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Manual Chapter: Setting Up Secure Remote Logging
Manual Chapter
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Introduction to secure logging configuration

The BIG-IP® system can securely log messages using Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to a secure syslog server that resides on a shared, external network. This implementation describes a sample configuration consisting of two BIG-IP systems, in a Device Service Clustering (DSC®) Sync-Only or Sync-Failover device group, that encrypt log messages using a local virtual server before sending the messages on to the remote secure syslog server.

In the example, the BIG-IP systems (bigip1.syslog.secure.com and bigip2.syslog.secure.com) and the secure syslog server (server.syslog.secure.com) mutually authenticate each other using X.509 certificates and keys on their TLS connections. This certificate validation requires a dedicated certificate for each BIG-IP system's logging interface (the self IP address on the logging VLAN for that BIG-IP system) and a certificate for the secure syslog server. In this sample configuration, all three certificates are signed by the same Certificate Authority (CA) and each have the same CA certificate bundle installed, to be used for X.509 certificate validation. The configuration is based on the assumption that you have configured an external Domain Name System (DNS) server with forward and reverse DNS entries for the names and IP addresses used in the X.509 certificate authentication.

In most configurations, the shared, external network should be deployed as a dedicated VLAN connecting only the BIG-IP systems and secure syslog server, due to the potential for high-bandwidth logging from the High Speed Logging (HSL) subsystem.

Note: Some BIG-IP software versions do not include the HSL subsystem. If the BIG-IP systems in your device group do not include HSL, you can still configure secure logging to a remote syslog server. In this case, as long as you can configure the local syslog service to direct messages to the local log encrypting virtual server, the secure logging configuration supports the encrypting of messages from the local syslog service.

Sample secure logging configuration

This illustration shows an example of the entire secure logging configuration. The logging traffic proceeds from top to bottom in the illustration.

In the example:

  • Each BIG-IP® system has one or more HSL filters directing certain kinds of log messages to an HSL destination. The HSL destination forwards the messages to both the local syslog server (for local log retention, in case the external syslog server is unreachable), and an HSL syslog destination, whose purpose is to add the timestamp and other information expected by RFC5424-compliant syslog servers. The HSL syslog destination then sends the decorated log messages to an HSL pool destination, which directs them to the local syslog encryptor pool containing the IP address of a local encrypting virtual server.
  • The two BIG-IP systems include identically-configured local syslog encrypting virtual servers. The virtual servers are configured using a non-floating IP address on a private VLAN that is internal to each BIG-IP system, with no external interfaces attached. This VLAN exists solely to provide a private communications link between the local syslog encryptor pool, the local syslog server, and the local encrypting virtual server. For messages that are not currently processed by the HSL subsystem, the local syslog server uses this VLAN to send selected messages directly to the local encrypting virtual server, to be encrypted and sent on to the remote secure syslog server.
  • The local encrypting virtual server is configured with a Server SSL profile for the purpose of sending the BIG-IP system's client certificate to the server for X.509 validation, as well as for validating the server's X.509 certificate using a locally-installed CA certificate bundle. Once authenticated and connected to the server listed in the remote secure syslog server pool, the local syslog encrypting virtual server sends the outbound encrypted syslog messages to the remote syslog server. The outbound TCP sessions are retained for subsequent syslog messages until the TCP timeout on the virtual server expires; then the next syslog message initiates a new TCP session.

The result is that when the high speed logging subsystem or the standard syslog service of either BIG-IP system sends TCP syslog traffic, the messages are forwarded to the remote syslog server over an authenticated and encrypted, secure channel.

Important: In this implementation, you must configure the objects shown in the illustration by starting with those at the bottom and then proceeding toward the top. This ensures that configuration objects are available when needed to configure other objects.

Prerequisite tasks

Before configuring secure logging, you must perform these tasks on the BIG-IP® systems in the configuration.

Table 1. Prerequisite tasks
Task Description
Create a device group. The Device Service Clustering (DSC®) device group must contain the BIG-IP® systems as members. You perform this task on only one device in the device group.
Enable Automatic Sync on the device group. Enabling automatic sync for the device group ensures that every change you make to a BIG-IP system is internally propagated to all device group members. In most cases, this eliminates the need to manually sync configuration changes to the peer device. You perform this task on only one device in the device group, and the change is propagated to the other device.
Assign fully-qualified domain names (FQDNs). Each BIG-IP system in the device group, and the remote, secure syslog server, must have a unique fully-qualified domain name (FQDN). In our example, these FQDNs are: bigip1.syslog.secure.com, bigip2.syslog.secure.com, and server.syslog.secure.com.
Specify the DNS name server. You must specify an external Domain Name System (DNS) server with forward and reverse DNS entries for the names and IP addresses used in the X.509 certificate authentication. Once configured, the DNS server resolves the FQDN used in the X.509 certificate for each device's secure logging configuration to the IP address on the logging VLAN for that device. You must perform this task on each BIG-IP device in the device group.

About X.509 certificates for secure logging

One of the required elements of the secure logging configuration is the mutual validation of the X.509 certificate for each device in the configuration (that is, each BIG-IP® device, as well as the secure logging server). Each device must have a valid X.509 certificate and key assigned, where the Common Name attribute of the certificate resolves to the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of that device's IP address on the shared secure logging VLAN. For the certificate on each of the two BIG-IP systems, this IP address is a self IP address. For the certificate of the secure, remote syslog server, this IP address is the IP address of that server.

For either BIG-IP system to successfully validate the certificate of the other device, all X.509 certificates must be signed by a parent certificate authority (CA) whose certificate chain is included in the certificate bundle referenced in the SSL profile of each of the BIG-IP encrypting virtual servers. The CA's certificate chain must also be included in the certificate bundle of the secure syslog server's configuration.

Importing an X.509 certificate, key, and CA bundle

To ensure that secure logging operates successfully, you must import the required certificate, key, and CA bundle to the local BIG-IP® device.

Important: Perform this task on each device in the device group.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Device Certificates .
    The Device Certificate screen opens.
  2. Click Import.
  3. From the Import Type list, select Certificate and Key.
  4. For the Certificate Source setting, select Upload File and browse to select the certificate signed by the CA server.
  5. For the Key Source setting, select Upload File and browse to select the device key file.
  6. Click Import.

Creating a pool containing the syslog server

On either of the BIG-IP® systems in the device group, use the TMOS Shell (tmsh) to create a pool containing the IP address and TCP port number of the logging network interface on the remote syslog server.

  1. At the tmsh prompt, create a pool containing a remote syslog server. For example:
    create ltm pool pool_remote_secure_syslog {
       members replace-all-with { 192.0.2.10:6514 { address 192.0.2.10 } }
       monitor tcp_half_open
    }
    In this example, 192.0.2.10:6514 represents the IP address of the remote syslog server.
  2. Save the configuration by typing save /sys config.

Configuring system BIG-IP 1

Before you perform this task, verify that you have created a one-member pool containing the remote syslog server.

The main goal of this task is to create a virtual server and associated objects on one of the two BIG-IP® systems (in the example, a system named bigip1.syslog.secure.com) that encrypts server-side traffic destined for the remote syslog server. This encrypting virtual server is on an internal, private VLAN and is associated with a non-floating virtual address, using the local BIG-IP system’s key and certificate. You also use this task to create a shared, external VLAN and an associated self IP address. This is the VLAN with which the remote syslog server is associated.

The encrypting virtual server that you create has the same destination address and port as the encrypting virtual server that you create on the peer system (in the example, bigip2.syslog.secure.com). Also, the virtual server targets the same pool as the peer system (the pool containing the remote syslog server).

Note: Perform all steps in this task at the tmsh prompt.
  1. Create an SSL Server profile to encrypt traffic destined for the syslog server pool. For example:
    create ltm profile server-ssl profile_serverssl_syslog-1 {
       ca-file F5secureLoggingCA_bundle.crt
       cert b3-1.logging.f5cc.com.crt
       defaults-from serverssl
       key b3-1.logging.f5cc.com.key
       peer-cert-mode require
    }
    In this example, profile_serverssl_syslog-1 represents the name of the Server SSL profile.
    Important: The certificate bundle that you specify must include the certificate chain of the certificate authority.
  2. Create a VLAN on the private, internal network, with no interfaces assigned. For example: create net vlan vlan_securelog .
  3. Create a self IP address in the traffic group traffic-group-local-only and associate it with VLAN vlan_securelog. For example: create net self 203.0.113.1/24 vlan vlan_securelog .
    Important: The IP address that you specify must be a non-routable address and must be identical on all BIG-IP systems in the configuration.
  4. Create a non-floating virtual address on the private, internal network. For example:
    create ltm virtual-address 203.0.113.100
       traffic-group traffic-group-local-only
       auto-delete false
    Important: You must use tmsh to create the virtual address, and you must create the virtual address prior to creating the associated virtual server. Also, the IP address you specify must be the same virtual address that you specify on the peer BIG-IP system.
  5. Create a virtual server network for the virtual address, assigning the pool, SSL Server profile, and private VLAN. For example:
    create ltm virtual vs_secure_syslog_target-1 {
       destination 203.0.113.100:514
       ip-protocol tcp
       pool pool_remote_secure_syslog
       profiles replace-all-with { profile_serverssl_syslog-1 tcp }
       vlans replace-all-with { vlan_securelog }
       vlans-enabled 
    Important: In this example, vs_secure_syslog_target-1 represents the name of the virtual server, and the destination IP address is 203.0.113.100:514. The destination IP address and port that you specify must be the same destination IP address and port that you specify on the peer BIG-IP system.
  6. Create a VLAN on the shared, external network with all appropriate BIG-IP interfaces assigned. For example: create net vlan vlan_logging { tag 4089 interfaces add { 1.1 {tagged} } } .
  7. Create a self IP address in the traffic group traffic-group-local-only and associate it with VLAN vlan_logging. For example: create net self 192.0.2.100 vlan vlan_logging .
After you perform this task, system bigip1.syslog.secure.com contains a virtual server that references a Server SSL profile, a private, internal VLAN, and the pool containing the remote syslog server. The virtual server destination IP address and port match those of the virtual server on system bigip2.syslog.secure.com. System bigip1.syslog.secure.com also contains a shared, external VLAN with an associated self IP address.

Configuring system BIG-IP 2

Before you perform this task, verify that you have created a one-member pool containing the remote syslog server.

The main goal of this task is to create a virtual server and associated objects on one of the two BIG-IP® systems (in the example, a system named bigip2.syslog.secure.com) that encrypts server-side traffic destined for the remote syslog server. This encrypting virtual server is on an internal, private VLAN and is associated with a non-floating virtual address, using the local BIG-IP system’s key and certificate. You also use this task to create a shared, external VLAN and an associated self IP address. This is the VLAN with which the remote syslog server is associated.

The encrypting virtual server has the same destination address and port as the encrypting virtual server that you create on the peer system (in the example, bigip1.syslog.secure.com). Also, the virtual server targets the same pool as the peer system (the pool containing the remote syslog server).

Note: Perform all steps in this task at the tmsh prompt.
  1. Create an SSL Server profile to encrypt traffic destined for the syslog server pool. For example:
    create ltm profile server-ssl profile_serverssl_syslog-2 {
       ca-file F5secureLoggingCA_bundle.crt
       cert b3-2.logging.f5cc.com.crt
       defaults-from serverssl
       key b3-2.logging.f5cc.com.key
       peer-cert-mode require
    }
    In this example, profile_serverssl_syslog-2 represents the name of the Server SSL profile.
    Important: The certificate bundle that you specify must include the certificate chain of the certificate authority.
  2. Create a VLAN on the private, internal network, with no interfaces assigned. For example: create net vlan vlan_securelog .
  3. Create a self IP address in the traffic group traffic-group-local-only and associate it with the VLAN. For example: create net self 203.0.113.1/24 vlan vlan_securelog .
    Important: The IP address that you specify must be a non-routable address and must be identical on all BIG-IP systems in the configuration.
  4. Create a non-floating virtual address on the private, internal network. For example:
    create ltm virtual-address 203.0.113.100
       traffic-group traffic-group-local-only
       auto-delete false
    Important: You must use tmsh to create the virtual address, and you must create the virtual address prior to creating the associated virtual server. Also, the IP address you specify must be the same virtual address that you specify on the peer BIG-IP system.
  5. Create a virtual server for the virtual address, assigning the pool, SSL Server profile, and private VLAN. For example:
    create ltm virtual vs_secure_syslog_target-2 {
       destination 203.0.113.100:514
       ip-protocol tcp
       pool pool_remote_secure_syslog
       profiles replace-all-with { profile_serverssl_syslog-2 tcp }
       vlans replace-all-with { vlan_securelog }
       vlans-enabled
    In this example, vs_secure_syslog_target-2 represents the name of the virtual server, and the destination IP address is 203.0.113.100:514. The destination IP address and port that you specify must be the same destination IP address and port that you specify on the peer BIG-IP system.
  6. Create a VLAN on the shared, external network with all appropriate BIG-IP interfaces assigned. For example: create net vlan vlan_logging { tag 4089 interfaces add { 1.1 {tagged} } } .
  7. Create a self IP address in the traffic group traffic-group-local-only and associate it with VLAN vlan_logging. For example: create net self 192.0.2.200 vlan vlan_logging .
After you perform this task, system bigip2.syslog.secure.com contains a virtual server that references a Server SSL profile, a private, internal VLAN, and the pool containing the remote syslog server. The virtual server destination IP address and port match those of the virtual server on system bigip1.syslog.secure.com. System bigip2.syslog.secure.com also contains a shared, external VLAN with an associated self IP address.

Modifying the local syslog server

Because some of the older audit log messages do not use the high-speed logging (HSL) system, you must modify the BIG-IP® system’s local syslog server to send audit data to one of the encrypting virtual servers.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP systems in the device group.
At the tmsh prompt, modify the syslog server to create a destination that targets the IP address and port number of the local encrypting virtual server. For example:
modify sys syslog {
   include "
      destination d_to_secure_syslog { tcp( 203.0.113.100 port(514)); };
      log { source(s_syslog_pipe); filter(f_audit);    destination(d_to_secure_syslog); };
      log { source(s_syslog_pipe); filter(f_authpriv); destination(d_to_secure_syslog); };
      log { source(s_syslog_pipe); filter(f_apm);      destination(d_to_secure_syslog); };
      log { source(s_syslog_pipe); filter(f_sso);      destination(d_to_secure_syslog); };
   "
}
In this example, d_to_secure_syslog represents the name of the HSL destination, which targets the local syslog destination, which targets the local encrypting virtual server's destination IP address and port 203.0.113.100:514.

Creating a pool for the local encrypting virtual server

For the High-Speed Logging (HSL) system, you must create a pool containing the IP address and TCP port of the encrypting virtual servers. This pool becomes the target pool for the HSL pool destination.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP® systems in the device group.
  1. At the tmsh prompt, create a pool with the address and port of the encrypting virtual servers as the pool member. For example:
    create ltm pool pool_syslog_encryptor {
       members replace-all-with {
          203.0.113.100:514 { address 203.0.113.100 }
       }
       monitor tcp_half_open 
    }
    In this example, pool_syslog_encryptor represents the name of the pool that contains pool member 203.0.113.100:514.
  2. Save the configuration by typing save /sys config.

Creating an HSL destination targeting the encrypting pool

You must create a remote high-speed log destination that targets the local encrypting syslog pool. This pool contains a single pool member, which is the destination IP address and port of the encrypting virtual server on each BIG-IP® system.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP systems in the device group.
At the tmsh prompt, create a remote high-speed log destination. For example:
create sys log-config destination remote-high-speed-log hsldest_to_encryptor {
  pool-name pool_syslog_encryptor
}
In this example, a remote high-speed log destination named hsldest_to_encryptor targets the local encrypting syslog pool named pool_syslog_encryptor.

Creating an RFC 5424 (syslog) HSL destination

To ensure that the syslog timestamp and other identifying information is included with each log message, you must create a formatted remote-syslog destination that targets the remote high-speed log destination.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP® systems in the device group.
At the tmsh prompt, create a remote-syslog destination.
create sys log-config destination remote-syslog hsldest_syslog {
  format rfc5424
  remote-high-speed-log hsldest_to_encryptor
}
In this example, a formatted remote-syslog destination named hsldest_syslog targets the remote high-speed log destination named hsldest_to_encryptor.

Creating an HSL publisher

You must create a high-speed logging (HSL) publisher, which sends the selected audit logging messages to both the local syslog server (for local logging) and the formatted remote-syslog destination.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP® systems in the device group.
At the tmsh prompt, create the HSL publisher. For example::
create sys log-config publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog {
  destinations replace-all-with {
    hsldest_syslog
    local-syslog
  }
}
In this example, a publisher named hslpub_secure_remote_syslog targets the local syslog server named local-syslog, as well as the formatted remote-syslog destination named hsldest_syslog.

Creating HSL filters for log messages

You must create high-speed-logging (HSL) filters to select log messages and send the messages through the chain to the secure remote syslog server. Types of filters you can create are packet, SSL, tamd, and tmsh.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP® systems in the device group.
  1. At the tmsh prompt, create a packet filter. For example:
    Create sys log-config filter hslfilter_packet_filter {
       publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
       source packet_filter
    }
  2. Create an SSL filter. For example:
    create sys log-config filter hslfilter_ssl {
      publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
      source ssl
    }
  3. Create a tamd filter. For example:
    create sys log-config filter hslfilter_tamd {
      publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
      source tamd
    }
  4. Create a tmshfilter. For example:
    create sys log-config filter hslfilter_tmsh {
      publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
      source tmsh
    }

Configuring APM logging (APM systems only)

If you are testing a system on which you have provisioned BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager® (APM®), (also known as ADC-AP), you must enable APM syslog logging and create additional high-speed logging (HSL) filters.

Note: You can perform this task on either one of the BIG-IP systems in the device group.
  1. At the tmsh prompt, enable syslog logging for BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager® (APM®): modify sys db log.access.syslog value enable
  2. Create an APM filter. For example:
    create sys log-config filter remote_apm_filter {
      level info
      publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
      source accesscontrol
    }
  3. Create an access control filter. For example:
    create sys log-config filter remote_acl_filter {
      level info
      publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
      source apmacl
    }
  4. Create a filter for single sign-on. For example:
    create sys log-config filter remote_sso_filter {
      level info
      publisher hslpub_secure_remote_syslog
      source sso
    }

Saving the secure logging configuration

After performing all tasks to configure secure logging on the BIG-IP® system, you must save the full secure logging configuration.

At the tmsh prompt, save the configuration by typing save /sys config.
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