Convert ASA 5500-X To FirePOWER Threat Defence

KB ID 0001490

Problem

I’m seeing more and more people asking questions in forums about FTD, so I thought it was about time I looked at it. Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls can now be re-imaged to run the FTD software. The thinking is that the FTD will merge the Cisco ASA product and the FirePOWER product into one unified operating system. Then that is managed by FDM (FirePOWER Device Manager), basically a web management GUI.

Solution

The re-imaging is done in ROMMON, so before you start you need to ensure your ROMMON is 1.1.8 or newer. You can get that information with a show module command;

Petes-ASA# show module

Mod  Card Type                                    Model              Serial No.
---- -------------------------------------------- ------------------ -----------
   1 ASA 5506-X with FirePOWER services, 8GE, AC, ASA5506            JAD2143XXXX
 sfr FirePOWER Services Software Module           ASA5506            JAD2143XXXX

Mod  MAC Address Range                 Hw Version   Fw Version   Sw Version
---- --------------------------------- ------------ ------------ ---------------
   1 6cb2.aede.0106 to 6cb2.aede.010f  2.0          1.1.8        9.8(1)
 sfr 6cb2.aede.0105 to 6cb2.aede.0105  N/A          N/A          6.2.0-362

Mod  SSM Application Name           Status           SSM Application Version
---- ------------------------------ ---------------- --------------------------
 sfr ASA FirePOWER                  Up               6.2.0-362

Mod  Status             Data Plane Status     Compatibility
---- ------------------ --------------------- -------------
   1 Up Sys             Not Applicable
 sfr Up                 Up

Petes-ASA#

What if yours isn’t?

Don’t panic! Download the firmware upgrade from Cisco, pop it in a TFTP server, and load it into the firewall, then run the upgrade, with the following two commands;

copy tftp://{IP-Of-TFTP-Server}/asa5500-firmware-1108.SPA disk0:asa5500-firmware-1108.SPA 
upgrade rommon disk0:/asa5500-firmware-1108.SPA

Download FTD Software

You need two pieces of software, a boot image (.pkg), and an install package. (.lbff).

FTD Download Software

FTD Boot Image Software

Note: You can install the boot image via TFTP but the main package needs to be deployed to the firewall via HTTP, FTP, or HTTPS

Boot the ASA into ROMMON

Power cycle the firewall and with a console cable attached press Esc when prompted, this will drop you into ROMMON mode.

Cisco Systems ROMMON, Version 1.1.8, RELEASE SOFTWARE
Copyright (c) 1994-2015  by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Thu 06/18/2015 12:15:56.43 by builders


Current image running: Boot ROM0
Last reset cause: PowerOn
DIMM Slot 0 : Present

Platform ASA5506 with 4096 Mbytes of main memory
MAC Address: 6c:b2:ae:de:01:06


Use BREAK or ESC to interrupt boot.
Use SPACE to begin boot immediately.
Boot interrupted.

rommon 1 >

Set the ASA FTD Boot Image

As mentioned above I’m doing this via TFTP, on the Asa 5506-x (all variants), 5508-X, and 5526-X you need to connect the Management interface to the network with the TFTP server. For the target ASA firewalls you can specify which interface you are using like so (“rommon #1> interface gigabitethernet0/0″).

Set the basic networking requirements, specify the boot file, then use the ‘set‘ command to view the settings, and ‘sync‘ to commit that to memory. It’s also a good idea to make are you can ping the TFTP server, (Windows firewall off first though!)

rommon 1 > address 10.254.254.99
rommon 2 > netmask 255.255.255.0
rommon 3 > server 10.254.254.112
rommon 4 > gateway 10.254.254.112
rommon 5 > file ftd-boot-9.9.2.0.lfbff
rommon 6 > set
    ADDRESS=10.254.254.99
    NETMASK=255.255.255.0
    GATEWAY=10.254.254.112
    SERVER=10.254.254.112
    IMAGE=ftd-boot-9.9.2.0.lfbff
    CONFIG=
    PS1="rommon ! > "

rommon 6 > sync
rommon 7 > ping 10.254.254.112
Sending 10, 32-byte ICMP Echoes to 10.254.254.112 timeout is 4 seconds
!!!!!!!!!!
Success rate is 100 percent (10/10)

Execute the download/install of the boot image, (tftpdnld command);

rommon 12 > tftpdnld
             ADDRESS: 10.254.254.99
             NETMASK: 255.255.255.0
             GATEWAY: 10.254.254.112
              SERVER: 10.254.254.112
               IMAGE: ftd-boot-9.9.2.0.lfbff
             MACADDR: 6c:b2:ae:de:01:06
           VERBOSITY: Progress
               RETRY: 40
          PKTTIMEOUT: 7200
             BLKSIZE: 1460
            CHECKSUM: Yes
                PORT: GbE/1
             PHYMODE: Auto Detect

Receiving ftd-boot-9.9.2.0.lfbff from 10.254.254.112!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
File reception completed.
Boot buffer bigbuf=348bd018
Boot image size = 103582240 (0x62c8a20) bytes
[image size]      103582240
[MD5 signaure]    ea7d29ce6fb200a9a9be486e37c78136
LFBFF signature verified.
INIT: version 2.88 booting
Starting udev
Configuring network interfaces... done.
Populating dev cache
Detected PID ASA5506.
Found device serial number JAD2143XXXX.
Found USB flash drive /dev/sdb
Found hard drive(s):  /dev/sda
fsck from util-linux 2.23.2
dosfsck 2.11, 12 Mar 2005, FAT32, LFN
There are differences between boot sector and its backup.
Differences: (offset:original/backup)
  65:01/00
  Not automatically fixing this.
/dev/sdb1: 53 files, 819023/1919830 clusters
Launching boot CLI ...
Configuring network interface using DHCP
Bringing up network interface.
Depending on your network, this might take a couple of minutes when using DHCP...
ifup: interface lo already configured
Using IPv4 address: 10.254.254.114
Using IPv6 address: fe80::6eb2:aeff:fede:105
Using DNS server: 8.8.8.8
Using DNS server: 8.8.4.4
Using default gateway: 10.254.254.1
INIT: Starting system message bus: dbus.
Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server: sshd
  generating ssh RSA key...
  generating ssh ECDSA key...
  generating ssh DSA key...
done.
Starting Advanced Configuration and Power Interface daemon: acpid.
acpid: starting up

acpid: 1 rule loaded

acpid: waiting for events: event logging is off

Starting ntpd: done
Starting syslog-ng:.
Starting crond: OK



            Cisco FTD Boot 6.0.0 (9.9.2.)
              Type ? for list of commands
ciscoasa-boot>

Now give the FTD some basic settings, you don’t actually have to give it an IP at this point. Obviously in a production environment, you would use your internal DNS and domain details .

ciscoasa-boot>setup


                Welcome to Cisco FTD Setup
                  [hit Ctrl-C to abort]
                Default values are inside []

Enter a hostname [ciscoasa]: Petes-ASA
Do you want to configure IPv4 address on management interface?(y/n) [Y]: N
Do you want to configure static IPv6 address on management interface?(y/n) [N]: N
Enter the primary DNS server IP address [8.8.8.8]: {Enter}
Do you want to configure Secondary DNS Server? (y/n) [y]: Y
Enter the secondary DNS server IP address [8.8.4.4]:{Enter}
Do you want to configure Local Domain Name? (y/n) [n]: N
Do you want to configure Search domains? (y/n) [n]:N
Do you want to enable the NTP service? [Y]:Y
Enter the NTP servers separated by commas: 194.35.252.7,130.88.202.49,93.93.131.118

Please review the final configuration:
Hostname:               Petes-ASA
Management Interface Configuration

IPv6 Configuration:     Stateless autoconfiguration

DNS Configuration:
        DNS Server:
                        8.8.8.8
                        8.8.4.4

NTP configuration:
        194.35.252.7    130.88.202.49   93.93.131.118
CAUTION:
You have selected IPv6 stateless autoconfiguration, which assigns a global address
based on network prefix and a device identifier. Although this address is unlikely
to change, if it does change, the system will stop functioning correctly.
We suggest you use static addressing instead.

Apply the changes?(y,n) [Y]: Y
Configuration saved successfully!
Applying...
Restarting network services...
Done.
Press ENTER to continue...

This is the point where you need the main package file on either an http, https, or ftp site. I have a web server so that’s what I use. Note: This takes a while, best go get a coffee!

ciscoasa-boot>system install http://{IP-OF-SERVER}/ftd-6.2.3-83.pkg

######################## WARNING ############################
# The content of disk0: will be erased during installation! #
#############################################################

Do you want to continue? [y/N] Y
Erasing disk0 ...
Extracting   ...
Verifying
Downloading
Extracting
Package Detail
        Description:                    Cisco ASA-FTD 6.2.3-83 System Install
        Requires reboot:                Yes

Do you want to continue with upgrade? [y]: Y
Warning: Please do not interrupt the process or turn off the system.
Doing so might leave system in unusable state.

Starting upgrade process ...
Populating new system image

Reboot is required to complete the upgrade. Press 'Enter' to reboot the system.

Well, it’s telling us to reboot so let’s do so! After its backup you can login and specify the correct settings for the FTD/Management Interface. (Note the FTD Default username and password!)

Cisco ASA5506-X Threat Defense v6.2.3 (build 83)
firepower login: admin
Password: Admin123


Copyright 2004-2018, Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Cisco is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems, Inc.
All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Cisco Fire Linux OS v6.2.3 (build 13)
Cisco ASA5506-X Threat Defense v6.2.3 (build 83)

You must accept the EULA to continue.
Press  to display the EULA: {Enter}
End User License Agreement

Effective: May 22, 2017

This is an agreement between You and Cisco Systems, Inc. or its affiliates
("Cisco") and governs your Use of Cisco Software. "You" and "Your" means the
<-------Output omitted - For the sake of Brevity -------->
partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other
company. (1110R)

Please enter 'YES' or press  to AGREE to the EULA: {Enter}

System initialization in progress.  Please stand by.
You must change the password for 'admin' to continue.
Enter new password: Password123
Confirm new password: Password123
You must configure the network to continue.
You must configure at least one of IPv4 or IPv6.
Do you want to configure IPv4? (y/n) [y]: Y
Do you want to configure IPv6? (y/n) [n]: N
Configure IPv4 via DHCP or manually? (dhcp/manual) [manual]:{Enter}
Enter an IPv4 address for the management interface [192.168.45.45]: 10.254.254.253
Enter an IPv4 netmask for the management interface [255.255.255.0]:{Enter}
Enter the IPv4 default gateway for the management interface [data-interfaces]: 10.254.254.254
Enter a fully qualified hostname for this system [firepower]: PNL-FirePOWER
Enter a comma-separated list of DNS servers or 'none' [208.67.222.222,208.67.220.220]: 8.8.8.8,8.8.4.4
Enter a comma-separated list of search domains or 'none' []:{Enter}
If your networking information has changed, you will need to reconnect.
DHCP Server Disabled
The DHCP server has been disabled. You may re-enable with configure network ipv4 dhcp-server-enable
For HTTP Proxy configuration, run 'configure network http-proxy'

Manage the device locally? (yes/no) [yes]: yes
Configuring firewall mode to routed


Update policy deployment information
    - add device configuration
Successfully performed firstboot initial configuration steps for Firepower Device Manager for Firepower Threat Defense.

That’s us done for the conversion! You can now connect the the firewall with a web browser, (remember you just changed the password!)

FirePOWER Device Manager

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

NA

Author: PeteLong

Share This Post On

4 Comments

  1. Hi Pete,

    Great and useful post as usual mate.

    You note “This is the point where you need the mail package file”. I think you meant some word other than “mail” there.

    Post a Reply
    • Cheers Marvin (always a pleasure) – Typo fixed! (All the best techies can’t type).

      Post a Reply
  2. But should you do this is the question. Is the maturity of FTD at the level where it replaces reliably all major feature of legacy ASA code?
    I haven’t personally used FTD yet in production but saw many complaints about the product. Slow upgrades are the most common issue reported. Upgrading legacy ASA code was 10-20 minute process. How long is that process with FTD?

    Post a Reply
    • Honest answer, “No FTD is terrible” (if you are proficient with a Cisco firewall), I would NEVER think of putting one in production, my support team would have my head!

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *