F5 WAF - Elevated Protection

I wrote about F5 WAF – Good Protection last week where I wrote down the main security features recommended for a good protection. These features, Attacks Signatures, Transparent enforcement mode, IP Intelligence, Geolocation, Protocol Compliance, Protection from evasion techniques, Protection from parameter exploits and Threat Campaigns, are easy to configure and maintain with a minimal administrative effort and time. However, web servers can be protected better with elevated protection security features, which we are going to see below.

Bot Protection is a elevated security feature which is able to identify and classify benign and malicious bots. The BIG-IP ASM system has a bot detection engine that uses a combination of known bot signatures, JavaScript, CAPTCHA, and rate limiting to block bot traffic. Another interesting security feature for elevated protection is Web Scraping Protection, which is useful for blocking extraction of information from a web application. L7 DoS Attack Protection is also recommended because DoS Attacks are not only volumetric attacks but L7 attacks which can deny your web services with few packets.

Web Scraping Violation

Applications are developed with a language and this language uses a file extension. Therefore, Disallowed File Types is a best practice where we should configure a blacklist and a whitelist of file types. This is the best way to reduce the application attack surface. For instance, if the web application is developed with .jsp files, other extensions other than .jsp should be blocked. On the other hand, External Logging is increasingly configured to send event data to a SIEM system for incident analysis and long term log storage. These systems are able to collect all kind of event data, which are really useful later on for analysis.

Allowed File Types
CSRF Protection is also an elevated security feature recommended to block CSRF vulnerabilities. This vulnerability exposes users to fraudulent actions such as money transfers, password changes, and unauthorized product purchases. As a result, BIG-IP ASM is able to apply virtual patching until this vulnerability can be fixed by developers. Another security feature interesting for an elevated protection is HTTP Redirection Protection. This feature will block redirections to another domains which are not allowed. Therefore, we can block attackers who want to redirect users to a forged page on a site that deceptively appears like the one they just left.

CSRF Protection
The are two more security features for an elevated protection. The first one is Cookie Tampering Protection which is really useful because most applications utilize cookies to store data. This cookies have to be protected from manipulations. Consequently, we should configure a whitelist of “allowed” cookies. The second one is Behavioral DDoS feature which mitigates DDoS attacks by analysing traffic behaviour, and using machine learning and data analysis. BIG-IP ASM systems monitor application health and apply mitigation techniques such as slowing down a client, a CAPTCHA request, or blocking the request.

DDoS attack summary
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