Protect pfSense from bad actors/IPs using CrowdSec.

This is how to install CrowdSec on pfSense running freeBSD 12.3.

To learn more about what is CrowdSec you can look at this YouTube video from Lawrence Systems or look at the video from CrowdSec.

You can find this blog post on Reddit and discuss about it.

How to install

You will need to check the freeBSD version on your pfSense home page. Then open the package summary on freshports in a new browser tab.

Add pkg

pkg add

Follow the post install instructions.

You should adjust /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/acquis.yaml and remove non valid files.

For systems running /var on tmpfs

To see what running /var on tmpfs is about: screenshot

You will need to change data_dir and db_path in /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/config.yaml. Set the folder to /usr/local/crowdsec/data/ and create it: mkdir -p /usr/local/crowdsec/data/

Start the services

service crowdsec start

Make it start at boot

Add to /etc/rc.conf.local:


And create a file /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ with contents:

service crowdsec start

Make it executable: chmod +x /usr/local/etc/rc.d/

Reference: pfSense documentation on boot scripts

Look at your logs

tail -f /var/log/crowdsec*

(You can logout/login to make cscli work withour the full path needed.) Find where the CLI is located:

find / -name cscli

Enrol the instance using cscli.

/usr/local/bin/cscli console enroll xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

See the enrolled instance

instance on the dashboard at

Add scenarios


cscli scenarios list
cscli scenarios list -a
cscli scenarios install crowdsecurity/postfix-spam
cscli scenarios install crowdsecurity/dovecot-spam

Use the blocklist mirror service

Reference: official install docs and crowdsec blog.

Source code: GitHub

Install the service

curl -# -L -o crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-freebsd-amd64.tgz
tar -xzvf crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-freebsd-amd64.tgz -C /tmp
rm crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-freebsd-amd64.tgz
mkdir /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/bouncers/
mv /tmp/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-v0.0.1/config/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror.yaml /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror.yaml
mv /tmp/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-v0.0.1/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror /usr/local/bin/
rm -vr /tmp/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-v0.0.1/
Edit the config

(Source: /tmp/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-v0.0.1/

Fetch an API key:

cscli bouncers add crowdsec-blocklist-mirror-`tr -dc A-Za-z0-9 < /dev/urandom | head -c 8` -o raw

Replace ${API_KEY} in /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror.yaml with the value.

Replace ${CROWDSEC_LAPI_URL} in /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror.yaml with the value found in /usr/local/etc/crowdsec/local_api_credentials.yaml. Most probably

Create a file /usr/local/etc/rc.d/crowdsec_blocklist_mirror with contents:

(inspired by crowdsec-firewall-bouncer's service file)

# PROVIDE: crowdsec_blocklist_mirror
# KEYWORD: shutdown
# Add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf.local or /etc/rc.conf
# to enable this service:
# crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_enable (bool):	Set it to YES to enable crowdsec block list mirror.
#					Default is "NO"
# crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_config (str):	Set the bouncer config path.
#					Default is "/usr/local/etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror.yaml"
# crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_flags (str):	extra flags to run bouncer.
#					Default is ""

. /etc/rc.subr

desc="Crowdsec Blocklist Mirror"

load_rc_config $name

: "${crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_enable:=NO}"
: "${crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_config:=/usr/local/etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-blocklist-mirror.yaml}"
: "${crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_flags:=}"


crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_start() {
    /usr/sbin/daemon -f -p ${pidfile} -t "${desc}" -- \
        ${command} -c "${crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_config}" ${crowdsec_blocklist_mirror_flags}

run_rc_command "$1"

And make it executable: chmod +x /usr/local/etc/rc.d/crowdsec_blocklist_mirror

Make then start at boot

Add to /etc/rc.conf.local:


Add to the file /usr/local/etc/rc.d/

service crowdsec_blocklist_mirror start

Start the services

service crowdsec_blocklist_mirror start

Check that it works

If there is no IPs, run: service crowdsec restart and re-try.


Add a firewall alias

Go to: Firewall > Aliases > URLs and click on + Add. The type is: URL Table (IPs).

Do like on the screenshot using the URL we tried earlier and the save.

Adding a firewall URL alias for CrowdSec on pfSense

Add a firewall rule

Go to: Firewall > Rules > Interface name for Internet and click on Add. The source is Single host and alias and the type the name of the firewall aslias you created earlier. Do like on the screenshot and save. Then apply the changes.

Adding a firewall rule on the network interface for CrowdSec on pfSense

Or use the firewall bouncer (does it work on pfSense ?)

This is an alternative to using the blocklist mirror service. I could not figure out how to know that it actually works.

Add pkg

pkg add

Follow the post install instructions.

Make then start at boot

Add to /etc/rc.conf.local:


Start the services

service crowdsec_firewall start

Add to the file /usr/local/etc/rc.d/

service crowdsec_firewall start