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Manual Chapter: IP Address Intelligence in the Network Firewall
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IP Address Intelligence in the Network Firewall

About IP intelligence policies in the Network Firewall

In the BIG-IP® Network Firewall, you can configure policies to check traffic against an IP intelligence database. Such traffic can be handled automatically if it originates from known-bad or questionable IP addresses. In addition, you can configure policies to automatically query feed lists that specify blacklist and whitelist IP address entries, and assign default classes and blacklist or whitelist behaviors to those feed lists. You can control the actions for each IP intelligence category by specifying such actions in a policy, and you can configure default action and default logging for each policy. Furthermore, you can configure logging and actions per category. You can apply IP Intelligence policies at the global context, to a virtual server, or on a route domain.

IP Intelligence Policy container and included elements

Enabling IP address intelligence

The requirements for using IP address intelligence are:
  • The system must have an IP Intelligence license.
  • The system must have an Internet connection either directly or through an HTTP proxy server.
  • The system must have DNS configured (go to System > Configuration > Device > DNS ).
Important: IP address intelligence is enabled by default. You only need to enable it if it was previously disabled.
To enable IP address intelligence on the BIG-IP® system, you enable auto-update to connect the system to the IP intelligence database.
  1. Log in to the command line for the BIG-IP® system.
  2. To determine whether IP intelligence is enabled, type the following command: tmsh list sys db iprep.autoupdate
    If the value of the iprep.autoupdate variable is disable, IP intelligence is not enabled. If it is enable, your task is complete.
  3. At the prompt, type tmsh modify sys db iprep.autoupdate value enable
    The system downloads the IP intelligence database and stores it in the binary file, /var/IpRep/F5IpRep.dat. It is updated every 5 minutes.
  4. If the BIG-IP system is behind a firewall, make sure that the BIG-IP system has external access to vector.brightcloud.com using port 443.
    That is the IP Intelligence server from which the system gets IP Intelligence information.
  5. Optional: If the BIG-IP system connects to the Internet using a forward proxy server, set these system database variables.
    1. Type tmsh modify sys db proxy.host value hostname to specify the host name of the proxy server.
    2. Type tmsh modify sys db proxy.port value port_number to specify the port number of the proxy server.
    3. Type tmsh modify sys db proxy.username value username to specify the user name to log in to the proxy server.
    4. Type tmsh modify sys db proxy.password value password to specify the password to log in to the proxy server.
The IP address intelligence feature remains enabled unless you disable it with the command tmsh modify sys db iprep.autoupdate value disable.
You can configure IP intelligence for Advanced Firewall Manager by assigning IP intelligence policies to the global, route domain, or virtual server context.

IP address intelligence categories

Along with the IP address, the IP intelligence database stores the category that explains the reason that the IP address is considered untrustworthy.

Category Name Description
Botnets IP addresses of computers that are infected with malicious software (Botnet Command and Control channels, and infected zombie machines) and are controlled as a group by a Bot master, and are now part of a botnet. Hackers can exploit botnets to send spam messages, launch various attacks, or cause target systems to behave in other unpredictable ways.
Cloud Provider Networks IP addresses and networks that are used by cloud providers.
Denial-of-Service IP addresses that have launched denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, anomalous SYN flood attacks, or anomalous traffic detection. These attacks are usually requests for legitimate services, but occur at such a fast rate that targeted systems cannot respond quickly enough and become bogged down or unable to service legitimate clients.
Illegal Web sites IP addresses that contain criminally obscene or potentially criminal internet copyright and intellectual property violations.
Infected Sources Active IP addresses that issue HTTP requests with a low reputation index score, or that are known malicious web sites offering or distributing malware, shell code, rootkits, worms, or viruses.
Phishing IP addresses that host phishing sites, and other kinds of fraud activities, such as ad click fraud or gaming fraud.
Proxy/Anonymous Proxies IP addresses that are associated with web proxies that shield the originator's IP address (such as proxy and anonymization services). This category also includes TOR anonymizer addresses.
Scanners IP addresses that are involved in reconnaissance, such as probes, host scan, domain scan, and password brute force, typically to identify vulnerabilities for later exploits.
Spam Sources IP addresses that are known to distribute large amounts of spam email by tunneling spam messages through proxy, anomalous SMTP activities, and forum spam activities.
Web Attacks IP addresses involved in cross site scripting, iFrame injection, SQL injection, cross domain injection, or domain password brute force.
Windows Exploits Active IP addresses that have exercised various exploits against Windows resources by offering or distributing malware, shell code, rootkits, worms, or viruses using browsers, programs, downloaded files, scripts, or operating system vulnerabilities.

About IP intelligence blacklist categories

Blacklist categories are categories you can use to differentiate between types of blacklisted URLs. You can specify up to 62 blacklist categories, including 11 that are predefined on the system. A blacklist category definition consists only of a name and description. You can specify actions and logging options for each blacklist category you create, and for predefined categories, in an IP Intelligence policy. The 11 predefined blacklist categories are automatically available for selection in an IP Intelligence policy.

Creating a blacklist category

You can create a blacklist category to configure policy-based responses to specific types of addresses. Then you can specify an address as belonging to a blacklist category so you can see the types of categories that are triggered in the logs, and so you can provide unique responses on a per-category basis.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Network Firewall > IP Intelligence > Blacklist Categories .
    The Blacklist Categories screen opens.
  2. Click Create to create a new IP Intelligence blacklist category.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the blacklist category.
  4. In the Description field, type a description for the blacklist category.
  5. Click Finished.
    The list screen and the new item are displayed.

About IP intelligence feed lists

A feed list retrieves blacklists and whitelists from specified URLs. You can use a feed list to dynamically update blacklists and whitelists.

A feed list can retrieve multiple feeds from FTP, HTTP, or HTTPS addresses. You can specify whether a feed is a blacklist or whitelist, and the default category for the feed list. You can also configure a polling interval.

After a blacklist or whitelist is defined in a feed list, you add the feed list to an IP Intelligence policy. The list is then used by the policy to retrieve feeds and dynamically adjust the blacklist and whitelist policy.

Feed list settings and IP Intelligency policy

Feed lists dynamically define IP addresses that have been blacklisted or whitelisted. The IP Intelligence policy uses feed lists to dynamically filter traffic.

A feed list defines the feeds that dynamically update the IP address intelligence database for your systems.

Feed list setting Description
URL Select FTP, HTTP, or HTTPS, then specify the URL for the feed. Feeds are typically text files. An example for a local file might be http://172.10.1.23/feed.txt .
List Type Whitelist or Blacklist. Specifies the default classification for all URLs in the feed for which a category is not specified.
Blacklist Category Specifies a default category for the list. This is the default blacklist category for all blacklist URLs in the feed for which a category is not specified. On the BIG-IP® system, you can specify a total of 62 categories; however, 9 categories are used by the IP Intelligence database.
Poll Interval Specifies how often the feed URL is polled for new feeds.
Username The user name to access the feed list file, if required.
Password The password to access the feed list file, if required.
Feed URLs In this area you can add, replace, or delete feed URLs from the feed list.

A feed is a simple comma-separated value (CSV) file. The file contains four comma-separated values per line.

Position Value Definition
1 IP Address The IP address to be blacklisted or whitelisted. This is the only field that is required in each entry in the file. All other entries are optional.
Important: If you append a route domain with a percentage sign and the route domain number, the route domain is not used.
2 Network Mask (Optional) The network mask for the IP address as a CIDR (such as, 24 for 255.255.255.0). This field is optional.
3 Whitelist/Blacklist (Optional) Identifies whether the IP address is a whitelist or blacklist address. You can type wl, bl, whitelist, or blacklist, with any capitalization. Leave this field blank to retain the default specified for the feed.
4 Category (Optional) Type the category name for the entry. Leave this field blank to take the default specified for the feed.

In this feed list file example, only the first entry specifies a value for every field. The third and fourth entries, 10.10.0.12 and 10.0.0.12, will be set to blacklist or whitelist entries depending on the setting for the feed. 10.10.0.12 is specified with a category of botnets; however, if the default setting for the feed is a whitelist, this is ignored. When an IP address has both a blacklist and a whitelist entry from the configuration, the whitelist entry takes precedence.

10.0.0.2,32,bl,spam_sources
10.0.0.3,,wl,
10.10.0.12,,botnets
10.0.0.12,,,
10.0.0.13,,bl,
      

Creating a feed list

You can add whitelist and blacklist IP addresses to your configuration automatically by setting up feeds and capturing them with a feed list.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Network Firewall > IP Intelligence > Feed Lists .
    The Feed Lists screen opens.
  2. Click Create to create a new IP Intelligence feed list.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the feed list.
  4. Configure Feed URLs with an HTTP, HTTPS, or FTP URL, the list type, the blacklist category, and the polling interval. Specify a user name and password, if required to access the feed list.
    A feed URL includes the actual URL to the text file, and information about the defaults for that file. Within the feed file, however, any URL can be configured to be a whitelist or blacklist entry, and assigned to a blacklist category.
  5. Click the Add button to add a feed URL to the feed list.
  6. Click Finished.
    The list screen and the new item are displayed.

Configuring a policy to check addresses against IP intelligence

You can verify IP addresses against the preconfigured IP Intelligence database, and against IPs from your own feed lists, by creating an IP Intelligence policy.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Network Firewall > IP Intelligence > Policies .
    The IP Intelligence Policies screen opens.
  2. Click Create to create a new IP Intelligence policy.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the IP intelligence policy.
  4. To add feed lists to the policy, click the name of an Available feed list, and then add it to the Selected list.
  5. Set the default action for the policy to Accept or Drop.
    • Select Accept to allow packets from uncategorized addresses on the feed list.
    • Select Drop to drop packets from uncategorized addresses on the feed list.
    The default action applies to addresses that are not assigned a blacklist category in the feed list. The IP Intelligence feature uses the action specified in a feed list entry, when available.
  6. Set the default log actions.
    • Log Black List Category Matches logs IP addresses that match blacklist categories.
    • Log White List Overrides logs only whitelist matches that override blacklist matches.
    • Select both Log Black List Category Matches and Log White List Overrides to log all black list matches, and all whitelist matches that override blacklist matches.
    Note: Whitelist matches always override blacklist matches.
  7. To configure matching actions and logging for custom blacklist categories, add Blacklist Categories in the Blacklist Matching Policy area. Select a category from the list of predefined and user-defined blacklist categories, and set the default action and default logging action for the category, then click Add to add the blacklist category to the policy.
    Note: The default action for a blacklist category is always Reject.
  8. In the Blacklist Matching Policy area, for each category, you can select a default action.
    • Select Use Policy Default to use the default action.
    • Select Accept to allow packets from sources of the specified type, as identified by the IP address intelligence database.
    • Select Drop to drop packets from sources of the specified type, as identified by the IP address intelligence database.
  9. In the Blacklist Matching Policy area, you can set the log action for each blacklist category. You can set log actions for Log Blacklist Category Matches, and for Log Whitelist Overrides.
    • Use Policy Default uses the default log action you configure for the policy.
    • Yes logs the item for the selected category.
    • No does not log the item for the selected category.
    Note: Whitelist matches always override blacklist matches.
  10. Click Add to add a customized category to the policy. You can also replace a selected policy in the list, by clicking Replace.
  11. To remove a customized category from the policy, select the category in the Blacklist Matching Policy area and click Delete.
  12. Click Finished.
    The list screen and the new item are displayed.

Assigning a global IP Intelligence policy

You can assign an IP Intelligence policy globally, to apply blacklist and whitelist matching actions and logging to all traffic.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Network Firewall > IP Intelligence > Policies .
    The IP Intelligence Policies screen opens.
  2. From the Global Policy list, select the IP Intelligence policy to apply to all traffic on the BIG-IP system.
  3. Click Update.
    The list screen and the updated item are displayed.
The specified IP Intelligence policy is applied to all traffic.

Assigning an IP Intelligence policy to a virtual server

You can assign an IP Intelligence policy to a virtual server, to apply blacklist and whitelist matching actions and logging to traffic on that virtual server only.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the virtual server you want to modify.
  3. From the Security menu, choose Policies.
  4. Next to IP Intelligence, select Enabled, then select the IP intelligence policy to apply to traffic on the virtual server.
  5. Click Update.
    The list screen and the updated item are displayed.
The specified IP Intelligence policy is applied to traffic on the selected virtual server.

Assigning an IP Intelligence policy to a route domain

You can assign an IP Intelligence policy to a route domain, to apply blacklist and whitelist matching actions and logging to route domain traffic.
  1. On the Main tab, click Network > Route Domains .
    The Route Domain List screen opens.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the relevant route domain.
  3. From the IP Intelligence Policy list, select an IP Intelligence policy to enforce on this route domain.
  4. Click Update.
    The system displays the list of route domains on the BIG-IP system.
The specified IP Intelligence policy is applied to traffic on the route domain.
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