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WebVPN

Configure IOS SSL VPN on IOS router

Yesterday I blogged about configuring a VPN client on an IOS router and today I blogged about importing PKCS12 certificates for WebVPN purposes. This follow up blog is about configuring the WebVPN functionality together with the AnyConnect client and port forwarding on an IOS router. I use the same setup as with the VPN client and also configured split-tunneling for the AnyConnect connection.

webvpn The Cisco IOS SSL VPN feature supports multiple options, like:

  • Clientless: usage of a web portal;
  • Thin client: usage of a web portal with port forwarding feature;
  • Full client: usage of the Cisco AnyConnect client;

This example shows you how to configure all options listed above. The fist step involves configuring the authentication method with an AAA method.

aaa new-model
aaa authentication login sslvpn local
username rene privilege 15 secret 5 $1$FkgJ$u3uU0rstyeaBXswW0EIX55

The authentication method is called sslvpn and uses the local database on the router for authenticating users. Next you have to configure the basic IP and port information for connecting to the SSL VPN feature of the router. I use the public IP address of the router and configured the WebVPN on port TCP/4400. I use the SSL trustpoint from my previous blog post.

webvpn gateway gateway_1
ip address 83.137.194.62 port 4400
ssl trustpoint trustpoint_www
inservice

To use the full client feature, you have to upload an AnyConnect client to the routers flash. You can upload multiple AnyConnect clients for different operating systems. I just upload a client for Windows.

webvpn install svc flash:/webvpn/svc.pkg sequence 1

Next you have to configure a “webvpn context”. Within the webvpn context you define multiple VPN parameters. The webvpn context contains configuration parameters to access an URL through the web portal, define the port forwarding features or apply a policy group to the webvpn context. Below you see an example configuration of a webvpn context.

webvpn context home
title “Booches Portal”
ssl authenticate verify all
!
url-list “WebServers”
heading “WebServers”
url-text “Inside webserver” url-value “http://192.168.1.10”
!
login-message “Booches”
!
port-forward “Port Forwarding”
local-port 444 remote-server “192.168.1.150” remote-port 5001 description “NAS TCP/5001 (Management)”
local-port 443 remote-server “192.168.1.150” remote-port 443 description “NAS TCP/443 (Photo,File System)”
local-port 222 remote-server “192.168.1.200” remote-port 22 description “Ubuntu TCP/22 (Management)”
!
policy group policy1
url-list “WebServers”
port-forward “Port Forwarding”
functions file-access
functions file-browse
functions file-entry
functions svc-enabled
hide-url-bar
svc address-pool “sslvpn”
svc keep-client-installed
svc split include 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0

You can configure multiple webvpn contexts with different authentication methods, url-list or port forwarding parameters. Next you see some screenshots from the WebVPN. To access the WebVPN feature the user has to browse to https://83.137.194.62:4400/home, because I configured gateway gateway_1 domain home (full config at the end). The web portal login page is displayed below.

webportal_login

After logging in you will get to the web portal menu, where you can choose between the multiple client options.

default_portal

The Bookmarks section list the URL list to access internal websites. The Tunnel Connection (SVC) option starts the Cisco AnyConnect client. If the AnyConnect client isn’t yet installed on the remote client, it will be pushed by the router. The Thin Client Application starts the port forwarding feature.

port_forwarding

All the relevant configuration from the example above can be found below.

aaa new-model
aaa authentication login sslvpn local
username rene privilege 15 secret 5 $1$FkgJ$u3uU0rstyeaBXswW0EIX55
!
ip local pool sslvpn 10.10.1.1 10.10.1.254
!
webvpn gateway gateway_1
ip address 83.137.194.62 port 4400
ssl trustpoint trustpoint_www
inservice
!
webvpn install svc flash:/webvpn/svc.pkg sequence 1
!
webvpn context home
title “Booches Portal”
ssl authenticate verify all
!
url-list “WebServers”
heading “WebServers”
url-text “Inside webserver” url-value “http://192.168.1.10”
!
login-message “Booches”
!
port-forward “Port Forwarding”
local-port 444 remote-server “192.168.1.150” remote-port 5001 description “NAS TCP/5001 (Management)”
local-port 443 remote-server “192.168.1.150” remote-port 443 description “NAS TCP/443 (Photo,File System)”
local-port 222 remote-server “192.168.1.200” remote-port 22 description “Ubuntu TCP/22 (Management)”
!
policy group policy1
url-list “WebServers”
port-forward “Port Forwarding”
functions file-access
functions file-browse
functions file-entry
functions svc-enabled
hide-url-bar
svc address-pool “sslvpn”
svc keep-client-installed
svc split include 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0
default-group-policy policy1
aaa authentication list sslvpn
gateway gateway_1 domain home
max-users 2
inservice

I like for SMB solutions the IOS SSL VPN feature, because it is powerful and works over SSL, but it is also flexible and can almost publish every service.

Microsoft IAG

It has been a while since my last post, but time is short these days.

Today I had to troubleshoot a Microsoft IAG appliance. Microsoft IAG stands for Microsoft Intelligent Application Gateway. And indeed, intelligent it is. NOT. I have seen and configured multiple SSL VPN solutions like Juniper SA, Citrix Access Gateway, Citrix Secure Gateway and Cisco WebVPN. But to be honest, Microsoft IAG is the worst of all.

Microsoft IAG is installed on an appliance and is closely related to Microsoft ISA 2006, which is also installed on the server. Whenever you make some configuration changes to IAG, you have to active the new configuration inside IAG. After activating the configuration, I looked at the new ISA firewall policies and I really couldn’t believe my eyes. IAG configured ISA automatically, when activating the configuration.

A simple portal, where 2 websites and OWA are published and a network connect (SSL IP VPN), results in approximately 10 firewall policy rules in ISA. Okay, I could live with that, but I shivered while taking a closer look at the rules. It is not easy to discover what purpose a specific rule has, without looking to the different tabs while editing the rule.

Besides the crazy management of the appliance, me and a colleague had a lot of problems when testing the appliance. Currently the network connector is not supported on Windows Vista and you receive a lot of (useless) errors when using Internet Explorer 8. The logging functionality is also very basic and hard to find. I had problems with configuring and testing the network connector with the non-split tunneling and disable local area network access option, I couldn’t find any useful logging about the problem. For some reason only specific traffic is routed into the VPN tunnel. I ended up configuring split-tunneling and only route specific network segments into the SSL VPN tunnel.

My opinion till now, Microsoft IAG cannot be compared with other SSL VPN appliances I have seen. I guess Microsoft IAG could test positive when using the appliance in a solely Windows environment, where only Windows services, like OWA and SharePoint, are published to the internet.

Maybe the solution is a lot cheaper compared with the Juniper and Citrix solution, but for know I would rather buy a Cisco ASA 5505 or Cisco ASA 5510. I would definitely not configure the Microsoft IAG as a cooperate firewall terminating the Internet connection.