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Docker bypasses ufw firewall rules #690

menathor opened this issue Jun 5, 2019 · 4 comments


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commented Jun 5, 2019

  • This is a bug report
  • This is a feature request
  • I searched existing issues before opening this one

Expected behavior

Hi all!

ufw in ubuntu should be treated as the "master" when it comes to low level firewall rules (like firewalld in rhel). However docker bypasses ufw completely and does it's own thing with iptables. It was only by chance (luckily!) we discovered this. Example:

ufw deny 8080 (blocks all external access to port 8080)
docker run jboss/keycloak

Expected behaviour: the Keycloak container should be available at port 8080 on localhost/, but not from the outside world.

Actual behavior

UFW reports port 8080 as blocked but the keycloak docker container is still accessible externally on port 8080.

There is a workaround ( however I think techrepublic are correct when then describe it as a "security flaw", and it's a pretty serious one. Most people using ubuntu user ufw. I imagine a large number of them are unaware their UFW rules are being bypassed and all their containers are exposed.

Is this something that can be addressed in the next update? That article was published in Jan 2018.

@menathor menathor changed the title Docker --net=host bypasses ufw firewall rules Docker bypasses ufw firewall rules Jun 5, 2019


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commented Jun 5, 2019

The problem is ufw does it's own thing here. The best thing to do here would be to insert a jump rule into the DOCKER-USER chain which will forward to the ufw chain.
There is a pretty lengthy discussion on this in, though (search is failing me, unfortunately).

Note that in your example, docker is not doing anything with iptables OR networking since it's using --net=host.


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commented Jun 5, 2019

@cpuguy83 Thanks for the quick reply.

With --net=host specified docker (latest version) is still opening the port via iptables, at least on my ubuntu 18.04 fresh install. If that's not supposed to be happening, maybe it's a bug? I agree it definitely shouldn't be doing anything with iptables or networking if --net=host is specified.

I'll see if I can find the thread you mentioned. Perhaps the docker install process could automatically add DOCKER_OPTS="--iptables=false" if ufw is enabled?


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commented Jul 1, 2019

I just came across the same article myself, and I am very surprised by this behaviour. I dont know all the details about Linux networking, but is there any reason to be doing it? I never heard of any other program that goes around the firewall. If this is some kind of feature, it should definitely disabled by default because it opens up the entire server.


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commented Jul 2, 2019

@Nutomic I agree. I don't think looking at this as a "UFW problem" is the right approach. The way UFW manages the firewall is quite elegant, which is why the majority of Ubuntu users are using it over firewalld.

I really think the docker devs to add UFW compatibility ASAP as it's a serious security issue. Or include a clear warning on install letting users know their UFW rules will be ignored and instructions on a workaround.

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