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Upgrading Wallarm NGINX modules 2.18 or lower

These instructions describe the steps to upgrade the Wallarm NGINX modules 2.18 or lower to version 4.0. Wallarm NGINX modules are the modules installed in accordance with one of the following instructions:

Wallarm nodes 2.18 and lower are not supported

You are recommended to upgrade the Wallarm nodes 2.18 and lower since these versions are not supported.

Node configuration and traffic filtration have been significantly simplified in the Wallarm node of the latest versions. Before upgrading the modules, please carefully review the list of changes and general recommendations. Please note that some settings of the latest node are incompatible with the nodes 2.18 and lower.

Requirements

  • Access to the account with the Administrator role in Wallarm Console in the EU Cloud or US Cloud

  • Access to https://api.wallarm.com if working with EU Wallarm Cloud or to https://us1.api.wallarm.com if working with US Wallarm Cloud. Please ensure the access is not blocked by a firewall

Upgrade procedure

  • If filtering node and postanalytics modules are installed on the same server, then follow the instructions below to upgrade all packages.

  • If filtering node and postanalytics modules are installed on different servers, first upgrade the postanalytics module following these instructions and then perform the steps below for filtering node modules.

Step 1: Inform Wallarm technical support that you are upgrading filtering node modules

Inform Wallarm technical support that you are updating filtering node modules up to 4.0 and ask to enable new IP lists logic for your Wallarm account. When new IP lists logic is enabled, please open Wallarm Console and ensure that the section IP lists is available.

Step 2: Disable the Active threat verification module (if upgrading node 2.16 or lower)

If upgrading Wallarm node 2.16 or lower, please disable the Active threat verification module in Wallarm Console → Scanner → Settings.

The module operation can cause false positives during the upgrade process. Disabling the module minimizes this risk.

Step 3: Update API port

Starting with version 4.0, the filtering node uploads data to the Cloud using the api.wallarm.com:443 (EU Cloud) and us1.api.wallarm.com:443 (US Cloud) API endpoints instead of api.wallarm.com:444 and us1.api.wallarm.com:444.

If your server with the deployed node has a limited access to the external resources and the access is granted to each resource separately, then after upgrade to version 4.0 the synchronization between the filtering node and the Cloud will stop.

To restore the synchronization, in your configuration, change port 444 to 443 for API endpoint for each resource.

Step 4: Upgrade NGINX to the latest version

Upgrade NGINX to the latest version using the relevant instructions:

DEB-based distributions:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

RPM-based distributions:

sudo yum update
sudo yum install nginx

For NGINX Plus, please follow the official upgrade instructions.

For NGINX installed from Debian/CentOS repository, please skip this step. The installed NGINX version will be upgraded later along with Wallarm modules.

If your infrastructure needs to use a specific version of NGINX, please contact the Wallarm technical support to build the API Security module for a custom version of NGINX.

Step 5: Add new Wallarm repository

Delete the previous Wallarm repository address and add a repository with a new Wallarm node version package. Please use the commands for the appropriate platform.

CentOS and Amazon Linux 2.0.2021x and lower

sudo yum remove wallarm-node-repo
sudo yum clean all
sudo rpm -i https://repo.wallarm.com/centos/wallarm-node/6/4.0/x86_64/wallarm-node-repo-4-0.el6.noarch.rpm
sudo yum remove wallarm-node-repo
sudo yum clean all
sudo rpm -i https://repo.wallarm.com/centos/wallarm-node/7/4.0/x86_64/wallarm-node-repo-4-0.el7.noarch.rpm

Support for CentOS 8.x has been deprecated

Support for CentOS 8.x has been deprecated. You can install the Wallarm node on the AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux or Oracle Linux 8.x operating system insted.

sudo yum remove wallarm-node-repo
sudo yum clean all
sudo rpm -i https://repo.wallarm.com/centos/wallarm-node/8/4.0/x86_64/wallarm-node-repo-4-0.el8.noarch.rpm

Debian and Ubuntu

  1. Open the file with the Wallarm repository address in the installed text editor. In these instructions, vim is used.

    sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wallarm.list
    
  2. Comment out or delete the previous repository address.

  3. Add a new repository address:

    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node stretch/4.0/
    
    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node stretch/4.0/
    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node stretch-backports/4.0/
    
    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node buster/4.0/
    
    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/debian/wallarm-node bullseye/4.0/
    
    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node bionic/4.0/
    
    deb http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/
    

Step 6: Migrate whitelists and blacklists from the previous Wallarm node version to 4.0

Migrate whitelist and blacklist configuration from previous Wallarm node version to 4.0.

Step 7: Upgrade Wallarm API Security packages

Filtering node and postanalytics on the same server

Execute the following command to upgrade the filtering node and postanalytics modules:

sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade

The error "signatures couldn't be verified"

If added GPG keys expired, the following error would be returned:

W: GPG error: http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release:The following
signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 1111FQQW999
E: The repository 'http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release' is not signed.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

To fix the problem, please import new GPG keys for the Wallarm packages and then upgrade the packages using the following commands:

curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade

The error "signatures couldn't be verified"

If added GPG keys expired, the following error would be returned:

W: GPG error: http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release:The following
signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 1111FQQW999
E: The repository 'http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release' is not signed.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

To fix the problem, please import new GPG keys for the Wallarm packages and then upgrade the packages using the following commands:

curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo yum update
sudo yum update

Filtering node and postanalytics on different servers

Sequence of steps to upgrade the filtering node and postanalytics modules

If the filtering node and postanalytics modules are installed on different servers, then it is required to upgrade the postanalytics packages before updating the filtering node packages.

  1. Upgrade postanalytics packages following these instructions.

  2. Upgrade Wallarm node packages:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    

    The error "signatures couldn't be verified"

    If added GPG keys expired, the following error would be returned:

    W: GPG error: http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release:The following
    signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 1111FQQW999
    E: The repository 'http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release' is not signed.
    N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
    N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
    

    To fix the problem, please import new GPG keys for the Wallarm packages and then upgrade the packages using the following commands:

    curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    

    The error "signatures couldn't be verified"

    If added GPG keys expired, the following error would be returned:

    W: GPG error: http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release:The following
    signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 1111FQQW999
    E: The repository 'http://repo.wallarm.com/ubuntu/wallarm-node focal/4.0/ Release' is not signed.
    N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
    N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.
    

    To fix the problem, please import new GPG keys for the Wallarm packages and then upgrade the packages using the following commands:

    curl -fsSL https://repo.wallarm.com/wallarm.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    
    sudo yum update
    
    sudo yum update
    
  3. If the package manager asks for confirmation to rewrite the content of the configuration file /etc/cron.d/wallarm-node-nginx:

    1. Ensure that the IP lists migration is completed.
    2. Confirm the file rewrite by using the option Y.

      The package manager would ask for the rewrite confirmation if the file /etc/cron.d/wallarm-node-nginx had been changed in the previous Wallarm node versions. Since IP list logic was changed in Wallarm node 3.x, the /etc/cron.d/wallarm-node-nginx content was updated accordingly. For the IP address blacklist to operate correctly, the Wallarm node 3.x should use the updated configuration file.

      By default, the package manager uses the option N but the option Y is required for the correct IP address blacklist operation in Wallarm node 3.x.

Step 8: Update the node type

The deployed node has the deprecated regular type that is now replaced with the new Wallarm node type.

It is recommended to install the new node type instead of the deprecated one during migration to the version 4.0. The regular node type will be removed in future releases, please migrate before.

If the postanalytics module is installed on a separate server

If the initial traffic processing and postanalytics modules are installed on separate servers, it is recommended to connect these modules to the Wallarm Cloud using the same node token. The Wallarm Console UI will display each module as a separate node instance, e.g.:

Node with several instances

The Wallarm node has already been created during the separate postanalytics module upgrade. To connect the initial traffic processing module to the Cloud using the same node credentials:

  1. Copy the node token generated during the separate postanalytics module upgrade.
  2. Proceed to the 4th step in the list below.

To replace the regular node with the Wallarm node:

  1. Make sure that your Wallarm account has the Administrator role enabled in Wallarm Console.

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

    User list in Wallarm console

  2. Open Wallarm Console → Nodes in the EU Cloud or US Cloud and create the node of the Wallarm node type.

    Wallarm node creation

  3. Copy the generated token.

  4. Pause the NGINX service on the server with the node of the older version:

    sudo systemctl stop nginx
    
    sudo service nginx stop
    
    sudo systemctl stop nginx
    
    sudo systemctl stop nginx
    

    The NGINX service pausing mitigates the risk of incorrect RPS calculation.

  5. Execute the register-node script to run the Wallarm node:

    sudo /usr/share/wallarm-common/register-node -t <NODE_TOKEN> --force
    
    sudo /usr/share/wallarm-common/register-node -t <NODE_TOKEN> -H us1.api.wallarm.com --force
    
    • <NODE_TOKEN> is the Wallarm node token.
    • The --force option forces rewriting of the Wallarm Cloud access credentials specified in the /etc/wallarm/node.yaml file.

Step 9: Update the Wallarm blocking page

In new node version, the Wallarm sample blocking page has been changed. The logo and support email on the page are now empty by default.

If the page &/usr/share/nginx/html/wallarm_blocked.html was configured to be returned in response to blocked requests, copy and customize the new version of a sample page.

Step 10: Rename deprecated NGINX directives

Rename the following NGINX directives if they are explicitly specified in configuration files:

We only changed the names of the directives, their logic remains the same. Directives with former names will be deprecated soon, so you are recommended to rename them before.

Step 11: Update the node logging variables

In the new node version the following changes to the node logging variables have been implemented:

  • The wallarm_request_time variable has been renamed to wallarm_request_cpu_time.

    We only changed the variable name, its logic remains the same. The old name is temporarily supported as well, but still it is recommended to rename the variable.

  • The wallarm_request_mono_time variable has been added – place it in the configuration of the logging format if you need log information about total time being the sum of:

    • Time in the queue
    • Time in seconds the CPU spent processing the request

Step 12: Adjust Wallarm node filtration mode settings to changes released in the latest versions

  1. Ensure that the expected behavior of settings listed below corresponds to the changed logic of the off and monitoring filtration modes:

  2. If the expected behavior does not correspond to the changed filtration mode logic, please adjust the filtration mode settings to released changes using the instructions.

Step 13: Transfer the overlimit_res attack detection configuration from directives to the rule

Starting from the version 3.6, you can fine-tune the overlimit_res attack detection using the rule in Wallarm Console.

Earlier, the wallarm_process_time_limit and wallarm_process_time_limit_block NGINX directives have been used. The listed directives are considered to be deprecated with the new rule release and will be deleted in future releases.

If the overlimit_res attack detection settings are customized via the listed directives, it is recommended to transfer them to the rule as follows:

  1. Open Wallarm Console → Rules and proceed to the Fine-tune the overlimit_res attack detection rule setup.

  2. Configure the rule as done via the NGINX directives:

    • The rule condition should match the NGINX configuration block with the wallarm_process_time_limit and wallarm_process_time_limit_block directives specified.
    • The time limit for the node to process a single request (milliseconds): the value of wallarm_process_time_limit.
    • Request processing: the Stop processing option is recommended.

      Risk of running out of system memory

      The high time limit and/or continuation of request processing after the limit is exceeded can trigger memory exhaustion or out-of-time request processing.

    • Register the overlimit_res attack: the Register and display in the events option is recommended.

      If the wallarm_process_time_limit_block or process_time_limit_block value is off, choose the Do not create attack event option.

    • The rule does not have the explicit equivalent option for the wallarm_process_time_limit_block directive. If the rule sets Register and display in the events, the node will either block or pass the overlimit_res attack depending on the node filtration mode:

      • In the monitoring mode, the node forwards the original request to the application address. The application has the risk to be exploited by the attacks included in both processed and unprocessed request parts.
      • In the safe blocking mode, the node blocks the request if it is originated from the greylisted IP address. Otherwise, the node forwards the original request to the application address. The application has the risk to be exploited by the attacks included in both processed and unprocessed request parts.
      • In the block mode, the node blocks the request.
  3. Delete the wallarm_process_time_limit and wallarm_process_time_limit_block NGINX directives from the NGINX configuration file.

    If the overlimit_res attack detection is fine-tuned using both the directives and the rule, the node will process requests as the rule sets.

Step 14: Restart NGINX

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

Step 15: Test Wallarm node operation

  1. Send the request with test SQLI and XSS attacks to the application address:

    curl http://localhost/?id='or+1=1--a-<script>prompt(1)</script>'
    
  2. Make sure the node of the new type processes the request in the same way as the regular node did, e.g.:

  3. Open Wallarm Console → Events in the EU Cloud or US Cloud and make sure that:

    • Attacks are displayed in the list.
    • Hit details display the Wallarm node UUID.

    Attacks in the interface

Step 16: Re-enable the Active threat verification module (if upgrading node 2.16 or lower)

Learn the recommendation on the Active threat verification module setup and re-enable it if required.

After a while, ensure the module operation does not cause false positives. If discovering false positives, please contact the Wallarm technical support.

Step 17: Delete the node of the previous version

Once the operation of the new node is properly tested, open the Nodes section of Wallarm Console and delete the regular node of the previous version from the list.

If the postanalytics module is installed on a separate server, please also delete the node instance related to this module.

Settings customization

Wallarm API Security modules are updated to version 4.0. Previous filtering node settings will be applied to the new version automatically. To make additional settings, use the available directives.

Common customization options: