Nginx Configuration for old Forge servers

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Nginx Configuration for old Forge servers image

Caleb Porzio recently tweeted, asking for assistance in mitigating an attack he was seeing on the Laravel Livewire documentation site. You can find that tweet here.

Looking at Caleb's server, I noticed a couple of outdated elements in the Nginx configuration. Since Caleb uses Laravel Forge, I realized that the server wasn't utilizing the latest configuration changes we made for handling requests to unconfigured sites. Because of this, it was possible for someone to point their own domain at his server’s IP and make requests to it. Each time a request was made, a new log entry was made because Nginx was unable to find the configured site. We addressed this issue by changing how Forge provisions servers so that all unknown sites are immediately dropped, without logging anything.

Note: Servers provisioned with Laravel Forge after May 2020 will automatically have these settings configured.

Since we're dealing with Nginx, it's essential to SSH into your server and use sudo to access the root user. Be careful when implementing these changes, as incorrect alterations could potentially lead to unexpected downtime.

Delete your “default” site

If you're not actively using it, consider removing your server's "default" site. Forge provisions this on your server, allowing quick access to your project without the need for a domain name. However, once your site is configured with a domain, it's advisable to delete the "default" site to prevent responses to your server's IP address.

Create a new catch-all certificate

The initial step in implementing these changes is to create a catch-all certificate. This certificate will be utilized in the following step.

mkdir -p /etc/nginx/ssl/
cat > /etc/nginx/ssl/catch-all.invalid.crt << EOF
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----
EOF
cat > /etc/nginx/ssl/catch-all.invalid.key << EOF
-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----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-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
EOF

Create a new catch-all site

Previously, Forge would configure a /etc/nginx/sites-available/catch-all site. This has been updated to 000-catch-all to ensure higher priority when Nginx searches for a site to communicate with.

The site's configuration has also been enhanced to:

  • Return a special 444 Nginx code, signaling an immediate connection drop.
  • Utilize the certificate we just created for all HTTPS requests.
cat > /etc/nginx/sites-available/000-catch-all << EOF
server {
listen 80 default_server;
listen [::]:80 default_server;
listen 443 ssl http2 default_server;
listen [::]:443 ssl http2 default_server;
server_name _;
server_tokens off;
 
ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/catch-all.invalid.crt;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/catch-all.invalid.key;
 
ssl_protocols TLSv1.2;
ssl_ciphers ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:ECDHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384;
ssl_prefer_server_ciphers off;
ssl_dhparam /etc/nginx/dhparams.pem;
# You can uncomment this if Nginx is v1.19.4 or later
# ssl_reject_handshake on;
 
return 444;
}
EOF
 
# Symlink this into the server.
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/000-catch-all /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/000-catch-all

Delete the old catch-all site

With the new catch-all site now set up, it's time to remove the previous one:

rm -rf /etc/nginx/sites-available/catch-all
rm -rf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/catch-all

Test and implement our changes

Before we reload Nginx with our changes, we need to test them to make sure that we’ve not made any mistakes. We can do this by simply running nginx -t on the server. Nginx will then test the configuration and ensure everything is valid, saving us from any accidental downtime.

Once we’re happy that our configuration is valid, we can now tell Nginx to reload with the latest changes:

service nginx reload

Voila!

James Brooks photo

Software Developer at Laravel. Checkmango – full-stack A/B testing. Cachet, open-source status pages. Also, the Laravel Artisan cheatsheet and my blog.

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