Cisco ASA5510 - Configuring Connection Limits and Timeout for Preventing DDoS

Posted on 2014-02-20
Last Modified: 2014-03-12
My public facing DNS were being syn flooded this morning.  I configured a service policy rule on my ASA5510, and set the "Maximum Per Client Connections" to 20.  Its seems to be working, but I am still getting the following messages all the time coming from different outside addresses, targeting my two public facing DNS servers.

Feb 20 2014 08:17:25: %ASA-3-201013: Per-client connection limit exceeded 20/20 for output packet from to x.x.x.134/53 on interface dmz

Is there anything further I can do to help stop this?  I am eventually going to get an SSM for the ASA, but I don't have one yet.
Question by:denver218
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Robert Sutton Jr
ID: 39873389
Aside from maybe having your provider block those specific ports upstream, then there really isn't anything you can do atm ... And since we here don't know anything about your net setup take a look at the link below.

Author Comment

ID: 39873802
Thanks.  Its a public DNS server so I can't have my provider block udp/53.  They did work with me earlier, and I had them block it for a test, and of course the traffic stopped coming into my network, but my DNS servers then were not functional.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 39883197
Your DNS servers should be able to handle significantly more than 20 concurrent connections.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 39883203
Wait... SYN flooding?  Can you just block TCP/53 and allow UDP/53?  That should allow DNS requests to work while blocking the SYN packets.

TCP/53 is only used for zone transfers.

Author Comment

ID: 39909572
I used to only have UDP/53 open, but now I am being told that for a proper DNS setup TCP/53 should be open because any messages who size exceeds the DNS protocols original 512-byte limit has to use TCP.  I always thought TCP/53 was only for zone transfers, which is why I always closed that port.  Below is the document I've been referred to:
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 39909615
There's a configuration setting to increase the maximum size of the DNS packet.... Let me see if I can find it.
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

asavener earned 500 total points
ID: 39909756

earlier versions of PIX (6.3.2 and below), you had to manually configure the DNS fixup to permit DNS packets with the longer length :

fixup protocol dns maximum-length 4096

in more recent versions, it would be covered by :

policy-map type inspect dns preset_dns_map
message-length maximum 4096

or to increase the response size length:

policy-map global_policy
class inspection_default
inspect dns maximum-length 4096

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39924323

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