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API Abuse Prevention Setup

This article describes how to enable and configure the API Abuse Prevention module to detect and mitigate malicious bots and to avoid blocking legitimate activities.

Enabling

The API Abuse Prevention module is available in the Advanced API Security subscription plan. It is disabled by default.

To enable API Abuse Prevention:

  1. Check that your Wallarm node is 4.2 or later.

  2. In Wallarm Console → API Abuse Prevention, create or enable at least one API Abuse profile.

Creating profiles

API abuse profiles are used to configure how Wallarm's API Abuse Prevention detects and mitigates malicious bots. You can create different profiles for different applications. Each application can have only one associated profile.

A profile defines from what type of bots to protect, with what sensitivity each type of bot should be detected and what should be the reaction to this bot's activities.

To create an API abuse profile:

  1. In the API Abuse Prevention section, click Create profile.

  2. Select automated threats to protect from, set the Reaction:

    • Disabled - Wallarm will not protect from this type of bot.
    • Register attack - detected malicious bot activities will be displayed in the Attacks section of Wallarm Console, requests will not be blocked.

      From such event details, you can quickly block the bot with the Add source IP to denylist button. The IP is added to the denylist forever, but in the IP Lists section you can delete it or change the time of staying in the list.

    • Denylist IP or Graylist IP - the bot's IP is added to the corresponding list for the selected period, and requests are blocked. Learn more about the difference between deny- and graylist here.

  3. If necessary change the detection Sensitivity for each bot type:

    • Paranoid - the higher sensitivity means that LESS bots access your applications, but this may block some legitimate requests due to false positives.
    • Normal (default, recommended) - uses optimal rules to avoid many false positives and prevent most malicious bot requests from reaching APIs.
    • Safe mode - the lower sensitivity means that MORE bots access your applications, but then no legitimate requests will be dropped.

      API Abuse prevention profile

  4. Select application(s).

  5. Set the Analyze behavior by parameter:

    • Applications - analyze requests to all of the domains of the application together.
    • Domains - analyze requests to each of the domains of the application separately.

Disabling and deleting profiles

Disabled profiles are the ones that the API Abuse Prevention module does not use during traffic analysis but that are still displayed in the profile list. You can re-enable disabled profiles at any moment. If there are no enabled profiles, the module does not block malicious bots.

Deleted profiles are the ones that cannot be restored and that the API Abuse Prevention module does not use during traffic analysis.

You can find Disable and Delete options in the profile menu.

Exceptions

You can fine tune API Abuse Prevention by making exceptions: marking legitimate bots and disabling bot protection for particular target URLs and request types.