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Manual Chapter: Securing HTTP Traffic Using the Default System Configuration
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Securing HTTP traffic

With the BIG-IP® Protocol Security Manager™ you can configure an HTTP security profile so that it performs the following security checks on HTTP traffic:

  • HTTP protocol compliance validation
  • Evasion technique detection
  • Length checking to help avoid buffer overflow attacks
  • HTTP method validation
  • Inclusion or exclusion of certain files by type
  • Mandatory header enforcement

You can also specify how you want the system to respond when it encounters a violation. If the system detects a violation and you enabled the Block flag, instead of forwarding the request, the Protocol Security Manager can either send a blocking response page or redirect the client to a different location.

Creating an HTTP service profile with security enabled

The easiest method for initiating HTTP protocol security for your HTTP virtual server traffic is to use the system default settings. You do this by enabling protocol security for the system-supplied HTTP service profile, and then associating that service profile with a virtual server.

  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > Services > HTTP. The HTTP profile list screen opens.
  2. In the Name column, click http. The Properties screen for the system-supplied HTTP profile opens.
  3. Select the Protocol Security check box to enable HTTP security checks. This action associates the default HTTP security profile with the default HTTP service profile.
  4. Click Update.
You now have a security-enabled service profile that you can associate with a virtual server so that HTTP protocol checks are performed on the traffic that the HTTP virtual server receives.

Creating an HTTP virtual server with protocol security

When you enable protocol security for an HTTP virtual server, the system scans any incoming HTTP traffic for vulnerabilities before the traffic reaches the HTTP servers.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers. The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button. The New Virtual Server screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the virtual server.
  4. For the Destination setting, in the Address field, type the IP address you want to use for the virtual server. The IP address you type must be available and not in the loopback network.
  5. In the Service Port field, type 80 (for HTTP) or 443 (for HTTPS), or select HTTP or HTTPS from the list.
  6. In the Configuration area, for the HTTP Profile setting, select the default profile, http.
  7. From the Source Address Translation list, select Auto Map.
  8. For the Default Pool setting, either select an existing pool from the list, or click the Create (+) button and create a new pool.
  9. Click Finished.
The HTTP virtual server appears in the Virtual Servers list.

Reviewing violations statistics for security profiles

Protocol Security Manager provides statistics and transaction information for each profile that triggers any of the security violations defined by each service profile. If you enable the Alarm flag for a violation and incoming traffic triggers the violation, the Protocol Security Manager logs the request, which you can review on the Statistics screen of the Protocol Security Manager. If you enable the Block flag for any of the violations, the Protocol Security Manager blocks the request.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Event Logs > Protocol > HTTP, FTP, SMTP. The Protocol: HTTP, FTP, SMTP statistics screen opens listing all violations, organized by protocol, with the number of occurrences.
  2. Type a Support ID, if you have one, to filter the violations and view one in particular.
  3. Click a violation's hyperlink to see details about the requests causing the violation. On the Statistics screen, in the left column, you can review information regarding the traffic volume for each security profile configured.
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