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Deploying Wallarm from GCP Machine Image

This article provides instructions for deploying Wallarm on GCP using the official Machine Image. The solution can be deployed either in-line or Out-of-Band.

Use cases

Among all supported Wallarm deployment options, GCP Machine Image is recommended for Wallarm deployment in these use cases:

  • Your existing infrastructure resides on GCP.

  • You aim to deploy a security solution as a separate cloud instance, rather than installing it directly on frontend systems like NGINX.

Requirements

  • A GCP account

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

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

  • Access to the specified IP addresses on Google Cloud Storage. This access is crucial for downloading updates to attack detection rules, and retrieving exact IPs of countries, regions, or data centers you have added to your allowlist, denylist, or graylist

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

1. Launch a filtering node instance

Launch the instance via the Google Cloud UI

To launch the filtering node instance via the Google Cloud UI, please open the Wallarm node image on the Google Cloud Marketplace and click GET STARTED.

The instance will launch with a preinstalled filtering node. To see detailed information on launching instances in the Google Cloud, please proceed to the official Google Cloud Platform documentation.

Launch the instance via Terraform or other tools

When using a tool like Terraform to launch the filtering node instance using Wallarm GCP image, you may need to provide the name of this image in the Terraform configuration.

  • Image name has the following format:

    wallarm-node-195710/wallarm-node-<IMAGE_VERSION>-build
    
  • To launch the instance with the filtering node version 4.10, please use the following image name:

    wallarm-node-195710/wallarm-node-4-10-20240220-234618
    

To get the image name, you can also follow these steps:

  1. Install Google Cloud SDK.

  2. Execute the command gcloud compute images list with the following parameters:

    gcloud compute images list --project wallarm-node-195710 --filter="name~'wallarm-node-4-10-*'" --no-standard-images
    
  3. Copy the version value from the name of the latest available image and paste the copied value into the provided image name format. For example, the filtering node version 4.10 image will have the following name:

    wallarm-node-195710/wallarm-node-4-10-20240220-234618
    

2. Configure the filtering node instance

Perform the following actions to configure the launched filtering node instance:

  1. Navigate to the VM instances page in the Compute Engine section of the menu.

  2. Select the launched filtering node instance and click the Edit button.

  3. Allow the required types of incoming traffic by ticking the corresponding checkboxes in the Firewalls setting.

  4. If necessary, you can restrict connecting to the instance with the project SSH keys and use a custom SSH key pair for connecting to this instance. To do this, perform the following actions:

    1. Tick the Block project-wide checkbox in the SSH Keys setting.
    2. Click the Show and edit button in the SSH Keys setting to expand the field for entering an SSH key.
    3. Generate a pair of public and private SSH keys. For example, you can use the ssh-keygen and PuTTYgen utilities.

      Generating SSH keys using PuTTYgen

    4. Copy an open key in OpenSSH format from the interface of the used key generator (in the current example, the generated public key should be copied from the Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file area of the PuTTYgen interface) and paste it into the field containing the Enter entire key data hint.

    5. Save the private key. It will be required for connecting to the configured instance in the future.
  5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page to apply the changes.

3. Connect to the filtering node instance via SSH

To see detailed information about ways of connecting to instances, proceed to this link.

Connecting to the instance via a custom private key

If during base instance creation process you have enabled connection to the instance via a custom SSH key pair, make sure you have access to the private key from this key pair.

4. Generate a token to connect an instance to the Wallarm Cloud

The local Wallarm filtering node needs to connect with the Wallarm Cloud using a Wallarm token of the appropriate type. An API token allows you to create a node group in the Wallarm Console UI, which helps in organizing your node instances effectively.

Grouped nodes

Generate a token as follows:

  1. Open Wallarm Console → SettingsAPI tokens in the US Cloud or EU Cloud.
  2. Find or create API token with the Deploy source role.
  3. Copy this token.
  1. Open Wallarm Console → Nodes in the US Cloud or EU Cloud.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Create the node of the Wallarm node type and copy the generated token.
    • Use existing node group - copy token using node's menu → Copy token.

5. Connect the instance to the Wallarm Cloud

Depending on the selected Wallarm deployment approach (in-line or Out-of-Band), different commands are used to register the instance with the Wallarm Cloud.

The cloud instance's node connects to the Cloud via the cloud-init.py script. This script registers the node with the Wallarm Cloud using a provided token, globally sets it to the monitoring mode, and sets up the node to forward legitimate traffic based on the --proxy-pass flag. Restarting NGINX finalizes the setup.

Run the cloud-init.py script on the instance created from the cloud image as follows:

sudo env WALLARM_LABELS='group=<GROUP>' /opt/wallarm/usr/share/wallarm-common/cloud-init.py -t <TOKEN> -m monitoring --proxy-pass <PROXY_ADDRESS> -H us1.api.wallarm.com
sudo env WALLARM_LABELS='group=<GROUP>' /opt/wallarm/usr/share/wallarm-common/cloud-init.py -t <TOKEN> -m monitoring --proxy-pass <PROXY_ADDRESS>
  • WALLARM_LABELS='group=<GROUP>' sets a node group name (existing, or, if does not exist, it will be created). It is only applied if using an API token.
  • <TOKEN> is the copied value of the token.
  • <PROXY_ADDRESS> is an address for Wallarm node to proxy legitimate traffic to. It can be an IP of an application instance, load balancer, or DNS name, etc., depending on your architecture.

The cloud instance's node connects to the Cloud via the cloud-init.py script. This script registers the node with the Wallarm Cloud using a provided token, globally sets it to the monitoring mode, and sets the wallarm_force directives in NGINX's location / block to only analyze mirrored traffic copies. Restarting NGINX finalizes the setup.

Run the cloud-init.py script on the instance created from the cloud image as follows:

sudo env WALLARM_LABELS='group=<GROUP>' /opt/wallarm/usr/share/wallarm-common/cloud-init.py -t <TOKEN> -m monitoring -p mirror -H us1.api.wallarm.com
sudo env WALLARM_LABELS='group=<GROUP>' /opt/wallarm/usr/share/wallarm-common/cloud-init.py -t <TOKEN> -m monitoring -p mirror
  • WALLARM_LABELS='group=<GROUP>' sets a node group name (existing, or, if does not exist, it will be created). It is only applied if using an API token.
  • <TOKEN> is the copied value of the token.

6. Configure sending traffic to the Wallarm instance

Depending on the deployment approach being used, perform the following settings:

Update targets of your load balancer to send traffic to the Wallarm instance. For details, please refer to the documentation on your load balancer.

  1. Configure your web or proxy server (e.g. NGINX, Envoy) to mirror incoming traffic to the Wallarm node. For configuration details, we recommend to refer to your web or proxy server documentation.

    Inside the link, you will find the example configuration for the most popular of web and proxy servers (NGINX, Traefik, Envoy).

  2. Set the following configuration in the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default file on the instance with the node:

    location / {
        include /etc/nginx/presets.d/mirror.conf;
    
        # Change 222.222.222.22 to the address of the mirroring server
        set_real_ip_from  222.222.222.22;
        real_ip_header    X-Forwarded-For;
    }
    

    The set_real_ip_from and real_ip_header directives are required to have Wallarm Console display the IP addresses of the attackers.

7. Test the Wallarm operation

  1. The request with test Path Traversal attack to an address of either the load balancer or the machine with the Wallarm node:

    curl http://<ADDRESS>/etc/passwd
    
  2. Open Wallarm Console → Attacks section in the US Cloud or EU Cloud and make sure the attack is displayed in the list.
    Attacks in the interface

Since Wallarm operates in the monitoring mode, the Wallarm node does not block the attack but registers it.

8. Fine-tune the deployed solution

The deployment is now complete. The filtering node may require some additional configuration after deployment.

Wallarm settings are defined using the NGINX directives or the Wallarm Console UI. Directives should be set in the following files on the Wallarm instance:

  • /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default defines the configuration of NGINX

  • /etc/nginx/conf.d/wallarm.conf defines the global configuration of Wallarm filtering node

  • /etc/nginx/conf.d/wallarm-status.conf defines the filtering node monitoring service configuration

  • /etc/default/wallarm-tarantool or /etc/sysconfig/wallarm-tarantool with the Tarantool database settings

You can modify the listed files or create your own configuration files to define the operation of NGINX and Wallarm. It is recommended to create a separate configuration file with the server block for each group of the domains that should be processed in the same way (e.g. example.com.conf). To see detailed information about working with NGINX configuration files, proceed to the official NGINX documentation.

Creating a configuration file

When creating a custom configuration file, make sure that NGINX listens to the incoming connections on the free port.

Below there are a few of the typical settings that you can apply if needed:

To apply the settings, restart NGINX on the Wallarm instance:

sudo systemctl restart nginx

Each configuration file change requires NGINX to be restarted to apply it.