Manual Chapter : Hardware HSM Setup and Administration

Applies To:

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BIG-IP DNS

  • 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0

BIG-IP AFM

  • 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0

BIG-IP ASM

  • 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0

BIG-IP AAM

  • 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0

BIG-IP APM

  • 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0

BIG-IP LTM

  • 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0, 14.0.1, 14.0.0
Manual Chapter

Hardware HSM Setup and Administration

About setting up embedded FIPS platforms in a device group

You can configure a device group using two platforms from the same series with a FIPS hardware security module (HSM) installed in each unit. When setting up an embedded FIPS solution on a device group, you install the two systems and can connect to a serial console to remotely manage the systems. In the event that network access is impaired or not yet configured, the serial console might be the only way to access your system.
After you have set up and configured the systems, you can create the FIPS security domain by initializing the HSM and creating a security officer (SO) password. You must configure the same security domain name on all HSMs in the group.

About embedded HSM initialization and synchronization

After you have set up and configured your BIG-IP® systems, you create a FIPS security domain by initializing the embedded HSM and then synchronizing all applicable HSMs.

Initializing the HSM in 5000/7000/10200 platforms

You must initialize the hardware security module (HSM) installed in each unit before you can use it. When you are creating a device group using more than one FIPS platform, you initialize the HSM on one unit, and then initialize the HSM on a peer unit using the same security domain label that you used on the first unit.
You can initialize the HSM and create the security domain before you license the system and create a traffic management configuration.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Initialize the HSM and set a security officer (SO) password.
    run util fips-util -f init
    Running this command deletes all keys in the HSM and makes any previously exported keys unusable.
    The initialization process takes a few minutes to complete.
    The initialization process begins. When prompted, type an SO password.
    F5 recommends that you choose a strong value for the SO password. You cannot use the keyword
    default
    as the SO password.
    WARNING: This erases all keys from the FIPS 140 device. Any configuration objects dependent on FIPS keys will cause the configuration fail to load. ==================== WARNING ================================ The FIPS device will be reset to factory default state. All keys and user identities currently stored in the device will be erased. Any configuration objects dependent on FIPS keys will cause the configuration fail to load. Press <ENTER> to continue or Ctrl-C to cancel Resetting the device ... The FIPS device is now in factory default state. Enter new Security Officer password (min. 7, max. 14 characters): Re-enter Security Officer password:
  4. When this message displays, type a security domain label.
    NOTE: security domain label must be identical on peer FIPS devices in order to be able to synchronize with them. Enter security domain label (max. 50 chars, default: F5FIPS):
    Be sure to keep the security domain label and password in a secure location. You need the domain label and password when you initialize the HSM on a peer unit. You can use the same password or choose a new one. This information is also required when replacing a unit (for RMA or other reasons). Since keys are synchronized from the working unit to a new unit, the domain label and password are required.
    Initializing new security domain (F5FIPS)... Creating crypto user and crypto officer identities Waiting for the device to re-initialize ... Creating key encryption key (KEK) The FIPS device has been initialized.
  5. Enable the HSM device using one of these options:
    • Reboot the unit.
    • Restart all services:
      restart sys service all
      .
      Restarting services disrupts load-balanced traffic and might terminate remote login sessions to the system.
After you complete the initialization process on the first unit, you can initialize a peer system and add it to the security domain of the first unit. You must use the same SO password that you used on the first unit.

Initializing the HSM in 10350 platforms

You must initialize the hardware security module (HSM) installed in each unit before you can use it. When you are creating a device group using more than one FIPS platform, you initialize the HSM on one unit, and then initialize the HSM on a peer unit using the same security domain label that you used on the first unit. You can choose to use a different password on the peer unit.
You can initialize the HSM and create the security domain, before you license the system and create a traffic management configuration.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Initialize the HSM and set a security officer (SO) password.
    run util fips-util init
    Running this command deletes all keys in the HSM and makes any previously exported keys unusable.
    The initialization process takes a few minutes to complete.
    The initialization process begins. When prompted, type an SO password. You cannot use the keyword
    default
    as the SO password.
    F5® recommends that you choose a strong value for the SO password.
    If this text displays in the message below, you need to first delete all keys from the device before running the command:
    There are keys stored in the FIPS device Delete all keys from the device before re-initializing it
    . You can use the
    -f
    option to force initialization, which deletes all user-generated keys (
    util fips-util -f init
    ).
    WARNING: This erases all keys from the FIPS 140 device. Any configuration objects dependent on FIPS keys will cause the configuration fail to load. ==================== WARNING ================================ The FIPS device will be reset to factory default state. All keys and user identities currently stored in the device will be erased. Any configuration objects dependent on FIPS keys will cause the configuration fail to load. Press <ENTER> to continue or Ctrl-C to cancel Resetting the device ... The FIPS device is now in factory default state. Enter new Security Officer password (min. 7, max. 14 characters): Re-enter Security Officer password:
  4. When this message displays, type a security domain label.
    NOTE: security domain label must be identical on peer FIPS devices in order to be able to synchronize with them. Enter security domain label (max. 50 chars, default: F5FIPS):
    Be sure to keep the security domain label and password in a secure location. You need the domain label and password when you initialize the HSM on a peer unit. You can use the same password or choose a new one. This information is also required when replacing a unit (for RMA or other reasons). Since keys are synchronized from the working unit to a new unit, the domain label and password are required.
    Initializing new security domain (F5FIPS)... Creating crypto user and crypto officer identities Waiting for the device to re-initialize ... Creating key encryption key (KEK) The FIPS device has been initialized.
  5. Enable the HSM device using one of these options:
    • Reboot the unit.
    • Restart all services:
      restart sys service all
      .
      Restarting services disrupts load-balanced traffic and might terminate remote login sessions to the system.
After you complete the initialization process on the first unit, you can initialize a peer system and add it to the security domain of the first unit. You can choose to use the same SO password that you used on the first unit.

Initializing the HSM in i5000/i7000 Series platforms

You must initialize the hardware security module (HSM) installed in each unit before you can use it. When you are creating a device group using more than one FIPS platform, you initialize the HSM on one unit, and then initialize the HSM on a peer unit using the same security domain label that you used on the first unit. You can choose to use a different password on the peer unit.
You can initialize the HSM and create the security domain, before you license the system and create a traffic management configuration.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Initialize the HSM and set a security officer (SO) password.
    run util fips-util init
    Running this command deletes all keys in the HSM and makes any previously exported keys unusable.
    The initialization process takes a few minutes to complete.
    The initialization process begins. When prompted, type an SO password. You cannot use the keyword
    default
    as the SO password.
    F5® recommends that you choose a strong value for the SO password.
    If this text displays in the message below, you need to first delete all keys from the device before running the command:
    There are keys stored in the FIPS device Delete all keys from the device before re-initializing it
    . You can use the
    -f
    option to force initialization, which deletes all user-generated keys (
    util fips-util -f init
    ).
    WARNING: This erases all keys from the FIPS 140 device. Any configuration objects dependent on FIPS keys will cause the configuration fail to load. ==================== WARNING ================================ The FIPS device will be reset to factory default state. All keys and user identities currently stored in the device will be erased. Any configuration objects dependent on FIPS keys will cause the configuration fail to load. Press <ENTER> to continue or Ctrl-C to cancel Resetting the device ... The FIPS device is now in factory default state. Enter new Security Officer password (min. 7, max. 14 characters): Re-enter Security Officer password:
  4. When this message displays, type a security domain label.
    NOTE: security domain label must be identical on peer FIPS devices in order to be able to synchronize with them. Enter security domain label (max. 50 chars, default: F5FIPS):
    Be sure to keep the security domain label and password in a secure location. You need the domain label and password when you initialize the HSM on a peer unit. You can use the same password or choose a new one. This information is also required when replacing a unit (for RMA or other reasons). Since keys are synchronized from the working unit to a new unit, the domain label and password are required.
    Initializing new security domain (F5FIPS)... Creating crypto user and crypto officer identities Waiting for the device to re-initialize ... Creating key encryption key (KEK) The FIPS device has been initialized.
  5. Enable the HSM device using one of these options:
    • Reboot the unit.
    • Restart all services:
      restart sys service all
      .
      Restarting services disrupts load-balanced traffic and might terminate remote login sessions to the system.
After you complete the initialization process on the first unit, you can initialize a peer system and add it to the security domain of the first unit. You can choose to use the same SO password that you used on the first unit.

Viewing HSM information using tmsh

You can use the Traffic Management Shell (
tmsh
) to view information about the hardware security module (HSM). If you have a 10350v-FIPS platform provisioned for Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP), you can also view information about any FIPS partitions on the HSM.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. View information about the HSM.
    run util fips-util info
    Depending on the HSM installed in your system, a summary similar to this example (from a 10350 platform) displays.
    Label: F5FIPS Model: NITROX-III CNN35XX-NFBE Serial Number: 3.0G1501-ICM000059 FIPS state: 2 MaxSessionCount: 2048 SessionCount: 13 MaxPinLen: 14 MinPinLen: 7 TotalPublicMemory: 557540 FreePublicMemory: 234552 TotalUserKeys: 10075 AvailableUserKeys: 10075 Loging failures: user: 0 officer: 0 Temperature: 72 C HW version: 0.0 Firmware version: CNN35XX-NFBE-FW-1.0-27
  4. View information about FIPS partitions on the HSM.
    run util fips-util ptninfo

Before you synchronize the HSMs

Before you can synchronize the FIPS hardware security modules (HSMs), you must ensure that the target HSM:
  • Is already initialized
  • Has an identical security domain name
  • Does not contain existing keys
  • Is the same hardware model
  • Contains the same firmware version
Before you run the
fips-card-sync
command, ensure that you have this information:
  • The SO password for the source F5® device
  • The SO password for the target F5 device
  • The root password for the target F5 device
The target device must also be reachable using SSH from the source device.

Synchronizing the HSMs using tmsh

Be sure that you meet all prerequisites before synchronizing the hardware security modules (HSMs) in your devices.
Synchronizing the HSMs enables you to copy keys from one HSM to another. This is also required to synchronize the software configuration in a device group.
You only need to perform the synchronization process during the initial configuration of a pair of devices. After the two devices are in sync, they remain in sync.
  1. Log on to the command line of the source F5® device using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Synchronize the Master Symmetric key from the HSM on the source F5 device to the HSM on the target F5 device, where <
    hostname
    > is the IP address or hostname of the target F5 device.
    run util fips-card-sync
    <hostname>
    Be sure to run this command on a device that contains a valid Master Symmetric key. Otherwise, you might invalidate all keys loaded in the HSM.
    A Master Symmetric key is shared between the HSMs on each F5 device. This shared master key is used to encrypt the SSL private keys when the keys leave the cryptographic boundary of the HSM.
    1. When prompted, type the security officer (SO) password for the local device.
    2. When prompted, type the SO password for the remote device or press Enter if the password is the same as for the local device.
      A message similar to this example displays:
      Connecting to 172.27.76.255 as user root ...
    3. When prompted, type the root password.
      When the synchronization operation completes, a message similar to this example displays:
      FIPS devices have been synchronized.
  4. Confirm that all devices have the Master Symmetric key.
    tmsh show sys crypto master-key
    A summary similar to this example displays:
    ------------------------------------------- Sys::Master-Key ------------------------------------------- master-key hash <hJqPIjC72OJOP90CfD9WHw==> previous hash <>
  5. Synchronize the software configuration in the device group.
    You must run
    fips-card-sync
    before running
    config-sync
    . Otherwise, the FIPS keys will not load on the remote device.
    run cm config-sync [ to-group | from-group ] <device_group_name>

About FIPS multi-tenancy for vCMP guests

The BIG-IP® 10350v-FIPS platform model contains a FIPS-verified hardware security module (HSM) that supports Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) mode on Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP®)-enabled systems.

Benefit

The benefit of SR-IOV mode is that for a BIG-IP system on a 10350v-FIPS platform provisioned for Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP®), you can create a virtual HSM (known as a FIPS partition) for each guest on the system. A
FIPS partition
is a portion of cores and private key slots on the HSM that a host administrator can dedicate to a guest for cryptographic functions.
This illustration shows a BIG-IP system where three guests each have their own FIPS partition for FIPS hardware-based processing.

About core allocation

You can create up to 32 FIPS partitions on the HSM, with some number of cores allocated to each partition. The number of cores you allocate to a FIPS partition depends on the processing needs of the guest you assign the partition to. The only limit is that the combined number of cores for all partitions cannot exceed 63, the total number of cores that the HSM supports.
To determine how you want to deploy FIPS partitioning for your vCMP guests, you should:
  • Identify the guests that need dedicated cores.
  • Decide how many cores and private key slots you want to allocate to each guest's partition.
For example, to decide how many cores to dedicate to each guest, suppose guests
A
and
B
have equal core requirements, but guest
C
has twice the needs of both
A
and
B
. In this case, you could allocate 12 cores each to
A
and
B
, and 24 cores to
C
. This would mean a total core allocation of 48 HSM cores, leaving 15 cores unallocated and available for future guest needs.

About FIPS private keys

Once you have assigned a FIPS partition to a guest, the guest administrator can log in to the guest to create, convert, or import FIPS private SSL keys, which are stored on the HSM. The FIPS partition assigned to the guest dictates the amount of storage available for FIPS keys on the HSM for the guest.

Host administration tasks

Before vCMP® guest administrators can create and manage FIPS keys in their own secure partitions on the FIPS hardware security module (HSM), a host administrator must initialize the FIPS HSM, resize the default partition to free up cores for other FIPS partitions, and create those other partitions on the HSM. As host administrator, you'll create one unique partition for each guest.

Prerequisite tasks for managing FIPS partitions

Before you set up FIPS partitions for your Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP®) guests, confirm that the vCMP host prerequisites have been met, on each device that hosts vCMP guests in your high availability configuration. Confirm all prerequisites by logging into the BIG-IP system using the management IP address of the vCMP host.
Your BIG-IP® user account must have a role of Administrator assigned to it.
Prerequisites
Verification tool
Verification instructions
The BIG-IP system is provisioned for Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP).
BIG-IP Configuration utility
On the Main tab, click
System
Resource Provisioning
. In the Module column, locate
Virtual CMP (vCMP)
and then view the Provisioning column.
You have created vCMP guests on the system.
BIG-IP Configuration utility
On the Main tab, click
vCMP
vCMP Guest List
. View the list of vCMP guests.
You have permission to use the TMSH (TMOS® Shell) command-line interface.
BIG-IP Configuration utility
On the Main tab, click
System
Users
. Then click your account name and view the
Terminal Access
list. This setting must be set to either
tmsh
or
Advanced shell
.
The license type is 10350v-FIPS.
An SSH application such as PuTTY
At the
tmsh
prompt, type
show sys hardware
and under
Platform
, look for a
Name
property of
10350F
.
The hardware security module (HSM) is initialized and the security label matches the label on all other devices hosting BIG-IP device group members (that is, vCMP guests).
An SSH application such as PuTTY
At the
tmsh
prompt, type
fips-util -v info
.
The HSMs on the appliances hosting the vCMP guests in the BIG-IP device group are synchronized.
An SSH application such as PuTTY
At the
tmsh
prompt, type
run util fips-card-sync
hostname
.
You know the Security Officer password for managing the FIPS HSM.
Not applicable.
If you do not know the Security Officer password, see your security administrator.
The device has a Master Symmetric key.
An SSH application such as PuTTY
At the
tmsh
prompt, type
show sys crypto master-key
.
The BIG-IP configurations on all members of the BIG-IP device group (that is, vCMP guests) are synchronized.
BIG-IP Configuration utility
On the Main tab, click
Device Management
Overview
. Then verify that all device group members have a status of
In Sync
.
For more information, see the guide
BIG-IP Device Service Clustering: Administration
, on the F5 support site
support.f5.com
.

About resizing FIPS partitions

After all vCMP® guests are deployed with FIPS partitions assigned to them, you might decide later that you need to increase or decrease the number of cores for a specific guest.
When you resize a guest's partition, you use the TMSH ( TMOS® Shell) command-line interface, and it's helpful to understand the output that TMSH displays during the resizing process. For example, suppose you initially resized
PARTITION_1
and created three other partitions, with these core allocations:
  • PARTITION_1
    : 32 cores
  • PARTITION_2
    : 8 cores
  • PARTITION_3
    : 10 cores
  • PARTITION_4
    : 4 cores
This shows that we have a total of 54 of the 63 cores on the HSM allocated, leaving 9 cores still unallocated.
Now suppose you decide to adjust the number of cores allocated to
PARTITION_2
, from 8 cores to 6. In this case, you'll need to use the
fips-util ptnresize
command within
tmsh
. For example, if you type:
tmsh /util fips-util ptnresize
The system prompts you for a password and the relevant partition name and displays other fields showing their currently-configured values:
Enter Security Officer password:
SO_password
Enter partition name:
PARTITION_2
Enter max keys (1-82160, current 5000):
4000
Enter max accel devs (0 to 25, current 8)
:
In the
Enter max accel devs
field, the system shows that there are
0 to 25
cores available to
PARTITION_2
for resizing, with
8
cores currently allocated. The system calculates this
0 to 25
value using this formula:
(Total cores on the HSM - The sum of cores for the three other partitions) + (cores currently assigned to
PARTITION_2
)
which translates to:
63 - (32 + 10 + 4) + 8 = 25
Notice that the displayed number of maximum cores available to
PARTITION_2
(
25
) includes the current allocation of 8 cores.
For
Enter mac accel devs
, once you specify a new value of
6
, the number of unallocated cores on the HSM increases from 9 to 11.

Enabling vCMP after a BIG-IP software upgrade

If your BIG-IP® system was provisioned for vCMP® prior to upgrading to this BIG-IP version, you must enable a BigDB variable,
kernel.iommu
.
Be sure to do this before you manage the hardware security module (HSM) to create FIPS partitions for vCMP guests.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Enable the kernel.iommu DB variable.
    modify /sys db kernel.iommu value enable
  4. Save your BIG-IP configuration.
    save /sys config
  5. Reboot the system.
    sys reboot

Resizing the default FIPS partition

Whenever you initialize the FIPS hardware security module (HSM) on a vCMP® host, the process creates a FIPS partition named
PARTITION_1
that you can assign to one of your vCMP guests. By default,
PARTITION_1
contains all available FIPS cores on the HSM (63).
To free up cores for other guests, you'll need to reduce the number of cores assigned to
PARTITION_1
. You can then allocate those freed-up cores to other FIPS partitions that you create.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Resize the default partition.
    fips-util ptnresize
  4. Enter the Security Officer password.
  5. At the
    Partition name
    prompt, enter the name of the default partition,
    PARTITION_1
    .
  6. At the
    Enter max keys
    prompt, re-type or change the current value for the maximum number of SSL keys allocated to the default partition.
  7. At the
    Enter max accel devs
    prompt, reduce the current value of
    63
    .
    The specified value represents the number of cores currently allocated to
    PARTITION_1
    .
    For example, if you intend to create three guests, and you know that for two of those guests, you'll want to create
    PARTITION_2
    and
    PARTITION_3
    and allocate 20 and 10 cores respectively, change the value for
    PARTITION_1
    from 63 to 33.
    Changing this value frees up the number of cores that you'll need for the other partitions.
  8. Press Enter.
  9. Save your BIG-IP configuration.
    save /sys config
After you complete this task, the HSM has available cores for you to allocate to other FIPS partitions that you create.

Creating FIPS partitions on the HSM

You can create a virtual hardware security module (HSM) for each vCMP® guest on the system that processes FIPS-related traffic. After creating FIPS partitions on the HSM, you can provide each guest with its own dedicated FIPS hardware resource to use for cryptographic functions.
You only need to create a FIPS partition for a guest when the guest is processing FIPS-related traffic.
  1. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  2. Create a FIPS partition.
    fips-util ptncreate
    If you receive an error message about acceleration, you'll need to resize the default FIPS partition before creating FIPS partitions.
    The system then prompts you for Security Officer password.
  3. Type the Security Officer password.
  4. At the
    Enter partition name
    prompt, assign a name to the partition, such as
    PARTITION_2
    .
    Do not assign the name
    PARTITION_1
    . This is the name of the default FIPS partition.
  5. At the
    Max key count
    prompt, type the maximum number of private SSL keys that a guest administrator will be able to store in the guest's partition.
  6. At the
    Max accel devs
    prompt, type a value for the number of FIPS hardware cores that you want to allocate to the partition.
  7. Press Enter.
  8. Save your BIG-IP configuration.
    save /sys config
  9. Repeat for each additional partition that you want to create.
After you complete this task, the HSM has a unique FIPS partition for each guest that you want to assign FIPS hardware SSL resources to. You can then provide a guest with its own dedicated FIPS hardware SSL resource by assigning the FIPS partition to the guest.

Disabling a vCMP guest

Before performing this task, confirm that you are logged in to the BIG-IP Configuration utility as a vCMP host administrator.
Before you assign a FIPS partition to a guest, you must set the guest to the
Configured
state.
This task is based on the assumption that the guest you want to disable is currently in a
Deployed
or
Provisioned
state.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    vCMP
    Guest List
    .
    This displays a list of guests on the system.
  2. In the Name column, find the name of the guest you want to assign a FIPS partition to, and in the left-most column, select the check box.
  3. Click
    Disable
    .
    The guest state changes to
    Configured
    .
  4. Repeat this task for each guest to which you plan on assigning a FIPS partition.
After performing this task, the guest can no longer process traffic, and you can now modify the guest to assign a FIPS partition.

Assigning a FIPS partition to a vCMP guest

Before performing this task, confirm that you are logged into the BIG-IP Configuration utility as a vCMP host administrator.
For BIG-IP® systems containing a FIPS hardware security module (HSM) on which you have created FIPS partitions, you can assign a separate FIPS partition to each vCMP® guest on the system. This provides each guest with its own virtual FIPS HSM to use for cryptographic functions when processing FIPS-related traffic.
It’s worth noting that in addition to using FIPS partitions for FIPS-related traffic, you can configure the
SSL Mode
setting for non-FIPS related traffic. This controls the non-FIPS hardware SSL resources on the system.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    vCMP
    Guest List
    .
    This displays a list of guests on the system.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the guest that you want to modify.
    This displays the configured properties of the guest.
  3. From the
    FIPS Partition
    list, select a FIPS partition name.
  4. From the
    Requested State
    list, select
    Deployed
    .
  5. Click
    Update
    .
    This action causes the guest to restart.
  6. Repeat this task for each guest to which you want to assign a FIPS partition.
After you complete this task, each vCMP guest that you modified has a virtual FIPS HSM assigned to it to use for cryptographic functions.

Displaying the list of FIPS partitions on the HSM

When the FIPS hardware security module (HSM) in your BIG-IP® system contains FIPS partitions for multi-tenancy, you can display a list of the partitions at any time.
  1. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  2. View a list of partitions.
    fips-util ptninfo
  3. Type the Security Officer password.
    The system displays a list of existing FIPS partitions on the HSM.

Deleting FIPS partitions on the HSM

When the FIPS hardware security module (HSM) in your BIG-IP® system contains FIPS partitions for multi-tenancy, you can delete one or more of those partitions from the HSM if for some reason you no longer need them.
  1. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  2. Delete a partition.
    fips-util ptndelete
    The system prompts you for the Security Officer password.
  3. Type the Security Officer password.
  4. At the
    Enter partition name
    prompt, type the name of the partition you want to delete.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Save your BIG-IP configuration.
    save /sys config

Guest administration tasks

When a vCMP® guest has a FIPS partition assigned to it, the guest administrator can store private SSL keys on the FIPS hardware security module (HSM). Specifically, a guest administrator can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to:
  • Create and store FIPS keys in the HSM.
  • Import non-FIPS keys (
    .exp
    files) or FIPS keys to the HSM. Importing FIPS keys requires the BIG-IP system to use the same Master Symmetric key that was previously used to export the FIPS keys.
  • Convert non-FIPS keys to FIPS keys, which are then stored in the HSM.
For information about managing your FIPS keys, see the Key Management section of this guide.
Before you log in to a vCMP guest and manage private SSL keys, confirm that you have met these prerequisites:
  • You have a user role that allows you to log in to the system as a vCMP guest administrator.
  • You have permission to use the TMSH (TMOS Shell) command-line interface.
  • You have permission to manage private SSL keys.
For more information, see the
BIG-IP Digital Certificates: Administration
guide at
support.f5.com
.

About managing keys on embedded FIPS systems

You can use one of two tools to manage keys on your embedded FIPS system: the BIG-IP® Configuration utility or the F5®TMOS® Shell (
tmsh
).

About managing FIPS keys using the BIG-IP Configuration utility

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to create FIPS keys, import existing FIPS keys into a hardware security module (HSM), and convert existing keys into FIPS keys.
Existing FIPS keys (.exp files) can only be imported into an HSM that possesses the same Master Symmetric key used when the FIPS keys were exported. The Symmetric Master Key is used to encrypt SSL private keys as they are exported from an HSM. Therefore, only the same Master Symmetric key can be used to decrypt the SSL private keys as they are imported into the HSM.
Import of FIPS keys is supported if the F5® system uses the same Master Symmetric key that was used to export the FIPS keys.

Requesting a FIPS-type CA-signed certificate

Use this task to create a request for a certificate with FIPS type security from a certificate authority.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    System
    Certificate Management
    Traffic Certificate Management
    SSL Certificate List
    .
    This displays the list of certificates installed on the system.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The New SSL Certificate screen opens.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a unique name for the certificate.
  4. From the
    Issuer
    list, specify the type of certificate that you want to use.
    • To request a certificate from a CA, select
      Certificate Authority
      .
    • For a self-signed certificate, select
      Self
      .
  5. Configure the
    Common Name
    setting and any other settings as needed.
  6. From the
    Security Type
    list, select
    FIPS
    .
  7. From the
    Key Type
    list, select
    RSA
    ,
    DSA
    , or
    ECDSA
    .
  8. If you selected
    ECDSA
    , then from the
    Curve
    list, select an elliptic curve.
    The elliptic curve secp521r1 is not supported on the F5® 10350v-FIPS hardware platform.
  9. Click
    Finished
    .

Importing keys using the BIG-IP Configuration utility

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to import existing keys into the system.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    System
    Certificate Management
    Traffic Certificate Management
    SSL Certificate List
    .
    This displays the list of certificates installed on the system.
  2. Click
    Import
    .
  3. From the
    Import Type
    list, select
    Key
    .
  4. For the
    Key Name
    setting, click
    Create New
    .
  5. In the
    Key Name
    field, type a name for the key.
  6. From the
    Key Source
    setting, click either
    Upload File
    or
    Paste Text
    .
    • If you click
      Upload File
      , type a file name or click
      Browse
      and select a file.
    • If you click
      Paste Text
      , copy the text from another source and paste the text into the Key Source screen.
  7. Click
    Import
    .
After you import the key, you can convert it to a FIPS key.

Converting a key to FIPS using the BIG-IP Configuration utility

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to convert an existing key to a FIPS key.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    System
    Certificate Management
    Traffic Certificate Management
    SSL Certificate List
    .
    This displays the list of certificates installed on the system.
  2. Click a certificate name.
    This displays the properties of that certificate.
  3. On the menu bar, click
    Key
    .
    This displays the type and size of the key associated with the certificate.
  4. Click
    Convert to FIPS
    to convert the key to a FIPS key.
    The key is converted and appears in the list as a FIPS key. After the key is converted, this process cannot be reversed.

About managing FIPS keys using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to create FIPS keys, import existing keys into an F5® system, and convert existing keys to FIPS keys.

Creating FIPS keys using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to create FIPS keys.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Create a basic key.
    create sys crypto key
    <key_object_name>
    security-type fips
    For information about additional options for this command, view the
    sys crypto key
    man page:
    help sys crypto key
    The key creation process takes a few minutes to complete.
  4. View information about the generated key.
    list sys crypto key
    <key_object_name>

Importing FIPS keys using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to import existing keys into the system.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Import a key.
    install sys crypto key <key_object_name> from-local-file <path_to_key_file> security-type fips
    This example imports a FIPS key named
    mykey
    from a local key file stored in the
    /shared/tmp
    directory:
    install sys crypto key mykey from-local-file /shared/tmp/mykey.exp security-type fips

Converting a key to FIPS using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to convert a key to a FIPS key.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Convert an existing key to FIPS.
    install sys crypto key <
    key_object_name>
    from-local-file <
    key_file_path>
    security-type fips

Listing FIPS keys in the HSM using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to list the FIPS keys in the hardware security module (HSM).
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. List the keys in the HSM.
    tmsh show sys crypto fips key
    A summary similar to this example displays:
    ------------------------------------------- FIPS 140 Hardware Device ------------------------------------------- === private keys (2) ID MOD.LEN(bits) dd83774207ea554ba1192439de75e1c1 2048 /Common/testkey1.key d750c989e6afeb5ac8ca8aec2b93461b 1024 /Common/testkey2.key

Listing FIPS keys in the F5 software configuration using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to list the FIPS keys in the F5® software configuration.
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. List the keys in the hardware security module (HSM).
    tmsh list sys crypto key
    A summary similar to this example displays:
    sys crypto key default.key { key-size 1024 key-type rsa-private security-type normal } sys crypto key testkey2.key { key-id d750c989e6afeb5ac8ca8aec2b93461b key-size 1024 key-type rsa-private security-type fips } sys crypto key testkey1.key { key-id dd83774207ea554ba1192439de75e1c1 key-size 2048 key-type rsa-private security-type fips }

Deleting a key from the F5 software configuration and HSM using tmsh

You can use the TMOS Shell (
tmsh
) to delete a key from the F5® software configuration and the hardware security module (HSM).
  1. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  2. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  3. Delete a specified key.
    delete sys crypto key <
    key_object_name>

Supported FIPS key sizes

These are the supported key sizes for F5® FIPS platforms.
FIPS platform
Supported key sizes (bits)
5000
1024, 2048, 4096
7000
1024/2048, 4096
10200
1024, 2048, 4096
10350
2048

Additional FIPS platform management tmsh commands

This table lists additional
tmsh
commands that you can use to manage your FIPS platform.
Command
Description
show sys crypto fips key
Lists information about FIPS keys stored in the FIPS hardware security module (HSM), including FIPS key ID, length, type, and key objects.
list sys crypto key
Lists keys in the F5® software configuration.
delete sys crypto fips key <key-id>
Deletes a FIPS key from the FIPS HSM only.

About recovery options

You can use one of these options for recovering your embedded FIPS system.
  • Configure an additional unit for recovery
  • Save the keys on a disk
  • Configure a device group

FIPS system recovery options

This table describes configuration options for FIPS system recovery.
Option
Description
Configure a device group
Configure the F5® devices in a device group with the FIPS HSMs synchronized. In the event of a system failure, the standby unit becomes active and handles incoming traffic. Contact F5 to arrange a Return Material Authorization (RMA) for the failed F5 device and then follow the steps for implementing a replacement unit to recover the failed device.
Configure an additional unit for recovery
Fully configure a third unit, add it to the security domain, and synchronize the configurations. Remove the unit from the network and store it in a secure location. If the F5 system in production is damaged or destroyed, you can use the backup unit to reconstitute the security domain.
Save the keys on a disk
Generate the private keys outside of the FIPS HSM. Copy the non-FIPS protected keys to a secure external location as a backup. Then convert the non-FIPS into FIPS keys on the F5 system. The keys on the F5 system are now protected by the FIPS HSM. If there is a catastrophic system failure, use the non-FIPS protected backup keys to repopulate the FIPS HSM.
This method for backup is not FIPS-compliant.

Implementing a replacement unit in a device group after a system failure

Before you recover hardware security module (HSM) information, ensure that the F5® software is configured and then install your saved UCS file on the new replacement system. For information about backup and recovery of a BIG-IP® system UCS file, see
BIG-IP® System: Essentials
.
If one unit of a device group fails, the failover unit becomes active and maintains the HSM information. After you replace the failed unit in a device group, you need to restore the HSM information on the replacement unit.
  1. Connect the currently active unit to the replacement unit.
  2. On the replacement unit, initialize the FIPS hardware security module (HSM). For information about performing this initialization, see the appropriate HSM initialization procedure for your platform.
    Be sure to run this FIPS HSM initialization command sequence on the replacement unit. If you run it on the currently active unit, you will lose all of your existing keys.
    Be sure to use the same security domain that you specified when you initially set up the currently active unit.
  3. On the currently active unit, copy information from the currently active unit to the replacement unit.
    fipscardsync peer
    Be sure to run this FIPS HSM initialization command from the currently active unit. If you run this command from the replacement unit, you will lose your original FIPS information.
  4. On the currently active unit, synchronize the full software configuration to the replacement unit using
    tmsh
    .
    tmsh run config-sync to-group /Common/
    <devicegroupname>
    Synchronizing the software configuration using this command sequence also synchronizes the keys stored in the HSM.
The replacement unit is now ready to function as the failover unit in a device group.

Implementing a replacement standalone device after a system failure

You must have a backup of your non-FIPS protected keys before you can restore the hardware security module (HSM) information on a standalone replacement device.
After you replace a failed standalone unit, you need to restore the HSM information on the replacement unit.
  1. Copy the full software configuration to the replacement unit using
    tmsh
    .
    tmsh load ucs
    <ucsfilename>
    Synchronizing the configuration does not synchronize the keys stored in the HSM.
  2. On the replacement unit, initialize the FIPS HSM. For information about performing this initialization, see the appropriate HSM initialization procedure for your platform.
  3. Log in to the command line of the system using an account with root access.
  4. Open the TMOS Shell (
    tmsh
    ).
    tmsh
  5. Convert an existing key to FIPS.
    install sys crypto key <
    key_object_name>
    from-local-file <
    key_file_path>
    security-type fips
    This example converts an SSL private key named
    mykey
    from a local key file stored in the
    /shared/tmp
    directory:
    install sys crypto key mykey from-local-file /shared/tmp/mykey.key security-type fips

About troubleshooting options

You can use one of these options for troubleshooting your embedded FIPS system.

FIPS troublehooting

You can use command line interface (CLI) utilities to troubleshoot common issues with your embedded FIPS device.
How do I check that my system includes an embedded FIPS device (FIPS card)?
Log in to the command line interface of your system and type
tmsh show sys hardware
to view details about your platform. If your system includes an embedded FIPS device, it displays as type "crypto" under one of the "Hardware Version Information" sections. This is an example of how the system output might appear when you run this command:
Name n3-crypto0 Type crypto Model Cavium NITROX-3 Parameters -- -- version CNN35x-MC-SSL-0022
How do I see which embedded FIPS device is installed in my system?
Log in to the CLI of your system and view the model of FIPS device in your platform by typing
fipsdevice
.
The
fipsdevice
command is available only on BIG-IP software versions 11.0 and later.
Where does the system log messages from the embedded FIPS device?
The Cavium device driver provides minimal logging, but you can view any log messages by logging in to the CLI of your system and typing
dmesg | grep -i cavium
.
Which directories or files on my system pertain to FIPS?
/config/ssl/ssl.key
Contains key files on BIG-IP software versions 9.x and 10.x.
/config/filestore/files_d/Common_d/certificate_key_d/
Contains key files on BIG-IP software versions 11.x and later.
/config/ssl/ssl.crt
Contains certificate files on BIG-IP software versions 9.x and 10.x.
/config/filestore/files_d/Common_d/certificate_d
Contains certificate files on BIG-IP software versions 11.x and later.
/config/ssl/ssl.cavfips
Contains encrypted key files (.exp)‏; used in config sync.
/usr/bin/fipsutil
Used to configure the embedded FIPS device.
My alarm LED is blinking red, and I see this warning message on my LCD or in the system event log (SEL):
FIPS initialization error in booted slot asserted
.
Clear the alarm using the LCD, then power cycle the system using one of these methods: AOM command menu, LCD display, or externally power cycling the system.