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Firewall User Authentication Overview

 

A firewall user is a network user who must provide a username and password for authentication when initiating a connection across the firewall. Junos OS enables administrators to restrict and permit firewall users to access protected resources (different zones) behind a firewall based on their source IP address and other credentials.

Junos OS also supports the administrator and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) user types.

Note

Starting in Junos OS Release 15.1X49-D40 and Junos OS Release 17.3R1, HTTPS-based authentication is introduced on vSRX, SRX300, SRX320, SRX340, SRX345, SRX550M, and SRX1500 Services Gateways.

After you define firewall users, you can create a policy that requires the users to authenticate themselves through one of three authentication schemes:

  • Pass-through authentication—A host or a user from one zone tries to access resources on another zone. You must use an FTP client, a Telnet client, an HTTP client, or an HTTPS client to access the IP address of the protected resource and to get authenticated by the firewall. The device uses FTP, Telnet, HTTP, or HTTPS to collect username and password information, and subsequent traffic from the user or host is allowed or denied based on the result of this authentication. When the device is using an HTTPS server, and after the authentication is done, the subsequent traffic from the user is always terminated whether the authentication is successful or not.

    Note

    Starting with Junos OS Release 12.1X44-D10 and Junos OS Release 17.3R1, support for HTTPS-based authentication is introduced for high-end SRX Series Services Gateways. It is not supported on SRX Series branch devices. For branch devices, you must use HTTP-based authentication.

    Note

    Starting in Junos OS Release 19.1R1, pass-through firewall user authentication is supported on NFX150 devices.

  • Pass-through with web-redirect authentication—This authentication method can be used for HTTP or HTTPS client requests. When you configure firewall authentication to use pass-through authentication for HTTP and HTTPs client requests, you can use the web-redirect feature to direct the user’s requests to the device's internal webserver. The webserver sends a redirect HTTP or HTTPS response to the client system directing it to reconnect to the webserver for user authentication. The interface on which the client’s request arrives is the interface to which the redirect response is sent.

    Note

    For security reasons, on security policies that you configure for HTTP pass-through authentication, we recommend that you use web-redirect rather than direct pass-through authentication. The web browser may provide security by automatically including credentials for subsequent requests to the target web server.

    Using this feature allows for a richer user login experience. For example, instead of a popup prompt asking the user to enter their username and password, users are presented with the login page in a browser. Enabling web-redirect has the same effect as if the user typed the web authentication IP address in a client browser. In that sense, web-redirect provides a seamless authentication experience; the user does not need to know the IP address of the web authentication source but only the IP address of the resource they are attempting to access. After the user has been authenticated, traffic from user's IP address is allowed to go through the web-redirect method.

    A message is displayed to inform the user about the successful authentication. After successful authentication, the browser launches the user’s original destination URL without their needing to retype the URL.

    The following message is displayed:

  • Web authentication—Users try to connect, using HTTP or HTTPS, to an IP address on the device that is enabled for Web authentication; in this scenario, you do not use HTTP or HTTPS to get to the IP address of the protected resource. You are prompted for the username and password that are verified by the device. Subsequent traffic from the user or host to the protected resource is allowed or denied based on the result of this authentication.

Release History Table
Release
Description
Starting in Junos OS Release 19.1R1, pass-through firewall user authentication is supported on NFX150 devices.
Starting in Junos OS Release 15.1X49-D40 and Junos OS Release 17.3R1, HTTPS-based authentication is introduced on vSRX, SRX300, SRX320, SRX340, SRX345, SRX550M, and SRX1500 Services Gateways.
Starting with Junos OS Release 12.1X44-D10 and Junos OS Release 17.3R1, support for HTTPS-based authentication is introduced for high-end SRX Series Services Gateways.