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Manual Chapter: Configuring Security for SMTP Traffic
Manual Chapter
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Rejects the first message from a sender, because legitimate senders retry sending the message, and spam senders typically do not. The system does not reject subsequent messages from the same sender to the same recipient.
Blocks mail from IP addresses or domains that cannot be resolved with a DNS server (typically, spam senders on the Internet).
Blocks mail from any senders whose MAIL FROM: domain is in the Disallowed Users list.
Blocks mail from senders whose MAIL FROM: domain cannot be resolved with a DNS server (spam senders use fake domain names).
Blocks mail from senders whose RCPT TO: domain is not configured as an allowed receiving domain.
Applies rate limits to the number of messages from a particular domain, which helps prevent an attack from a spam sender.
To configure security checks for the SMTP traffic, you create an SMTP security profile in the Protocol Security Module, and associate the security profile with a local traffic SMTP profile for a virtual server. For detailed information and specific configuration tasks, refer to the remaining sections of this chapter.
Note: For more information on configuring local traffic management features, refer to the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
The SMTP security profile provides the security settings that are applicable to the SMTP service. In the security profile, you also specify whether the Protocol Security Module sends violation log messages to a remote logging server. By default, the Protocol Security Module retains up to 500 log entries per security profile in memory. If you want to retain additional log data, then we recommend that you configure remote logging. If you want to use remote logging, we recommend that you set up the remote logging configuration before you create any security profiles. The remote logging configuration applies to all security profiles. For more information, refer to Configuring remote logging.
1.
On the Main tab of the Application Security navigation pane, click Security Profiles.
The SMTP Security Profiles screen opens.
2.
From the Security Profiles menu, choose SMTP.
The SMTP Security Profiles screen opens.
3.
Above the SMTP Security Profiles area, click the Create button.
The New Security Profile screen opens.
4.
In the Profile Properties area, in the Profile Name box, type a unique name for the profile.
5.
For the Remote Logging setting, check the box to enable remote logging for this security profile. If you have not yet configured remote logging, then click the Remote Logging configuration link.
The Remote Logging Configuration screen opens.
Note: The system does not return you to the New Security Profile screen if you configure remote logging in this manner. Therefore, you must return to step 1 to create the security profile after you set up the remote logging configuration.
6.
In the Defense Configuration area, you can enable the blocking policy settings for the security profile violations. If you do not check either Alarm or Block for a violation, the system does not perform the corresponding security check.
Check Alarm if you want the system to log any requests that trigger the security profile violation.
Check Block if you want the system to block requests that trigger the security profile violation.
Check both Alarm and Block if you want the system to perform both actions.
Tip: See SMTP security violations, for an explanation of the individual violations.
7.
Click Create.
The screen refreshes, and you see the new security profile in the list.
Once you have created the SMTP security profile in the Protocol Security Module, you create a local traffic SMTP profile in the local traffic configuration. The local traffic SMTP profile uses the SMTP security profile to scan for vulnerabilities specific to the protocol.
Note: For more information about local traffic profiles in general, refer to the chapter, Understanding Profiles, in the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and then click Profiles.
The HTTP Profiles screen opens.
2.
From the Services menu, choose SMTP.
The SMTP Profiles screen opens.
3.
Above the list area, click the Create button.
The New SMTP Profile screen opens.
4.
In the General Properties area, for the Name setting, type a unique name for the profile.
5.
For the Parent Profile setting, select the existing SMTP protocol from which you want the new profile to inherit settings. The default setting is smtp.
6.
Above the Settings area, check the Custom check box.
The system activates the editing mode for the individual settings.
7.
Check the Advanced Firewall check box to enable the SMTP security profile that you created.
8.
Click Finished.
The screen refreshes and displays the new local traffic SMTP profile in the list.
When you enable the Advanced Firewall setting on the local traffic SMTP profile, the system automatically assigns the first-listed SMTP security profile to the service profile. If you have more than one security profile configured, you can change the associations on the Profiles Assignment screen in the Protocol Security Module. On the Profiles Assignment screen, you can review the current associations, including the local traffic SMTP profile, the virtual server that uses the service profile, and the SMTP security profile.
1.
On the Main tab of the Application Security navigation pane, click Profiles Assignment.
The Profile Assignment screen opens.
3.
In the SMTP Security Profiles Assignment area, in the Assigned Security Profile column, for each traffic profile select the SMTP security profile that you want the service profile to use.
4.
Click Save to retain any changes you may have made.
Note: If you have not yet created a virtual server that uses the local traffic SMTP profile, you will not see any virtual servers listed in the Virtual Servers column.
You configure a local traffic virtual server and a default pool for the SMTP servers, and associate the local traffic SMTP profile that you created. This automatically associates the SMTP security profile with the virtual server. The result is that when the virtual server receives SMTP traffic, the SMTP security profile in the Protocol Security Module scans the SMTP traffic for security vulnerabilities, and then the local traffic virtual server load balances any traffic that passes the scan.
Note: For more information about local traffic profiles in general, refer to the chapter, Configuring Virtual Servers, in the Configuration Guide for BIG-IP® Local Traffic Management.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Local Traffic, and then click Virtual Servers.
The Virtual Servers screen opens.
2.
Above the list, click the Create button.
The New Virtual Server screen opens.
3.
In the General Properties area, for the Name setting, type a unique name for the virtual server.
4.
For the Destination setting, select the type, and type an address, or an address and mask, as appropriate for your network.
5.
For the Service Port setting, either type 25 in the box, or select SMTP from the list.
6.
Above the Configuration area, select Advanced.
The screen refreshes, and displays additional configuration options.
7.
For the SMTP Profile setting, select the SMTP service protocol that you created.
8.
For the SNAT Pool setting, if your network configuration requires address translation, select Auto Map.
9.
In the Resources area, for the Default Pool setting, click the Create (+) button.
The New Pool screen opens.
10.
On the New Pool screen, in the Configuration area, for the Name setting, type a unique name for the pool.
11.
In the Resources area, for the New Members setting, you can add members to the pool by typing the IP addresses and ports, or by selecting addresses from a list.
Select New Address to type the address and port of any SMTP servers that you want to add to the configuration. (Note that the system automatically adds them as nodes, too.)
Select Node List to select addresses from a list of servers that already exist in the local traffic configuration.
12.
For the Service Port setting, select SMTP from the list.
13.
Click the Add button to add each node or address to the New Members list.
14.
Click Finished.
The screen refreshes, and returns you to the New Virtual Server screen. The new pool should be listed in the Default Pool setting.
15.
Click Finished on the New Virtual Server screen.
The screen refreshes, and you see the new virtual server in the list.
The system is now ready to scan SMTP traffic for vulnerabilities common to that protocol. See Reviewing violations statistics for SMTP security profiles, for information on reviewing the SMTP security attacks that the system detects.
The Protocol Security Module provides statistics and other information about requests that trigger SMTP security violations. If you have enabled the Alarm flag for a violation, and an incoming request triggers a violation, the Protocol Security Module logs the request, which you can review from the Statistics screen of the Protocol Security Module. If you have enabled the Block flag for any of the SMTP security violations, then the Protocol Security Module blocks the request.
Important: The Protocol Security Module stores security violations in the system memory rather than on the hard disk. As a result, if you are using a redundant system, the violations data does not replicate to the other unit when you perform the ConfigSync operation.
1.
On the Main tab of the Application Security navigation pane, in the Advanced Firewall section, click Statistics.
The Statistics screen opens.
2.
If the system has detected a violation, then the violation name becomes a hyperlink. Click the link to see details about the offending requests.
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