Manual Chapter : Hardware HSM Setup and Administration

Applies To:

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BIG-IP DNS

  • 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0

BIG-IP AFM

  • 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0

BIG-IP ASM

  • 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0

BIG-IP AAM

  • 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0

BIG-IP APM

  • 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0

BIG-IP LTM

  • 13.1.3, 13.1.1, 13.1.0
Manual Chapter
 

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.
Note: 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
    Important: Running the fipsutil init command deletes all keys in the HSM and makes any previously exported keys unusable.
    Note: The initialization process takes a few minutes to complete.
    The initialization process begins. When prompted, type an SO password.
    Note: 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.
      Note: 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.
Note: 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
    Important: Running the fipsutil init command deletes all keys in the HSM and makes any previously exported keys unusable.
    Note: 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.
    Note: F5® recommends that you choose a strong value for the SO password.
    Warning: 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.
      Note: 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.
Note: 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
    Important: Running this command deletes all keys in the HSM and makes any previously exported keys unusable.
    Note: 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.
    Note: F5® recommends that you choose a strong value for the SO password.
    Warning: 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.
      Note: 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.
Note: 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>
    Note: 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.
    Note: 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.
    Important: 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.

Important: 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
Important: 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.

Important: 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.

Note: 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
    Note: 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.
    Note: 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.

Note: 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.

Note: Import of FIPS keys is supported if the F5® system uses the same Master Symmetric key that was used to export the FIPS keys.

Creating FIPS keys using the BIG-IP Configuration utility

You can use the BIG-IP® Configuration utility to create FIPS keys.
  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 Key Type list, select FIPS.
  7. In the Key Properties area, select a key size from the Size list.
  8. 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
    Note: The key creation process takes a few minutes to complete.
  4. Optional: 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.
CAUTION:
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.
    CAUTION:
    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.
    Note: 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
    CAUTION:
    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>
    Important: 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>
    Important: 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