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

Analyzing OpenVPN traffic by using tcpdump

The low-level networking tool tcpdump, or its GUI equivalent Wireshark, is a last resort tool for troubleshooting network issues and network performance. In this section, we will walk through the process of capturing and analyzing the encrypted network traffic produced by OpenVPN.

First, we set up our standard OpenVPN network using the basic-udp configuration files. On the client, there is also a web server running. We will use the wget command on the server side to retrieve a file from the web server so that we can look at the resulting network traffic.

We run tcpdump on the Ethernet interface and capture the network traffic while doing a wget outside the tunnel:

wget -O /dev/null https://CLIENT-IP/test1

The resulting tcpdump output is as follows (modified for the sake of clarity):

As we can see, there are 13 packets to transfer a 5 KB text file. Most of these packets were used to set up and tear down the connection, but there are four large packets...