Disable Kernel Parameter for IPv6 Forwarding

Description

To set the runtime status of the net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding kernel parameter, run the following command:

$ sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=0

To make sure that the setting is persistent, add the following line to a file in the directory /etc/sysctl.d:

net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding = 0

Rationale

IP forwarding permits the kernel to forward packets from one network interface to another. The ability to forward packets between two networks is only appropriate for systems acting as routers.

Remediation

Shell script

The following script can be run on the host to remediate the issue.

#!/bin/bash

# Remediation is applicable only in certain platforms
if [ ! -f /.dockerenv ] && [ ! -f /run/.containerenv ]; then

# Comment out any occurrences of net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding from /etc/sysctl.d/*.conf files

for f in /etc/sysctl.d/*.conf /run/sysctl.d/*.conf /usr/local/lib/sysctl.d/*.conf /usr/lib/sysctl.d/*.conf; do

  matching_list=$(grep -P '^(?!#).*[\s]*net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding.*$' $f | uniq )
  if ! test -z "$matching_list"; then
    while IFS= read -r entry; do
      escaped_entry=$(sed -e 's|/|\\/|g' <<< "$entry")
      # comment out "net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding" matches to preserve user data
      sed -i "s/^${escaped_entry}$/# &/g" $f
    done <<< "$matching_list"
  fi
done

#
# Set sysctl config file which to save the desired value
#

SYSCONFIG_FILE="/etc/sysctl.conf"

sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value='<xccdf-1.2:sub idref="xccdf_org.ssgproject.content_value_sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value" use="legacy"/>'


#
# Set runtime for net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding
#
/sbin/sysctl -q -n -w net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding="$sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value"

#
# If net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding present in /etc/sysctl.conf, change value to appropriate value
#	else, add "net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding = value" to /etc/sysctl.conf
#

# Strip any search characters in the key arg so that the key can be replaced without
# adding any search characters to the config file.
stripped_key=$(sed 's/[\^=\$,;+]*//g' <<< "^net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding")

# shellcheck disable=SC2059
printf -v formatted_output "%s = %s" "$stripped_key" "$sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value"

# If the key exists, change it. Otherwise, add it to the config_file.
# We search for the key string followed by a word boundary (matched by \>),
# so if we search for 'setting', 'setting2' won't match.
if LC_ALL=C grep -q -m 1 -i -e "^net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding\\>" "${SYSCONFIG_FILE}"; then
    escaped_formatted_output=$(sed -e 's|/|\\/|g' <<< "$formatted_output")
    LC_ALL=C sed -i --follow-symlinks "s/^net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding\\>.*/$escaped_formatted_output/gi" "${SYSCONFIG_FILE}"
else
    if [[ -s "${SYSCONFIG_FILE}" ]] && [[ -n "$(tail -c 1 -- "${SYSCONFIG_FILE}" || true)" ]]; then
        LC_ALL=C sed -i --follow-symlinks '$a'\\ "${SYSCONFIG_FILE}"
    fi
    printf '%s\n' "$formatted_output" >> "${SYSCONFIG_FILE}"
fi

else
    >&2 echo 'Remediation is not applicable, nothing was done'
fi

Ansible playbook

The following playbook can be run with Ansible to remediate the issue.

- name: List /etc/sysctl.d/*.conf files
  find:
    paths:
    - /etc/sysctl.d/
    - /run/sysctl.d/
    - /usr/local/lib/sysctl.d/
    - /usr/lib/sysctl.d/
    contains: ^[\s]*net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding.*$
    patterns: '*.conf'
    file_type: any
  register: find_sysctl_d
  when: ansible_virtualization_type not in ["docker", "lxc", "openvz", "podman", "container"]
  tags:
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(b)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6.1(iv)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(b)
  - disable_strategy
  - low_complexity
  - medium_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - reboot_required
  - sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding

- name: Comment out any occurrences of net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding from config files
  replace:
    path: '{{ item.path }}'
    regexp: ^[\s]*net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding
    replace: '#net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding'
  loop: '{{ find_sysctl_d.files }}'
  when: ansible_virtualization_type not in ["docker", "lxc", "openvz", "podman", "container"]
  tags:
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(b)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6.1(iv)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(b)
  - disable_strategy
  - low_complexity
  - medium_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - reboot_required
  - sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding
- name: XCCDF Value sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value # promote to variable
  set_fact:
    sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value: !!str <xccdf-1.2:sub idref="xccdf_org.ssgproject.content_value_sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value" use="legacy"/>
  tags:
    - always

- name: Ensure sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding is set
  sysctl:
    name: net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding
    value: '{{ sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding_value }}'
    sysctl_file: /etc/sysctl.conf
    state: present
    reload: true
  when: ansible_virtualization_type not in ["docker", "lxc", "openvz", "podman", "container"]
  tags:
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(b)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6.1(iv)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(a)
  - NIST-800-53-CM-7(b)
  - disable_strategy
  - low_complexity
  - medium_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - reboot_required
  - sysctl_net_ipv6_conf_all_forwarding