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TLS Termination

HTTPProxy follows a similar pattern to Ingress for configuring TLS credentials.

You can secure a HTTPProxy by specifying a Secret that contains TLS private key and certificate information. If multiple HTTPProxies utilize the same Secret, the certificate must include the necessary Subject Authority Name (SAN) for each fqdn.

Contour (via Envoy) requires that clients send the Server Name Indication (SNI) TLS extension so that requests can be routed to the correct virtual host. Virtual hosts are strongly bound to SNI names. This means that the Host header in HTTP requests must match the SNI name that was sent at the start of the TLS session.

Contour also follows a “secure first” approach. When TLS is enabled for a virtual host, any request to the insecure port is redirected to the secure interface with a 301 redirect. Specific routes can be configured to override this behavior and handle insecure requests by enabling the spec.routes.permitInsecure parameter on a Route.

The TLS secret must:

  • be a Secret of type kubernetes.io/tls. This means that it must contain keys named tls.crt and tls.key that contain the certificate and private key to use for TLS, in PEM format.

The TLS secret may also:

  • add any chain CA certificates required for validation into the tls.crt PEM bundle. If this is the case, the serving certificate must be the first certificate in the bundle and the intermediate CA certificates must be appended in issuing order.
# ingress-tls.secret.yaml
apiVersion: v1
data:
  tls.crt: base64 encoded cert
  tls.key: base64 encoded key
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: testsecret
  namespace: default
type: kubernetes.io/tls

The HTTPProxy can be configured to use this secret using tls.secretName property:

# httpproxy-tls.yaml
apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: tls-example
  namespace: default
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: foo2.bar.com
    tls:
      secretName: testsecret
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

If the tls.secretName property contains a slash, eg. somenamespace/somesecret then, subject to TLS Certificate Delegation, the TLS certificate will be read from somesecret in somenamespace. See TLS Certificate Delegation below for more information.

The TLS Minimum Protocol Version a virtual host should negotiate can be specified by setting the spec.virtualhost.tls.minimumProtocolVersion:

  • 1.3
  • 1.2 (Default)

Fallback Certificate

Contour provides virtual host based routing, so that any TLS request is routed to the appropriate service based on both the server name requested by the TLS client and the HOST header in the HTTP request.

Since the HOST Header is encrypted during TLS handshake, it can’t be used for virtual host based routing unless the client sends HTTPS requests specifying hostname using the TLS server name, or the request is first decrypted using a default TLS certificate.

Some legacy TLS clients do not send the server name, so Envoy does not know how to select the right certificate. A fallback certificate is needed for these clients.

Note: The minimum TLS protocol version for any fallback request is defined by the minimum TLS protocol version set in the Contour configuration file. Enabling the fallback certificate is not compatible with TLS client authentication.

Fallback Certificate Configuration

First define the namespace/name in the Contour configuration file of a Kubernetes secret which will be used as the fallback certificate. Any HTTPProxy which enables fallback certificate delegation must have the fallback certificate delegated to the namespace in which the HTTPProxy object resides.

To do that, configure TLSCertificateDelegation to delegate the fallback certificate to specific or all namespaces (e.g. *) which should be allowed to enable the fallback certificate. Finally, for each root HTTPProxy, set the Spec.TLS.enableFallbackCertificate parameter to allow that HTTPProxy to opt-in to the fallback certificate routing.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: fallback-tls-example
  namespace: defaultub
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: fallback.bar.com
    tls:
      secretName: testsecret
      enableFallbackCertificate: true
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80
---
apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: TLSCertificateDelegation
metadata:
  name: fallback-delegation
  namespace: www-admin
spec:
  delegations:
    - secretName: fallback-secret-name
      targetNamespaces:
      - "*"

Permitting Insecure Requests

A HTTPProxy can be configured to permit insecure requests to specific Routes. In this example, any request to foo2.bar.com/blog will not receive a 301 redirect to HTTPS, but the / route will:

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: tls-example-insecure
  namespace: default
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: foo2.bar.com
    tls:
      secretName: testsecret
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80
    - conditions:
      - prefix: /blog
      permitInsecure: true
      services:
        - name: s2
          port: 80

Client Certificate Validation

It is possible to protect the backend service from unauthorized external clients by requiring the client to present a valid TLS certificate. Envoy will validate the client certificate by verifying that it is not expired and that a chain of trust can be established to the configured trusted root CA certificate. Only those requests with a valid client certificate will be accepted and forwarded to the backend service.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: with-client-auth
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: www.example.com
    tls:
      secretName: secret
      clientValidation:
        caSecret: client-root-ca
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

The preceding example enables validation by setting the optional clientValidation attribute. Its mandatory attribute caSecret contains a name of an existing Kubernetes Secret that must be of type “Opaque” and have only a data key named ca.crt. The data value of the key ca.crt must be a PEM-encoded certificate bundle and it must contain all the trusted CA certificates that are to be used for validating the client certificate. If the Opaque Secret also contains one of either tls.crt or tls.key keys, it will be ignored.

By default, client certificates are required but some applications might support different authentication schemes. In that case you can set the optionalClientCertificate field to true. A client certificate will be requested, but the connection is allowed to continue if the client does not provide one. If a client certificate is sent, it will be verified according to the other properties, which includes disabling validations if skipClientCertValidation is set.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: with-optional-client-auth
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: www.example.com
    tls:
      secretName: secret
      clientValidation:
        caSecret: client-root-ca
        optionalClientCertificate: true
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

When using external authorization, it may be desirable to use an external authorization server to validate client certificates on requests, rather than the Envoy proxy.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: with-client-auth-and-ext-authz
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: www.example.com
    authorization:
      # external authorization server configuration
    tls:
      secretName: secret
      clientValidation:
        caSecret: client-root-ca
        skipClientCertValidation: true
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

In the above example, setting the skipClientCertValidation field to true will configure Envoy to require client certificates on requests and pass them along to a configured authorization server. Failed validation of client certificates by Envoy will be ignored and the fail_verify_error Listener statistic incremented. If the caSecret field is omitted, Envoy will request but not require client certificates to be present on requests.

Optionally, you can enable certificate revocation check by providing one or more Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs). Attribute crlSecret contains a name of an existing Kubernetes Secret that must be of type “Opaque” and have a data key named crl.pem. The data value of the key crl.pem must be one or more PEM-encoded CRLs concatenated together. Large CRL lists are not supported since individual Secrets are limited to 1MiB in size.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: with-client-auth-and-crl-check
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: www.example.com
    tls:
      secretName: secret
      clientValidation:
        caSecret: client-root-ca
        crlSecret: client-crl
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

CRLs must be available from all relevant CAs, including intermediate CAs. Otherwise clients will be denied access, since the revocation status cannot be checked for the full certificate chain. This behavior can be controlled by crlOnlyVerifyLeafCert field. If the option is set to true, only the certificate at the end of the certificate chain will be subject to validation by CRL.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: with-client-auth-and-crl-check-only-leaf
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: www.example.com
    tls:
      secretName: secret
      clientValidation:
        caSecret: client-root-ca
        crlSecret: client-crl
        crlOnlyVerifyLeafCert: true
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

Client Certificate Details Forwarding

HTTPProxy supports passing certificate data through the x-forwarded-client-cert header to let applications use details from client certificates (e.g. Subject, SAN…). Since the certificate (or the certificate chain) could exceed the web server header size limit, you have the ability to select what specific part of the certificate to expose in the header through the forwardClientCertificate field. Read more about the supported values in the Envoy documentation.

apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: with-client-auth
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: www.example.com
    tls:
      secretName: secret
      clientValidation:
        caSecret: client-root-ca
        forwardClientCertificate:
          subject: true
          cert: true
          chain: true
          dns: true
          uri: true
  routes:
    - services:
        - name: s1
          port: 80

TLS Session Proxying

HTTPProxy supports proxying of TLS encapsulated TCP sessions.

Note: The TCP session must be encrypted with TLS. This is necessary so that Envoy can use SNI to route the incoming request to the correct service.

If spec.virtualhost.tls.secretName is present then that secret will be used to decrypt the TCP traffic at the edge.

# httpproxy-tls-termination.yaml
apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: example
  namespace: default
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: tcp.example.com
    tls:
      secretName: secret
  tcpproxy:
    services:
    - name: tcpservice
      port: 8080
    - name: otherservice
      port: 9999
      weight: 20

The spec.tcpproxy key indicates that this root HTTPProxy will forward the de-encrypted TCP traffic to the backend service.

TLS Session Passthrough

If you wish to handle the TLS handshake at the backend service set spec.virtualhost.tls.passthrough: true indicates that once SNI demuxing is performed, the encrypted connection will be forwarded to the backend service. The backend service is expected to have a key which matches the SNI header received at the edge, and be capable of completing the TLS handshake. This is called SSL/TLS Passthrough.

# httpproxy-tls-passthrough.yaml
apiVersion: projectcontour.io/v1
kind: HTTPProxy
metadata:
  name: example
  namespace: default
spec:
  virtualhost:
    fqdn: tcp.example.com
    tls:
      passthrough: true
  tcpproxy:
    services:
    - name: tcpservice
      port: 8080
    - name: otherservice
      port: 9999
      weight: 20

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