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Search - "openswan"
I've been pleading for nearly 3 years with our IT department to allow the web team (me and one other guy) to access the SQL Server on location via VPN so we could query MSSQL tables directly (read-only mind you) rather than depend on them to give us a 100,000+ row CSV file every 24 hours in order to display pricing and inventory per store location on our website.
Their mindset has always been that this would be a security hole and we'd be jeopardizing the company. (Give me a break! There are about a dozen other ways our network could be compromised in comparison to this, but they're so deeply forged in M$ server and active directories that they don't even have a clue what any decent script kiddie with a port sniffer and *nix could do. I digress...)
So after three years of pleading with the old IT director, (I like the guy, but keep in mind that I had to teach him CTRL+C, CTRL+V when we first started building the initial CSV. I'm not making that up.) he retired and the new guy gave me the keys.
Worked for a week with my IT department to get Openswan (ipsec) tunnel set up between my Ubuntu web server and their SQL Server (Microsoft). After a few days of pulling my hair out along with our web hosting admins and our IT Dept staff, we got them talking.
After that, I was able to install a dreamfactory instance on my web server and now we have REST endpoints for all tables related to inventory, products, pricing, and availability!
Good things come to those who are patient. Now if I could get them to give us back Dropbox without having to socks5 proxy throug the web server, i'd be set. I'll rant about that next.
I HATE VPN SETUP
- Trying OpenSwan
Installing open swan on a Debian machine.. setting up the config.
Restarting openswan. Syntax error. No syntax error to be found.
Different tutorial.. it starts! Try to connect.. I can’t connect. Look at the logs. No errors.
Tcpdump. My traffic is coming through.. all fine.. try to connect again.. it works! (Nothing changed!)
Try to ping somewhere else.. no connectivity.
Try to ping an IP in the same network.. works fine. So I have connectivity, just no internet.
Spend an hour finding out about traffic directions of which no one seems to know what they really mean.
Boss tells me to stop using openswan because it’s deprecated and replaced by strong swan..
Reinstall Debian machine, install strongswan. Copy openswan config. Oh, they’re incompatible? Look up strong swan config, and the service starts.
Connect to the VPN.. it works! Again, no internet, just connectivity in the same network. Spend 2h debugging the config, disable firewalls everywhere, find an ancient bug in the Debian package related to my issues.. ok, let’s try compiling from source.. you know what, let’s not. I’ll throw this Debian machine away and try something completely different.
Ok, this looks easy enough! Let’s just click through the initial setup, change some firewall rules, create an L2TP VPN with a simple wizard.
Try to connect to VPN. First, it times out. Maybe a firewall issue? Turn off firewall.. ah, something happens now. I get an error message right after trying to connect to the VPN. Hmm, the port doesn’t even get opened when I enable the firewall.. this implementation seems a bit buggy.. let’s try their OpenVPN module.
Configure OpenVPN. Documentation isn’t that clear.. apparently a client isn’t actually a client but a user is a client.. ok, there’s a hidden checkbox somewhere.
Now where do I download my certificate? Oh, I need a plug-in for that.. ok, interesting. Able to download the certificate, import it, connect and.. YES!!! I can ping! But, I have no DNS..
Apparently, ICMP isn’t getting filtered but all outbound ports are.. yet the firewall is completely disabled. Maybe I need outbound NAT? Oh. There’s no clear documentation on where to configure it. Find some ancient doc, set it up, still no outbound connectivity.
Then I tried VyOS. I had a great L2TP VPN working in less than 15 mins. Thank you VyOS for actually providing proper docs and proper software.3