02:00 sctp 0:02:00 icmp 0:00:02
timeout sunrpc 0:10:00 h323 0:05:00 h225 1:00:00 mgcp 0:05:00 mgcp-pat 0:05:00
timeout sip 0:30:00 sip_media 0:02:00 sip-invite 0:03:00 sip-disconnect 0:02:00
timeout sip-provisional-media 0:02:00 uauth 0:05:00 absolute
timeout tcp-proxy-reassembly 0:01:00
timeout floating-conn 0:00:00
timeout conn-holddown 0:00:15
timeout igp stale-route 0:01:10
user-identity default-domain LOCAL
aaa authentication ssh console LOCAL
aaa authentication login-history
http server enable
http management
no snmp-server location
no snmp-server contact
service sw-reset-button
crypto ipsec security-association pmtu-aging infinite
crypto ca trustpool policy
telnet timeout 5
ssh stricthostkeycheck
ssh management
ssh timeout 30
ssh key-exchange group dh-group1-sha1
console timeout 0
threat-detection basic-threat
threat-detection statistics access-list
no threat-detection statistics tcp-intercept
ntp server source management
ssl cipher default low
ssl cipher tlsv1 low
ssl cipher tlsv1.1 low
ssl cipher tlsv1.2 low
ssl cipher dtlsv1 low
dynamic-access-policy-record DfltAccessPolicy

class-map SFR_REDIRECT
 match access-list SFR_REDIRECT
class-map inspection_default
 match default-inspection-traffic
policy-map type inspect dns migrated_dns_map_1
  message-length maximum client auto
  message-length maximum 512
  no tcp-inspection
policy-map global_policy
 description To SFR
 class inspection_default
  inspect dns migrated_dns_map_1
  inspect esmtp
  inspect ftp
  inspect h323 h225
  inspect h323 ras
  inspect ip-options
  inspect netbios
  inspect rsh
  inspect rtsp
  inspect sip  
  inspect skinny  
  inspect sqlnet
  inspect sunrpc
  inspect tftp
  inspect xdmcp
  sfr fail-open
policy-map type inspect dns migrated_dns_map_2
  message-length maximum client auto
  message-length maximum 512
  no tcp-inspection
service-policy global_policy global
prompt hostname context
no call-home reporting anonymous
: end




2 Replies 2

VIP Advisor VIP Advisor
VIP Advisor

your ASA code config look fine to me. now coming to firepower SFR config.

you have to define few things in parallel to make it inline work to generate the alerts. have you define the intrusion policy in ASDM for SFR and also get the option as drop and generate log the alert. also looking in your ACP your rule allow any any and the default rule is intrusion blanced security and connectivity check this link will help you to setup the box correctly in regards to SFR.

please do not forget to rate.

Thanks Sheraz(?)

I have looked at the link and (apart from it referring to an older release), it looks pretty much what I have implemented.  I don't have file policies or any malware licences.


I have an intrusion policy called "Test".  In this I have tried using the "Balanced" and "Maximum" base policies.  In addition I have added rules to prevent Port Scanning (All options) as well as (for testing) ICMP replies.  These I have set to "Drop and Generate Events".  The Policy states to Drop when Inline (Yes).

I have created an Access Control Policy which uses "Test" as the Inspection Intrusion Policy and have set the Action to Allow.

I have tried using <any> for source and destination zones and networks, and have also tried setting specific values for these.

I am only using ASDM and don't have the Firepower manager if that makes any difference to anything at all.


When testing, ICMP replies are successfully being dropped by FirePower - yay - and I have seen some intrusion drops at times so the policies do seem to be working sort of.

My issue, however, is that most port scans and intrustion attempts generated by NMAP seem to successfully pass.


Perhaps I don't understand how Firepower reacts to NMAP scans and maybe I don't understand port scanning in general, but in my mind I should not be able to successfully determine through NMAP which ports are open on an end device.  I can maybe understand if a few packets get through before the IPS works out that a scan is in progress, but when I try using NAMP -sV <end device> every open port on the end device is reported as open. And when using some the NMAP vulnerability and brute-force scripts, these seem to get through successfully. 

Interestingly, none of these attempts (except the ICMP replies) seem to get logged in the Real Time Event Log under "connection" or "Intrusion", but is shown in the ASA traffic log (possibly because they are not set to generate an event?).  I do get a lot of UDP traffic for multicast addresses logged in the "connection" page. This is mostly IGMP Client traffic.  My access-list for defining traffic to be passed to the SFR is a basic permit ip any any.


If anybody can make any sense of this or would like to enlighten me as to why this might be or wish to debunk anything, please feel free.


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