Noah Saunders

Noah Saunders

1578942712

Mastering Microservices with Istio Service Mesh and APIs

You will learn:

  • Service mesh approaches to managing microservices architecture
  • How service meshes and API management need to co-exist
  • How to integrate API management with Istio service mesh
  • How to securely expose APIs from the Istio
  • A live example demo

In a world of disaggregated API-based architectures, developers are increasingly adopting microservices — and Service Mesh is being used to control many service-to-service communications. But securely communicating and governing between such services is becoming a key challenge. To make matters more complicated, multiple implementations of service meshes exist today, and none of them address the concern of how the exploding number of APIs can be exposed in a controlled and secure manner to their API consumers.
In this presentation, WSO2’s Senior Technical Lead, Ishara Karunarathna, will discuss how to augment service mesh functionality with API management capabilities, so you can create an end-to-end solution for your entire business functionality — from microservices, to APIs, to end-user applications.

#microservices #api #web-development #kubernetes

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Mastering Microservices with Istio Service Mesh and APIs

The Service Mesh in the Microservices World - DZone Microservices

The software industry has come a long journey and throughout this journey, Software Architecture has evolved a lot. Starting with 1-tier (Single-node), 2-tier (Client/ Server), 3-tier, and Distributed are some of the Software Architectural patterns we saw in this journey.

The Problem

The majority of software companies are moving from Monolithic architecture to Microservices architecture, and Microservices architecture is taking over the software industry day-by-day. While monolithic architecture has many benefits, it also has so many shortcomings when catering to modern software development needs. With those shortcomings of monolithic architecture, it is very difficult to meet the demand of the modern-world software requirements and as a result, microservices architecture is taking control of the software development aggressively. The Microservices architecture enables us to deploy our applications more frequently, independently, and reliably meeting modern-day software application development requirements.

#microservice architecture #istio #microservice best practices #linkerd #microservice communication #microservice design #envoy proxy #kubernetes architecture #api gateways #service mesh architecture

Top 10 API Security Threats Every API Team Should Know

As more and more data is exposed via APIs either as API-first companies or for the explosion of single page apps/JAMStack, API security can no longer be an afterthought. The hard part about APIs is that it provides direct access to large amounts of data while bypassing browser precautions. Instead of worrying about SQL injection and XSS issues, you should be concerned about the bad actor who was able to paginate through all your customer records and their data.

Typical prevention mechanisms like Captchas and browser fingerprinting won’t work since APIs by design need to handle a very large number of API accesses even by a single customer. So where do you start? The first thing is to put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and then instrument your APIs to detect and block common attacks along with unknown unknowns for zero-day exploits. Some of these are on the OWASP Security API list, but not all.

Insecure pagination and resource limits

Most APIs provide access to resources that are lists of entities such as /users or /widgets. A client such as a browser would typically filter and paginate through this list to limit the number items returned to a client like so:

First Call: GET /items?skip=0&take=10 
Second Call: GET /items?skip=10&take=10

However, if that entity has any PII or other information, then a hacker could scrape that endpoint to get a dump of all entities in your database. This could be most dangerous if those entities accidently exposed PII or other sensitive information, but could also be dangerous in providing competitors or others with adoption and usage stats for your business or provide scammers with a way to get large email lists. See how Venmo data was scraped

A naive protection mechanism would be to check the take count and throw an error if greater than 100 or 1000. The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. For data APIs, legitimate customers may need to fetch and sync a large number of records such as via cron jobs. Artificially small pagination limits can force your API to be very chatty decreasing overall throughput. Max limits are to ensure memory and scalability requirements are met (and prevent certain DDoS attacks), not to guarantee security.
  2. This offers zero protection to a hacker that writes a simple script that sleeps a random delay between repeated accesses.
skip = 0
while True:    response = requests.post('https://api.acmeinc.com/widgets?take=10&skip=' + skip),                      headers={'Authorization': 'Bearer' + ' ' + sys.argv[1]})    print("Fetched 10 items")    sleep(randint(100,1000))    skip += 10

How to secure against pagination attacks

To secure against pagination attacks, you should track how many items of a single resource are accessed within a certain time period for each user or API key rather than just at the request level. By tracking API resource access at the user level, you can block a user or API key once they hit a threshold such as “touched 1,000,000 items in a one hour period”. This is dependent on your API use case and can even be dependent on their subscription with you. Like a Captcha, this can slow down the speed that a hacker can exploit your API, like a Captcha if they have to create a new user account manually to create a new API key.

Insecure API key generation

Most APIs are protected by some sort of API key or JWT (JSON Web Token). This provides a natural way to track and protect your API as API security tools can detect abnormal API behavior and block access to an API key automatically. However, hackers will want to outsmart these mechanisms by generating and using a large pool of API keys from a large number of users just like a web hacker would use a large pool of IP addresses to circumvent DDoS protection.

How to secure against API key pools

The easiest way to secure against these types of attacks is by requiring a human to sign up for your service and generate API keys. Bot traffic can be prevented with things like Captcha and 2-Factor Authentication. Unless there is a legitimate business case, new users who sign up for your service should not have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Instead, only trusted customers should have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Go one step further and ensure any anomaly detection for abnormal behavior is done at the user and account level, not just for each API key.

Accidental key exposure

APIs are used in a way that increases the probability credentials are leaked:

  1. APIs are expected to be accessed over indefinite time periods, which increases the probability that a hacker obtains a valid API key that’s not expired. You save that API key in a server environment variable and forget about it. This is a drastic contrast to a user logging into an interactive website where the session expires after a short duration.
  2. The consumer of an API has direct access to the credentials such as when debugging via Postman or CURL. It only takes a single developer to accidently copy/pastes the CURL command containing the API key into a public forum like in GitHub Issues or Stack Overflow.
  3. API keys are usually bearer tokens without requiring any other identifying information. APIs cannot leverage things like one-time use tokens or 2-factor authentication.

If a key is exposed due to user error, one may think you as the API provider has any blame. However, security is all about reducing surface area and risk. Treat your customer data as if it’s your own and help them by adding guards that prevent accidental key exposure.

How to prevent accidental key exposure

The easiest way to prevent key exposure is by leveraging two tokens rather than one. A refresh token is stored as an environment variable and can only be used to generate short lived access tokens. Unlike the refresh token, these short lived tokens can access the resources, but are time limited such as in hours or days.

The customer will store the refresh token with other API keys. Then your SDK will generate access tokens on SDK init or when the last access token expires. If a CURL command gets pasted into a GitHub issue, then a hacker would need to use it within hours reducing the attack vector (unless it was the actual refresh token which is low probability)

Exposure to DDoS attacks

APIs open up entirely new business models where customers can access your API platform programmatically. However, this can make DDoS protection tricky. Most DDoS protection is designed to absorb and reject a large number of requests from bad actors during DDoS attacks but still need to let the good ones through. This requires fingerprinting the HTTP requests to check against what looks like bot traffic. This is much harder for API products as all traffic looks like bot traffic and is not coming from a browser where things like cookies are present.

Stopping DDoS attacks

The magical part about APIs is almost every access requires an API Key. If a request doesn’t have an API key, you can automatically reject it which is lightweight on your servers (Ensure authentication is short circuited very early before later middleware like request JSON parsing). So then how do you handle authenticated requests? The easiest is to leverage rate limit counters for each API key such as to handle X requests per minute and reject those above the threshold with a 429 HTTP response. There are a variety of algorithms to do this such as leaky bucket and fixed window counters.

Incorrect server security

APIs are no different than web servers when it comes to good server hygiene. Data can be leaked due to misconfigured SSL certificate or allowing non-HTTPS traffic. For modern applications, there is very little reason to accept non-HTTPS requests, but a customer could mistakenly issue a non HTTP request from their application or CURL exposing the API key. APIs do not have the protection of a browser so things like HSTS or redirect to HTTPS offer no protection.

How to ensure proper SSL

Test your SSL implementation over at Qualys SSL Test or similar tool. You should also block all non-HTTP requests which can be done within your load balancer. You should also remove any HTTP headers scrub any error messages that leak implementation details. If your API is used only by your own apps or can only be accessed server-side, then review Authoritative guide to Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for REST APIs

Incorrect caching headers

APIs provide access to dynamic data that’s scoped to each API key. Any caching implementation should have the ability to scope to an API key to prevent cross-pollution. Even if you don’t cache anything in your infrastructure, you could expose your customers to security holes. If a customer with a proxy server was using multiple API keys such as one for development and one for production, then they could see cross-pollinated data.

#api management #api security #api best practices #api providers #security analytics #api management policies #api access tokens #api access #api security risks #api access keys

Autumn  Blick

Autumn Blick

1601381326

Public ASX100 APIs: The Essential List

We’ve conducted some initial research into the public APIs of the ASX100 because we regularly have conversations about what others are doing with their APIs and what best practices look like. Being able to point to good local examples and explain what is happening in Australia is a key part of this conversation.

Method

The method used for this initial research was to obtain a list of the ASX100 (as of 18 September 2020). Then work through each company looking at the following:

  1. Whether the company had a public API: this was found by googling “[company name] API” and “[company name] API developer” and “[company name] developer portal”. Sometimes the company’s website was navigated or searched.
  2. Some data points about the API were noted, such as the URL of the portal/documentation and the method they used to publish the API (portal, documentation, web page).
  3. Observations were recorded that piqued the interest of the researchers (you will find these below).
  4. Other notes were made to support future research.
  5. You will find a summary of the data in the infographic below.

Data

With regards to how the APIs are shared:

#api #api-development #api-analytics #apis #api-integration #api-testing #api-security #api-gateway

Roberta  Ward

Roberta Ward

1598169240

From Service Mess to Service Mesh

Introduction

Over the last 10 years, the rapid adoption of microservices architecture has resulted in enterprises with hundreds or (sometimes even thousands) of services. With the growth of containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, microservice patterns have seen the strongest growth; resulting in a complex dependency matrix between these micro-services. For teams to monitor, support, and to maintain these services is becoming a challenge so most enterprises have invested in some kind of microservices management tool.

This article will explore some of the common aspects of microservice management. Then we’ll take a closer look at the centralized gateway pattern, as well as its limitations (most enterprises have started with or currently still use this pattern). Then we will look into a new pattern called “Service Mesh” which has gained a lot of attention in the last 3–4 years. Often this pattern is also referred to as the “Side Car Proxy”. So lets get started!

Micro-Services Management

As enterprises start building more and more microservices, it’s becoming clear that some of the aspects of microservices are common across all microservices. So it makes sense to provide a common platform for managing these common aspects. Below are some of the key common aspects:

Service Registration and Discovery: A commonplace to register, document, search and discover microservices

Service Version Management: Ability to run multiple versions of a microservice.

**Authentication and Authorization: **Handle authentication and authorization including Mutual TLS (MTLS) between services.

Service Observability: Ability to monitor end to end traffic between services, response times, and quickly identify failures and bottlenecks.

**Rate Limiting: **Define threshold limits that traffic services can handle.

Circuit Breaker: Ability to configure and introduce a circuit breaker in case of failure scenarios (to avoid flooding downstream services with requests).

**Retry Logic: **Ability to configure and introduce retry logic dynamically in services.

So it’s a good idea to build these concerns as part of a common framework or service management tool. As a result, micro-service development teams don’t have to build these aspects in the service itself.

#service-mesh #istio-service-mesh #microservices #gateway-service #envoy-proxy

Deploy a Microservice into Istio service mesh

Before going to deploy the service into istio let’s first understand what is service mesh.

The service mesh is a dedicated infrastructure layer for handling service to service communication.

Basically, it’s a way to control how different micro services deployed on Kubernetes will manage secure communication and traffic between them with lots of cross-cutting concerns like logging, security, etc.

Istio service mesh comes with lot’s of feature like –

  • circuit-breaking
  • load balancing
  • service discovery
  • number of retries

we will not talk about the feature here, Let’s jump over to how we can deploy here so we categories the deployment process in 3 phases.

  • Download and install Istio on cluster
  • Deploy the micro-service
  • Setup the Gateway

Download and install Istio on cluster

For downloading the latest version we can refer to the release page. Just download the tar.gz file and unzip it. In the directory, we will find istioctl client which we can use

  • To customise the configuration of service mesh istio
  • Retrieve the information about proxy configuration …

Now set the istioctl client to your machine path and for installation we need to choose the configuration profile. There are a set of configuration profiles, we are going to use a demo profile which enables the components according to default settings.

use the following command for installing the demo configuration profile.

istioctl install --set profile=demo

As we know, istio automatically injects Envoy sidecar proxies using mutating webhook admission controllers when we deploy services in a particular namespace. To enable this feature we need to enable the istio-injection in a particular namespace where we will deploy the application.

kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled

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Deploy the micro-service

Now let’s deploy the sample application by applying the following yaml file.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: sample
  namespace: default
  labels:
    app: sample
spec:
  selector:
    app: sample
  ports:
    - name: http
      port: 8081
---
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: sample
  namespace: default
spec:
  replicas: 1
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: sample
      version: 'v1'
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: sample
        version: 'v1'
    spec:
      initContainers:
        - name: init-ds
          image: busybox:latest
          command:
            - '/bin/sh'
            - '-c'
            - |
              while true
              do
                if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
                  echo "DB is UP"
                  break
                fi
                echo "DB is not yet reachable;sleep for 10s before retry"
                sleep 10
              done
      containers:
        - name: sample-app
          image: lokesh/bundle123:latest
          imagePullPolicy: Always
          env:
            - name: SPRING_PROFILES_ACTIVE
              value: prod
            - name: SPRING_SLEUTH_PROPAGATION_KEYS
              value: 'x-request-id,x-ot-span-context'
            - name: JAVA_OPTS
              value: ' -Xmx256m -Xms256m'
          resources:
            requests:
              memory: '256Mi'
              cpu: '50m'
            limits:
              memory: '512Mi'
              cpu: '1'
          ports:
            - name: http
              containerPort: 8081
---
apiVersion: networking.istio.io/v1alpha3
kind: VirtualService
metadata:
  name: sample
spec:
  hosts:
    - "*"
  gateways:
    - sample-gateway
  http:
    - match:
        - uri:
            exact: /getStudents
        - uri:
            exact: /accounts/create
        - uri:
            exact: /istio/auth
        - uri:
            prefix: /getTeacher
      route:
        - destination:
            host: sample
            port:
              number: 8081

#devops #microservices #scala #tech blogs #deploy microservice #istio #service mesh