Is a Firewall impervious to Viruses?

352420 pts.
Tags:
Firewalls
Internet security
Viruses
By being connected to the Internet, a computer can be infected with viruses. Why do we put a firewall between the computer and the internet. Isn't the firewall vulnerable to virus attacks?  If not, why not?

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  • TomLiotta
    Many firewalls are not impervious to viruses. There just aren't many useful vectors of infection. -- Tom
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  • Kevin Beaver
    Yes! A firewall is impervious to malware - according to many people in executive management. Hence why IT/security budgets are often so limited.

    Actually, firewalls *can* be infected with viruses - they're merely computers running common operating systems, typically Linux but sometimes Windows. It's the attack surface that's different with firewalls. People don't typically use a firewall in the traditional sense (i.e. logging in, loading a desktop environment, etc.) that's where the risks usually are and that's why firewalls are not as vulnerable as a typical workstation or server.
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  • TomLiotta
    IIRC, there was at least one case where a firewall/router firmware flash was infected or something similar. (Maybe false memory, though the scenario is valid.) Applying it would infect the appliance. That's why details like MD5 hashes can be critical, and it's also why vendors have to be extremely vigilant about what they make available for downloads. -- Tom
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