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Separate postanalytics module installation

The processing of requests in the WAF is divided into two stages:

  • Primary processing in the NGINX-Wallarm module. The processing is not memory demanding and can be put on frontend servers without changing the server requirements.

  • Statistical analysis of the processed requests in the postanalytics module. Postanalytics is memory demanding, which may require changes in the server configuration or installation of postanalytics on a separate server.

Depending on the system architecture, the NGINX-Wallarm and postanalytics modules can be installed on the same server or on different servers.

These instructions provide the steps to install the postanalytics module on a separate server.

Requirements

  • NGINX-Wallarm module installed with NGINX stable from NGINX repository, NGINX from Debian/CentOS repositories or NGINX Plus

  • Access to the account with the Administrator or Deploy role and two‑factor authentication disabled in the Wallarm Console for the EU Cloud or US Cloud

  • SELinux disabled or configured upon the instructions

  • Executing all commands as a superuser (e.g. root)

  • Access to https://repo.wallarm.com to download packages. Ensure the access is not blocked by a firewall

  • Access to https://api.wallarm.com:444 if working with EU Wallarm Cloud or to https://us1.api.wallarm.com:444 if working with US Wallarm Cloud. If access can be configured only via the proxy server, then use the instructions

  • Installed text editor vim, nano, or any other. In the instruction, vim is used

Installation

1. Add Wallarm WAF repositories

The postanalytics module, like other Wallarm WAF modules, is installed and updated from the Wallarm repositories. To add repositories, use the commands for your platform:

sudo apt install dirmngr
curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sh -c "echo 'deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node stretch/2.16/' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wallarm.list"
sudo apt update
sudo apt install dirmngr
curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sh -c "echo 'deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node buster/2.16/' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wallarm.list"
sudo apt update
curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sh -c "echo 'deb http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node xenial/2.16/' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wallarm.list"
sudo apt update
curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sh -c "echo 'deb http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node bionic/2.16/' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wallarm.list"
sudo apt update
sudo yum install -y epel-release
sudo rpm -i https://repo.wallarm.com/centos/wallarm-node/7/2.16/x86_64/Packages/wallarm-node-repo-1-5.el7.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install -y https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
sudo rpm -i https://repo.wallarm.com/centos/wallarm-node/7/2.16/x86_64/Packages/wallarm-node-repo-1-5.el7.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install -y epel-release
sudo rpm -i https://repo.wallarm.com/centos/wallarm-node/8/2.16/x86_64/Packages/wallarm-node-repo-1-5.el8.noarch.rpm

2. Install packages for the postanalytics module

Install the wallarm-node-tarantool package from the Wallarm repository for the postanalytics module and Tarantool database:

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends wallarm-node-tarantool
sudo apt install --no-install-recommends wallarm-node-tarantool
sudo yum install wallarm-node-tarantool

3. Connect the postanalytics module to Wallarm Cloud

The postanalytics module interacts with the Wallarm Cloud. To connect the postanalytics module to the Cloud, it is required to create a separate WAF node for the postanalytics module. Created WAF node will get the security rules from the Cloud and upload attacks data to the Cloud.

To create the WAF node and connect the postanalytics module to the Cloud:

  1. Make sure that your Wallarm account has the Administrator or Deploy role enabled and two-factor authentication disabled in the Wallarm Console.

    You can check mentioned settings by navigating to the users list in the EU Cloud or US Cloud.

    User list in Wallarm console

  2. Run the addnode script in a system with the installed postanalytics module packages:

    sudo /usr/share/wallarm-common/addnode --no-sync
    
    sudo /usr/share/wallarm-common/addnode -H api.wallarm.ru --no-sync
    
  3. Input the email and password for your account in the Wallarm Console.

  4. Input the postanalytics WAF node name or click Enter to use automatically generated name.

  5. Open the Wallarm Console → Nodes section in the EU Cloud or US Cloud and ensure a new WAF node is added to the list.

4. Update postanalytics module configuration

The configuration files of the postanalytics module are located in the paths:

  • /etc/default/wallarm-tarantool for Debian and Ubuntu operating systems

  • /etc/sysconfig/wallarm-tarantool for CentOS and Amazon Linux 2 operating systems

To open the file in the editing mode, please use the command:

sudo vim /etc/default/wallarm-tarantool
sudo vim /etc/default/wallarm-tarantool
sudo vim /etc/sysconfig/wallarm-tarantool

Memory

The postanalytics module uses the in-memory storage Tarantool. The recommended memory size for Tarantool is 75% of the total server memory.

The allocated memory size is set in GB via the SLAB_ALLOC_ARENA directive in the wallarm‑tarantool configuration file. The value can be an integer or a float (a dot . is a decimal separator). For example, 24 GB:

SLAB_ALLOC_ARENA=24

Detailed recommendations about allocating memory for Tarantool are described in these instructions.

Address of the separate postanalytics server

To set the address of the separate postanalytics server:

  1. Uncomment the HOST and PORT variables in the wallarm-tarantool configuration file and set them the following values:

    # address and port for bind
    HOST='0.0.0.0'
    PORT=3313
    
  2. If the configuration file of Tarantool is set up to accept connections on the IP addresses different from 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1, then please provide the addresses in /etc/wallarm/node.yaml:

    hostname: <name of postanalytics WAF node>
    uuid: <UUID of postanalytics WAF node>
    secret: <secret key of postanalytics WAF node>
    tarantool:
        host: '<IP address of Tarantool>'
        port: 3313
    
  3. Add the address of the postanalytics module server to the configuration files on the server with the NGINX‑Wallarm package as described in the instructions for proper installation forms:

5. Restart Wallarm WAF services

To apply the settings to the postanalytics and NGINX‑Wallarm modules:

  1. Restart the wallarm-tarantool service on the server with separate postanalytics module:

    sudo systemctl restart wallarm-tarantool
    
    sudo systemctl restart wallarm-tarantool
    
    sudo systemctl restart wallarm-tarantool
    
  2. Restart the NGINX service on the server with the NGINX‑Wallarm module:

    sudo systemctl restart nginx
    
    sudo service nginx restart
    
    sudo systemctl restart nginx
    

6. Check the NGINX‑Wallarm and separate postanalytics modules interaction

To check the NGINX‑Wallarm and separate postanalytics modules interaction, you can send the request with test attack to the address of the protected application:

curl http://localhost/?id='or+1=1--a-<script>prompt(1)</script>'

If the NGINX‑Wallarm and separate postanalytics modules are configured properly, the attack will be uploaded to the Wallarm Cloud and displayed in the Events section of the Wallarm Console:

Attacks in the interface

If the attack was not uploaded to the Cloud, please check that there are no errors in the services operation:

  • Make sure that the postanalytics service wallarm-tarantool is in the status active

    sudo systemctl status wallarm-tarantool
    

    wallarm-tarantool status

  • Analyze the postanalytics module logs

    sudo cat /var/log/wallarm/tarantool.log
    

    If there is the record like SystemError binary: failed to bind: Cannot assign requested address, make sure that the server accepts connection on specified address and port.

  • On the server with the NGINX‑Wallarm module, analyze the NGINX logs:

    sudo cat /var/log/nginx/error.log
    

    If there is the record like [error] wallarm: <address> connect() failed, make sure that the address of separate postanalytics module is specified correctly in the NGINX‑Wallarm module configuration files and separate postanalytics server accepts connection on specified address and port.

  • On the server with the NGINX‑Wallarm module, get the statistics on processed requests using the command below and make sure that the value of tnt_errors is 0

    curl http://127.0.0.8/wallarm-status
    

    Description of all parameters returned by the statistics service →

Postanalytics module protection

Protect installed postanalytics module

We highly recommend to protect a newly installed Wallarm postanalytics module with a firewall. Otherwise, there is a risk of getting unauthorized access to the service that may result in:

  • disclosure of information about processed requests
  • possibility of executing arbitrary Lua code and operating system commands

Please note that no such risk exists if you are deploying the postanalytics module alongside with the NGINX-Wallarm module on the same server. This holds true because the postanalytics module will listen to the port 3313.

Here are the firewall settings that should be applied to the separately installed postanalytics module:

  • Allow the HTTPS traffic to and from the Wallarm API servers, so the postanalytics module can interact with these servers:
    • api.wallarm.com:444 is the API server in the EU Wallarm Cloud
    • us1.api.wallarm.com:444 is the API server in the US Wallarm Cloud
  • Restrict the access to the 3313 Tarantool port via TCP and UDP protocols by allowing connections only from the IP addresses of the Wallarm WAF nodes.