It seems like your browser didn't download the required fonts. Please revise your security settings and try again.
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall

How to Configure SSL Interception in the Firewall

  • Last updated on

Most applications encrypt outgoing connections with SSL or TLS. SSL Interception decrypts SSL-encrypted traffic to allow Application Control features (such as the Virus Scanner, ATP, URL Filter, Safe Search, or File Content Scan) to inspect encrypted content that would otherwise not be visible to the Firewall service. To avoid certificate errors when the users use SSL-encrypted connections, you must install the SSL Interception root certificate on all client computers. If you are using CRL checks, the CRL/OCSP check is done once per 24h period to reduce the load on the CRL/OCSP server. If an error occurs during the CRL check, it is repeated after 10 minutes. Applications with the application object property not interceptable cannot be intercepted and are automatically excluded from SSL Interception. Open the application object on the Forwarding Rules > Applications page to check if an application is interceptable. You can configure SSL Interception to use a cipher string of your choice. The F-Series uses the following default cipher string: HIGH:!aECDH:!ADH:!3DES:!MD5:!DSS:!RC4:!EXP:!eNULL:!NULL:!aNULL. If necessary, you can also set a custom cipher string using the ciphers from the following list:


Before You Begin

Enable Application Control. For more information, see How to Enable Application Control.

Step 1. Enable SSL Interception

  1. Go to CONFIGURATION > Configuration Tree > Box > Virtual Servers > your virtual server > Assigned Services > Firewall > Security Policy.
  2. Click Lock.
  3. Select the Enable SSL Interception check box.
  4. In the Root Certificate section, either select Use self signed certificate or add your certificate by clicking the plus sign (+). The root certificate is used to intercept, proxy, and inspect SSL-encrypted connections. For HTTPS, the F-Series uses the root certificate to present the client with an SSL certificate derived from this root CA.

    When changing the root certificate, go to CONTROL > Server and restart the Firewall service.

  5. In the Trusted Root Certificates table, you can extend the default set of trusted root certificates by clicking the plus sign (+). To view the F-Series certificate store, click the Show CA Certificates link.

  6. Select the Enable CRL Checks check box to automatically check for revoked certificates. 
  7. In the Exception Handling section, add domains that should be excluded from SSL Interception. SSL-encrypted traffic to and from these domains is not decrypted, although SSL Interception is globally enabled. Domains automatically include all subdomains. E.g., will also include
  8. Click Send Changes and Activate.

SSL Interception can now be enabled on a per-access or application-rule basis.

Step 2. Configure Advanced SSL Interception Settings

For SSL Interception, you can also configure advanced settings such as the number of working instances that are involved in the SSL decryption process, log verbosity, CRL checks, or the used cipher string.

  1. Go to CONFIGURATION > Configuration Tree > Box > Virtual Servers > your virtual server > Assigned Services > Firewall > Security Policies.
  2. Click the Advanced link in the upper right of the Security Policy page. The SSL Interception Advanced window opens.

  3. Change the advanced SSL Interception settings according to your requirements:
    • Number of Workers – The number of working instances to be involved in the SSL decryption and encryption process. Default: auto
    • Protocol Error Policy – If the firewall cannot interpret the HTTP or SMTP connection, this policy is enforced:
      • continue – The invalid HTTP or SMTP traffic is forwarded directly, bypassing all further firewall policies such as the Virus Scanner, URL Filter, etc...
      • close –  The invalid HTTP or SMTP connection is closed.
    • RSA Key Size – Select the key size used for the dynamic SSL certificates.
    • Log Verbosity – You can select one of the following log granularity options: debug, info, notice, warning, or error.
    • CRL Error Policy – Since the clients cannot check the revocation status for server certificates of intercepted SSL connections, you can configure the default validation policy for all intercepted SSL connections for which CRL/OCSP checks could not be performed. Default: Yes
      • Ignore – The F-Series creates a valid certificate for the client as long as the content of the server certificate is validated.
      • Fail – The F-Series creates an invalid certificate to let the client know that CRL/OCSP checks could not be performed.
    • Revocation Check Timeout – An OCSP/CRL request must be answered within this timeout; otherwise, a timeout error is delivered to the application. The default value is 20 seconds. The minimum value is 2 seconds. Values less than 2 seconds are internally set to the default value (i.e., 20 seconds).
    • Revocation Fail Retry Interval – Defines how long a failed OCSSP/CRL validation result (timeout, internal failure, …) is cached. No new OCSP/CRL validation is done within this interval. If a cached result is older, a new OCSP/CRL validation is done. The default value is 60 seconds, which is three times the Revocation Check Timeout time. If the previous validation result was a failure, a value of “0” forces a OCSSP/CRL validation for each session. In case of a successful OCSSP/CRL validation, the result is cached for 1 day.
    • SSL Version Handling
      • Allow (obsolete) SSLv2 – Enable if you must support clients, or remote mail servers, that are SSLv2 only.
      • Allow (obsolete) SSLv3 – Enable if you must support clients, or remote mail servers, that are SSLv3 only.
      • OpenSSL Cipher String – You can set a custom cipher string. The F-Series uses the following default cipher string: HIGH:!aECDH:!ADH:!3DES:!MD5:!DSS:!RC4:!EXP:!eNULL:!NULL:!aNULL.
  4. Click OK.

  5. Click Send Changes and Activate.

Certificate Management

The SSL Interception process breaks the certificate trust chain. To reestablish the trust chain, you must install the security certificate (root certificate) and, if applicable, intermediate certificates that are used by the SSL Interception engine. Install this certificate on every client in your network. To prevent browser warnings and allow transparent SSL interception, install the security certificate into the operating system's or web browser's certificate store. 

  1. On the Security Policy page, click the edit icon next to (Self Signed) Certificate and click Export to file.
  2. Enter a name, select *.cer as file type, and click Save.
  3. Deploy this certificate to the computers in your network. Either create a group policy object, or install the certificate manually (MS Certificate Import wizard). Ensure that you deploy the certificate into the MS Windows Trusted Root Certification Authorities certificate store.

Mozilla Firefox does not automatically use trusted CA certificates installed in the MS Windows certificate store.

SSL Interception for SMTPS Traffic

The F-Series supports SSL Interception for incoming and outgoing SSL-encrypted SMTP connections using the SSL certificate of your mail server.
For more information, see How to Configure Mail Security in the Firewall.

SSL Interception for HTTPS Traffic

The F-Series supports SSL Interception for incoming and outgoing SSL-encrypted HTTP connections.
For more information, see How to Configure Virus Scanning in the Firewall for Web Traffic.

SSL Interception for VPN Traffic

To use SSL Interception for traffic going through a VPN tunnel, you must create a VPN interface and assign an IP address that is covered by the source route of the VPN tunnel.

SSL Interception on Bridged Interfaces

SSL Interception can be used only on routed Layer 2 and Layer 3 bridges. Additionally, a default route is needed to carry out CRL checks.

For more information, see Bridging.


If an SSL error log message 'SSL_ERROR_SYSCALL: Connection reset by peer' occurs, please try following workaround:

Configure an access rule for the affected servers in Firewall Admin. In the Edit Rule window, select Advanced. In the TCP Policy secion, set Enable TCP Timestamp stripping to Yes.

CloudGen Firewall Initial Start-Up and Root Certificate

The NextGen Firewall allows SSL Interception without having an explicit root certificate configured. This is considered Demo Mode only.
The admin must consider the following: the RSA key and the certificate (CN=Barracuda Networks AG) are created if no explicit root certificate is configured. However, they are available only until the next boxfw process restarts, are insecure (it is a 512-bit key), and cannot be exported for use as clients as a trusted anchor.
An explicit root certificate must be created/configured to ensure a productive system.

Last updated on