Using NGINX App Protect WAF with NGINX Controller

Take the steps in this guide to deploy NGINX App Protect WAF as a datapath instance for use with NGINX Controller.

Note:
Refer to the NGINX Controller Technical Specifications guide to find out which distributions are supported for use with NGINX Controller and NGINX Controller Agent.

Setup

Before proceeding, you should review the Prerequisites, Platform Security Considerations and User Permissions sections of the NGINX App Protect WAF Admin Guide.

Install NGINX App Protect WAF

Note:
If a version of NGINX App Protect WAF prior to 3.6 is required, please contact the NGINX Sales team to assist with this configuration.

CentOS 7.4+

  1. If you already have NGINX packages in your system, back up your configs and logs:

    sudo cp -a /etc/nginx /etc/nginx-plus-backup
    sudo cp -a /var/log/nginx /var/log/nginx-plus-backup
    
  2. Create the /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/nginx
    
  3. Log in to the NGINX Customer Portal and download the following two files:

    nginx-repo.key
    nginx-repo.crt
    
  4. Copy the above two files to the CentOS server’s /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory. Use an SCP client or another secure file transfer tool to perform this task.

  5. Install prerequisite packages:

    sudo yum install ca-certificates epel-release wget
    
  6. Remove any previously downloaded NGINX Plus repository file from /etc/yum.repos.d:

    sudo rm /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx-plus-*.repo
    
  7. Add NGINX Plus repository by downloading the file nginx-plus-7.4.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d:

    sudo wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/nginx-plus-7.4.repo
    
  8. Add NGINX App Protect WAF repository by downloading the file app-protect-7.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d:

    sudo wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/app-protect-7.repo
    
  9. If NGINX Plus or NGINX App Protect WAF was previously installed on the system, clean up package manager cache information:

    sudo yum clean all
    
  10. Install NGINX App Protect WAF package app-protect-25+3.671.0, which includes NGINX Plus 25 and NGINX App Protect WAF 3.6:

sudo yum install app-protect-25+3.671.0
  1. Check the NGINX binary version to ensure that you have NGINX Plus installed correctly:

    sudo nginx -v
    
  2. Configure SELinux as appropriate per your organization’s security policies. NGINX App Protect WAF applies the prebuilt SELinux policy module during the installation. If you encounter any issues, check the Troubleshooting Guide.

    Note:
    NGINX Controller has specific requirements regarding SELinux configuration.
  3. Start the NGINX service:

    sudo systemctl start nginx
    
  4. Start the bd_agent service (for Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2 only)

If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, you need to start the bd_agent:

/bin/su -s /bin/bash -c '/opt/app_protect/bin/bd_agent &' nginx
  1. Verify NGINX Plus and BD processes are running:

    ps -ef | grep nginx
    ps -ef | grep bd
    
Note:
If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, also verify that bd_agent is running:
ps -ef | grep bd_agent
  1. To upgrade your signature package to the latest version and obtain the best protection, refer to Updating App Protect Attack Signatures.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4+

  1. If you already have NGINX packages in your system, back up your configs and logs:

    sudo cp -a /etc/nginx /etc/nginx-plus-backup
    sudo cp -a /var/log/nginx /var/log/nginx-plus-backup
    
  2. Create the /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/nginx
    
  3. Log in to the NGINX Customer Portal and download the following two files:

    nginx-repo.key
    nginx-repo.crt
    
  4. Copy the above two files to the RHEL server’s /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory. Use an SCP client or another secure file transfer tool to perform this task.

  5. Install prerequisite packages:

    sudo yum install ca-certificates wget
    
  6. Remove any previously downloaded NGINX Plus repository file from /etc/yum.repos.d:

    sudo rm /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx-plus-*.repo
    
  7. Add NGINX Plus repository by downloading the file nginx-plus-7.4.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d:

    sudo wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/nginx-plus-7.4.repo
    
  8. Add NGINX App Protect WAF repository by downloading the file app-protect-7.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d:

    sudo wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/app-protect-7.repo
    
  9. Enable Yum repositories to pull App Protect dependencies:

    • Download the file dependencies.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d:

      sudo wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/dependencies.repo
      
    • If you have a RHEL subscription:

      sudo yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional rhui-REGION-rhel-server-releases rhel-7-server-optional-rpms
      
    • If you don’t have a RHEL subscription, you can pull the dependencies from the CentOS repository.

      Create a new repository, centos.repo, in /etc/yum.repos.d/ with the content:

      [centos]
      name=CentOS-7
      baseurl=http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/centos/7/os/x86_64/
      enabled=1
      gpgcheck=1
      gpgkey=http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/centos/7/os/x86_64/RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-7
      
  10. If NGINX Plus or NGINX App Protect WAF was previously installed on the system, clean up package manager cache information:

    sudo yum clean all
    
  11. Install NGINX App Protect WAF package app-protect-25+3.671.0, which includes NGINX Plus 25 and NGINX App Protect WAF 3.6:

    sudo yum install app-protect-25+3.671.0
    
  12. Check the NGINX binary version to ensure that you have NGINX Plus installed correctly:

    sudo nginx -v
    
  13. Configure SELinux as appropriate per your organization’s security policies. NGINX App Protect WAF applies the prebuilt SELinux policy module during the installation. If you encounter any issues, check the Troubleshooting Guide.

    Note:
    NGINX Controller has specific requirements regarding SELinux configuration.
  14. Start the NGINX service:

    sudo systemctl start nginx
    
  15. Start the bd_agent service (for Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2 only)

If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, you need to start the bd_agent:

/bin/su -s /bin/bash -c '/opt/app_protect/bin/bd_agent &' nginx
  1. Verify NGINX Plus and BD processes are running:

    ps -ef | grep nginx
    ps -ef | grep bd
    
Note:
If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, also verify that bd_agent is running:
ps -ef | grep bd_agent
  1. To upgrade your signature package to the latest version and obtain the best protection, refer to Updating App Protect Attack Signatures.

Debian 9

Note:
As of NGINX Plus R24, support for Debian 9 is no longer available. As a consequence, NGINX App Protect WAF 3.1 is the final version available for this operating system version.
  1. If you already have NGINX packages in your system, back up your configs and logs:

    sudo cp -a /etc/nginx /etc/nginx-plus-backup
    sudo cp -a /var/log/nginx /var/log/nginx-plus-backup
    
  2. Create the /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/nginx
    
  3. Log in to the NGINX Customer Portal and download the following two files:

    nginx-repo.key
    nginx-repo.crt
    
  4. Copy the above two files to the Debian server’s /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory. Use an SCP client or another secure file transfer tool to perform this task.

  5. Install apt utils:

    sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https lsb-release ca-certificates wget
    
  6. Download and add the NGINX signing key:

    sudo wget https://cs.nginx.com/static/keys/nginx_signing.key && sudo apt-key add nginx_signing.key
    
  7. Add NGINX Plus repository:

    printf "deb https://plus-pkgs.nginx.com/R23/debian `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    
  8. Download the apt configuration to /etc/apt/apt.conf.d:

    sudo wget -P /etc/apt/apt.conf.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/90nginx
    
  9. Update the repository and install NGINX Plus 23 and NGINX App Protect WAF 3.1 packages:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-compiler=6.53.1-1~stretch
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-engine=6.53.1-1~stretch
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-plugin=3.462.0-1~stretch
    sudo apt-get install nginx-plus-module-appprotect=23+3.462.0-1~stretch
    sudo apt-get install app-protect=23+3.462.0-1~stretch
    
  10. Check the NGINX binary version to ensure that you have NGINX Plus installed correctly:

    sudo nginx -v
    
  11. Start the NGINX service:

    sudo systemctl start nginx
    
  12. Verify NGINX Plus and BD processes are running:

    ps -ef | grep nginx
    ps -ef | grep bd
    
  13. To upgrade your signature package to the latest version and obtain the best protection, refer to Updating App Protect Attack Signatures.

Debian 10

  1. If you already have NGINX packages in your system, back up your configs and logs:

    sudo cp -a /etc/nginx /etc/nginx-plus-backup
    sudo cp -a /var/log/nginx /var/log/nginx-plus-backup
    
  2. Create the /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/nginx
    
  3. Log in to the NGINX Customer Portal and download the following two files:

    nginx-repo.key
    nginx-repo.crt
    
  4. Copy the above two files to the Debian server’s /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory. Use an SCP client or another secure file transfer tool to perform this task.

  5. Install apt utils:

    sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https lsb-release ca-certificates wget
    
  6. Download and add the NGINX signing key:

    sudo wget https://cs.nginx.com/static/keys/nginx_signing.key && sudo apt-key add nginx_signing.key
    
  7. Remove any previous NGINX Plus repository and apt configuration files:

    sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    sudo rm /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/90nginx
    
  8. Add NGINX Plus repository:

    printf "deb https://pkgs.nginx.com/plus/debian `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    
  9. Add NGINX App Protect WAF repository:

    printf "deb https://pkgs.nginx.com/app-protect/debian `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-app-protect.list
    
  10. Download the apt configuration to /etc/apt/apt.conf.d:

sudo wget -P /etc/apt/apt.conf.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/90pkgs-nginx
  1. Update the repository and install NGINX Plus 25 and NGINX App Protect WAF 3.6 packages:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-compiler=8.12.1-1~buster
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-plugin=3.671.0-1~buster
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-engine=8.12.1-1~buster
    sudo apt-get install nginx-plus-module-appprotect=25+3.671.0-1~buster
    sudo apt-get install app-protect=25+3.671.0-1~buster
    
  2. Check the NGINX binary version to ensure that you have NGINX Plus installed correctly:

    sudo nginx -v
    
  3. Start the NGINX service:

    sudo systemctl start nginx
    
  4. Start the bd_agent service (for Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2 only)

If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, you need to start the bd_agent:

/bin/su -s /bin/bash -c '/opt/app_protect/bin/bd_agent &' nginx
  1. Verify NGINX Plus and BD processes are running:

    ps -ef | grep nginx
    ps -ef | grep bd
    
Note:
If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, also verify that the bd_agent is running:
ps -ef | grep bd_agent
  1. To upgrade your signature package to the latest version and obtain the best protection, refer to Updating App Protect Attack Signatures.

Ubuntu 18.04

  1. If you already have NGINX packages in your system, back up your configs and logs:

    sudo cp -a /etc/nginx /etc/nginx-plus-backup
    sudo cp -a /var/log/nginx /var/log/nginx-plus-backup
    
  2. Create the /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/nginx
    
  3. Log in to the NGINX Customer Portal and download the following two files:

    nginx-repo.key
    nginx-repo.crt
    
  4. Copy the above two files to the Ubuntu server’s /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory. Use an SCP client or another secure file transfer tool to perform this task.

  5. Install apt utils:

    sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https lsb-release ca-certificates wget
    
  6. Download and add the NGINX signing key:

    sudo wget https://cs.nginx.com/static/keys/nginx_signing.key && sudo apt-key add nginx_signing.key
    
  7. Remove any previous NGINX Plus repository and apt configuration files:

    sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    sudo rm /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/90nginx
    
  8. Add NGINX Plus repository:

    printf "deb https://pkgs.nginx.com/plus/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    
  9. Add NGINX App Protect WAF repository:

    printf "deb https://pkgs.nginx.com/app-protect/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-app-protect.list
    
  10. Download the apt configuration to /etc/apt/apt.conf.d:

sudo wget -P /etc/apt/apt.conf.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/90pkgs-nginx
  1. Update the repository and install NGINX Plus 25 and NGINX App Protect WAF 3.6 packages:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-compiler=8.12.1-1~bionic
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-plugin=3.671.0-1~bionic
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-engine=8.12.1-1~bionic
    sudo apt-get install nginx-plus-module-appprotect=25+3.671.0-1~bionic
    sudo apt-get install app-protect=25+3.671.0-1~bionic
    
  2. Check the NGINX binary version to ensure that you have NGINX Plus installed correctly:

    sudo nginx -v
    
  3. Start the NGINX service:

    sudo systemctl start nginx
    
  4. Start the bd_agent service (for Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2 only)

If you plan to use this instance with Controller Agent 3.20.1, you need to start bd_agent:

/bin/su -s /bin/bash -c '/opt/app_protect/bin/bd_agent &' nginx
  1. Verify NGINX Plus and BD processes are running:

    ps -ef | grep nginx
    ps -ef | grep bd
    
Note:
If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, also verify that bd_agent is running:
ps -ef | grep bd_agent
  1. To upgrade your signature package to the latest version and obtain the best protection, refer to Updating App Protect Attack Signatures.

Ubuntu 20.04

  1. If you already have NGINX packages in your system, back up your configs and logs:

    sudo cp -a /etc/nginx /etc/nginx-plus-backup
    sudo cp -a /var/log/nginx /var/log/nginx-plus-backup
    
  2. Create the /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/ssl/nginx
    
  3. Log in to the NGINX Customer Portal and download the following two files:

    nginx-repo.key
    nginx-repo.crt
    
  4. Copy the above two files to the Ubuntu server’s /etc/ssl/nginx/ directory. Use an SCP client or another secure file transfer tool to perform this task.

  5. Install apt utils:

    sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https lsb-release ca-certificates wget
    
  6. Download and add the NGINX signing key:

    sudo wget https://cs.nginx.com/static/keys/nginx_signing.key && sudo apt-key add nginx_signing.key
    
  7. Remove any previous NGINX Plus repository and apt configuration files:

    sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    sudo rm /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/90nginx
    
  8. Add NGINX Plus repository:

    printf "deb https://pkgs.nginx.com/plus/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-plus.list
    
  9. Add NGINX App Protect WAF repository:

    printf "deb https://pkgs.nginx.com/app-protect/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` nginx-plus\n" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx-app-protect.list
    
  10. Download the apt configuration to /etc/apt/apt.conf.d:

sudo wget -P /etc/apt/apt.conf.d https://cs.nginx.com/static/files/90pkgs-nginx
  1. Update the repository and install NGINX Plus 25 and NGINX App Protect WAF 3.6 packages:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-compiler=8.12.1-1~focal
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-plugin=3.671.0-1~focal
    sudo apt-get install app-protect-engine=8.12.1-1~focal
    sudo apt-get install nginx-plus-module-appprotect=25+3.671.0-1~focal
    sudo apt-get install app-protect=25+3.671.0-1~focal
    
  2. Check the NGINX binary version to ensure that you have NGINX Plus installed correctly:

    sudo nginx -v
    
  3. Start the NGINX service:

    sudo systemctl start nginx
    
  4. Start the bd_agent service (for Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2 only)

If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, you need to start bd_agent:

/bin/su -s /bin/bash -c '/opt/app_protect/bin/bd_agent &' nginx
  1. Verify NGINX Plus and BD processes are running:

    ps -ef | grep nginx
    ps -ef | grep bd
    
Note:
If you plan to use this instance with Controller ADC Agent 3.20.1 or Controller APIM Agent 3.19.2, also verify that bd_agent is running:
ps -ef | grep bd_agent
  1. To upgrade your signature package to the latest version and obtain the best protection, refer to Updating App Protect Attack Signatures.
Note:
Ubuntu 20.04 activates AppArmor by default, but NGINX App Protect WAF will run in unconfined mode after being installed as it is shipped with no AppArmor profile. To benefit from AppArmor access control capabilities for NGINX App Protect WAF, you will have to write your own AppArmor profile for NGINX App Protect WAF executables found in /opt/app_protect/bin such that it best suits your environment.

Amazon Linux 2 LTS

Using NGINX App Protect WAF with NGINX Controller isn’t supported on Amazon Linux 2 LTS.

Alpine

Using NGINX App Protect WAF with NGINX Controller isn’t supported on Alpine.

Add NGINX App Protect WAF to NGINX Controller

If this NGINX Plus instance is already managed by Controller, restart the Agent after NGINX App Protect WAF is installed.

Otherwise, complete the tasks in the NGINX Controller Add an NGINX App Protect WAF Instance guide.

Use NGINX App Protect WAF with NGINX Controller

Note:
When configuring NGINX App Protect WAF as a datapath instance for NGINX Controller, you should not modify the nginx.conf file. The nginx.conf file will be automatically updated when enabling WAF on a Component in NGINX Controller.

Refer to the following NGINX Controller user guides for further information about how to secure your apps and/or APIs with NGINX Controller:


This documentation applies to the following versions of NGINX App Protect WAF: 1.0.