Monday, May 18, 2009
Using Mod-Security we can deploy some Rate Limiting and DOS (denial of service) protection for Apache.
You'll use 2 scripts, one called httpd-guardian, which will use the second script, called blacklist, which will then use either iptables or the OpenBSD Packet Filter (pf) to deny IPs.
You can get both scripts here: http://apache-tools.cvs.sourceforge.net/apache-tools/.
As per the website, "..By default httpd-guardian will defend against clients that send more than 120 requests in a minute, or more than 360 requests in five minutes."
Setting this up was relatively easy. After installing Mod-Security and getting it running, we'll configure as shown below:
Fist, I downloaded httpd-guardian into /etc/apache2/httpd-guardian.
Next, I added this line:
I edited httpd-guardian and followed the directions, basically just uncommenting and setting these lines, the first to call the blacklist script:
my $PROTECT_EXEC = "/sbin/blacklist block %s 3600";
and the second lowered the maximum number of requests that one IP address can issue in a one minute window:
my $THRESHOLD_1MIN = 1; # 60 requests in a minute
Note: there is a 5 min threshold as well, but I left that default:
my $THRESHOLD_5MIN = 1; # 360 requests in 5 minutes
I also then downloaded the blacklist script into /sbin/blacklist and since I am using ipchains, I made sure this line was set in the httpd-guardian script:
my $FWCMD = "iptables";
I did as requested by the great instructions in the file itself and created a new RULE set:
iptables -N BLACKLIST
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j BLACKLIST
To make sure apache agreed with my setup, I issued the "apache2ctl graceful" command.
Then for testing, I hit the site with a bunch of requests:
#while [ 1 ]; do wget 'http://my-site.com';done
I confirmed 60+ hits (IP was changed to protect the innocent) were established in minute 2009:14:21 in my web server logs:
# grep '126.96.36.199' /var/log/apache2/access.log | grep '17/May/2009:14:21' | wc -l
And the next minute later I saw this in syslog:
May 17 14:22:13 blacklist: Blocking 188.8.131.52/32 for 3600 seconds
I couldn't connect or do a thing from my IP with my browser to my web server - it worked!