It is widely believed that public/private keys or certificates are “more secure” than passwords. E.g., an SSH login via key rather than using a password. Or a site-to-site VPN with certificate authentication rather than a pre-shared key (PSK). However, even certificates and private keys are not unlimited secure. They can be compromised, too, since the public-key cryptography only implies that private keys won’t be exposed if a brute-force attack is nearly impossible.
So, what’s the real security level of passwords compared to public keys/certificates?
Continue reading Passwords vs. Private Keys
There are two methods of site-to-site VPN tunnels: route-based and policy-based. While some of you may already be familiar with this, some may have never heard of it. Some firewalls only implement one of these types, so you probably don’t have a chance to configure the other one anyway. Too bad since route-based VPNs have many advantages over policy-based ones which I will highlight here.
I had many situations in which network admins did not know the differences between those two methods and simply configured “some kind of” VPN tunnel regardless of any methodology. In this blogpost I am explaining the structural differences between them along with screenshots of common firewalls. I am explaining all advantages of route-based VPNs and listing a table comparing some firewalls regarding their VPN features.
Continue reading Route- vs. Policy-Based VPN Tunnels
Almost 4 weeks ago I published a pcap file with some challenges – this time four falsified configured IPsec VPN connections. If you have not solved it by now you should first download the pcap file and should give it a try.
Remember the scenario: You need to prove that the wrong VPN settings are not on your side (the four routers) but on the headquarters firewall side. Not an easy job. Now here are the solutions:
Continue reading IKE Solutions
It is probably one of the most used protocols in my daily business but I have never captured it in detail: IKE and IPsec/ESP. And since IKEv2 is coming I gave it a try and tcpdumped two VPN session initiations with IKEv1 main mode as well as with IKEv2 to see some basic differences.
Of course I know that all VPN protocols are encrypted – hence you won’t see that much data. But at least you can see the basic message flow such as “only 4 messages with IKEv2” while some more for legacy IKEv1. I won’t go into the protocol details at all. I am merely publishing two pcap files so that anyone can have a look at a VPN session initiation. A few Wireshark screenshots complete the blogpost.
Continue reading IKEv1 & IKEv2 Capture
A few month ago I published many Layer 2/3 challenges on my blog. Beside the happy feedback I got some remarks that the challenges were to easy at all because you only needed the display filter at Wireshark while no deep protocol knowledge.
Ok, “challenge excepted” ;) here I have some more protocol related challenges for you: With this post I am publishing a pcap which has four site-to-site IPsec VPN connections inside. On the first half of the pcap all four of them are wrongly configured, hence, not working. –> What are the reasons for that? <–
Continue reading IKE Challenges
And one more IPsec VPN post, again between the Palo Alto Networks firewall and a Fortinet FortiGate, again over IPv6 but this time with IKEv2. It was no problem at all to change from IKEv1 to IKEv2 for this already configured VPN connection between the two different firewall vendors. Hence I am only showing the differences within the configuration and some listings from common CLI outputs for both firewalls.
Continue reading IKEv2 IPsec VPN Tunnel Palo Alto < -> FortiGate
Towards the global IPv6-only strategy ;) VPN tunnels will be used over IPv6, too. I configured a static IPsec site-to-site VPN between a Palo Alto Networks and a Fortinet FortiGate firewall via IPv6 only. I am using it for tunneling both Internet Protocols: IPv6 and legacy IP.
While it was quite easy to bring the tunnel “up”, I had some problems tunneling both Internet Protocols over the single phase 2 session. The reason was some kind of differences within the IPsec tunnel handling between those two firewall vendors. Here are the details along with more than 20 screenshots and some CLI listings.
Continue reading IPv6 IPsec VPN Tunnel Palo Alto < -> FortiGate
The most common transition method for IPv6 (that is: how to enable IPv6 on a network that does not have a native IPv6 connection to the Internet) is a “6in4” tunnel. Other tunneling methods such as Teredo or SixXS are found on different literatures as well. However, another method that is not often explained is to tunnel the IPv6 packets through a normal VPN connection. For example, if the main office has a native IPv6 connection to the Internet as well as VPN connections to its remote offices, it is easy to bring IPv6 subnets to these stations. Here comes an example with two Palo Alto firewalls.
Continue reading IPv6 through IPv4 VPN Tunnel with Palo Alto
The native Android IPsec VPN client supports connections to the Cisco ASA firewall. This even works without the “AnyConnect for Mobile” license on the ASA. If only a basic remote access VPN connection is needed, this fits perfectly. It uses the classical IPsec protocol instead of the newer SSL version. However, the VPN tunnel works anyway.
In this short post I am showing the configuration steps on the ASA and on the Android phone in order to establish a remote access VPN tunnel.
Continue reading Cisco ASA Remote Access VPN for Android
For a basic remote access VPN connection to a Palo Alto Networks firewall (called “GlobalProtect”), the built-in VPN feature from Android can be used instead of the GlobalProtect app from Palo Alto itself. If the additional features such as HIP profiling are not needed, this variant fits perfectly.
I am showing a few screenshots and logs from the Android smartphone as well as from the Palo Alto to show the differences.
Continue reading Palo Alto Remote Access VPN for Android
Hier kommt ein kurzer Guide wie man ein Site-to-Site VPN zwischen einer FortiGate Firewall und einer AVM FRITZ!Box aufbaut. Anhand von Screenshots zeige ich die Einrichtung der FortiGate, während ich für die FRITZ!Box ein Template der *.cfg Konfigurationsdatei bereitstelle.
Continue reading IPsec Site-to-Site VPN FortiGate < -> FRITZ!Box
The most common transition method for IPv6 (that is: how to enable IPv6 on a network that does not have a native IPv6 connection to the Internet) is a “6in4” tunnel. Even other tunneling methods such as Teredo or SixXS are found on different literatures. However, another method that is not often explained is to tunnel the IPv6 packets through a VPN connection. For example, if the main office has a native IPv6 connection to the Internet, as well as VPN connections to its remote offices, it is easy to bring IPv6 subnets to these stations.
Here is how I did it with some Juniper SSG firewalls:
Continue reading IPv6 through IPv4 VPN Tunnel with Juniper SSGs
Es geht in eine weitere Runde bei den VPNs von und zur FRITZ!Box. Nach den unglücklichen Änderungen in Version 06.20 hat AVM wieder ein paar Phase 2 Proposals hinzugenommen, die komplett ohne Kompression laufen. Somit ist es wieder möglich, die FRITZ!Box im Aggressive Mode VPN-Verbindungen zu diversen Firewalls aufbauen zu lassen. Komisch nur, dass noch nicht alles ganz wie erwartet funktioniert. Hier kommen meine Testergebnisse.
Continue reading FRITZ!OS ab 06.23: IPsec P2 Proposals erweitert
Similar to my test with Diffie-Hellman group 14 shown here I tested a VPN connection with elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman groups 19 and 20. The considerations why to use these DH groups are listed in the just mentioned post – mainly because of the higher security level they offer. I tested the site-to-site IPsec connections with a Juniper ScreenOS firewall and a Fortinet FortiGate firewall. (Currently, neither Palo Alto Networks nor Cisco ASA support these groups.)
Continue reading Site-to-Site VPNs with Diffie-Hellman Groups 19 & 20 (Elliptic Curve)
Following is a step-by-step tutorial for a site-to-site VPN between a Fortinet FortiGate and a Cisco ASA firewall. I am showing the screenshots of the GUIs in order to configure the VPN, as well as some CLI show commands.
Continue reading IPsec Site-to-Site VPN FortiGate < -> Cisco ASA