Archive for the ‘Web and CMS’ Category

Webserver farm behind Load Balancer Proxy or how to preserve incoming internet IP to local net IP Apache webservers by adding additional haproxy header with remoteip

Monday, April 18th, 2022

logo-haproxy-apache-remoteip-configure-and-check-to-have-logged-real-ip-address-inside-apache-forwarded-from-load-balancer

Having a Proxy server for Load Balancing is a common solutions to assure High Availability of Web Application service behind a proxy.
You can have for example 1 Apache HTTPD webservers serving traffic Actively on one Location (i.e. one city or Country) and 3 configured in the F5 LB or haproxy to silently keep up and wait for incoming connections as an (Active Failure) Backup solution

Lets say the Webservers usually are set to have local class C IPs as 192.168.0.XXX or 10.10.10.XXX and living in isolated DMZed well firewalled LAN network and Haproxy is configured to receive traffic via a Internet IP 109.104.212.13 address and send the traffic in mode tcp via a NATTed connection (e.g. due to the network address translation the source IP of the incoming connections from Intenet clients appears as the NATTed IP 192.168.1.50.

The result is that all incoming connections from haproxy -> webservers will be logged in Webservers /var/log/apache2/access.log wrongly as incoming from source IP: 192.168.1.50, meaning all the information on the source Internet Real IP gets lost.

load-balancer-high-availailibility-haproxy-apache
 

How to pass Real (Internet) Source IPs from Haproxy "mode tcp" to Local LAN Webservers  ?
 

Usually the normal way to work around this with Apache Reverse Proxies configured is to use HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR variable in haproxy when using HTTP traffic application that is proxied (.e.g haproxy.cfg has mode http configured), you have to add to listen listener_name directive or frontend Frontend_of_proxy

option forwardfor
option http-server-close

However unfortunately, IP Header preservation with X_FORWADED_FOR  HTTP-Header is not possible when haproxy is configured to forward traffic using mode tcp.

Thus when you're forced to use mode tcp to completely pass any traffic incoming to Haproxy from itself to End side, the solution is to
 

  • Use mod_remoteip infamous module that is part of standard Apache installs both on apache2 installed from (.deb) package  or httpd rpm (on redhats / centos).

 

1. Configure Haproxies to send received connects as send-proxy traffic

 

The idea is very simple all the received requests from outside clients to Haproxy are to be send via the haproxy to the webserver in a PROXY protocol string, this is done via send-proxy

             send-proxy  – send a PROXY protocol string

Rawly my current /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg looks like this:
 

global
        log /dev/log    local0
        log /dev/log    local1 notice
        chroot /var/lib/haproxy
        user haproxy
        group haproxy
        daemon
        maxconn 99999
        nbproc          1
        nbthread 2
        cpu-map         1 0
        cpu-map         2 1


defaults
        log     global
       mode    tcp


        timeout connect 5000
        timeout connect 30s
        timeout server 10s

    timeout queue 5s
    timeout tunnel 2m
    timeout client-fin 1s
    timeout server-fin 1s

                option forwardfor

    retries                 15

 

 

frontend http-in
                mode tcp

                option tcplog
        log global

                option logasap
                option forwardfor
                bind 109.104.212.130:80
    fullconn 20000
default_backend http-websrv
backend http-websrv
        balance source
                maxconn 3000

stick match src
    stick-table type ip size 200k expire 30m
        stick on src


        server ha1server-1 192.168.0.205:80 check send-proxy weight 254 backup
        server ha1server-2 192.168.1.15:80 check send-proxy weight 255
        server ha1server-3 192.168.2.30:80 check send-proxy weight 252 backup
        server ha1server-4 192.168.1.198:80 check send-proxy weight 253 backup
                server ha1server-5 192.168.0.1:80 maxconn 3000 check send-proxy weight 251 backup

 

 

frontend https-in
                mode tcp

                option tcplog
                log global

                option logasap
                option forwardfor
        maxconn 99999
           bind 109.104.212.130:443
        default_backend https-websrv
                backend https-websrv
        balance source
                maxconn 3000
        stick on src
    stick-table type ip size 200k expire 30m


                server ha1server-1 192.168.0.205:443 maxconn 8000 check send-proxy weight 254 backup
                server ha1server-2 192.168.1.15:443 maxconn 10000 check send-proxy weight 255
        server ha1server-3 192.168.2.30:443 maxconn 8000 check send-proxy weight 252 backup
        server ha1server-4 192.168.1.198:443 maxconn 10000 check send-proxy weight 253 backup
                server ha1server-5 192.168.0.1:443 maxconn 3000 check send-proxy weight 251 backup

listen stats
    mode http
    option httplog
    option http-server-close
    maxconn 10
    stats enable
    stats show-legends
    stats refresh 5s
    stats realm Haproxy\ Statistics
    stats admin if TRUE

 

After preparing your haproxy.cfg and reloading haproxy in /var/log/haproxy.log you should have the Real Source IPs logged in:
 

root@webserver:~# tail -n 10 /var/log/haproxy.log
Apr 15 22:47:34 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 159.223.65.16:58735 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:34.586] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 7/7/7/7/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:34 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 20.113.133.8:56405 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:34.744] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 7/7/7/7/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:35 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 54.36.148.248:15653 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:35.057] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 7/7/7/7/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:35 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 185.191.171.35:26564 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:35.071] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 8/8/8/8/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:35 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 213.183.53.58:42984 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:35.669] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 6/6/6/6/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:35 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 159.223.65.16:54006 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:35.703] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 7/7/7/7/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:36 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 192.241.113.203:30877 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:36.651] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 4/4/4/4/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:36 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 185.191.171.9:6776 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:36.683] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 5/5/5/5/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:36 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 159.223.65.16:64310 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:36.797] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/0/+0 +0 — 6/6/6/6/0 0/0
Apr 15 22:47:36 pcfr_hware_local_ip haproxy[2914]: 185.191.171.3:23364 [15/Apr/2022:22:47:36.834] https-in https-websrv/ha1server-2 1/1/+1 +0 — 7/7/7/7/0 0/0

 

2. Enable remoteip proxy protocol on Webservers

Login to each Apache HTTPD and to enable remoteip module run:
 

# a2enmod remoteip


On Debians, the command should produce a right symlink to mods-enabled/ directory
 

# ls -al /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/*remote*
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 31 Mar 30  2021 /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/remoteip.load -> ../mods-available/remoteip.load

 

3. Modify remoteip.conf file and allow IPs of haproxies or F5s

 

Configure RemoteIPTrustedProxy for every Source IP of haproxy to allow it to send X-Forwarded-For header to Apache,

Here are few examples, from my apache working config on Debian 11.2 (Bullseye):
 

webserver:~# cat remoteip.conf
RemoteIPHeader X-Forwarded-For
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.0.1
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.0.205
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.1.15
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.0.198
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.2.33
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.2.30
RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.0.215
#RemoteIPTrustedProxy 51.89.232.41

On RedHat / Fedora other RPM based Linux distrubutions, you can do the same by including inside httpd.conf or virtualhost configuration something like:
 

<IfModule remoteip_module>
      RemoteIPHeader X-Forwarded-For
      RemoteIPInternalProxy 192.168.0.0/16
      RemoteIPTrustedProxy 192.168.0.215/32
</IfModule>


4. Enable RemoteIP Proxy Protocol in apache2.conf / httpd.conf or Virtualhost custom config
 

Modify both haproxy / haproxies config as well as enable the RemoteIP module on Apache webservers (VirtualHosts if such used) and either in <VirtualHost> block or in main http config include:

RemoteIPProxyProtocol On


5. Change default configured Apache LogFormat

In Domain Vhost or apache2.conf / httpd.conf

Default logging Format will be something like:
 

LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined


or
 

LogFormat "%v:%p %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined

 

Once you find it in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf / httpd.conf or Vhost, you have to comment out this by adding shebang infont of sentence make it look as follows:
 

LogFormat "%v:%p %a %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" vhost_combined
LogFormat "%a %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined
LogFormat "%a %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O" common
LogFormat "%{Referer}i -> %U" referer
LogFormat "%{User-agent}i" agent


The Changed LogFormat instructs Apache to log the client IP as recorded by mod_remoteip (%a) rather than hostname (%h). For a full explanation of all the options check the official HTTP Server documentation page apache_mod_config on Custom Log Formats.

and reload each Apache server.

on Debian:

# apache2ctl -k reload

On CentOS

# systemctl restart httpd


6. Check proxy protocol is properly enabled on Apaches

 

remoteip module will enable Apache to expect a proxy connect header passed to it otherwise it will respond with Bad Request, because it will detect a plain HTML request instead of Proxy Protocol CONNECT, here is the usual telnet test to fetch the index.htm page.

root@webserver:~# telnet localhost 80
Trying 127.0.0.1…
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET / HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 19:04:51 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.51 (Debian)
Content-Length: 312
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<html><head>
<title>400 Bad Request</title>
</head><body>
<h1>Bad Request</h1>
<p>Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.<br />
</p>
<hr>
<address>Apache/2.4.51 (Debian) Server at grafana.pc-freak.net Port 80</address>
</body></html>
Connection closed by foreign host.

 

root@webserver:~# telnet localhost 80
Trying 127.0.0.1…
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
HEAD / HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 19:05:07 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.51 (Debian)
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

Connection closed by foreign host.


To test it with telnet you can follow the Proxy CONNECT syntax and simulate you're connecting from a proxy server, like that:
 

root@webserver:~# telnet localhost 80
Trying 127.0.0.1…
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
CONNECT localhost:80 HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 19:13:38 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.51 (Debian)
Location: https://zabbix.pc-freak.net
Cache-Control: max-age=900
Expires: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 19:28:38 GMT
Content-Length: 310
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<html><head>
<title>301 Moved Permanently</title>
</head><body>
<h1>Moved Permanently</h1>
<p>The document has moved <a href="https://zabbix.pc-freak.net">here</a>.</p>
<hr>
<address>Apache/2.4.51 (Debian) Server at localhost Port 80</address>
</body></html>
Connection closed by foreign host.

You can test with curl simulating the proxy protocol CONNECT with:

root@webserver:~# curl –insecure –haproxy-protocol https://192.168.2.30

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<meta name="generator" content="pc-freak.net tidy">
<script src="https://ssl.google-analytics.com/urchin.js" type="text/javascript">
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
_uacct = "UA-2102595-3";
urchinTracker();
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-2102595-6");
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}
</script>

 

      –haproxy-protocol
              (HTTP) Send a HAProxy PROXY protocol v1 header at the beginning of the connection. This is used by some load balancers and reverse proxies
              to indicate the client's true IP address and port.

              This option is primarily useful when sending test requests to a service that expects this header.

              Added in 7.60.0.


7. Check apache log if remote Real Internet Source IPs are properly logged
 

root@webserver:~# tail -n 10 /var/log/apache2/access.log

213.183.53.58 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:18:59 +0300] "GET /proxy/browse.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsteamcommunity.com%2Fmarket%2Fitemordershistogram%3Fcountry HTTP/1.1" 200 12701 "https://www.pc-freak.net" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:98.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/98.0"
88.198.48.184 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:18:58 +0300] "GET /blog/iq-world-rank-country-smartest-nations/?cid=1330192 HTTP/1.1" 200 29574 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; DataForSeoBot/1.0; +https://dataforseo.com/dataforseo-bot)"
213.183.53.58 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:00 +0300] "GET /proxy/browse.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsteamcommunity.com%2Fmarket%2Fitemordershistogram%3Fcountry
HTTP/1.1" 200 9080 "https://www.pc-freak.net" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:98.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/98.0"
159.223.65.16 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:01 +0300] "POST //blog//xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.1" 200 5477 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/89.0.4389.114 Safari/537.36"
159.223.65.16 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:02 +0300] "POST //blog//xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.1" 200 5477 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/89.0.4389.114 Safari/537.36"
213.91.190.233 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:02 +0300] "POST /blog/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php HTTP/1.1" 200 1243 "https://www.pc-freak.net/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=16754&action=edit" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:89.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/89.0"
46.10.215.119 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:02 +0300] "GET /images/saint-Paul-and-Peter-holy-icon.jpg HTTP/1.1" 200 134501 "https://www.google.com/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/100.0.4896.75 Safari/537.36 Edg/100.0.1185.39"
185.191.171.42 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:03 +0300] "GET /index.html.latest/tutorials/tutorials/penguins/vestnik/penguins/faith/vestnik/ HTTP/1.1" 200 11684 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; SemrushBot/7~bl; +http://www.semrush.com/bot.html)"

116.179.37.243 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:50 +0300] "GET /blog/wp-content/cookieconsent.min.js HTTP/1.1" 200 7625 "https://www.pc-freak.net/blog/how-to-disable-nginx-static-requests-access-log-logging/" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Baiduspider-render/2.0; +http://www.baidu.com/search/spider.html)"
116.179.37.237 – – [15/Apr/2022:22:19:50 +0300] "GET /blog/wp-content/plugins/google-analytics-dashboard-for-wp/assets/js/frontend-gtag.min.js?ver=7.5.0 HTTP/1.1" 200 8898 "https://www.pc-freak.net/blog/how-to-disable-nginx-static-requests-access-log-logging/" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Baiduspider-render/2.0; +http://www.baidu.com/search/spider.html)"

 

You see from above output remote Source IPs in green are properly logged, so haproxy Cluster is correctly forwarding connections passing on in the Haproxy generated Initial header the Real IP of its remote connect IPs.


Sum it up, What was done?


HTTP_X_FORWARD_FOR is impossible to set, when haproxy is used on mode tcp and all traffic is sent as received from TCP IPv4 / IPv6 Network stack, e.g. modifying any HTTP sent traffic inside the headers is not possible as this might break up the data.

Thus Haproxy was configured to send all its received data by sending initial proxy header with the X_FORWARDED usual Source IP data, then remoteip Apache module was used to make Apache receive and understand haproxy sent Header which contains the original Source IP via the send-proxy functionality and example was given on how to test the remoteip on Webserver is working correctly.

Finally you've seen how to check configured haproxy and webserver are able to send and receive the End Client data with the originator real source IP correctly and those Internet IP is properly logged inside both haproxy and apaches.

Apache disable requests to not log to access.log Logfile through SetEnvIf and dontlog httpd variables

Monday, October 11th, 2021

apache-disable-certain-strings-from-logging-to-access-log-logo

Logging to Apache access.log is mostly useful as this is a great way to keep log on who visited your website and generate periodic statistics with tools such as Webalizer or Astats to keep track on your visitors and generate various statistics as well as see the number of new visitors as well most visited web pages (the pages which mostly are attracting your web visitors), once the log analysis tool generates its statistics, it can help you understand better which Web spiders visit your website the most (as spiders has a predefined) IP addresses, which can give you insight on various web spider site indexation statistics on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. . Sometimes however either due to bugs in web spiders algorithms or inconsistencies in your website structure, some of the web pages gets double visited records inside the logs, this could happen for example if your website uses to include iframes.

Having web pages accessed once but logged to be accessed twice hence is erroneous and unwanted, and though that usually have to be fixed by the website programmers, if such approach is not easily doable in the moment and the website is running on critical production system, the double logging of request can be omitted thanks to a small Apache log hack with SetEnvIf Apache config directive. Even if there is no double logging inside Apache log happening it could be that some cron job or automated monitoring scripts or tool such as monit is making periodic requests to Apache and this is garbling your Log Statistics results.

In this short article hence I'll explain how to do remove certain strings to not get logged inside /var/log/httpd/access.log.

1. Check SetEnvIf is Loaded on the Webserver
 

On CentOS / RHEL Linux:

# /sbin/apachectl -M |grep -i setenvif
AH00558: httpd: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using localhost.localdomain. Set the 'ServerName' directive globally to suppress this message
 setenvif_module (shared)


On Debian / Ubuntu Linux:

/usr/sbin/apache2ctl -M |grep -i setenvif
AH00548: NameVirtualHost has no effect and will be removed in the next release /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf:1
 setenvif_module (shared)


2. Using SetEnvIf to omit certain string to get logged inside apache access.log


SetEnvIf could be used either in some certain domain VirtualHost configuration (if website is configured so), or it can be set as a global Apache rule from the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf 

To use SetEnvIf  you have to place it inside a <Directory …></Directory> configuration block, if it has to be enabled only for a Certain Apache configured directory, otherwise you have to place it in the global apache config section.

To be able to use SetEnvIf, only in a certain directories and subdirectories via .htaccess, you will have defined in <Directory>

AllowOverride FileInfo


The general syntax to omit a certain Apache repeating string from keep logging with SetEnvIf is as follows:
 

SetEnvIf Request_URI "^/WebSiteStructureDirectory/ACCESS_LOG_STRING_TO_REMOVE$" dontlog


General syntax for SetEnvIf is as follows:

SetEnvIf attribute regex env-variable

SetEnvIf attribute regex [!]env-variable[=value] [[!]env-variable[=value]] …

Below is the overall possible attributes to pass as described in mod_setenvif official documentation.
 

  • Host
  • User-Agent
  • Referer
  • Accept-Language
  • Remote_Host: the hostname (if available) of the client making the request.
  • Remote_Addr: the IP address of the client making the request.
  • Server_Addr: the IP address of the server on which the request was received (only with versions later than 2.0.43).
  • Request_Method: the name of the method being used (GET, POST, etc.).
  • Request_Protocol: the name and version of the protocol with which the request was made (e.g., "HTTP/0.9", "HTTP/1.1", etc.).
  • Request_URI: the resource requested on the HTTP request line – generally the portion of the URL following the scheme and host portion without the query string.

Next locate inside the configuration the line:

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined


To enable filtering of included strings, you'll have to append env=!dontlog to the end of line.

 

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined env=!dontlog

 

You might be using something as cronolog for log rotation to prevent your WebServer logs to become too big in size and hard to manage, you can append env=!dontlog to it in same way.

If you haven't used cronolog is it is perhaps best to show you the package description.

server:~# apt-cache show cronolog|grep -i description -A10 -B5
Version: 1.6.2+rpk-2
Installed-Size: 63
Maintainer: Debian QA Group <packages@qa.debian.org>
Architecture: amd64
Depends: perl:any, libc6 (>= 2.4)
Description-en: Logfile rotator for web servers
 A simple program that reads log messages from its input and writes
 them to a set of output files, the names of which are constructed
 using template and the current date and time.  The template uses the
 same format specifiers as the Unix date command (which are the same
 as the standard C strftime library function).
 .
 It intended to be used in conjunction with a Web server, such as
 Apache, to split the access log into daily or monthly logs:
 .
   TransferLog "|/usr/bin/cronolog /var/log/apache/%Y/access.%Y.%m.%d.log"
 .
 A cronosplit script is also included, to convert existing
 traditionally-rotated logs into this rotation format.

Description-md5: 4d5734e5e38bc768dcbffccd2547922f
Homepage: http://www.cronolog.org/
Tag: admin::logging, devel::lang:perl, devel::library, implemented-in::c,
 implemented-in::perl, interface::commandline, role::devel-lib,
 role::program, scope::utility, suite::apache, use::organizing,
 works-with::logfile
Section: web
Priority: optional
Filename: pool/main/c/cronolog/cronolog_1.6.2+rpk-2_amd64.deb
Size: 27912
MD5sum: 215a86766cc8d4434cd52432fd4f8fe7

If you're using cronolog to daily rotate the access.log and you need to filter out the strings out of the logs, you might use something like in httpd.conf:

 

CustomLog "|/usr/bin/cronolog –symlink=/var/log/httpd/access.log /var/log/httpd/access.log_%Y_%m_%d" combined env=!dontlog


 

3. Disable Apache logging access.log from certain USERAGENT browser
 

You can do much more with SetEnvIf for example you might want to omit logging requests from a UserAgent (browser) to end up in /dev/null (nowhere), e.g. prevent any Website requests originating from Internet Explorer (MSIE) to not be logged.

SetEnvIf User_Agent "(MSIE)" dontlog

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined env=!dontlog


4. Disable Apache logging from requests coming from certain FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) localhost 127.0.0.1 or concrete IP / IPv6 address

SetEnvIf Remote_Host "dns.server.com$" dontlog

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined env=!dontlog


Of course for this to work, your website should have a functioning DNS servers and Apache should be configured to be able to resolve remote IPs to back resolve to their respective DNS defined Hostnames.

SetEnvIf recognized also perl PCRE Regular Expressions, if you want to filter out of Apache access log requests incoming from multiple subdomains starting with a certain domain hostname.

 

SetEnvIf Remote_Host "^example" dontlog

– To not log anything coming from localhost.localdomain address ( 127.0.0.1 ) as well as from some concrete IP address :

SetEnvIf Remote_Addr "127\.0\.0\.1" dontlog

SetEnvIf Remote_Addr "192\.168\.1\.180" dontlog

– To disable IPv6 requests that be coming at the log even though you don't happen to use IPv6 at all

SetEnvIf Request_Addr "::1" dontlog

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined env=!dontlog


– Note here it is obligatory to escape the dots '.'


5. Disable robots.txt Web Crawlers requests from being logged in access.log

SetEnvIf Request_URI "^/robots\.txt$" dontlog

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined env=!dontlog

Using SetEnvIfNoCase to read incoming useragent / Host / file requests case insensitve

The SetEnvIfNoCase is to be used if you want to threat incoming originators strings as case insensitive, this is useful to omit extraordinary regular expression SetEnvIf rules for lower upper case symbols.

SetEnvIFNoCase User-Agent "Slurp/cat" dontlog
SetEnvIFNoCase User-Agent "Ask Jeeves/Teoma" dontlog
SetEnvIFNoCase User-Agent "Googlebot" dontlog
SetEnvIFNoCase User-Agent "bingbot" dontlog
SetEnvIFNoCase Remote_Host "fastsearch.net$" dontlog

Omit from access.log logging some standard web files .css , .js .ico, .gif , .png and Referrals from own domain

Sometimes your own site scripts do refer to stuff on your own domain that just generates junks in the access.log to keep it off.

SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI "\.(gif)|(jpg)|(png)|(css)|(js)|(ico)|(eot)$" dontlog

 

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "www\.myowndomain\.com" dontlog

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined env=!dontlog

 

6. Disable Apache requests in access.log and error.log completely


Sometimes at rare cases the produced Apache logs and error log is really big and you already have the requests logged in another F5 Load Balancer or Haproxy in front of Apache WebServer or alternatively the logging is not interesting at all as the Web Application served written in ( Perl / Python / Ruby ) does handle the logging itself. 
I've earlier described how this is done in a good amount of details in previous article Disable Apache access.log and error.log logging on Debian Linux and FreeBSD

To disable it you will have to comment out CustomLog or set it to together with ErrorLog to /dev/null in apache2.conf / httpd.conf (depending on the distro)
 

CustomLog /dev/null
ErrorLog /dev/null


7. Restart Apache WebServer to load settings
 

An important to mention is in case you have Webserver with multiple complex configurations and there is a specific log patterns to omit from logs it might be a very good idea to:

a. Create /etc/httpd/conf/dontlog.conf / etc/apache2/dontlog.conf
add inside all your custom dontlog configurations
b. Include dontlog.conf from /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf / /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Finally to make the changes take affect, of course you will need to restart Apache webserver depending on the distro and if it is with systemd or System V:

For systemd RPM based distro:

systemctl restart httpd

or for Deb based Debian etc.

systemctl apache2 restart

On old System V scripts systems:

On RedHat / CentOS etc. restart Apache with:
 

/etc/init.d/httpd restart


On Deb based SystemV:
 

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart


What we learned ?
 

We have learned about SetEnvIf how it can be used to prevent certain requests strings getting logged into access.log through dontlog, how to completely stop certain browser based on a useragent from logging to the access.log as well as how to omit from logging certain requests incoming from certain IP addresses / IPv6 or FQDNs and how to stop robots.txt from being logged to httpd log.


Finally we have learned how to completely disable Apache logging if logging is handled by other external application.
 

How to calculate connections from IP address with shell script and log to Zabbix graphic

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

We had to test the number of connections incoming IP sorted by its TCP / IP connection state.

For example:

TIME_WAIT, ESTABLISHED, LISTEN etc.


The reason behind is sometimes the IP address '192.168.0.1' does create more than 200 connections, a Cisco firewall gets triggered and the connection for that IP is filtered out. To be able to know in advance that this problem is upcoming. a Small userparameter script is set on the Linux servers, that does print out all connections from IP by its STATES sorted out.

 

The script is calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh is below:

#!/bin/bash
#  check ESTIMATED / FIN_WAIT etc. netstat output for IPs and calculate total
# UserParameter=count.connections,(/usr/local/bin/calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh)
CHECK_IP='192.168.0.1';
f=0; 

 

for i in $(netstat -nat | grep "$CHECK_IP" | awk '{print $6}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n); do

echo -n "$i ";
f=$((f+i));
done;
echo
echo "Total: $f"

 

root@pcfreak:/bashscripts# ./calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh 
1 TIME_WAIT 2 ESTABLISHED 3 LISTEN 

Total: 6

 

root@pcfreak:/bashscripts# ./calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh 
2 ESTABLISHED 3 LISTEN 
Total: 5


images/zabbix-webgui-connection-check1

To make process with Zabbix it is necessery to have an Item created and a Depedent Item.

 

webguiconnection-check1

webguiconnection-check1
 

webgui-connection-check2-item

images/webguiconnection-check1

Finally create a trigger to trigger alarm if you have more than or eqaul to 100 Total overall connections.


images/zabbix-webgui-connection-check-trigger

The Zabbix userparameter script should be as this:

[root@host: ~]# cat /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.d/userparameter_webgui_conn.conf
UserParameter=count.connections,(/usr/local/bin/webgui_conn_track.sh)

 

Some collleagues suggested more efficient shell script solution for suming the overall number of connections, below is less time consuming version of script, that can be used for the calculation.
 

#!/bin/bash -x
# show FIN_WAIT2 / ESTIMATED etc. and calcuate total
count=$(netstat -n | grep "192.168.0.1" | awk ' { print $6 } ' | sort -n | uniq -c | sort -nr)
total=$((${count// /+}))
echo "$count"
echo "Total:" "$total"

      2 ESTABLISHED
      1 TIME_WAIT
Total: 3

 


Below is the graph built with Zabbix showing all the fluctuations from connections from monitored IP. ebgui-check_ip_graph

 

How to calculate connections from IP address with shell script and log to Zabbix graphic

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

We had to test the number of connections incoming IP sorted by its TCP / IP connection state.

For example:

TIME_WAIT, ESTABLISHED, LISTEN etc.


The reason behind is sometimes the IP address '192.168.0.1' does create more than 200 connections, a Cisco firewall gets triggered and the connection for that IP is filtered out. To be able to know in advance that this problem is upcoming. a Small userparameter script is set on the Linux servers, that does print out all connections from IP by its STATES sorted out.

 

The script is calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh is below:

#!/bin/bash
#  check ESTIMATED / FIN_WAIT etc. netstat output for IPs and calculate total
# UserParameter=count.connections,(/usr/local/bin/calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh)
CHECK_IP='192.168.0.1';
f=0; 

 

for i in $(netstat -nat | grep "$CHECK_IP" | awk '{print $6}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n); do

echo -n "$i ";
f=$((f+i));
done;
echo
echo "Total: $f"

 

root@pcfreak:/bashscripts# ./calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh 
1 TIME_WAIT 2 ESTABLISHED 3 LISTEN 

Total: 6

 

root@pcfreak:/bashscripts# ./calc_total_ip_match_zabbix.sh 
2 ESTABLISHED 3 LISTEN 
Total: 5


To make process with Zabbix it is necessery to have an Item created and a Depedent Item.

images/zabbix-webgui-connection-check1

 

 

 

 

webguiconnection-check1

webguiconnection-check1
 

webgui-connection-check2-item

images/webguiconnection-check1

Finally create a trigger to trigger alarm if you have more than or eqaul to 100 Total overall connections.


images/zabbix-webgui-connection-check-trigger

The Zabbix userparameter script should be as this:
cat /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.d/userparameter_webgui_conn.conf
UserParameter=count.connections,(/usr/local/bin/webgui_conn_track.sh)
 

Some collleagues suggested more efficient shell script solution for suming the overall number of connections, below is less time consuming version of script, that can be used for the calculation.
 

#!/bin/bash -x
# show FIN_WAIT2 / ESTIMATED etc. and calcuate total
count=$(netstat -n | grep "192.168.0.1" | awk ' { print $6 } ' | sort -n | uniq -c | sort -nr)
total=$((${count// /+}))
echo "$count"
echo "Total:" "$total"

 

      2 ESTABLISHED
      1 TIME_WAIT
Total: 3

 


Below is the graph built with Zabbix showing all the fluctuations from connections from monitored IP.
ebgui-check_ip_graph

Create simple proxy http server with netcat ( nc ) based tiny shell script

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

use-Netcat_proxy-picture

The need of proxy server is inevitable nowadays especially if you have servers located in a paranoid security environments. Where virtually all is being passed through some kind of a proxy server. In my work we have recently started a  CentOS Linux release 7.9.2009 on HP Proliant DL360e Gen8 (host named rhel-testing).

HP DL360e are quite old nowadays but since we have spare servers and we can refurnish them to use as a local testing internal server Hypervisor it is okay for us. The machine is attached to a Rack that is connected to a Secured Deimilitarized Zone LAN (DMZ Network) which is so much filtered that even simple access to the local company homebrew RPM repository is not accessible from the machine.
Thus to set and remove software from the machine we needed a way to make yum repositories be available, and it seems the only way was to use a proxy server (situated on another accessible server which we use as a jump host to access the testing machine).

Since opening additional firewall request was a time consuming non-sense and the machine is just for testing purposes, we had to come with a solution where we can somehow access a Local repository RPM storage server http://rpm-package-server-repo.com/ for which we have a separate /etc/yum.repos.d/custom-rpms.repo definition file created.

This is why we needed a simplistic way to run a proxy but as we did not have the easy way to install privoxy / squid / haproxy or apache webserver configured as a proxy (to install one of those of relatively giant piece of software need to copy many rpm packages and manually satisfy dependencies), we looked for a simplistic way to run a proxy server on jump-host machine host A.

A note to make here is jump-host that was about to serve as a proxy  had already HTTP access towards the RPM repositories http://rpm-package-server-repo.com and could normally fetch packages with curl or wget via it …

For to create a simple proxy server out of nothing, I've googled a bit thinking that it should be possible either with BASH's TCP/IP capabilities or some other small C written tool compiled as a static binary, just to find out that netcat swiss army knife as a proxy server bash script is capable of doing the trick.

Jump host machine which was about to be used as a proxy server for http traffic did not have enabled access to tcp/port 8888 (port's firewall policies were prohibiting access to it).Since 8888 was the port targetted to run the proxy to allow TCP/IP port 8888 accessibility from the testing RHEL machine towards jump host, we had to issue first on jump host:

[root@jump-host: ~ ]# firewall-cmd –permanent –zone=public –add-port=8888/tcp

To run the script once placed under /root/tcp-proxy.sh on jump-host we had to run a never ending loop in a GNU screen session to make sure it runs forever:

Original tcp-proxy.sh script used taken from above article is:
 

#!/bin/sh -e

 

if [ $# != 3 ]
then
    echo "usage: $0 <src-port> <dst-host> <dst-port>"
    exit 0
fi

TMP=`mktemp -d`
BACK=$TMP/pipe.back
SENT=$TMP/pipe.sent
RCVD=$TMP/pipe.rcvd
trap 'rm -rf "$TMP"' EXIT
mkfifo -m 0600 "$BACK" "$SENT" "$RCVD"
sed 's/^/ => /' <"$SENT" &
sed 's/^/<=  /' <"$RCVD" &
nc -l -p "$1" <"$BACK" | tee "$SENT" | nc "$2" "$3" | tee "$RCVD" >"$BACK"

 

Above tcp-proxy.sh script you can download here.

I've tested the script one time and it worked, the script syntax is:

 [root@jump-host: ~ ]#  sh tcp-proxy.sh
usage: tcp-proxy.sh <src-port> <dst-host> <dst-port>


To make it work for one time connection I've run it as so:

 

 [root@jump-host: ~ ]# sh tcp-proxy.sh 8888 rpm-package-server-repo.com 80

 

 

To make the script work all the time I had to use one small one liner infinite bash loop which goes like this:

[root@jump-host: ~ ]#  while [ 1 ]; do sh tcp-proxy.sh 8888 rpm-package-server-repo.com 80; done​

On rhel-testing we had to configure for yum and all applications to use a proxy temporary via
 

[root@rhel-tresting: ~ ]# export http_proxy=jump-host_machine_accessibleIP:8888


And then use the normal yum check-update && yum update to apply to rhel-testing machine latest RPM package security updates.

The nice stuff about the tcp-proxy.sh with netcat in a inifite loop is you will see the binary copy of traffic flowing on the script which will make you feel like in those notorious Hackers movies ! 🙂

The stupid stuff is that sometimes some connections and RPM database updates or RPMs could be cancelled due to some kind of network issues.

To make the connection issues that are occuring to the improvised proxy server go away we finally used a slightly modified version from the original netcat script, which read like this.
 

#!/bin/sh -e

 

if [ $# != 3 ]
then
    echo "usage: $0 <src-port> <dst-host> <dst-port>"
        exit 0
        fi

        TMP=`mktemp -d`
        BACK=$TMP/pipe.back
        SENT=$TMP/pipe.sent
        RCVD=$TMP/pipe.rcvd
        trap 'rm -rf "$TMP"' EXIT
        mkfifo -m 0600 "$BACK" "$SENT" "$RCVD"
        sed 's/^/ => /' <"$SENT" &
        sed 's/^/<=  /' <"$RCVD" &
        nc –proxy-type http -l -p "$1" <"$BACK" | tee "$SENT" | nc "$2" "$3" | tee "$RCVD" >"$BACK"


Modified version tcp-proxy1.sh with –proxy-type http argument passed to netcat script u can download here.

With –proxy-type http yum check-update works normal just like with any normal fully functional http_proxy configured.

Next step wasto make the configuration permanent you can either add to /root/.bashrc or /etc/bashrc (if you need the setting to be system wide for every user that logged in to Linux system).

[root@rhel-tresting: ~ ]#  echo "http_proxy=http://jump-host_machine_accessibleIP:8888/" > /etc/environment


If you need to set the new built netcat TCP proxy only for yum package update tool include proxy only in /etc/yum.conf:

[root@rhel-tresting: ~ ]# vi /etc/yum.conf
proxy=http_proxy=http://jump-host_machine_accessibleIP:8888/


That's all now you have a proxy out of nothing with just a simple netcat enjoy.

Short SSL generate new and self-signed certificates PEM, view and convert to and from PKCS12 to java key store cookbook commands cheat sheet

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

OpenSSL-logo

Below is a short compilation of common used openssl commands (a kind of cookbook) helpful for sysadmins who has to commonly deal with OpenSSL certificates.

Lets say you have to generate new certificate / key and a PEM files, prepare self-signed certificates, show CSR / PEM or KEY ssl file contents, get information about certificate such as expiry date a type of encryption algorithm or sign certificate with self-signed authority convert PEM to PKCS12, convert from PKCS12 file format to .PEM, convert java X509 to java key store SSL encryptionor convert java key store format certificate to PKCS12, then below will be of use to you.

1. Generate Private RSA Key with 2048 bits

# openssl genrsa -out $ (hostname -f) .key 2048

2. Create CSR file

# openssl req -new -key $ (hostname -f) .key -out $ (hostname -f) .csr

3. Create a Self Certified Certificate:

# openssl x509 -req -days 30 -in $ (hostname -f) .csr -signkey $ (hostname -f) .key -out $ (hostname -f) .crt
Enter password:

# openssl rsa -in key.pem -out newkey.pem


4. Show CSR file content

# openssl req -in newcsr.csr -noout -text


5. Get Certificate version / serial number / signature algorithm / RSA key lenght / modulus / exponent etc.

# openssl x509 -in newcert.pem -noout -text


6. Server certificate as CA self signeded

# openssl ca -in newcert.csr -notext -out newcert.pem


7. Generate a certificate signing request based on an existing certificate

# openssl x509 -x509toreq -in certificate.crt -out CSR.csr -signkey privateKey.key


8. Convert .pem / .key / .crt file format to pkcs12 format
 

# openssl pkcs12 -export -in newcert.pem -inkey newkey.key -certfile ca.crt -out newcert.p12


9. Convert pkcs12 pfx to common .pem

# openssl pkcs12 -in mycert.pfx -out mycert.pem


10. The Formats available

# openssl x509 -inform the -in certificate.cer -out certificate.crt


11. Convert a pkcs # 7 certificate into PEM format

# openssl pkcs7 -in cert.p7c -inform DER -outform PEM -out certificate.p7b
# openssl pkcs7 -print_certs -in certificate.p7b -out certificate.pem


12. Convert X509 to java keystore file

# java -cp not-yet-commons-ssl-0.3.11.jar org.apache.commons.ssl.KeyStoreBuilder pass_for_new_keystore key.key certificate.crt

13. Convert java keystore file to pkcs12

# keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore keystore.jks -destkeystore intermediate.p12 -deststoretype PKCS12

Install certbot on Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora Linux 10 / Generate and use Apache / Nginx SSL Letsencrypt certificates

Monday, December 21st, 2020

letsencrypt certbot install on any linux distribution with apache or nginx webserver howto</a><p> Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority brought to you by the nonprofit <a data-cke-saved-href=
Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). ISRG group gave initiative with the goal to "encrypt the internet", i.e. offer free alternative to the overpriced domani registrer sold certificates with the goal to make more people offer SSL / TSL Free secured connection line on their websites. 
ISRG group supported Letsencrypt non-profit certificate authority actrively by Internet industry standard giants such as Mozilla, Cisco, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation),  Facebook, Google Chrome, Amazon AWS, OVH Cloud, Redhat, VMWare, Github and many many of the leading companies in IT.

Letsencrpyt is aimed at automating the process designed to overcome manual creation, validation, signing, installation, and renewal of certificates for secure websites. I.e. you don't have to manually write on console complicated openssl command lines with passing on Certificate CSR /  KEY / PEM files etc and generate Self-Signed Untrusted Authority Certificates (noted in my previous article How to generate Self-Signed SSL Certificates with openssl or use similar process to pay money generate secret key and submit the key to third party authority through a their website webadmin  interface in order to Generate SSL brought by Godaddy or Other Certificate Authority.

But of course as you can guess there are downsides as you submit your private key automatically via letsencrypt set of SSL certificate automation domain scripts to a third party Certificate Authority which is at Letsencrypt.org. A security intrusion in their private key store servers might mean a catastrophy for your data as malicious stealer might be able to decrypt your data with some additional effort and see in plain text what is talking to your Apache / Nginx or Mail Server nevertheless the cert. Hence for a high standards such as PCI environments Letsencrypt as well as for the paranoid security freak admins,  who don't trust the mainstream letsencrypt is definitely not a choice. Anyways for most small and midsized businesses who doesn't hold too much of a top secret data and want a moderate level of security Letsencrypt is a great opportunity to try. But enough talk, lets get down to business.

How to install and use certbot on Debian GNU / Linux 10 Buster?
Certbot is not available from the Debian software repositories by default, but it’s possible to configure the buster-backports repository in your /etc/apt/sources.list file to allow you to install a backport of the Certbot software with APT tool.
 

1. Install certbot on Debian / Ubuntu Linux

 

root@webserver:/etc/apt# tail -n 1 /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian buster-backports main


If not there append the repositories to file:

 

  • Install certbot-nginx certbot-apache deb packages

root@webserver:/ # echo 'deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian buster-backports main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

 

  • Install certbot-nginx certbot-apache deb packages

root@webserver:/ # apt update
root@webserver:/ # apt install certbot python-certbot-nginx python3-certbot-apache python-certbot-nginx-doc


This will install the /usr/bin/certbot python executable script which is used to register / renew / revoke / delete your domains certificates.
 

2. Install letsencrypt certbot client on CentOS / RHEL / Fedora and other Linux Distributions

 


For RPM based distributions and other Linux distributions you will have to install snap package (if not already installed) and use snap command :

 

 

[root@centos ~ :] # yum install snapd
systemctl enable –now snapd.socket

To enable classic snap support, enter the following to create a symbolic link between

[root@centos ~ :] # ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

snap command lets you install, configure, refresh and remove snaps.  Snaps are packages that work across many different Linux distributions, enabling secure delivery and operation of the latest apps and utilities.

[root@centos ~ :] # snap install core; sudo snap refresh core

Logout from console or Xsession to make the snap update its $PATH definitions.

Then use snap universal distro certbot classic package

 [root@centos ~ :] # snap install –classic certbot
[root@centos ~ :] # ln -s /snap/bin/certbot /usr/bin/certbot
 

 

If you're having an XOrg server access on the RHEL / CentOS via Xming or other type of Xemulator you might check out also the snap-store as it contains a multitude of packages installable which are not usually available in RPM distros.

 [root@centos ~ :] # snap install snap-store


how-to-install-snap-applications-on-centos-rhel-linux-snap-store

snap-store is a powerful and via it you can install many non easily installable stuff on Linux such as eclipse famous development IDE, notepad++ , Discord, the so favourite for the Quality Assurance guy Protocol tester Postman etc.

  • Installing certbot to any distribution via acme.sh script

Another often preferred solution to Universally deploy  and upgrade an existing LetsEncrypt program to any Linux distribution (e.g. RHEL / CentOS / Fedora etc.) is the acme.sh script. To install acme you have to clone the repository and run the script with –install

P.S. If you don't have git installed yet do

root@webserver:/ # apt-get install –yes git


and then the usual git clone to fetch it at your side

# cd /root
# git clone https://github.com/acmesh-official/acme.sh
Cloning into 'acme.sh'…
remote: Enumerating objects: 71, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (71/71), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (53/53), done.
remote: Total 12475 (delta 39), reused 38 (delta 18), pack-reused 12404
Receiving objects: 100% (12475/12475), 4.79 MiB | 6.66 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (7444/7444), done.

# sh acme.sh –install


To later upgrade acme.sh to latest you can do

# sh acme.sh –upgrade


In order to renew a concrete existing letsencrypt certificiate

# sh acme.sh –renew domainname.com


To renew all certificates using acme.sh script

# ./acme.sh –renew-all

 

3. Generate Apache or NGINX Free SSL / TLS Certificate with certbot tool

Now lets generate a certificate for a domain running on Apache Webserver with a Website WebRoot directory /home/phpdev/public/www

 

root@webserver:/ # certbot –apache –webroot -w /home/phpdev/public/www/ -d your-domain-name.com -d your-domain-name.com

root@webserver:/ # certbot certonly –webroot -w /home/phpdev/public/www/ -d your-domain-name.com -d other-domain-name.com


As you see all the domains for which you will need to generate are passed on with -d option.

Once certificates are properly generated you can test it in a browser and once you're sure they work as expected usually you can sleep safe for the next 3 months ( 90 days) which is the default for TSL / SSL Letsencrypt certificates the reason behind of course is security.

 

4. Enable freshly generated letsencrypt SSL certificate in Nginx VirtualHost config

Go to your nginx VirtualHost configuration (i.e. /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro ) and inside chunk of config add after location { … } – 443 TCP Port SSL listener (as in shown in bolded configuration)
 

server {

….
   location ~ \.php$ {
      include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
##      fastcgi_pass 127.0.0.1:9000;
      fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.3-fpm.sock;
      fastcgi_index index.php;
      fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME /usr/share/phpmyadmin$fastcgi_script_name;
   }
 

 

 

    listen 443 ssl; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro/privkey.pem; # managed by Certbot
    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem; # managed by Certbot

 

5. Enable new generated letsencrypt SSL certificate in Apache VirtualHost


In /etc/apache2/{sites-available,sites-enabled}/your-domain.com-ssl.conf you should have as a minimum a configuration setup like below:
 

 

NameVirtualHost *:443 <VirtualHost 123.123.123.12:443>
    ServerAdmin hipo@domain.com
    ServerName www.pc-freak.net
    ServerAlias www.your-domain.com wwww.your-domain.com your-domain.com
 
    HostnameLookups off
    DocumentRoot /var/www
    DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.php index.html.var

 

 

CheckSpelling on
SSLEngine on

    <Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        ##Order allow,deny
        ##allow from all
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    <Directory /var/www>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
##      Order allow,deny
##      allow from all
Require all granted
    </Directory>

Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.com/privkey.pem
</VirtualHost>

 

6. Simulate a certificate regenerate with –dry-run

Soon before the 90 days period expiry approaches, it is a good idea to test how all installed Nginx webserver certficiates will be renewed and whether any issues are expected this can be done with the –dry-run option.

root@webserver:/ # certbot renew –dry-run

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
** DRY RUN: simulating 'certbot renew' close to cert expiry
**          (The test certificates below have not been saved.)

Congratulations, all renewals succeeded. The following certs have been renewed:
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/adzone.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/cdn.natsr.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/natsr.pro-0001/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/natsr.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/www.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/www.natsr.pro/fullchain.pem (success)
** DRY RUN: simulating 'certbot renew' close to cert expiry
**          (The test certificates above have not been saved.)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

7. Renew a certificate from a multiple installed certificate list

In some time when you need to renew letsencrypt domain certificates you can list them and choose manually which one you want to renew.

root@webserver:/ # certbot –force-renewal
Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log

How would you like to authenticate and install certificates?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: Apache Web Server plugin (apache)
2: Nginx Web Server plugin (nginx)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2
Plugins selected: Authenticator nginx, Installer nginx

Which names would you like to activate HTTPS for?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: adzone.pro
2: mail.adzone.pro
3: phpmyadmin.adzone.pro
4: www.adzone.pro
5: natsr.pro
6: cdn.natsr.pro
7: www.natsr.pro
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate numbers separated by commas and/or spaces, or leave input
blank to select all options shown (Enter 'c' to cancel): 3
Renewing an existing certificate
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: No redirect – Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect – Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2
Redirecting all traffic on port 80 to ssl in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Your existing certificate has been successfully renewed, and the new certificate
has been installed.

The new certificate covers the following domains: https://phpmyadmin.adzone.pro

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=phpmyadmin.adzone.pro
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 – Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem

   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2021-03-21. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 – If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

 

8. Renew all present SSL certificates

root@webserver:/ # certbot renew

Processing /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/www.natsr.pro.conf
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Cert not yet due for renewal

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The following certs are not due for renewal yet:
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/adzone.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-03-01 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/cdn.natsr.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-02-28 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-02-28 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/natsr.pro-0001/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-03-01 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/natsr.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-02-25 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/phpmyadmin.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-03-21 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/www.adzone.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-02-28 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/www.natsr.pro/fullchain.pem expires on 2021-03-01 (skipped)
No renewals were attempted.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

 

9. Renew all existing server certificates from a cron job


The certbot package will install a script under /etc/cron.d/certbot to be run that will attempt every 12 hours however from my experience
often this script is not going to work, the script looks similar to below:

# Upgrade all existing SSL certbot machine certificates

 

0 */12 * * * root test -x /usr/bin/certbot -a \! -d /run/systemd/system && perl -e 'sleep int(rand(43200))' && certbot -q renew

Another approach to renew all installed certificates if you want to have a specific options and keep log of what happened is using a tiny shell script like this:

 

10. Auto renew installed SSL / TSL Certbot certificates with a bash loop over all present certificates

#!/bin/sh
# update SSL certificates
# prints from 1 to 104 (according to each certbot generated certificate and triggers rewew and logs what happened to log file
# an ugly hack for certbot certificate renew
for i in $(seq 1 104); do echo "Updating $i SSL Cert" | tee -a /root/certificate-update.log; yes "$i" | certbot –force-renewal | tee -a /root/certificate-update.log 2>&1; sleep 5; done

Note: The seq 1 104 is the range depends on the count of installed SSL certificates you have installed on the machine, that can be seen and set the proper value according to your case when you run one time certbot –force-renewal.
 

How to Configure Nginx as a Reverse Proxy Load Balancer on Debian, CentOS, RHEL Linux

Monday, December 14th, 2020

set-up-nginx-reverse-proxy-howto-linux-logo

What is reverse Proxy?

Reverse Proxy (RP) is a Proxy server which routes all incoming traffic to secondary Webserver situated behind the Reverse Proxy site.

Then all incoming replies from secondary webserver (which is not visible) from the internet gets routed back to Reverse Proxy service. The result is it seems like all incoming and outgoing HTTP requests are served from Reverse Proxy host where in reality, reverse proxy host just does traffic redirection. Problem with reverse proxies is it is one more point of failure the good side of it can protect and route only certain traffic to your webserver, preventing the behind reverse proxy located server from crackers malicious HTTP requests.

Treverse proxy, which accepts all traffic and forwards it to a specific resource, like a server or container.  Earlier I've blogged on how to create Apache reverse Proxy to Tomcat.
Having a reverse proxy with apache is a classical scenarios however as NGINX is taking lead slowly and overthrowing apache's use due to its easiness to configure, its high reliability and less consumption of resources.


One of most common use of Reverse Proxy is to use it as a software Load Balancer for traffic towards another webserver or directly to a backend server. Using RP as a to mitigate DDoS attacks from hacked computers Bot nets (coming from a network range) is very common Anti-DDoS protection measure.
With the bloom of VM and Contrainerizations technology such as docker. And the trend to switch services towards micro-services, often reverse proxy is used to seamessly redirect incoming requests traff to multiple separate OS docker running containers etc.


Some of the other security pros of using a Reverse proxy that could be pointed are:

  • Restrict access to locations that may be obvious targets for brute-force attacks, reducing the effectiveness of DDOS attacks by limiting the number of connections and the download rate per IP address. 
  • Cache pre-rendered versions of popular pages to speed up page load times.
  • Interfere with other unwanted traffic when needed.

 


what-is-reverse-proxy-explained-proxying-tubes

 

1. Install nginx webserver


Assuming you have a Debian at hand as an OS which will be used for Nginx RP host, lets install nginx.
 

[hipo@proxy ~]$ sudo su – root

[root@proxy ~]#  apt update

[root@proxy ~]# apt install -y nginx


Fedora / CentOS / Redhat Linux could use yum or dnf to install NGINX
 

[root@proxy ~]# dnf install -y nginx
[root@proxy ~]# yum install -y nginx

 

2. Launch nginx for a first time and test


Start nginx one time to test default configuration is reachable
 

systemctl enable –now nginx


To test nginx works out of the box right after install, open a browser and go to http://localhost if you have X or use text based browser such as lynx or some web console fetcher as curl to verify that the web server is running as expected.

nginx-test-default-page-centos-linux-screenshot
 

3. Create Reverse proxy configuration file

Remove default Nginx package provided configuration

As of 2020 by default nginx does load configuration from file /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default on DEB based Linuxes and in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf on RPM based ones, therefore to setup our desired configuration and disable default domain config to be loaded we have to unlink on Debian

[root@proxy ~]# unlink /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

or move out the original nginx.conf on Fedora / CentOS / RHEL:
 

[root@proxy ~]# mv /etc/nginx/nginx.conf /etc/nginx/nginx.conf-distro

 

Lets take a scenario where you have a local IP address that's NAT-ted ot DMZ-ed and and you want to run nginx to server as a reverse proxy to accelerate traffic and forward all traffic to another webserver such as LigHTTPD / Apache or towards java serving Application server Jboss / Tomcat etc that listens on the same host on lets say on port 8000 accessible via app server from /application/.

To do so prepare new /etc/nginx/nginx.conf to look like so
 

[root@proxy ~]# mv /etc/nginx/nginx.conf /etc/nginx.conf.bak
[root@proxy ~]# vim /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

user nginx;
worker_processes auto;
worker_rlimit_nofile 10240;
pid /run/nginx.pid;
include /etc/nginx/modules-enabled/*.conf;

 

events {
#       worker_connections 768;
        worker_connections 4096;
        multi_accept on;
        # multi_accept on;
}

http {

        ##
        # Basic Settings
        ##

        sendfile on;
        tcp_nopush on;
        tcp_nodelay on;
        #keepalive_timeout 65;
        keepalive_requests 1024;
        client_header_timeout 30;
        client_body_timeout 30;
        keepalive_timeout 30;
        types_hash_max_size 2048;
        # server_tokens off;

        # server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
        # server_name_in_redirect off;

        include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
        default_type application/octet-stream;

        ##
        # SSL Settings
        ##

        ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2; # Dropping SSLv3, ref: POODLE
        ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

        ##
        # Logging Settings
        ##

        access_log /var/log/nginx/domain.com/access.log;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/domain.com/error.log;

        ##
        # Gzip Settings
        ##

        gzip on;

        # gzip_vary on;
        # gzip_proxied any;
        # gzip_comp_level 6;
        # gzip_buffers 16 8k;
        # gzip_http_version 1.1;
        # gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

        ##
        # Virtual Host Configs
        ##

        include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
        include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;

 include /etc/nginx/default.d/*.conf;

upstream myapp {
    server 127.0.0.1:8000 weight=3;
    server 127.0.0.1:8001;
    server 127.0.0.1:8002;
    server 127.0.0.1:8003;
# Uncomment and use Load balancing with external FQDNs if needed
#  server srv1.example.com;
#   server srv2.example.com;
#   server srv3.example.co

}

#mail {
#       # See sample authentication script at:
#       # http://wiki.nginx.org/ImapAuthenticateWithApachePhpScript
#
#       # auth_http localhost/auth.php;
#       # pop3_capabilities "TOP" "USER";
#       # imap_capabilities "IMAP4rev1" "UIDPLUS";
#
#       server {
#               listen     localhost:110;
#               protocol   pop3;
#               proxy      on;
#       }
#
#       server {
#               listen     localhost:143;
#               protocol   imap;
#               proxy      on;
#       }
#}

 

In the example above, there are 3 instances of the same application running on 3 IPs on different ports, just for the sake to illustrate Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) Load balancing is also supported you can see the 3 commented application instances srv1-srv3.
 When the load balancing method is not specifically configured, it defaults to round-robin. All requests are proxied to the server group myapp1, and nginx applies HTTP load balancing to distribute the requests.Reverse proxy implementation in nginx includes load balancing for HTTP, HTTPS, FastCGI, uwsgi, SCGI, memcached, and gRPC.
To configure load balancing for HTTPS instead of HTTP, just use “https” as the protocol.


To download above nginx.conf configured for High traffic servers and supports Nginx virtualhosts click here.

Now lets prepare for the reverse proxy nginx configuration a separate file under /etc/nginx/default.d/ all files stored there with .conf extension are to be red by nginx.conf as instructed by /etc/nginx/nginx.conf :

We'll need prepare a sample nginx

[root@proxy ~]# vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/reverse-proxy.conf

server {

        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;


 server_name domain.com www.domain.com;
#index       index.php;
# fallback for index.php usually this one is never used
root        /var/www/domain.com/public    ;
#location / {
#try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;
#}

        location / {
                    proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:8080;
  }

 

location /application {
proxy_pass http://domain.com/application/ ;

proxy_http_version                 1.1;
proxy_cache_bypass                 $http_upgrade;

# Proxy headers
proxy_set_header Upgrade           $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection        "upgrade";
proxy_set_header Host              $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP         $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For   $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host  $host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port  $server_port;

# Proxy timeouts
proxy_connect_timeout              60s;
proxy_send_timeout                 60s;
proxy_read_timeout                 60s;

        access_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-access.log;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-error.log;

}

##listen 443 ssl;
##    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/domain.com/fullchain.pem;
##    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/domain.com/privkey.pem;
##    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf;
##    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem;

}

Get above reverse-proxy.conf from here

As you see config makes all incoming traffic towards root ( / ) NGINX directory for domain http://domain.com on port 80 on Nginx Webserver to be passed on http://127.0.0.1:8000/application.

      location / {
                    proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:8000;
  }


Another set of configuration has configuration domain.com/application to reverse proxy to Webserver on Port 8080 /application.

 

location /application {
proxy_pass http://domain.com/application/ ;

proxy_http_version                 1.1;
proxy_cache_bypass                 $http_upgrade;

# Proxy headers
proxy_set_header Upgrade           $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection        "upgrade";
proxy_set_header Host              $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP         $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For   $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host  $host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port  $server_port;

# Proxy timeouts
proxy_connect_timeout              60s;
proxy_send_timeout                 60s;
proxy_read_timeout                 60s;

        access_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-access.log;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-error.log;

}

– Enable new configuration to be active in NGINX

 

[root@proxy ~]# ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/reverse-proxy.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/reverse-proxy.conf

 

4. Test reverse proxy nginx config for syntax errors

 

[root@proxy ~]# nginx -t

 

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Test connectivity to listen external IP address

 

5. Enable nginx SSL letsencrypt certificates support

 

[root@proxy ~]# apt-get update
[root@proxy ~]# apt-get install software-properties-common

[root@proxy ~]# apt-get update
[root@proxy ~]# apt-get install python-certbot-nginx

 

6. Generate NGINX Letsencrypt certificates

 

[root@proxy ~]# certbot –nginx

Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log
Plugins selected: Authenticator nginx, Installer nginx

Which names would you like to activate HTTPS for?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: your.domain.com
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate numbers separated by commas and/or spaces, or leave input
blank to select all options shown (Enter 'c' to cancel): 1
Obtaining a new certificate
Performing the following challenges:
http-01 challenge for your.domain.com
Waiting for verification…
Cleaning up challenges
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/reverse-proxy.conf

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: No redirect – Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect – Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2
Redirecting all traffic on port 80 to ssl in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/reverse-proxy.conf

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://your.domain.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=your.domain.com
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

7. Set NGINX Reverse Proxy to auto-start on Linux server boot

On most modern Linux distros use systemctl for legacy machines depending on the Linux distribution use the addequate runlevel /etc/rc3.d/ symlink link on Debian based distros on Fedoras / CentOS / RHEL and other RPM based ones use chkconfig RedHat command.

 

[root@proxy ~]# systemctl start nginx
[root@proxy ~]# systemctl enable nginx

 

8. Fixing weird connection permission denied errors


If you get a weird permission denied errors right after you have configured the ProxyPass on Nginx and you're wondering what is causing it you have to know by default on CentOS 7 and RHEL you'll get this errors due to automatically enabled OS selinux security hardening.

If this is the case after you setup Nginx + HTTPD or whatever application server you will get errors in  /var/log/nginx.log like:

2020/12/14 07:46:01 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to 127.0.0.1:8080 failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client: 127.0.0.1, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "http://127.0.0.1:8080/", host: "localhost"
2020/12/14 07:46:01 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to 127.0.0.1:8080 failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client: 127.0.0.1, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "http://127.0.0.1:8080/", host: "localhost"
2020/12/14 07:46:01 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to 127.0.0.1:8080 failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client: 127.0.0.1, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "http://127.0.0.1:8080/", host: "localhost"
2020/12/14 07:46:02 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to 127.0.0.1:8080 failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client: 127.0.0.1, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "http://127.0.0.1:8080/", host: "localhost"


The solution to proxy_pass weird permission denied errors is to turn off selinux

[root@proxy ~]# setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1

To permanently allow nginx and httpd

[root@proxy ~]# cat /var/log/audit/audit.log | grep nginx | grep denied | audit2allow -M mynginx
[root@proxy ~]# semodule -i mynginx.pp

 

[root@proxy ~]# cat /var/log/audit/audit.log | grep httpd | grep denied | audit2allow -M myhttpd
[root@proxy ~]# semodule -i myhttpd.pp


Then to let know nginx and httpd (or whatever else app you run) be aware of new settings restart both

[root@proxy ~]# systemctl restart nginx
[root@proxy ~]# systemctl restart httpd

How to install and use memcached on Debian GNU / Linux to share php sessions between DNS round robined Apache webservers

Monday, November 9th, 2020

apache-load-balancing-keep-persistent-php-sessions-memcached-logo

Recently I had to come up with a solution to make A bunch of websites hosted on a machine to be high available. For the task haproxy is one of logical options to use. However as I didn't wanted to set new IP addresses and play around to build a cluster. I decided the much more simplistic approach to use 2 separate Machines each running Up-to-date same version of Apache Webserver as front end and using a shared data running on Master-to-Master MySQL replication database as a backend. For the load balancing itself I've used a simple 2 multiple DNS 'A' Active records, configured via the Bind DNS name server an Round Robin DNS load balancing for each of the domains, to make them point to the the 2 Internet IP addresses (XXX.XXX.XXX.4 and YYY.YYY.YYY.5) each configured on the 2 Linux servers eth0.

So far so good, this setup worked but immediately, I've run another issue as I found out the WordPress and Joomla based websites's PHP sessions are lost, as the connectivity by the remote client browser reaches one time on XXX…4 and one time on YYY…4 configured listerner on TCP port 80 and TCP p. 443. In other words if request comes up to Front end Apache worker webserver 1 with opened channel data is sent back to Client Browser and the next request is sent due to the other IP resolved by the DNS server to come to Apache worker webserver 2 of course webserver 2 has no idea about this previous session data and it gets confused and returns soemething like a 404 or 500 or any other error … not exciting really huh …

I've thought about work around and as I didn't wanted to involve thirty party stuff as Privoxy / Squid  / Varnish / Polipo etc. just as that would add extra complexity as if I choose to use haproxy from the beginning, after short investigation came to a reason to use memcached as a central PHP sessions storage.

php-memcached-apache-workers-webbrowser-keep-sessions-diagram
 

Why I choose memcached ?


Well it is relatively easy to configure, it doesn't come with mambo-jambo unreadable over-complicated configuration and the time to configure everything is really little as well as the configuration is much straight forward, plus I don't need to occupy more IP addresses and I don't need to do any changes to the already running 2 WebServers on 2 separate Linux hosts configured to be reachable from the Internet.
Of course using memcached is not a rock solid and not the best solution out there, as there is risk that if a memcached dies out for some reason all sessions stored in are lost as they're stored only in volatile memory, as well as there is a drawback that if a communication was done via one of the 2 webservers and one of them goes down sessions that were known by one of Apache's workers disappears.

So let me proceed and explain you the steps to take to configure memcached as a central session storage system.
 

1. Install memcached and php-memcached packages


To enable support for memcached besides installing memcached daemon, you need to have the php-memcached which will provide the memcached.so used by Apache loaded php script interpretter module.

On a Debian / Ubuntu and other deb based GNU / Linux it should be:

webserver1:~# apt-get install memcached php-memcached

TO use php-memcached I assume Apache and its support for PHP is already installed with lets say:
 

webserver1:~# apt-get install php libapache2-mod-php php-mcrypt


On CentOS / RHEL / Fedora Linux it is a little bit more complicated as you'll need to install php-pear and compile the module with pecl

 

[root@centos ~]# yum install php-pear

[root@centos ~]# yum install php-pecl-memcache


Compile memcache

[root@centos ~]# pecl install memcache

 

2. Test if memcached is properly loaded in PHP


Once installed lets check if memcached service is running and memcached support is loaded as module into PHP core.

 

webserver1:~# ps -efa  | egrep memcached
nobody   14443     1  0 Oct23 ?        00:04:34 /usr/bin/memcached -v -m 64 -p 11211 -u nobody -l 127.0.0.1 -l 192.168.0.1

root@webserver1:/# php -m | egrep memcache
memcached


To get a bit more verbose information on memcache version and few of memcached variable settings:

root@webserver1:/# php -i |grep -i memcache
/etc/php/7.4/cli/conf.d/25-memcached.ini
memcached
memcached support => enabled
libmemcached version => 1.0.18
memcached.compression_factor => 1.3 => 1.3
memcached.compression_threshold => 2000 => 2000
memcached.compression_type => fastlz => fastlz
memcached.default_binary_protocol => Off => Off
memcached.default_connect_timeout => 0 => 0
memcached.default_consistent_hash => Off => Off
memcached.serializer => php => php
memcached.sess_binary_protocol => On => On
memcached.sess_connect_timeout => 0 => 0
memcached.sess_consistent_hash => On => On
memcached.sess_consistent_hash_type => ketama => ketama
memcached.sess_lock_expire => 0 => 0
memcached.sess_lock_max_wait => not set => not set
memcached.sess_lock_retries => 5 => 5
memcached.sess_lock_wait => not set => not set
memcached.sess_lock_wait_max => 150 => 150
memcached.sess_lock_wait_min => 150 => 150
memcached.sess_locking => On => On
memcached.sess_number_of_replicas => 0 => 0
memcached.sess_persistent => Off => Off
memcached.sess_prefix => memc.sess.key. => memc.sess.key.
memcached.sess_randomize_replica_read => Off => Off
memcached.sess_remove_failed_servers => Off => Off
memcached.sess_sasl_password => no value => no value
memcached.sess_sasl_username => no value => no value
memcached.sess_server_failure_limit => 0 => 0
memcached.store_retry_count => 2 => 2
Registered save handlers => files user memcached


Make sure /etc/default/memcached (on Debian is enabled) on CentOS / RHELs this should be /etc/sysconfig/memcached

webserver1:~# cat default/memcached 
# Set this to no to disable memcached.
ENABLE_MEMCACHED=yes

As assured on server1 memcached + php is ready to be used, next login to Linux server 2 and repeat the same steps install memcached and the module and check it is showing as loaded.

Next place under some of your webservers hosted websites under check_memcached.php below PHP code
 

<?php
if (class_exists('Memcache')) {
    $server = 'localhost';
    if (!empty($_REQUEST[‘server’])) {
        $server = $_REQUEST[‘server’];
    }
    $memcache = new Memcache;
    $isMemcacheAvailable = @$memcache->connect($server);

    if ($isMemcacheAvailable) {
        $aData = $memcache->get('data');
        echo '<pre>';
        if ($aData) {
            echo '<h2>Data from Cache:</h2>';
            print_r($aData);
        } else {
            $aData = array(
                'me' => 'you',
                'us' => 'them',
            );
            echo '<h2>Fresh Data:</h2>';
            print_r($aData);
            $memcache->set('data', $aData, 0, 300);
        }
        $aData = $memcache->get('data');
        if ($aData) {
            echo '<h3>Memcache seem to be working fine!</h3>';
        } else {
            echo '<h3>Memcache DOES NOT seem to be working!</h3>';
        }
        echo '</pre>';
    }
}

if (!$isMemcacheAvailable) {
    echo 'Memcache not available';
}

?>


Launch in a browser https://your-dns-round-robined-domain.com/check_memcached.php, the browser output should be as on below screenshot:

check_memcached-php-script-website-screenshot

3. Configure memcached daemons on both nodes

All we need to set up is the listen IPv4 addresses

On Host Webserver1
You should have in /etc/memcached.conf

-l 127.0.0.1
-l 192.168.0.1

webserver1:~# grep -Ei '\-l' /etc/memcached.conf 
-l 127.0.0.1
-l 192.168.0.1


On Host Webserver2

-l 127.0.0.1
-l 192.168.0.200

 

webserver2:~# grep -Ei '\-l' /etc/memcached.conf
-l 127.0.0.1
-l 192.168.0.200

 

4. Configure memcached in php.ini

Edit config /etc/php.ini (on CentOS / RHEL) or on Debians / Ubuntus etc. modify /etc/php/*/apache2/php.ini (where depending on the PHP version you're using your php location could be different lets say /etc/php/5.6/apache2/php.ini):

If you wonder where is the php.ini config in your case you can usually get it from the php cli:

webserver1:~# php -i | grep "php.ini"
Configuration File (php.ini) Path => /etc/php/7.4/cli
Loaded Configuration File => /etc/php/7.4/cli/php.ini

 

! Note: That on on PHP-FPM installations (where FastCGI Process Manager) is handling PHP requests,path would be rather something like:
 

/etc/php5/fpm/php.ini

in php.ini you need to change as minimum below 2 variables
 

session.save_handler =
session.save_path =


By default session.save_path would be set to lets say session.save_path = "

/var/lib/php7/sessions"


To make php use a 2 central configured memcached servers on webserver1 and webserver2 or even more memcached configured machines set it to look as so:

session.save_path="192.168.0.200:11211, 192.168.0.1:11211"


Also modify set

session.save_handler = memcache


Overall changed php.ini configuration on Linux machine 1 ( webserver1 ) and Linux machine 2 ( webserver2 ) should be:

session.save_handler = memcache
session.save_path="192.168.0.200:11211, 192.168.0.1:11211"

 

Below is approximately how it should look on both :

webserver1: ~# grep -Ei 'session.save_handler|session.save_path' /etc/php.ini
;; session.save_handler = files
session.save_handler = memcache
;     session.save_path = "N;/path"
;     session.save_path = "N;MODE;/path"
;session.save_path = "/var/lib/php7/sessions"
session.save_path="192.168.0.200:11211, 192.168.0.1:11211"
;       (see session.save_path above), then garbage collection does *not*
 

 

webserver2: ~# grep -Ei 'session.save_handler|session.save_path' /etc/php.ini
;; session.save_handler = files
session.save_handler = memcache
;     session.save_path = "N;/path"
;     session.save_path = "N;MODE;/path"
;session.save_path = "/var/lib/php7/sessions"
session.save_path="192.168.0.200:11211, 192.168.0.1:11211"
;       (see session.save_path above), then garbage collection does *not*


As you can see I have configured memcached on webserver1 to listen on internal local LAN IP 192.168.0.200 and on Local LAN eth iface 192.168.0.1 on TCP port 11211 (this is the default memcached connections listen port), for security or obscurity reasons you might choose another empty one. Make sure to also set the proper firewalling to that port, the best is to enable connections only between 192.168.0.200 and 192.168.0.1 on each of machine 1 and machine 2.

loadbalancing2-php-sessions-scheme-explained
 

5. Enable Memcached for session redundancy


Next step is to configure memcached to allow failover (e.g. use both memcached on 2 linux hosts) and configure session redundancy.
Configure /etc/php/7.3/mods-available/memcache.ini or /etc/php5/mods-available/memcache.ini or respectively to the right location depending on the PHP installed and used webservers version.
 

webserver1 :~#  vim /etc/php/7.3/mods-available/memcache.ini

; configuration for php memcached module
; priority=20
; settings to write sessions to both servers and have fail over
memcache.hash_strategy=consistent
memcache.allow_failover=1
memcache.session_redundancy=3
extension=memcached.so

 

webserver2 :~# vim /etc/php/7.3/mods-available/memcache.ini

; configuration for php memcached module
; priority=20
; settings to write sessions to both servers and have fail over
memcache.hash_strategy=consistent
memcache.allow_failover=1
memcache.session_redundancy=3
extension=memcached.so

 

memcache.session_redundancy directive must be equal to the number of memcached servers + 1 for the session information to be replicated to all the servers. This is due to a bug in PHP.
I have only 2 memcached configured that's why I set it to 3.
 

6. Restart Apache Webservers

Restart on both machines webserver1 and webserver2 Apache to make php load memcached.so
 

webserver1:~# systemctl restart httpd

webserver2:~# systemctl restart httpd

 

7. Restart memcached on machine 1 and 2

 

webserver1 :~# systemctl restart memcached

webserver2 :~# systemctl restart memcached

 

8. Test php sessions are working as expected with a php script

Copy to both website locations to accessible URL a file test_sessions.php:
 

<?php  
session_start();

if(isset($_SESSION[‘georgi’]))
{
echo "Sessions is ".$_SESSION[‘georgi’]."!\n";
}
else
{
echo "Session ID: ".session_id()."\n";
echo "Session Name: ".session_name()."\n";
echo "Setting 'georgi' to 'cool'\n";
$_SESSION[‘georgi’]='cool';
}
?>

 

Now run the test to see PHP sessions are kept persistently:
 

hipo@jeremiah:~/Desktop $ curl -vL -s https://www.pc-freak.net/session.php 2>&1 | grep 'Set-Cookie:'
< Set-Cookie: PHPSESSID=micir464cplbdfpo36n3qi9hd3; expires=Tue, 10-Nov-2020 12:14:32 GMT; Max-Age=86400; path=/

hipo@jeremiah:~/Desktop $ curl -L –cookie "PHPSESSID=micir464cplbdfpo36n3qi9hd3" http://83.228.93.76/session.php http://213.91.190.233/session.php
Session is cool!
Session is cool!

 

Copy to the locations that is resolving to both DNS servers some sample php script such as sessions_test.php  with below content:

<?php
    header('Content-Type: text/plain');
    session_start();
    if(!isset($_SESSION[‘visit’]))
    {
        echo "This is the first time you're visiting this server\n";
        $_SESSION[‘visit’] = 0;
    }
    else
            echo "Your number of visits: ".$_SESSION[‘visit’] . "\n";

    $_SESSION[‘visit’]++;

    echo "Server IP: ".$_SERVER[‘SERVER_ADDR’] . "\n";
    echo "Client IP: ".$_SERVER[‘REMOTE_ADDR’] . "\n";
    print_r($_COOKIE);
?>

Test in a Web Opera / Firefox / Chrome browser.

You should get an output in the browser similar to:
 

Your number of visits: 15
Server IP: 83.228.93.76
Client IP: 91.92.15.51
Array
(
    [_ga] => GA1.2.651288003.1538922937
    [__utma] => 238407297.651288003.1538922937.1601730730.1601759984.45
    [__utmz] => 238407297.1571087583.28.4.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not provided)
    [shellInABox] => 467306938:1110101010
    [fpestid] => EzkIzv_9OWmR9PxhUM8HEKoV3fbOri1iAiHesU7T4Pso4Mbi7Gtt9L1vlChtkli5GVDKtg
    [__gads] => ID=8a1e445d88889784-22302f2c01b9005b:T=1603219663:RT=1603219663:S=ALNI_MZ6L4IIaIBcwaeCk_KNwmL3df3Z2g
    [PHPSESSID] => mgpk1ivhvfc2d0daq08e0p0ec5
)

If you want to test php sessions are working with text browser or from another external script for automation use something as below PHP code:
 

<?php
// save as "session_test.php" inside your webspace  
ini_set('display_errors', 'On');
error_reporting(6143);

session_start();

$sessionSavePath = ini_get('session.save_path');

echo '<br><div style="background:#def;padding:6px">'
   , 'If a session could be started successfully <b>you should'
   , ' not see any Warning(s)</b>, otherwise check the path/folder'
   , ' mentioned in the warning(s) for proper access rights.<hr>';
echo "WebServer IP:" . $_SERVER[‘SERVER_ADDR’] . "\n<br />";
if (empty($sessionSavePath)) {
    echo 'A "<b>session.save_path</b>" is currently',
         ' <b>not</b> set.<br>Normally "<b>';
    if (isset($_ENV[‘TMP’])) {
        echo  $_ENV[‘TMP’], ‘” ($_ENV[“TMP”]) ';
    } else {
        echo '/tmp</b>" or "<b>C:\tmp</b>" (or whatever',
             ' the OS default "TMP" folder is set to)';
    }    
    echo ' is used in this case.';
} else {
    echo 'The current "session.save_path" is "<b>',
         $sessionSavePath, '</b>".';
}

echo '<br>Session file name: "<b>sess_', session_id()
   , '</b>".</div><br>';
?>

You can download the test_php_sessions.php script here.

To test with lynx:

hipo@jeremiah:~/Desktop $ lynx -source 'https://www.pc-freak.net/test_php_sessions.php'
<br><div style="background:#def;padding:6px">If a session could be started successfully <b>you should not see any Warning(s)</b>, otherwise check the path/folder mentioned in the warning(s) for proper access rights.<hr>WebServer IP:83.228.93.76
<br />The current "session.save_path" is "<b>tcp://192.168.0.200:11211, tcp://192.168.0.1:11211</b>".<br>Session file name: "<b>sess_5h18f809b88isf8vileudgrl40</b>".</div><br>

Use multiple certificates using one IP address (same IP address) on IIS Windows web server

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

If you had to administer some Windows webservers based on IIS and you're coming from the Linux realm, it would be really confusing on how you can use a single IP address to have binded multiple domain certificates.

For those who have done it on linux, they know Apache and other webservers in recent versions support the configuration Directive of a Wildcard instead of IP through the SNI extension capble to capture in the header of the incoming SSL connection the exact domain and match it correctly against the domain with the respective certificate.  Below is what I mean, lets say you have a website called yourdomain.com and you want this domain to be pointing to another location for example to yourdomain1.com

For example in Apache Webserver this is easily done by defining 2 separate virtualhost configuration files similar to below:

/etc/apache2/sites-available/yourdomain.com

<Virtualhost *>

Servername yourdomain.com
ServerAlias www.yourdomain.com
….

        SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/yourdomain1.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/yourdomain1.com/privkey.pem
</VirtualHost>


 

/etc/apache2/sites-available/yourdomain1.com

<Virtualhost *>

Servername yourdomain1.com
ServerAlias yourdomain1.com

 

        SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/yourdomain1.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/yourdomain1.com/privkey.pem
</VirtualHost>

 

Unfortunately for those who still run legacy Windows servers  with IIS version 7 / 7.5 your only option is to use separate IP addresses (or ports, but not really acceptable for public facing sites) and to bind each site with it's SSL certificate to that IP address.

IIS ver. 8+ supports the Server Name Indication extension of TLS which will allow you to bind multiple SSL sites to the same IP address/port based on the host name. It will be transparent and the binding will work the same as with non-HTTPS sites.

In Microsoft IIS Webserver to configure, it is not possible to simply edit some configurations but you have to do it the clicking way as usually happen in Windows. thus you will need to have generated the Domain Certificate requests and so on and then you can simply do as pointed in below screenshots.

howto-install-iis-8-webserver-ssl-sni-certificate-windows-screenshot
 

iis-config-domain-alias-windows-server-iis-8-webserver

iis-config-domain-alias-windows-server-iis-8-webserver-1

iis-config-domain-alias-windows-server-iis-8-webserver-2

iis-config-domain-alias-windows-server-iis-8-webserver-3

iis-config-domain-alias-windows-server-iis-8-webserver-4