iptables and dynamic DNS – part 2

In 2011, I wrote this post on Dynamic DNS: http://www.geeklab.info/2011/02/iptables-and-dynamic-dns. While this is still useful, I found a newer, cooler way to do Dynamic DNS in combination with iptables. It's called libnetfilter_queue.

iptables is used to change the inner netfilter tables of the kernel. And because the kernel has no internal resolver, it is impossible for the kernel to do on-the-fly dns lookups. But by offloading this decision to userspace, it is possible. The libnetfilter_queue lib offers that functionality.

libnetfilter_queue is a userspace library providing an API to packets that have been queued by the kernel packet filter. It has bindings for Python and several other languages.

Requirements for my setup

python-NetfilterQueue - https://github.com/kti/python-netfilterqueue




You may need to build the first dependency yourself. The other 3 are available in Fedora 20 by default. If you're running RHEL/CentOS, the Fedora packages can be recompiled for your setup.

iptables rule

First, you need to get iptables to enqueue specific packets to your queue.

iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 631 -m state --state NEW -j NFQUEUE --queue-num 6789 -m comment --comment "Remote CUPS printer"

Queue handler

Then we write a script that handles the queue. A quick-and-dirty implementation:

import socket
from netfilterqueue import NetfilterQueue
def getIP(d):
    This method returns the first IP address string
    that responds as the given domain name
        data = socket.gethostbyname(d)
        #ip = repr(data)
        return data
    except Exception:
        # fail gracefully!
        return False
def dnsfilter(pkt):
        if pkt.get_payload_len() < 0x10:
                "Don't know how to handle this too small packet"
                return False
        srcip=".".join("{:d}".format(ord(c)) for c in payload[0x0c:0x10])
        print "Debug: SRC="+srcip+" ALLOWED="+allowedip+" RESULT=",
        if srcip==allowedip:
                print "Accept"
                print "Drop"
nfqueue = NetfilterQueue()
nfqueue.bind(6789, dnsfilter)
except KeyboardInterrupt:

This is a quick-and-dirty implementation that misses basic features such as caching the result of gethostbyname. This may introduce terrible delays if used wrong.


I'm running RedHat-based software on all of my machines. Above information may be useful for Ubuntu/Debian users, but it's not tested and I'm not supporting it.

Servers: RedHat Enterprise Linux/CentOS is more suitable for servers, as there's a lot of professional level support available. I think that's important, because if I say, get a car accident, I want the servers to be managable by another professional.

Desktops/Laptops: RPM packages are pretty exchangable between RedHat-based platforms. That's a good reason to run Fedora on the desktop.
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