David Kitchen

Author Archives: David Kitchen

How we made Firewall Rules

How we made Firewall Rules
How we made Firewall Rules

Recently we launched Firewall Rules, a new feature that allows you to construct expressions that perform complex matching against HTTP requests and then choose how that traffic is handled. As a Firewall feature you can, of course, block traffic. The expressions we support within Firewall Rules along with powerful control over the order in which they are applied allows complex new behaviour.

In this blog post I tell the story of Cloudflare’s Page Rules mechanism and how Firewall Rules came to be. Along the way I’ll look at the technical choices that led to us building the new matching engine in Rust.

The evolution of the Cloudflare Firewall

Cloudflare offers two types of firewall for web applications, a managed firewall in the form of a WAF where we write and maintain the rules for you, and a configurable firewall where you write and maintain rules. In this article, we will focus on the configurable firewall.

One of the earliest Cloudflare firewall features was the IP Access Rule. It dates backs to the earliest versions of the Cloudflare Firewall and simply allows you to block traffic from specific IP addresses:

if request IP equals then block  Continue reading