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mod_log_ipmask module for the Apache HTTP Server version 2.4
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README.md

mod_log_ipmask

The mod_log_ipmask module is designed to work with version 2.4 of the Apache HTTP Server. It extends the mod_log_config module by overriding the %a and %h format strings in order to limit the number of IP address bits that are included in log files. This is intended for applications where partial logging of IP addresses is desired, but full IP addresses may not be logged due to privacy concerns.

Installation

On Debian-based systems, a package can be built from source by running debuild in the source tree. Subsequently, the generated .deb package can be installed with dpkg. The module has been developped for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. When building it on other Debian-based distributions, slight modifications to the Makefile may be necessary.

On other systems, the module can be built by running make and installed by running make install. The Makefile may need to be adapted if the configuration of the target system differs from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (e.g. different Apache installation path, different compiler name or flags).

Configuration

When using the Debian package, the module is automatically enabled during installation. The default configuration file can be found in /etc/apache2/mods-available/log_ipmask.conf.

When installing the module using make install the following line needs to be added to the Apache HTTP Server configuration file in order to load the module.

LoadModule log_ipmask_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/mod_log_ipmask.so

Obviously, the path to the module DSO file may need to be adjusted.

The default configuration file distributed with the Debian package contains the following configuration directives:

LogDefaultIPv4Mask 24
LogDefaultIPv6Mask 56

This limits the logging of IPv4 addresses to their first 24 bits and the logging of IPv6 addresses to their first 56 bits. If these directives are not specified, the module logs the full IP addresses by default.

The LogDefaultIPv4Mask and LogDefaultIPv6Mask directives may be used on the server config or virtual host levels. Settings specified on the virtual host level override settings specified on the server config level.

In order to not log any bits of the IP address, the mask can be set to zero. This results in the address 0.0.0.0 being logged for IPv4 addresses and the address :: being logged for IPv6 addresses. In order to enable the logging of full IP addresses, LogDefaultIPv4Mask can be set to 32 and LogDefaultIPv6Mask can be set to 128. These are also the default settings if the directives are not specified at all.

The mask can also be configured on a per-log basis by adding the mask to the parameters of the %a or %h format string.

Examples:

  • %{8|16}a logs the first 8 bits of IPv4 addresses and the first 16 bits of IPv6 addresses.
  • %{c|8|16}a logs the first 8 bits of IPv4 addresses and the first 16 bits of IPv6 addresses, but uses the peer IP address of the connection (as described in the documentation of mod_log_config).
  • %a logs the address according to the settings specified by LogDefaultIPv4Mask and LogDefaultIPv6Mask.
  • %{c}a logs the address according to the settings specified by LogDefaultIPv4Mask and LogDefaultIPv6Mask, but uses the peer IP address of the connection (as described in the documentation of mod_log_config).
  • %{8|16}h logs the first 8 bits of IPv4 addresses and the first 16 bits of IPv6 addresses. If the remote host name has been resolved, it is logged as is.
  • %a logs the address according to the settings specified by LogDefaultIPv4Mask and LogDefaultIPv6Mask. If the remote host name has been resolved, it is logged as is.

Limitations

When using the %h format string, only IP addresses are masked. If the IP address has been resolved into a hostname, the hostname is kept as-is.

Trivia

Despite its name, this module does not share any code with the mod_log_ipmask module from https://github.com/webfactory/mod_log_ipmask/.

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