HTTP 2.0 Specification?
I wanted to share with everyone what I thought was an entertaining issue that was brought to my attention by one of our (Celestix) support engineers recently. The issue was a classic one for most seasoned ISA firewall administrators; 502 proxy error (request not supported) when accessing a specific site, but the same site can be reached without issue behind any other firewall or router. Clearly the ISA firewall, with its deep application layer inspection capabilities, is objecting to something in the communication stream and denying our request. Now, there are plenty of other documented examples of this type of scenario, but what I found particularly entertaining about this specific one (and hence compelled to write about it here) was the response I see coming from the remote web server…
HTTP/2.0? This was not a specification I was aware of, but as a sanity check I posed this question to some folks that know a lot more about this stuff than I do. Thankfully, Jim Harrison did confirm for me that HTTP/2.0 is not a valid specification. Thanks Jim!
Again, this is a fairly common scenario when you deal with the ISA firewall. Because the ISA firewall is capable of understanding communication at the application layer (layer 7), it is designed for security reasons to disallow ANY non-RFC compliant communication. That includes any fictitious HTTP specifications that vendors decide to dream up as well. And once again, this is another shining example of the power and security of the ISA firewall. With these advanced features, the ISA firewall does far more to protect your network communication than any firewall on the market today. In this instance, had this been a malicious site, any other firewall (certainly my ASA!) would blindly allow the communication.