Pfsense routing localhost through wan despite rules

  • Hi!

    Been using pfsense for years. After a remake of my router/firewall etc on version 2.3.4 I noticed all localhost traffic was going to my wan interface. I found this peculiar since I use vpn:s and route everything through there and have been doing so for years. This also means all my dns queries was sent to the wan despite my knowledge since the dns resolver sends everything the same way despite which interfaces i choose in it´s settings. Just try the traceroute command under diagnostics…

    After some research I found it was my NAT settings as "Hybrid" which caused the behaviour. After changing to manual it went back to the way I expected it to behave, ie everything going through the vpn:s... This however was after I tried to block everything going from with no success. No matter what rules I put in place the traffic kept going to my wan...

    This however has revealed that all my localhost traffic for over a year has been passing to my wan while I thought it was going to the vpn because that´s where it went before that hybrid thing was introduced and manual NAT was the only way to get vpn:s to work.

    So my question is, this is a grave and serious breach of privacy and security. Why did you not inform that the NAT hybrid setting would behave in this way?  As I remember the manual settings would take priority over the automated NAT rules???

    This has been a serious wakeup call for me and I´m considering to completely leave pfsense despite my love for it. If I cannot trust that a tested (by myself) and audited (by myself) setting will stay the same due to new functions this is not a reliable and trustworthy firewall/router since I have to retest everything at every release... I don´t have the time for that!!!!

    Love it but right now hate it!!!

  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Outbound NAT has nothing to do with where traffic is routed. It only determines what translations happen when such traffic is already routed out that interface. What you are seeing has absolutely nothing to do with the introduction of Hybrid Outbound NAT mode despite your conclusions.

    If you are policy routing over the VPN then traffic sourced from the firewall itself is not subject to policy routing because it never enters the interface with the policy routing rules on it.

    If you are accepting a default route from the VPN provider then traffic sourced from the firewall itself should follow that route while that VPN is up.