Feeds

VPN security - if you want it, come and get it

Attention WiFi hotspotters: You want it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Your wish is your command window

Here's what your command window should look like once you've gotten this far:

Command Window after generating certificate authority key

Command Window after generating certificate authority key

Now it's time to create the key for the server. To do that, keep the command window open and type:

build-key-server server

Like the last command, you'll be prompted for information. You can leave all fields, including the one asking for a challenge password, blank. The sole exception is the Common Name field. When queried for Common Name, enter "server". When asked to sign the certificate, enter y for yes. When asked to commit, enter y again. You have just created the key pair that will be used by your server.

Command window after generating server key pair

Command window after generating server key pair

Now it's time to create the key pair to be used by your client machine. To do so, keep the command window on your server machine open and type:

build-key-pkcs12 client1

This command will generate a key pair that can only be accessed by typing in a passphrase of your choice. As in previous cases, you can leave most entries blank, with the exception of Common Name. For that field, enter "client1". When asked to enter a challenge password, leave the field blank. When asked to sign the certificate, enter y for yes. When asked to commit, enter y again. Next, you'll be asked to enter and re-enter an export password. This step is important, because it will prevent a thief from accessing the VPN in the event the client computer is stolen. Choose something good, and be sure to remember what it is.

You have just created the key pair that will be used by your client.

Command window after generating client key pair

Command window after generating client key pair

If you've gotten this far, you've successfully generated all the keys needed to connect a client to a VPN server. Double click on the folder located at C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\easy-rsa\keys and you'll find the keys.

Keys folder after keys have been generated

Keys folder after keys have been generated

Now, it's time to put the keys in the proper locations. The most important file in the entire bunch is the one titled ca.key. This is the certificate authority that is used to generate new keys for clients that connect to the server. If it's lost, it will be impossible for additional clients to connect to the VPN server. Even worse, if it's stolen, it will be possible for the thief to connect to the server. Keep the ca.key file in a highly secure location, i.e., one not connected to the internet.

The next three files to pay attention to are ca.crt, server.crt and server.key. Copy all three to the folder on the server machine located at C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config. Finally, going back to the C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\easy-rsa\keys, locate the file called client1.p12. This file needs to be copied to the client machine, specifically to the folder located at C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config.

You have now completed the key management part of setting up OpenVPN.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Configuring OpenVPN

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.