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

Adding extra security

The initial set of configuration files is a good starting point for a client/server deployment. However, for a production-level system, we want to add more security. Security can be enhanced in two ways:

  • By adding tls-auth keys

  • By checking the extended key usage attributes of the certificates used

Using tls-auth keys

In the client/server mode, OpenVPN will attempt to establish a TLS control channel for each client that tries to connect. Setting up a TLS control channel is resource consuming, which makes OpenVPN susceptible to denial-of-service attacks: an attacker could launch a multitude of misconfigured clients that all try to connect to the OpenVPN server. For each of these, the OpenVPN server would attempt to set up a TLS connection, which will effectively lead to a denial of service for well-configured clients. This is especially true when OpenVPN is running using proto udp (the recommended default). UDP traffic is connectionless, which means that for each new UDP...