Category Archives: Cisco Systems

IPsec Site-to-Site VPN FortiGate <-> Cisco Router

This blog post shows how to configure a site-to-site IPsec VPN between a FortiGate firewall and a Cisco router. The FortiGate is configured via the GUI – the router via the CLI. I am showing the screenshots/listings as well as a few troubleshooting commands.

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MRTG/Routers2: Template Cisco ASA

I constructed a MRTG/Routers2 configuration template for the Cisco ASA firewall which consists the OIDs (graphs) for the interfaces, CPU, memory, VPNs, connections, ping times, and traceroute hop counts. With only four search-and-replace changes as well as a few further specifications, the whole SNMP monitoring for that firewall is configured.

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Cisco ASA vs. Palo Alto: Management Goodies

You often have comparisons of both firewalls concerning security components. Of course, a firewall must block attacks, scan for viruses, build VPNs, etc. However, in this post I am discussing the advantages and disadvantages from both vendors concerning the management options: How to add and rename objects. How to update a device. How to find log entries. Etc.

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OSPF for IPv4 Test Lab: Cisco Router & ASA, Juniper SSG & Palo Alto

I tested OSPF for IPv4 in my lab: I configured OSPF inside a single broadcast domain with five devices: 2x Cisco Router, Cisco ASA, Juniper SSG, and Palo Alto PA. It works perfectly though these are a few different vendors.

I will show my lab and will list all the configuration commands/screenshots I used on the devices. I won’t go into detail but maybe these listings help for a basic understanding of the OSPF processes on these devices.

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Grep Commands for Cisco ASA Syslog Messages

In a basic environment with a Cisco ASA firewall I am logging everything to a syslog-ng server. As there aren’t any reporting tools installed, I am using grep to filter the huge amount of syslog messages in order to get the information I want to know. In this blog post I list a few greps for getting the interesting data.

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Juniper ScreenOS <-> Cisco Router w/ VTI

And finally: A route-based VPN between a Juniper ScreenOS SSG firewall and a Cisco router with a virtual tunnel interface (VTI). Both sides with tunnel interfaces and IPv4 addresses. Both sides with a real routing entry in the routing table. Great. ;)

(The VPN between those two parties without a tunnel interface on the Cisco router is documented here. However, use the route-based VPN where you can. It is easier and more flexible. Routing decisions based on the routing table. This is how it should be.)

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Palo Alto <-> Cisco Router w/ VTI

One more VPN article. Even one more between a Palo Alto firewall and a Cisco router. But this time I am using a virtual tunnel interface (VTI) on the Cisco router which makes the whole VPN set a “route-based VPN”. That is: Both devices decide their traffic flow merely based on the routing table and not on access-list entries. In my opinion, this is the best way to build VPNs, because there is a single instance (the routing table) on which a network admin must rely on in order to investigate the traffic flow.

Note that I also wrote a blog post about the “policy-based VPN” between a Cisco router and the Palo Alto firewall. This here is mostly the same on the Palo Alto side while some other commands are issued on the Cisco router.

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Cisco Router <-> AVM FRITZ!Box

Der Titel sagt eigentlich schon alles: Es geht um das Herstellen eines S2S-Tunnels zwischen einem Cisco Router (statische IPv4) und einer FRITZ!Box (dynamische IP). Ich liste nachfolgend alle Befehle für den IOS Router sowie die Konfigurationsdatei für die FRITZ!Box auf. Für eine etwas detaillierte Beschreibung des VPNs für die FRITZ!Box verweise ich auf diesen Artikel von mir, bei dem ich zwar ein VPN zu einem anderen Produkt hergestellt habe, aber etwas mehr auf die Schritte der Konfiguration eingegangen bin.

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Juniper ScreenOS <-> Cisco Router

Similar to all my other site-to-site VPN articles, here are the configurations for a VPN tunnel between a Juniper ScreenOS SSG firewall and a Cisco IOS router. Due to the VPN Monitor of the SSG firewall, the tunnel is established directly after the configuration and stays active all the time without the need of “real” traffic.

I am using the policy-based VPN solution on the Cisco router and not the virtual tunnel interface (VTI) approach. That is: No route is needed on the router while the Proxy IDs must be set on the Juniper firewall. (However, I also documented the route-based VPN solution between a ScreenOS firewall and a Cisco router here.)

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Palo Alto <-> Cisco Router

This time I configured a static S2S VPN between a Palo Alto firewall and a Cisco IOS router. Here comes the tutorial:

I am not using a virtual interface (VTI) on the Cisco router in this scenario, but the classical policy-based VPN solution. That is, no route entry is needed on the Cisco machine. However, the Palo Alto implements all VPNs with tunnel interfaces. Hence, a route to the tunnel and Proxy IDs must be configured. (I also wrote a guide for a route-based VPN between a Cisco router and a Palo Alto firewall here.)

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Cisco Router: Disable DNS Rewrite ALG for Static NATs

I am using a Cisco router for my basic ISP connection with a NAT/PAT configuration that translates all client connections to the IPv4 address of the outside interface of the router. Furthermore,  I am translating all my static public IPv4 addresses to private ones through static NAT entries. I basically thought, that only the IPv4 addresses in the mere IPv4 packet header would be translated. However, this was not true since I immediately discovered that public DNS addresses are translated to my private IPv4 addresses, too. This was a bit confusing since I have not explicitly configured an application layer gateway (ALG) on that router.

“Google is my friend” and helped me one more time to find out the appropriate solution: The “no ip nat service alg udp dns” keyword to disable the DNS rewrite. (The synonym from Cisco for DNS rewrite is: DNS doctoring.) Here comes a basic example:

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Basic ISP Load Balancing with a Cisco Router

“We have two independent DSL connections to the Internet and want to share the bandwidth for our users.” This was the basic requirement for a load balancing solution at the customer’s site. After searching a while for dedicated load balancers and thinking about a Do-It-Yourself Linux router solution, I used an old Cisco router (type 2621, about 40,- € on eBay at the time of writing) with two default routes, each pointing to one of the ISP routers. That fits. ;)

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Cisco ASA <-> AVM FRITZ!Box

Mit diesem Beitrag möchte ich zeigen, wie man ein Site-to-Site VPN von der FRITZ!Box zu einer Cisco ASA Firewall aufbaut. Mein Laboraufbau entspricht dabei dem typischen Fall, bei dem die FRITZ!Box hinter einer dynamischen IP hängt (klassisch: DSL-Anschluss), während die ASA eine statische IP geNATet bekommt.

Beide Geräte habe ein policy-based VPN implementiert, so dass das hier endlich mal ein Fall ist, wo man nicht durch den Mix einer route-based VPN-Firewall und einer policy-based VPN-Firewall durcheinander kommt. Man muss bei beiden Geräten einfach das eigene sowie das remote Netzwerk eintragen, ohne weitere Routen zu ändern.

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IPsec Site-to-Site VPN Juniper ScreenOS <-> Cisco ASA

This post describes the steps to configure a Site-to-Site VPN between a Juniper ScreenOS firewall and the Cisco ASA firewall. With the correct IKE and IPsec parameters as well as the correct Proxy IDs on both sides, the VPN establishment works without any problems. And since the Juniper firewall can ping an IPv4 address on the remote side through the tunnel (VPN Monitor), the VPN tunnel is established by the firewalls themselves without the need for initial traffic.

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