After you add a website to Web Application Firewall (WAF), you can enable data risk control for the added website. Data risk control is used to protect crucial website services against attacks. These services include registrations, logons, campaigns, and forums. You can customize data risk control rules based on your business requirements.
- A WAF instance is purchased. The instance meets the following requirements:
- The instance is billed on a subscription basis.
- The instance is deployed in mainland China.
Note Instances that are deployed outside mainland China do not support data risk control.
- Bot Management is enabled. This feature is a value-added service.
- The instance is deployed in mainland China.
- The instance is billed on a subscription basis.
- Your website is added to WAF. For more information, see Add websites.
The data risk control feature is based on Alibaba Cloud big data. This feature uses industry-leading engines for risk decision-making and integrates human-machine identification technologies to protect crucial services against attacks in various scenarios. To use data risk control, you need only to add your website to WAF. You do not need to configure servers or clients.
Data risk control is suitable for a wide range of scenarios. These scenarios include spam user registration, SMS flood attacks, dictionary attacks, brute-force attacks, auto-purchase bots, promotion abuse, snatcher bots, vote manipulation, and spam.
The following figure shows how data risk control protects your website. For more information about the scenarios and protection effects of data risk control, see Examples.
- Static web pages that you can visit by using their URLs and web pages to which you
can be redirected by modifying
location.href, or by using the
window.openmethod or the anchor tag
<a>. The static web pages include HTML details pages, shared pages, website homepages, and documents.
- Web pages where you rewrite and commit code or web pages where you submit custom requests, such as when you submit forms, rewrite XMLHttpRequest (XHR), and send custom Ajax requests.
- Web pages whose code makes use of webhooks.
After you enable data risk control, we recommend that you select the warn mode and use data risk control together with the Log Service for WAF feature. This allows you to run a compatibility test. For more information, see Overview.
To protect native apps, we recommend that you use the Anti-Bot SDK. For more information, see Configure application protection.
- Log on to the Web Application Firewall console.
- In the top navigation bar, select the resource group to which the instance belongs and the region, Mainland China or International, in which the instance is deployed.
- In the left-side navigation pane, choose .
- In the upper part of the Website Protection page, select the domain name for which you want to configure the whitelist.
- Click the Bot Management tab, find the Data Risk Control section, and then click Settings.
- If you want to specify the Mode parameter and configure protection rules, you must enable data risk control.
- If data risk control is enabled, the requests that are destined for your website are checked. You can configure a whitelist for the bot management module. This way, the requests that match the rule bypass the check. For more information, see Configure a whitelist for Bot Management.
Mode The mode for data risk control. Valid values:
- Strict Interception: If WAF detects that your website is under attack, requests are required to pass strict multi-factor authentication.
- Block: If WAF detects that your website is under attack, requests are required to pass multi-factor authentication.
- Warn: If WAF detects that your website is under attack, requests are forwarded to your
website. However, events that are related to the requests are recorded. You can view
the detailed information in risk reports.
- Add a data risk control rule.
A newly added URL takes effect in about 10 minutes. You can view the newly added URL in the URL list. You can also modify or delete the URL based on your business requirements.
- On the Data Risk Control page, click the Protection Request tab and click Add Protection Request.
- In the Add Protection Request dialog box, enter the URL that you want to protect in the Protection Request URL field. For more information, see Introduction to a protected URL.
- Click Confirm.
After data risk control is enabled, you can use Log Service for WAF to monitor the protection results. For more information, see View protection results.
Introduction to a protected URL
A protected URL is the endpoint that is used to perform service operations. The protected
URL is different from the URL of the web page. The following figure shows a registration
page whose URL is
www.abc.com/new_user. The endpoint that you can use to obtain verification codes is
www.abc.com/getsmscode, whereas the endpoint that you can use to register is
In this example, you must add
www.abc.com/register.do as protected URLs. This way, WAF can protect the URLs from SMS flood attacks and
spam user registration. If you add
www.abc.com/new_user as a protected URL, regular visitors are also required to pass CAPTCHA verification.
This impairs the user experience.
- Protected URLs support only an exact match and do not support a fuzzy match.
For example, if you add
www.test.com/testas a protected URL, data risk control filters only the requests that are sent to this URL. Data risk control does not filter the requests that are sent to the subdirectories of this URL.
- Data risk control protects traffic based on website directories.
If you add
www.abc.com/book/*as a protected URL, data risk control filters the requests that are sent to the web pages in all the subdirectories of
www.abc.com/book. We recommend that you do not configure data risk control to monitor the entire website. If you add
www.abc.com/*as a protected URL, regular visitors are required to pass CAPTCHA verification before they can visit the website homepage. This impairs the user experience.
- Requests that are sent to a protected URL always trigger CAPTCHA verification. Make sure that regular visitors cannot directly request a protected URL. Regular visitors are required to pass multi-factor authentication before they can visit the protected URL.
- Data risk control does not apply to websites that support API operations. API calls are machine actions and cannot pass the CAPTCHA verification of data risk control. However, if a regular visitor clicks a button on a page to call an API operation, data risk control still works.
View protection results
You can use the Log Service for WAF feature to view the protection results.
- Allowed requests
The following figure shows a request that passes the CAPTCHA verification of data risk control. The URL of the request includes a parameter that starts with
u_a. WAF forwards the request to the origin server, and the origin server returns the
Status: 200 response to the visitor.
- Blocked requests
The following figure shows a request that is blocked by data risk control. In most cases, a request that is directly sent to a URL does not start with
u_aor starts with a forged
u_aparameter. WAF blocks this type of request, and the responses from the origin server are not detected in request logs.
After you enable Log Service for WAF, choose Use full logs.and configure the URLs that you want to protect by using data risk control. You can monitor the status of data risk control and view the blocked requests. For more information, see
User Tom has a website whose domain name is
www.abc.com. Regular visitors can register as website members at
www.abc.com/register.html. Tom notices that attackers can use malicious scripts to submit registration requests
and create accounts. The accounts created by attackers are used to participate in
prize draws that are held by the website. The registration requests are highly similar
to normal requests, and the request rate is maintained at a normal level. In this
case, the HTTP flood protection policy cannot identify this type of malicious requests.
Tom configures WAF for the website and enables data risk control for the
www.abc.com domain name. The URL of the most crucial registration service is
www.abc.com/register.html. Therefore, Tom sets this URL as a protected URL.
into all web pages of the website. This allows Tom to monitor and analyze the behavior
of each visitor to
subpages. Then, data risk control determines whether the behavior of each visitor
is normal. Data risk control also determines whether a source IP address is malicious
based on the big data reputation library of Alibaba Cloud.
www.abc.com/register.html, WAF determines whether the visitor is an attacker based on the visitor behavioral data generated from the time the visitor visits the website to the time the visitor submits the registration request. For example, if a visitor directly submits a registration request and does not perform other operations before the request is submitted, the request is identified as suspicious.
- If data risk control determines that a request is from a regular visitor based on the past behavior of the visitor, the visitor can register accounts without verification.
- If data risk control identifies a request as suspicious, or the source IP address
has a record that indicates that the source IP address is used to send malicious requests,
CAPTCHA verification is triggered to verify the identity of the visitor. Only the
visitor that passes the verification can register accounts.
- If CAPTCHA verification captures suspicious visitor behavior, such as the use of scripts to simulate real visitor behavior to pass CAPTCHA verification, data risk control uses other verification methods to verify the visitor identity until the visitor passes verification and is identified as a regular visitor.
- If the visitor fails the verification, data risk control blocks the request.
During this process, data risk control is enabled for the entire website (
to analyze visitor behavior. However, protection and verification are required only
www.abc.com/register.html to which visitors submit registration requests. Data risk control is triggered only
after a registration request is submitted.