Book Image

Mastering OpenVPN

By : Jan Just Keijser, Eric F Crist
Book Image

Mastering OpenVPN

By: Jan Just Keijser, Eric F Crist

Overview of this book

Security on the internet is increasingly vital to both businesses and individuals. Encrypting network traffic using Virtual Private Networks is one method to enhance security. The internet, corporate, and “free internet” networks grow more hostile every day. OpenVPN, the most widely used open source VPN package, allows you to create a secure network across these systems, keeping your private data secure. The main advantage of using OpenVPN is its portability, which allows it to be embedded into several systems. This book is an advanced guide that will help you build secure Virtual Private Networks using OpenVPN. You will begin your journey with an exploration of OpenVPN, while discussing its modes of operation, its clients, its secret keys, and their format types. You will explore PKI: its setting up and working, PAM authentication, and MTU troubleshooting. Next, client-server mode is discussed, the most commonly used deployment model, and you will learn about the two modes of operation using "tun" and "tap" devices. The book then progresses to more advanced concepts, such as deployment scenarios in tun devices which will include integration with back-end authentication, and securing your OpenVPN server using iptables, scripting, plugins, and using OpenVPN on mobile devices and networks. Finally, you will discover the strengths and weaknesses of the current OpenVPN implementation, understand the future directions of OpenVPN, and delve into the troubleshooting techniques for OpenVPN. By the end of the book, you will be able to build secure private networks across the internet and hostile networks with confidence.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Mastering OpenVPN
About the Authors
About the Reviewers

Setting up the Public Key Infrastructure

In the client/server mode, OpenVPN is configured using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) with X.509 certificates and private keys. Before we can set up a client/server VPN, we need to set up this PKI first. The PKI comprises of the CA, the private keys, and the certificates (public keys) for both the client and server. In Chapter 3, PKIs and Certificates, we will discuss in detail how to set up such a PKI. This chapter builds upon the certificates and keys generated in that chapter.

First, we copy the certificate and keys to a separate location. In general, it is a good security practice to keep the PKI files in a separate location, if possible even on a separate computer. Special care should be taken to protect the ca.key file, as the entire security of your PKI is dependent on this file. If the ca.key file is compromised in any way, the entire PKI is rendered insecure, and should be abandoned. In the following commands, it is assumed that the PKI...