Slightly less Random Ramblings

August 21, 2013

OpenVPN Not Passing Traffic on Windows 8 Professional using UDP

Filed under: computing, encryption, OpenVPN, security, Windows — Tags: , , , , , , — Robert Wicks @ 7:25 am

Windows 8 Pro (which is the version I have. I cannot comment on other versions) appears to have an issue with a normal OpenVPN tunnel. When using UDP, my VPN does not pass traffic. It does pass that traffic when I use TCP. Additionally, a Cisco SSL VPN (also UDP based) I use does not work. After browsing about a bit, I found that the UDP encapsulation settings have an effect on this. The registry setting which needs to be changed is:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\PolicyAgent]
“AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule”=dword:00000002

After rebooting, both of my VPNs worked, fixing an issue which nearly made me abandon Windows 8.

January 24, 2013

Windows 7 VPN Routing to StrongSwan

Filed under: encryption, linux, security — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Robert Wicks @ 12:41 am

One thing which always bugged me about my VPN setup is that whenever I used IPSec on Windows 7, I had to specify the route into my home network using a command prompt in Windows (with elevated permissions) where I had to use the “route add” command (you can view the link to see my example.) I finally have a way around this, by using the tip here. Just follow these directions, but instead of a script, specify the route command, with the flags “add 192.168.0.0 mask 255.255.255.0 10.8.8.1″ from the example in my VPN setup post. Check the box “run with highest permissions” and save it. Now, every time you connect to your VPN, the task will automatically set your route. Obviously, you could make this a script with any number of commands or multiple routes, so adjust things accordingly.

September 9, 2012

Dissonant Voices in the Chorus of Agreement

Filed under: blacks, liberarianism, political correctness, race, war on drugs, welfare — Robert Wicks @ 4:10 pm

Recently, I have been listening to new voices and perspectives from blacks regarding many of the endemic problems which affect black Americans. There are conservative groups on Facebook and around the Internet which cater to blacks.There are various pan African groups and individuals. One of the most interesting of these rarely heard voices is the Internet talk show, Your World, My Views, hosted by psychologist and former comedian Tommy Sotomayor. I have found this show to be absolutely fascinating. It is rare that we hear disagreement among blacks without the immediate shouting down of those who differ as “sellouts” or some other inflammatory name. But this is one such rare show.

Hearing the observations of others on the disintegration of black families and culture is wonderful. It is important for many voices to be heard. When an engineering team looks at solving a problem, having a variety of perspectives is crucial in developing truly innovative, effective solutions, and the repair of black America is a truly massive engineering prospect. As I have mentioned before, the great enemies of blacks in America, especially men, are the government policies of welfare and the war on drugs. This has essentially killed much of what black manhood has meant.

We need more of this honest dialog, and even vehement disagreement, in order to actually solve the problems which plague us.

Note that the site may contain some NSFW content.

January 10, 2012

Thank you Asus!

Filed under: encryption, security, Truecrypt, Windows — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Robert Wicks @ 6:56 am

I bought an Asus U56E from Fry’s, which has an Intel i5-2410M CPU. The laptop has been very good, having excellent battery life and good performance. I replaced the internal optical drive with a drive caddy so that I could replace the internal drive with an SSD, but have an additional spinning drive in order to have a larger amount of space. My SSD has built-in encryption, however the spinning drive does not. I use Truecrypt. I wanted the i5 because I was under the mistaken impression that they all supported AES-NI. I later discovered that Intel has issued a microcode update for this CPU which enables the feature, but the BIOS manufacturer needed to enable it in the system BIOS. Asus has now enabled this feature in version 213 of the BIOS. Truecrypt’s benchmark performance has increased 5x since the update.

December 4, 2011

Curious Key Corruption

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Robert Wicks @ 12:02 pm

I used the easy-rsa script to generate some new server certs recently, and found that my strongswan install on OpenWRT could not load the RSA key. This despite the fact that the same key works fine in OpenVPN on the same server. The interesting thing is that when I use the build-key-pkcs12 script instead of the build-key-server script, and then use openssl on the router to extract the cert and key, the key works. it is also a different size. The key kept coming up as 1704 bytes when using the server script, but 1669 bytes with the pkcs12 script. Since the pkcs12 script works, I suggest using it always. It generates the key and crt files any way, even though the extracted key file was a different size than the generated one with the same set of files. There must be a bug somewhere.

May 23, 2011

Strongswan 4.5.1 now in the OpenWRT Trunk

Filed under: encryption, linux, OpenWRT — Tags: , , , — Robert Wicks @ 6:49 pm

My issues with Strongswan in the OpenWRT trunk are now resolved. Strongswan 4.5.1-1 is available.

April 5, 2011

StrongSwan on OpenWRT

Filed under: linux, OpenWRT, security — Tags: , , , , , — Robert Wicks @ 8:45 am

I recently purchased a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH router and installed OpenWRT on it. I used the trunk version, but found that StrongSwan4 did not allow me to pass traffic, despite an identical configuration to my working Trendnet router. I can successfully connect, but my log files show an error “unable to add SAD entry.” My client indicated no proposal. Though I have not discovered the full nature of the issue, I did notice that the current OpenWRT trunk does not include the kmod-mod-imq module. Since the networking component has changed, I wondered if that might be related. When I installed the 10.03.1-rc4 version of OpenWRT instead, things worked again.

February 22, 2011

Setting up a VPN Gateway on the Cheap

I recently got a hand-me-down Trendnet TEW-652BRP router. The label on it indicates that it is version 1.1R. Doing a bit of research, it seems as if the one I have is actually identical to the TEW-632BRP, so I compiled OpenWRT for the TEW-632BRP, and it worked like a charm. The router uses an Atheros AR9130 rev2 chipset with a MIPS processor running at 400Mhz. It features wireless N in the 2.4GHz range, 4MB of flash, which is fairly typical, and 32MB of RAM, which is more than several I’ve seen. The processor is what intrigued me. It is well known that alternative, Linux-based firmwares exist for consumer routers, which can offer an array of new features. I have several compatible models myself. But most of the older Broadcom chipset models have fairly slow processors, so some applications, such as VPNs, perform only moderately well on them.

One of my favorite VPN products is OpenVPN. It performs well, and is simple to set up. A couple of years ago, an excellent analysis of the performance of OpenVPN on a consumer grade router was published. For most home connections, you will get plenty of throughput using either of the VPN solutions we will be setting up. In order to get this up and running, first you must flash the router to get rid of the firmware which came with it and replace it with something altogether more powerful: OpenWrt. Download the backfire image builder from the trunk. Support for this chipset is newer than the Broadcom chipsets in the original Linksys WRT-54G(L) and OpenWrt is under constant development, and the trunk build has run much better than the others on my router. The features I want really push the limits of the storage, so I had to just drop wifi support. Fortunately, I have other wireless routers which I can use for access points on my home network. So these directions are for a command-line-only, wired-access-only router and VPN endpoint. After you get the builder, run

“tar -jxvf OpenWrt-ImageBuilder-ar71xx-for-Linux-x86_64.tar.bz2;cd OpenWrt-ImageBuilder-ar71xx-for-Linux-x86_64″

After you get into the directory, run something like the make command below.

make image PROFILE=”TEW632BRP” PACKAGES=”base-files busybox ddns-scripts dnsmasq dropbear firewall hotplug2 ip iptables iptables-mod-conntrack iptables-mod-conntrack-extra iptables-mod-filter iptables-mod-imq iptables-mod-ipopt iptables-mod-ipsec iptables-mod-nat iptables-mod-nat-extra kernel kmod-button-hotplug kmod-crypto-aes kmod-crypto-authenc kmod-crypto-core kmod-crypto-des kmod-crypto-hmac kmod-crypto-md5 kmod-crypto-sha1 kmod-input-core kmod-input-gpio-buttons kmod-input-polldev kmod-ipsec kmod-ipsec4 kmod-ipt-conntrack kmod-ipt-conntrack-extra kmod-ipt-core kmod-ipt-filter kmod-ipt-imq kmod-ipt-ipopt kmod-ipt-ipsec kmod-ipt-nat kmod-ipt-nat-extra kmod-ipt-nathelper kmod-iptunnel4 kmod-leds-gpio kmod-sched kmod-textsearch kmod-tun libc libgcc libgmp libiptc liblzo libnl-tiny libopenssl libpthread librt libuci libxtables mini-snmpd miniupnpd mtd openvpn opkg qos-scripts strongswan4 strongswan4-app-charon strongswan4-app-pluto strongswan4-mod-aes strongswan4-mod-attr strongswan4-mod-des strongswan4-mod-dnskey strongswan4-mod-fips-prf strongswan4-mod-gmp strongswan4-mod-hmac strongswan4-mod-kernel-netlink strongswan4-mod-md5 strongswan4-mod-pem strongswan4-mod-pgp strongswan4-mod-pkcs1 strongswan4-mod-pubkey strongswan4-mod-random strongswan4-mod-resolve strongswan4-mod-sha1 strongswan4-mod-sha2 strongswan4-mod-stroke strongswan4-mod-updown strongswan4-mod-x509 strongswan4-mod-xcbc strongswan4-utils tc uci udevtrigger -vsc7385-ucode-ap83 -vsc7385-ucode-pb44 -vsc7395-ucode-ap83 -vsc7395-ucode-pb44 zlib -kmod-ath9k -wpad-mini”

This will install Strongswan and OpenVPN, but, due to only have 4MB of flash storage to work with, will not install the web interface, so we will be doing everything from the command line. After the command above gives you your image, you will need to choose the appropriate one to flash your router. If you are going from the factory firmware, you need to use the recovery image, which, when I build it, is called “openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tew-632brp-recovery-squashfs-factory.bin.”

You can then flash your firmware by unplugging it, holding down the reset button, plugging it in while the reset button is held down for about 10 seconds, then setting your computer’s IP address to 192.168.0.2 and browsing to 192.168.0.1. Upload the file and flash away. The router will eventually reboot and have an IP address of 192.168.1.1.

You can then set your computer’s IP address to 192.168.1.2 and telnet into 192.168.1.1. The router will allow you in with no password. You can issue the “passwd” command to set the root password, which I recommend. Once you do this, however, you will have to use SSH to log into the router, as telnet is disabled when the root password is set.

OpenVPN Setup

OpenVPN is a very easy to configure, cross-platform, open source VPN, and it now has wide support on third party firmwares such as OpenWRT, DD-WRT, and Tomato (but you will need either TomatoVPN or TomatoUSB). IPSec has the advantage of being a standard which can interoperate with a variety of devices and operating systems where OpenVPN is not available. I figure why not do both? We are going to use certificates to authenticate both of them, so with a bit of care, we can use the exact same certifcates and keys on our router for both services, saving us a little bit of storage. I did my certificate generation on Ubuntu 10.10, but you could use anything which runs OpenVPN and OpenSSL. On Ubuntu, run

sudo apt-get install openvpn

After the installation completes, copy the entire /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/easy-rsa/2.0 directory into your home directory with

cp -r /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/easy-rsa/2.0 $HOME/

This will give you a “2.0″ directory in your home directory. Cd into that directory, and edit the vars file so that it has your organization and personalized information (this is optional). Then edit the openssl.cnf file. You will modify it so that the certificates it generates will be suitable for both OpenVPN and Windows 7′s implementation of IPSec. Go to line 196 in the file, the extendedKeyUsage line. You will also add a new line after this one. Together, they read:

extendedKeyUsage=clientAuth, serverAuth, 1.3.6.1.5.5.8.2.2
subjectAltName=DNS:Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname

In place of Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname, put your computer’s hostname. If you are on a home Internet connection, you should use one of the dynamic DNS providers such as DynDNS.com. These lines will enable the Windows 7 IKEv2 VPN client to work with StrongSwan. Be sure to follow the directions here. You can then run the following commands.

. ./vars
mkdir keys
./clean-all
./build-dh
./build-ca
./build-key-server Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname
./build-key-pkcs12 client1

As before, replace the Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname with your Internet hostname. One of the good things about the build-key-pkcs12 script is that it generates everything you will need for OpenVPN clients on both Windows and Linux. You will find client1.key, client1.csr, client1.crt, and client1.p12 under the keys directory after running the last command. You will also see files with the same extensions (except the p12 file) prefixed by your Internet hostname. Those files will be installed on your OpenWRT VPN endpoint. The client1 files will be installed on your laptop (or whatever will be connecting into your VPN endpoint). First, we need to copy the server keys we generated into the appropriate places. We will use the default paths for StrongSwan, but OpenVPN will also use them. Run:

scp keys/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.crt root@:/etc/ipsec.d/certs/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.crt

scp keys/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.key root@:/etc/ipsec.d/certs/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.key

scp keys/ca.crt root@:/etc/ipsec.d/cacerts/ca.crt

scp keys/dh1024.pem root@:/etc/openvpn/

SSH into your OpenWRT router and run:

vi /etc/openvpn/my-vpn.conf

This will create the configuration file you will use, which you will fill with something like this:

daemon
server 10.10.10.0 255.255.255.0
proto udp
port 1194
dev tun0
comp-lzo adaptive
keepalive 15 60
verb 2
push “route 192.168.0.0 255.255.255.0″
ca /etc/ipsec.d/cacerts/ca.crt
dh /etc/openvpn/dh1024.pem
cert /etc/ipsec.d/certs/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.crt
key /etc/ipsec.d/private/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.key
tls-auth /etc/openvpn/ta.key 0

You should customize the route to reflect the IP scheme of your internal network. You can also alter the server line to any arbitrary private network. Finally, you can change your port to something other than 1194. Notice that the last line refers to a file, ta.key, which we have not yet created. We can do that on the router itself with the command:

openvpn –genkey –secret /etc/openvpn/ta.key

Adding this to your OpenVPN configuration will defend against port scanning and DOS attacks. You will need to copy this file to your laptop as well. Your laptop’s OpenVPN configuration will contain something like this:

client
dev tun
proto udp
remote Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname 1194
resolv-retry infinite
nobind
persist-key
persist-tun
ca /etc/ipsec.d/cacerts/ca.crt
dh /etc/openvpn/dh1024.pem
cert /etc/ipsec.d/certs/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.crt
key /etc/ipsec.d/private/Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.key
tls-auth ta.key 1
comp-lzo
verb 3

You now have a working OpenVPN configuration, but you still need to modify your firewall rules to allow traffic through. Run

vi /etc/config/firewall

Add the following lines to the end:

config ‘rule’

option ‘src’ ‘wan’
option ‘target’ ‘ACCEPT’
option ‘proto’ ‘udp’
option ‘dest_port’ ’1194′

Save the file. This will configure your firewall to accept inbound OpenVPN traffic. In order to pass the tunneled packets through, we edit the firewall.user file:

vi /etc/firewall.user

Add the following lines to that file:

/usr/sbin/iptables -I INPUT -i tun+ -j ACCEPT
/usr/sbin/iptables -I FORWARD -i tun+ -j ACCEPT

This will allow your VPN to work. Just reboot the router and OpenVPN should work. Now, let’s get to IPSec.

IPSec Setup

IPSec is actually more difficult to configure than OpenVPN, but, being a cross-platform standard, and enjoying kernel-level support, is still a nice feature to have on an Internet gateway. The crypto files have already been put in place, so we just need to edit the configuration. Run:

vi /etc/ipsec.conf

Modify the files so that it contains:

config setup

strictcrlpolicy=no
nat_traversal=yes
charondebug=all

conn %default

ikelifetime=60m
keylife=20m
rekeymargin=3m
keyingtries=1

conn nat-t

authby=rsasig
leftfirewall=yes
left=%defaultroute
leftcert=Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.crt
rightsourceip=10.8.8.0/24
leftsubnet=192.168.0.0/24
right=%any
auto=add

Edit your /etc/ipsec.secrets file and fill it with:

: RSA Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.key

Now, we allow the appropriate connections to the firewall. Edit the /etc/config/firewall file and add:

config ‘rule’

option ‘src’ ‘wan’
option ‘proto’ ‘esp’
option ‘target’ ‘ACCEPT’

config ‘rule’

option ‘src’ ‘wan’
option ‘proto’ ‘udp’
option ‘dest_port’ ’500′
option ‘target’ ‘ACCEPT’

config ‘rule’

option ‘src’ ‘wan’
option ‘proto’ ‘udp’
option ‘dest_port’ ’4500′
option ‘target’ ‘ACCEPT’

config ‘rule’

option ‘src’ ‘wan’
option ‘proto’ ‘ah’
option ‘target’ ‘ACCEPT’

Finally, add the following to /etc/firewall.user to enable all the traffic to pass, even to the OpenWRT router itself:

/usr/sbin/iptables -I INPUT  -m policy –dir in –pol ipsec –proto esp -j ACCEPT
/usr/sbin/iptables -I FORWARD  -m policy –dir in –pol ipsec –proto esp -j ACCEPT
/usr/sbin/iptables -I FORWARD  -m policy –dir out –pol ipsec –proto esp -j ACCEPT
/usr/sbin/iptables -I OUTPUT   -m policy –dir out –pol ipsec –proto esp -j ACCEPT

This gives full access to all the tunneled traffic. On a Windows 7 client, you can follow this guide. Note that you will have to manually add the route for your home network on Windows 7, due to the limitations of the Agile VPN client. I run a command prompt as administrator and run

route add 192.168.0.0 mask 255.255.255.0 10.8.8.1

after I connect. Traffic then passes. Things are much easier if you are using StrongSwan as the client. Just edit the /etc/ipsec.conf file on your Linux laptop client to contain the following:

config setup

charondebug=all
nat_traversal=yes
charonstart=yes
plutostart=yes

conn roadwarrior

left=%defaultroute
leftcert=client1.crt
leftfirewall=yes
leftauth=rsasig
leftsourceip=%modeconfig
right=Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname
rightcert=Your.Internet.DNS.Hostname.crt
keyexchange=ikev2
rightsubnet=192.168.0.0/24
auto=add

As you can see, you will be copying your router cert (and only the cert, not the private key) to your client. You will also copy your client1 key and cert. In a similar manner to the router, your /etc/ipsec.secrets file will contain

: RSA client1.key

You can read more on the Strongswan client configuration here. Once you have Strongswan configured, you can start ipsec, then issue

ipsec up roadwarrior

to start the tunnel.

Final Notes and Tips

You can actually replace the rightcert line with “rightid=%any” which is a better practice, from what I gather from the StrongSwan mailing list. That is how I have modified my own setup. Also, note that the Ubuntu package is actually broken, because it does not use socket-raw. To fix this, remove /usr/lib/ipsec/plugins/libstrongswan-socket-d* and restart the daemon. Or, you can do what I did and build the latest StrongSwan from source.

Be sure to look at the various documentation pages for OpenWRT, OpenVPN, and Strongswan. They have a lot of very useful information. One of the nice things you can do when you have your VPN setup working fully is completely disable all other remote access to your network. You can make your router invisible on the Internet, yet still allow full access to your home resources. With more powerful routers, especially ones with more storage, you can add useful packages to allow full SNMP support, traffic monitoring, the GUI interface, or port knocking.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments or email me.

November 6, 2010

Noscript And Zimbra Problem

Filed under: computing, security — Tags: , , , , , — Robert Wicks @ 8:23 am

I log into a Zimbra server for email. I may be logged in on the local network, from outside, over the Internet, or across a VPN. The hostname is always the same. I found that I would have to actually quit Firefox in order to log back into Zimbra if I initiated a session over the Internet, and later made a VPN connection. I would see a white screen with a link in the upper left corner which said [Sign Out]. Clicking it did nothing. I actually had to restart Firefox. I discovered that this happened because of Noscript’s ABE protection. I did not wish to disable this, as it is a useful security feature. The solution is to go into the NoScript options, under ABE, and edit the SYSTEM settings. It normally says

# Prevent Internet sites from requesting LAN resources.
Site LOCAL
Accept from LOCAL
Deny

I added this line after the Accept lin:

Accept ALL from *.<mydomainname>

That fixed the issue. It might be advisable for people who use Noscript in a corporate environment with VPN access to add this to their ABE settings in order to prevent web application failures.

October 13, 2010

Sexuality, the State, and the Death of Black Manhood

Filed under: blacks, liberarianism, political correctness, race, war on drugs, welfare — Robert Wicks @ 8:22 pm

Recently, my college friends and myself were discussing a recent article in Vibe magazine on the experiences of a flamboyantly gay man at Morehouse College, and the response of the school’s president. I shared the two articles with family and friends, and the inevitable question “what has happened to black men?” came up. It seems clear to me that the main things which have happened are the reasons I despise Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The war on poverty brought us welfare, which pushed a lot of black men from homes in the name of easy (or easier) money. That was Johnson. Reagan escalated the war on drugs, which further devastated the black family, especially the black males. Can anyone really claim that it is better for a black guy to be locked up for smoking or selling weed, rather than going to a community college and getting himself a job some day? Is controlling what someone does with his own body so very important? Is promoting the creation of drug gangs, then promoting the increase in the intrusiveness and violence of policing something we can really describe as “good?”

Because of these two factors, black men have fewer male role models. Many men emulate their mothers, unsurprising, as so many men are reared without fathers. Some of those mothers are educated, so that is fine as far as education goes. These men will pursue education. But they do not act like men. This is true even of many heterosexual men. Among any sufficiently large population, a number of gay people is to be expected. I do not find it surprising that a segment of the gay population would take emulating their mothers to an extreme that the straight men would not.

I predicted years ago that black higher education would become increasingly gay, and specifically, effeminately so. The war on drugs has devastated the ranks of black men in black communities to such an extent that female role models are, all too often, the best role models for success that black boys have. The testosterone has been depleted from the segments of black society most in need of it. This is one of the many tragedies brought to neighborhoods across the nation by the desire to force moral choices on others “for their own good.” And, while I targeted those two presidents for specific criticism, we can hardly “blame whitey” for this one. There are lots of people who are black drug warriors. Pretty much every black politician, including Obama, is a drug warrior. Eric Holder, his pick for Attorney General, is an especially fervent drug warrior. As far as I am concerned, we should treat blacks who support the war on drugs the same as we would treat a black guy doing a minstrel show in full blackface at an NAACP meeting. They deserve nothing but derision for being essentially black slave overseers. They profit from promoting oppression.

(Crossposted at The Libertarian Standard)

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