There are always threats out there on the big bad internet. The majority of breaches happen at the application layer and many OWASP Top 10s like SQL injection are still malicious favorites to gain entry. Add to that the availability of DDoS tools, anonymous proxies and the rise of hacktivism means networks and systems are bigger targets than ever. Threat detection today relies on a couple elements: Identifying suspicious activity among the billions of data points and refining a large set of suspicious incidents down to those that matter.
Today’s cyber-criminals use various techniques to hide their identities and activity. Keeping them out of your systems requires constant vigilance. Every packet that transverses the internet has a source IP address so disabling inbound communications from known malicious IPs can be highly effective.
You may not know but F5 offers IP Intelligence Services which provides the functionality to block known malicious IP addresses. It is a layer of IP threat protection and an additional way to allow BIG-IP customers to defend against malicious activity and infrastructure attacks. The IP Intelligence service is offered on several BIG-IP platforms. With IP Intelligence, BIG-IP AFM can be configured to block or allow traffic entering the system based on the reputation of the source IP address.
BIG-IP AFM determines reputation using two methods. One is a continuous feed of known or suspected malicious IP addresses provided by a third-party service Webroot BrightCloud. You can also create custom feed lists that specifies IP addresses that have been blacklisted or whitelisted by the organization. The BrightCloud feed is updated every 5 minutes by default and custom feed lists are unique to the AFM and are polled at intervals of your choosing.
These two methods are jointly referred to as IP Intelligence and can be used independently or in tandem to filer traffic on the BIG-IP systems. The BrightCloud option is licensed separately through F5 and requires internet connectivity and DNS resolution from your BIG-IP system. Custom feed lists do not need connectivity since it is local to the BIG-IP.
IP Intelligence can be applied via AFM firewall policy to the Route Domain or Virtual Server. Once enabled, it will affect all traffic that arrives on your BIG-IP system no matter the access point.
The IP Intelligence data is organized into categories that help you differentiate between types of listed IP addresses. There are 11 pre-defined categories including botnets, scanners, infected sources, illegal websites and more. These correspond to the categories in the BrightCloud feed. You can also create up to 51 custom categories to meet your own specific needs.
Networks, infrastructures, systems and applications are all under attack these days. While you can do your best at securing your data, sometimes a little call blocking can go a long way in ensuring these known rascals cannot get through.