Android Kernel and Iptables

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The Android is based on Linux kernel it consists of iptables included along with the android source. The iptables version included with the android source is 1.3.7 which is based on Linux kernel 2.6.29 . The iptables shipped with android has the same packet filtering capabilities as found in Linux kernel. But the device should have ROOT ACCESS in order to manipulate the iptables in android. Another issue with the android iptables binary is that it doesn‟t support entire iptables commands say for example commands like “iptables-save” which is used to save the current iptables rules set to file and later restored by using “iptables-restore” command. These commands are used to preserve the rules because iptables are not persistent the configurations are erased on system reboot. The commands supported by android iptables binary are append, delete, insert, replace, list, flush, zero, new, delete-chain, policy and rename-chain. More details can be found by typing the following shell command using adb interface (adb stands for Android Debug Bridge) after connecting a rooted android phone.

adb shell iptables –help

Type the following shell command to view the current version of iptables in your device

adb shell iptables –version

The latest versions of android based devices are capable to act as Wifi hotspot which uses iptables to work. There are also third party applications available in android market that can transform the device into Wifi hotspot.

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