Allowing inbound DHCP requests on a Cisco ZBFW

I came across an interesting one today, where a Cisco Zone-Based Firewall needed to be reconfigured to serve DHCP for a segment connected to it in a zone called “Guest”. It already had a policy-map configured for traffic from Guest to Self, which had ACLs for SSH management.

First I tried adding these two lines to that ACL, in the existing class-map

 permit udp any any eq bootpc
 permit udp any any eq bootps

Although I did see the ACL match counters increment, DHCP was not handing out addresses yet. A quick search led me to this page on the Cisco site. In the last paragraph, they state the following:

If the routers’ inside interface is acting as a DHCP server and if the clients that connect to the inside interface are the DHCP clients, this DHCP traffic is allowed by default if there is no inside-to-self or self-to-inside zone policy.
However, if either of those policies does exist, you need to configure a pass action for the traffic of interest (UDP port 67 or UDP port 68) in the zone pair service policy.

In my case, there was a policy configured but with the action set to inspect. To fix it, I had to add a new ACL and class-map to the Guest-Self policy-map.

New ACL that matches the DHCP traffic. The source and destination is set to any because of the DHCP request format.

ip access-list extended Guest-Self-DHCP-ACL
 permit udp any any eq bootpc
 permit udp any any eq bootps

Tie the ACL to a new inspect class map:

class-map type inspect match-any Guest-Self-DHCP-CMap
 match access-group name Guest-Self-DHCP-ACL

And finally, add the class-map to the policy-map with the pass action

policy-map type inspect Guest-Self-PMap
 class type inspect Guest-Self-CMap
 class type inspect Guest-Self-DHCP-CMap
  pass log
 class class-default

After that the clients started receciving IP addresses again.

ZBFW-ROUTER#show ip dhcp binding
Bindings from all pools not associated with VRF:
IP address          Client-ID/              Lease expiration        Type
                    Hardware address/
                    User name       Oct 21 2015 10:43 AM    Automatic

One thought on “Allowing inbound DHCP requests on a Cisco ZBFW”

  1. If you could share the entire ZBFW configuration by removing all critical information I can better guide you forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.