Original Publication Date: 07/15/2014
This release note documents the version 11.3.0 release of BIG-IP Protocol Security Manager.
To view a complete list of documentation relevant to this release, see BIG-IP PSM 11.3.0 Documentation.
For a list of supported platforms, see SOL9412: The BIG-IP release matrix. SOL9412: BIG-IP software and platform support matrix. For information about which platforms support which module combinations, see SOL10288: BIG-IP software and platform support matrix.
Important: We no longer support the provisioning of three or more modules on all platforms with less than 6.5 GB of memory because there is not enough RAM to support all three modules running at once. This includes the 1600 platform, the 3600 platform, and VCMP guests.
In addition, platforms with less than 6.5 GB memory cannot be upgraded to v.11.3.0 if three or more modules are provisioned. Note that upgrades from 10.0.x display only an "upgrade failed" message as a software status. All other versions show a clear error message, guiding the users to SOL13988. Before upgrading a BIG-IP system with less than 6.5 GB of memory, make sure you have only one or two modules provisioned.
If you are unsure which platform you have, refer to the sticker on the back of the chassis to locate the platform number.
The BIG-IP system Configuration utility supports the following browsers and versions:
In version 11.3.0, Protocol Security Manager (PSM) comes with the Advanced Firewall Module (AFM) license and with the Application Security Manager (ASM) license. To use PSM, you must license AFM or ASM. AFM, ASM and PSM have separate provisioning.
For more information regarding Advanced Firewall Module, go to https://support.f5.com.
Important: To migrate from PSM to ASM, you need both ASM and PSM provisioned on your unit.
The following instructions explain how to install Protocol Security Manager (PSM) version 11.3.0. This section lists only the very basic steps for installing the software. You can find complete, step-by-step installation and upgrade instructions in BIG-IP System: Upgrading Active/Standby Systems and BIG-IP System: Upgrading Active-Active Systems, and we strongly recommend that you reference these documents to ensure successful completion of the installation process.
Before you begin, ensure that you have completed the following:
Note: If you are upgrading from version 10.2.x you must install on the non-active partition. If you are upgrading from version 9.4.x, you can install on the active partition.
To install the software, use one of the following methods:
After the installation finishes, you must complete the following steps before the system can pass traffic. You can find complete, step-by-step installation and upgrade instructions in BIG-IP System: Upgrading Active/Standby Systems and BIG-IP System: Upgrading Active-Active Systems, and we strongly recommend that you reference these documents to ensure successful completion of the installation process.
Note: You do not need to provision Protocol Security Manager if Application Security Manager is already provisioned.
You may install Protocol Security Manager (PSM) version 11.3.0 onto existing systems running version 9.4.5 or later.
Your upgrade process differs depending on the software version installed and whether the BIG-IP system uses the partitions or volumes disk-formatting scheme.
The upgrade process installs the software on the inactive installation location that you specify. This process usually takes between three to seven minutes. During the upgrade process, you see messages posted on the screen. For example, you might see a prompt asking whether to upgrade the End User Diagnostics (EUD), depending on the version you have installed. To upgrade the EUD (recommended), type yes, otherwise, type no.
If you are currently running version 11.x, use one of the following upgrade methods:
If you are currently running version 10.2.x and the BIG-IP system uses the volumes disk-formatting scheme, use one of the following upgrade methods:
Note: The [create-volume] option is not supported on 10.2.x. If the volume does not exist, the system automatically creates the missing volume.
You can check the status of an active installation operation by running the command bigpipe software status or tmsh show sys software. If the installation fails, you can view the log file. The system stores the installation log file as /var/log/liveinstall.log.
If you are currently running version 10.0.x or 10.1.x and the BIG-IP system uses the volumes disk-formatting scheme, use one of the following upgrade methods:
You can check the status of an active installation operation by running the command bigpipe software status. If the installation fails, you can view the log file. The system stores the installation log file as /var/log/liveinstall.log.
If you are currently running version 9.4.5 or later 9.x versions, you must perform a one-time upgrade procedure to make your system ready for the new installation process. When you update from software version 9.4.5 or later 9.x versions to version 11.x, you cannot use the Software Management screens in the Configuration utility. Instead, you must run the command line.
Important: You cannot install version 11.x to a partitioned system. This means that, for example, you cannot have both 9.x and 11.x products coexisting on the same system.
Installation consists of the following steps:
Tip: Type image2disk --help to view the available options.
After upgrading or installing a new version, before you can use the Protocol Security Manager, you must set the Protocol Security Manager resource provisioning level to Nominal. You can do this from the command line, or using the Configuration utility.
Important: Wait 5 minutes after you set the resource provisioning level before making any configuration changes to the Protocol Security Manager. The system overrides all configuration changes made before this process is completed. The system informs you when the process is not completed by displaying, in the Configuration utility, the following message: ASM is not ready. The system informs you when the process completed by indicating in the log (/var/log/asm) the following message: ASM started successfully.
To set the Protocol Security Manager resource provisioning level to Nominal from the command line
Open the command-line interface utility, and run the following commands:
tmsh modify sys provision psm level nominal
tmsh save sys config
To set the Protocol Security Manager resource provisioning level to Nominal using the Configuration utility
This release includes the following new items and fixes.
This release includes the following new items.
Configuration Utility Menu
Protocol Security (PSM) is now one of a few modules that are a part of F5 Networks Security solution. The other modules that are part of the BIG-IP Security suite are Application Security (ASM), and Advanced Firewall (AFM). As a result, you will find Protocol Security under the Security menu in the Main navigational pane.
The Configuration utility is organized differently than in previous versions. The configuration and reporting of different Security modules are now consolidated under the Security menu. Here are some examples:
This version includes an Overview screen (Security > Overview > Summary) where you can create and personalize widgets that display statistical information about traffic logged by the BIG-IP system for all modules licensed and provisioned under the Security tab, in graphs. These modules include: Application Security (ASM), Protocol Security (PSM), and Advanced Firewall (AFM).
You can configure separate logging profiles, or one logging profile, for Protocol Security, Application Security, Advanced Firewall, and DoS protection for applications (Layer 7) and Layers 2-4. Each part can be enabled or disabled by creating or deleting the corresponding sub-profile. Consequently, the logging configuration screen has been removed from the Protocol Security > Options menu, and placed under the Security menu on the Main tab (Security > Event Logs > Logging Profiles).
A logging profile is used to record requests to the virtual server. You now assign logging profiles to virtual servers, not to security policies.
In Protocol Security you configure the publisher that determines where the system sends the Protocol Security log messages. The settings you configure in this sub-profile apply only to security profiles (HTTP, FTP, SMTP and DNS) associated with the same virtual server as the logging profile containing it.
Important: Since logging profiles are now assigned to virtual servers (not security policies), if you want the system to use a specific logging profile, you must assign it to a virtual server. To do this, perform the following steps:
We added protection for the DNS protocol. You create a DNS security profile, which allows you to filter DNS to allow or deny DNS query types, and to deny specific DNS opcodes, in order to prevent attacks or allow legitimate DNS traffic.
Use DNS protocol filtering:
A DNS security profile is attached to, and works with, a local traffic DNS profile to configure a range of DNS settings for a virtual server.
To configure a DNS security profile, navigate to the Security > Protocol Security > Security Profiles > DNS screen and click Create.
To view DNS event logs, navigate to the Security > Event Logs > Protocol > DNS screen.
To view graphic charts about traffic detected by the DNS security profile configured in the system, navigate to the Security > Reporting > Protocol > DNS screen.
With the addition of the DNS protocol to PSM, you can protect your DNS server from a DoS attack. You create a DoS profile that sets the conditions under which the system determines that your DNS server is under a DoS attack. You can configure the following values:
To configure a DoS profile, navigate to Security > DoS Protection > DoS Profiles, click Create, and enable the Protocol Security (DNS) setting. To view event logs of DoS attacks on a DNS server, navigate to Security > Event Logs > DoS > Protocol (DNS).
XML defense checks, XSS/SQL-injection checks, response checks, and Data Guard checks were removed from Protocol Security Manager. Therefore the following settings were removed from HTTP profile properties configuration:
The following HTTP violations were removed:
Also, the following system variables (internal parameters) were removed from the Configuration utility:
This release includes the following fixes.
|ID 332396||iControl now supports all user roles and granted partition accesses.|
|ID 379070||Users with the roles of Administrator, Application Security Administrator, and Resource Administrator have write permissions. Users with the role of Application Security Editor have the rights as a Guest.|
|ID 379693||If the /ts/var/license/current file is empty, then after a user renews an expired license, the Enforcer applies configuration changes.|
|ID 394506||We optimized the Enforcer's memory allocation for large requests.|
|ID 397525||SMTP, FTP, and HTTP protocol profiles are no longer unassigned by the system after you restart the system. Previously, this occurred if these profiles were created in partitions other than /Common.|
There were no new features introduced in version 11.2.1.
This release includes the following fix from version 11.2.1.
|ID 386698||When a 401 response arrives instead the expected 100-continue message, and the client continues with the payload, the Enforcer no longer resets the connection.|
There were no new features introduced in version 11.2.0.
This release includes the following fixes from version 11.2.0.
|ID 341862||We added the internal parameter is_ramcache_ignored to enable you to configure the system to ignore the RAM cache, regarding PSM behavior. By default, the system does not ignore the RAM cache. To ignore RAM cache, set the value of this parameter to 1.|
|ID 381283||Due to a change made by MacAfee, we changed the default value for the virus_header_name internal parameter from X-Virus-Name to X-Infection-Found. You can now use a number of strings for the value of the Advanced Configuration System Variable (internal parameter) virus_header_name by using the comma character (,) as a delimiter.|
Route Domain Support
In the Configuration utility, when you enter the SMTP disallowed sender IP address, we now support the following syntax: IP_address%route_domain_id, where the IP address can (optionally) be followed by a percent sign (%) and the numeric ID of a route domain configured in the system (Network > Route Domains).
Note: If not specified, the route domain of an IP address entered in the configuration will default to the default route domain for the partition/path that is selected or current in the Configuration utility (and displayed in the drop-down list at the upper right-hand corner of any screen). The default route domain of the selected or current partition/path is not shown in the configuration screens.
ASM now supports IPv6 addresses in all parts of the product where you can configure an IP address. Any place where IP addresses are displayed, whether in the GUI or in internal/external logging capabilities, both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are shown in their normal string representations.
Changes to Advanced Configuration System Variables
We removed the system variable OverviewEnabled.
This release includes the following fixes from version 11.1.0.
Non-RFC FTP command display on Statistics screen (ID 309852)
We fixed the reporting, on the Statistics screen, of the non RFC FTP command FTP protocol compliance failed violation.
Logging slow POST DoS attack events (ID 350683)
When the system detects a slow POST DoS attack, it now adds the event to the following logs: /var/log/ts/bd.log and /var/log/asm.
With this release, the system can inspect email and email attachments before releasing the content to the SMTP server. As a result, the Virus detected violation was added to the list of SMTP violations. To enable this feature, perform the following steps:
Note: The system’s default value of the parameters icap_uri and virus_header_name are correct for the McAfee® ICAP server. If you are using a different ICAP server, change these parameters’ values to the appropriate values used by that ICAP server.
Note: F5 Networks® tested the anti-virus feature on the following ICAP servers: McAfee®, Trend Micro™ InterScan™ Web Security, and Kaspersky.
Multiple Remote Logging
With this release you can create one logging profile to log PSM messages to multiple remote servers. To configure multiple remote logging, navigate to Protocol Security > Options > Remote Logging and in the Server Addresses area of the screen add different IP addresses.
With this version, you can now configure whether or not web application traffic should bypass the Protocol Security Manager, and if so, under which circumstances.
Note: Bypass is only for HTTP traffic, and not for FTP and SMTP traffic.
Warning: When you enable bypass, you permit users to continue accessing the web application even during extreme loads and failover. However, web application traffic is directed to the web server without passing through PSM. As a result, the PSM security profiles will not protect your web application. This puts your web application at risk of security threats.
There are three new parameters used to configure bypassing PSM; two are available from the Configuration utility, and one from the command line only. The following parameters are available in the Configuration utility:
Note: When enabling bypass_upon_asm_down, we recommend you run the command: tmsh modify sys daemon-ha bd running disabled.
To change these parameters’ default values, from the Configuration utility, navigate to Protocol Security > Options > Advanced Configuration.
The parameter that is available from the command line but not from the Configuration utility is bypass_upon_high_cpu. This parameter’s value specifies whether traffic bypasses PSM when your system is consuming a large amount of CPU, indicated by the small amount of idle CPU available. The default is 90 percent, meaning that if the system’s idle CPU is 10 percent, traffic bypasses PSM.
To add and change the default value of this parameter, open the command line, and use the add_del_internal script, in the following format:
/usr/share/ts/bin/add_del_internal add <param_name> <param_value>.
To delete an internal parameter from your configuration, from the command line, type the following command:
/usr/share/ts/bin/add_del_internal del <param_name>.
After adding or deleting an internal parameter, you must enter and run the command bigstart restart asm in order for the changes to take effect.
User interface enhancements
In this release we made the following user interface enhancements.
To change the default settings of these parameters, open the command line, and use the add_del_internal script, in the following format:
/usr/share/ts/bin/add_del_internal add <param_name> <param_value>.
To delete an internal parameter from your configuration, from the command line, type the following command:
/usr/share/ts/bin/add_del_internal del <param_name>.
After adding and changing the values of internal parameters, you must type and run the command bigstart restart asm in order for the changes to take effect.
This release includes the following fixes from version 11.0.0.
Ctrl+C does not stop recovery program (ID 222670, formerly CR 122942)
Pressing the control and C keys simultaneously on the keyboard now correctly stops the recovery program recover_db.pl. In previous releases, it did not.
GUI Preferences saved upon upgrade (ID 222710)
GUI preferences (configured on the Options > Preferences screen) are now saved in the UCS file. As a result, if you upgrade your system, these settings are now saved on your new system.
Trusted XFF feature (ID 222734)
The Trusted XFF header feature is now enabled in Protocol Security Manager.
Application Editor role enhancement (ID 223316, formerly CR 128834)
The role Application Editor now has read-only access to Protocol Security Manager profiles, and not just to the statistics screen.
Data Guard improvement (ID 223660)
We improved the functionality of the Data Guard feature with regard to the enforcement of custom patterns and exception patterns.
Logging of Disallowed senders IP address statistics (ID 224176)
When the system detects the SMTP Disallowed Senders Domain/IP Address violation, the system now logs in the Statistics screen not only the IP address, but also the domain name.
Logging of Illegal method statistics (ID 224602)
When the system detects the SMTP Illegal Method violation and the system is configured to log this violation, the system now logs it correctly in the Statistics screen. In the previous release, the system blocked the request.
Updating HTTP Profile when a lot of XML requests are sent (ID 224608)
Sending a lot of XML requests while updating a PSM HTTP profile no longer causes the system to core.
Lengthy storing of old session files (ID 224913)
To improve system performance, the PHP session files (in the /shared/tmp folder) are now aged out more quickly than before.
Sending traffic to a blade with PSM disabled (ID 225205)
Using the VIPRION® platform, the aggregator no longer sends traffic to a blade when PSM is offline (either because the system is disabled or crashed). In such scenarios, the aggregator now redirects traffic to the primary blade. Note that the Enforcer must run at least once for this to work.
Renaming SMTP methods as commands (ID 225285)
On the SMTP Profile Properties screen, we renamed SMTP Methods to SMTP Commands, for accuracy.
Profile assignment errors (ID 225465)
Errors no longer occur when creating and assigning profiles.
Uncompressing GZIP data in responses (ID 225545)
There are no longer issues when the Enforcer fails to uncompress gzip data in responses.
Incorrect message in log upon upload of large file (ID 227039)
After a large request is sent that exceeds the Enforcer’s buffer limit of 10M (for example, uploading a 13M file), the system no longer sends an incorrect error message to /ts/log/bd.log.
Upgraded PHP version (ID 309780)
We upgraded the system’s version of PHP to the 5.3.x branch.
Correct detection of the Host header contains IP address violation (ID 319749)
The system no longer detects the HTTP Protocol Compliance sub violation Host header contains IP address when the request’s Host header contains a number value, or the request’s Host header is empty, or illegal. The system only detects this violation when the request’s host header value is an IP address.
Errors when performing multiple UCS operations simultaneously (ID 332374)
The system prevents errors from occurring if you unintentionally run two or more UCS operations simultaneously.
ArcSight date and time field (ID 336660)
When Remote Logging Profile is configured for an ArcSight® server, the system now correctly logs the date and time when the event occurred. In previous releases there was a formatting error in the rt field.
Request storage improvement (ID 345505)
To improve the performance of storing requests, we changed the temporary storage location of requests from /var/ts/dms/uploaded_files to /shared/tmp. This is an internal enhancement made to increase system efficiency.
Reaping process changed (ID 351291 and ID 353526)
The Enforcer does not accept new transactions when they reach the Enforcer’s memory limit. The Enforcer does also not accept more transactions than the configured number of the new internal parameter max_allowed_trans is reached. The internal parameter number_jobs_to_abort was removed since it is no longer relevant.
When the value of max_allowed_trans is reached, if bypass is disabled, the system logs the message: trans_open: Not enough UMU memory to start a new trans. If bypass is enabled, the system logs the message: trans_open: Not enough UMU memory to start a new trans --> Bypassing ASM.
Handling requests that exceed the system maximum buffer length (ID 358360)
When a request exceeds the system’s buffer length (generating the Request length exceeds defined buffer size violation), the system now either terminates or bypasses the request, depending on the value of the internal parameter EnableASMByPass.
Enforcer allocating memory (ID 360593)
There are additional tests at the beginning of each transaction to reduce the chances of the Enforcer allocating more memory resources that it has, and possibly producing a core dump.
The following items are known issues in the current release.
No support for triplet module combinations on low-end platforms (ID 403592)
Platforms with less than 6.5 GB memory cannot be upgraded to version 11.3.0 if three or more modules are provisioned. Note that upgrades from version 10.0.x display only an "upgrade failed" message as a software status. All other versions show a clear error message that guides them to SOL13988. Before upgrading, make sure you have only one or two modules provisioned if the BIG-IP system has less than 6.5 GB of memory.
Installation may create a UCS file without database configuration (ID 207422, ID 211521, formerly CR120190, formerly CR127965)
If you try to install this version by running the command image2disk --nomoveconfig, or liveinstall with the database variable LiveInstall.MoveConfig set to disabled, and you have WebAccelerator, Application Security Manager, or Protocol Security Manager provisioned or enabled in the target install slot, the system does not save the database configuration in the UCS file. To correctly install the current version and save your database configuration and installation, see Installing the current version and saving the database configuration and installation in the Workarounds for known issues section of this release note.
Null characters in HTTP request headers (ID 219763, formerly CR112823)
If a virtual server running both the Protocol Security Manager and the WebAccelerator system receives an HTTP request that contains a null character, the WebAccelerator system replaces the null character with a space. The null character is removed from the HTTP request header, so this request does not trigger the HTTP Protocol Checks violation Null in request. This behavior has no other effect on how the request is processed.
File extension no_ext (ID 249474, formerly CR51421)
The Protocol Security Manager does not support the file type file extension named no_ext, because it is a reserved name. If you add a file type named no_ext, the Protocol Security Manager considers it a file type with no file extension (for example, like the URL /, which has no file extension).
Protocol Security Manager requests displayed unescaped (ID 283364, formerly CR98148)
On the Protocol Security Manager Statistics violation screens, the system displays escaped characters in requests as unescaped. For example, if a request contains the characters %3c the system displays them as <.
FTP logs and port numbers (ID 309659, formerly CR109905)
In the FTP Remote Logging and Statistics logs, the port numbers are represented as a combination of 2 bytes instead of the real port number. For example 108, 108 is displayed to represent port number 27756 since 108*256+108=27756.
mysql database volume and deprovisioning (ID 317562, formerly CR120943)
If you deprovision the WebAccelerator system, Application Security Manager, or Protocol Security Manager, the system retains the mysql database volume. Because the database might contain important configuration data for the deprovisioned modules, you must determine whether or not to retain the mysql database volume. For information on locating and removing an unneeded mysql database volume, see the associated Solution in the AskF5 web site.
Errors generated when resetting ICAP server configuration (ID 343418, ID 358256)
If you reset the ICAP server configuration while the system is processing traffic (by clicking Reset and Save on the Protocol Security > Options > Anti-Virus Protection screen), the system deletes the ICAP server configuration, but the system does not end the ICAP connections. As a result, the system logs errors in the BD log (/var/log/ts/bd.log).
Virus detection if system out of memory (ID 346498)
If the system runs out of memory resources, the system does not perform virus inspection even when it should. To inform you of this issue, the system logs in the BD log (/var/log/ts/bd.log) the error message ASM out of memory error.
Virtual machine CPU minimum requirement (ID 368121)
On a virtual machine, you need at least 2 CPUs to configure PSM.
Parsing CDATA with a missing opening bracket character (ID 374936)
False positives are possible when the system parses an XML document containing CDATA that contains the closing bracket character ( ] ) without an opening bracket character ( [ ).
PSM and WebAccelerator: Migrating a Security Profile (ID 381495)
An HTTP Security Profile cannot be migrated to an Application Security Manager Security Policy while it is associated with a Virtual Server that has a WebAccelerator Profile as well.
Sending remote log messages (ID 396364)
PSM cannot send remote log messages to IPv6 pool members defined with route domains.
Restarting a bigstart daemon (ID 397064)
If you stop and restart a bigstart daemon (for example, if you run the command bigstart restart mysql) afterward, you must also run the command bigstart start to restart dependent daemons.
Missing system validation (ID 403910)
System validation is missing in both of the following cases:
The following sections describe workarounds for the corresponding known issues listed in the previous section.
This workaround describes how to correctly install the current version and save your database configuration and installation. For information about the known issue, see Installation may create a UCS file without database configuration.
For additional information, please visit http://www.f5.com.
You can find additional support resources and technical documentation through a variety of sources.
Free self-service tools give you 24x7 access to a wealth of knowledge and technical support. Whether it is providing quick answers to questions, training your staff, or handling entire implementations from design to deployment, F5 services teams are ready to ensure that you get the most from your F5 technology.
AskF5 is your storehouse for thousands of solutions to help you manage your F5 products more effectively. Whether you want to search the knowledge base periodically to research a solution, or you need the most recent news on your F5 products, AskF5 is your source.
The F5 DevCentral community helps you get more from F5 products and technologies. You can connect with user groups, learn about the latest F5 tools, and discuss F5 products and technology.