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Question about firewalls and faxing

Posted on 2012-03-15
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Last Modified: 2012-04-19
I have a client who requires PCI certification for their credit card processing.  After i checked things out for the company, I requested the Elavon (the certification entity) run a scan, expecting to pass.  But alas, a couple of vulnerabilities were noted, including having port 9100 open to the internet.  That port is open to printing services and leads to a local Kyrocera printer (KM-4050) which is not used for printing from outside, but is set up to send and receive faxes. The firewall is only set to allow printing over port 9100.  The firewall is a Sonicwall combo firewall/router/access point.

Quetion is, if the traffic coming to the printer from the internet is only coming in the way of fax transmissions, and no printing ever happens from the WAN, does that open the port to other exploits?

Thanks for your assist.

Mark
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Question by:mlitin
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vinay1285 earned 250 total points
ID: 37726554
As far as I know, if you can't filter the traffic by IP addresses it's better to open the port to any source. But then you would notice a high volume of traffic for such cases. In my network I filter on ports on the router but based on IPs on the firewall.

Thanks.
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by:wherami
wherami earned 250 total points
ID: 37727037
In theory I guess it could be exploited because you allow any in on port 9100 to the printer. If the application that is used to send and receive faxes can be exploited with a payload that say does a buffer overflow and gives access to the OS on the printer then they have arrived at your front door and are now inside so possible I would say yes. Depending on the business you may not be that valuable a target for the effort.
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Author Comment

by:mlitin
ID: 37735182
Thanks for your responses, vinay1285 and wherami.

As a follow-up, if the printer is only being used from the outside world to send and receive faxes, and all other use is internal,  is the opening of any port for those purposes necessary?


Thanks again.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:mlitin
ID: 37744166
Hi All,

 I mean if the fax is connected to a digital phone line on the same network segment as a server, does a WAN->LAN port 9100 or any port need to be open to allow the transmission and receiving of faxes?

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:mlitin
ID: 37768903
New info...  Talked with a previous tech with the company who said these ports were opened to eliminate problems printing from their web-based applications.  I wonder at the logic of this...  Do you  find this questionable?
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