So, with all the hubbub about Firesheep lately, and the fact that I’m becoming more mobile in my computing, I figured that it was time for me to get a VPN set up. I didn’t want to pay for one, and hey, it turns out that I have all the tools I need to manage my own.
I have two targets I’d like to secure: My laptop (running Windows 7) and my Nexus One (running Cyanogen Mod 6.1).
Setting up OpenVPN on the router
This is straightforward and easily culled from online resources. Assuming you’re running DD-WRTv24, it’s dead simple to get up and running. I’ll be using a Fedora 11 box for certificate and key generation.
yum install openvpn
Set up the key generation environment and generate a Certificate Authority cert
cd /usr/share/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0 source ./vars ./clean-all ./build-dh ./build-ca
Provide whatever information you’d like for the cert, but set the Common Name to something usable, like “OpenVPN CA”.
Generate a certificate and key for your OpenVPN server (DD-WRT, in this case)
Provide whatever information you’d like for the cert, but set the Common Name to something usable, like “OpenVPN Server”.
Install the certificates and keys to the OpenVPN server
- In your DD-WRT install, go to
Services -> VPN
OpenVPN Daemon -> Start OpenVPNto “enable”
Start Typeto “WAN Up”
- Copy the contents of your
ca.crtinto “Public Server Cert”
Copy the key bits of your
server.crtinto Public Client Cert. It looks something like this:
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- MIIDnjCCAwegAwIBAgIBATANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADB0MQswCQYDVQQGEwJVUzEL MAkGA1UECBMCQVoxEDAOBgNVBAcTB1Bob2VuaXgxEDAOBgNVBAoTB09wZW5WUE4x ... i1fFhoNuFxC2z3D+Otg1SuBvA6v/zENRMTPduAr163G105brjN2BiAyEcTjxsqfl c6H57iwLaoyxxiJZVYx2WBYX0+13qf/jPoCd/IkCDnOv64R+8z4stgQlAUmNlNLU J/8BjCn+3FmA7uosamYi3bsW -----END CERTIFICATE-----
Be sure to include the BEGIN and END lines.
- Copy the contents of
server.keyinto “Private Client Key”
- Copy the contents of
dh1024.peminto “DH PEM”
Copy something like the following into “OpenVPN config”:
push "route 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0" server 192.168.66.0 255.255.255.0 dev tun0 proto udp keepalive 10 120 dh /tmp/openvpn/dh.pem ca /tmp/openvpn/ca.crt cert /tmp/openvpn/cert.pem key /tmp/openvpn/key.pem management localhost 5001
The “push” line should be the subnet of your local network (“192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0” means “all addresses between 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.255), and the “server” line should be the subnet of your new virtual network. In most cases, these defaults should work just fine.
- Click “Save”
- Go to Administration -> Commands
Enter the following:
iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 1194 -j ACCEPT iptables -I FORWARD 1 --source 192.168.66.0/24 -j ACCEPT iptables -I FORWARD -i br0 -o tun0 -j ACCEPT iptables -I FORWARD -i tun0 -o br0 -j ACCEPT
- Go to Administration -> Management, then click
Now, it’s time to configure our clients.
Generate certificates for the laptop and phone
./build-key laptop ./build-key phone
Package relevant certificates into a .p12 file for the phone
Android can import .p12 files, which consist of a root certificate, client certificate, and client key. We already have those three, so we just need to package them up.
cd /usr/share/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/keys openssl pkcs12 -export -in phone.crt -inkey phone.key -certfile ca.crt -name "Phone VPN" -out phone.p12
Once that’s done, copy the .p12 file to the root of your phone’s SD card. To install it, you’re going to go to
Settings -> Location and Security -> Install from SD Card. Just follow the steps - the import should find your .p12 file and import your certificates. You’ll be asked to create a certificate storage password if you haven’t imported any certificates before. Do so.
Configure the phone VPN
- Go to
Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> VPN Settings
Add OpenVPN VPN
- Set a name for your network (I chose “home”)
Set VPN Serveryou need to set your router’s WAN address. The easiest way to do this is to use something like DynDNS to get a host name to map to your IP address, but this is a topic for another post.
- Set the CA and user certificates to the certificates you just imported
- Hit the back button and connect! Your phone should now be using your VPN, and you can connect to public wifi with it with impunity.
Configuring the Windows VPN
- Grab the client download from openvpn.net and install it.
- Once installed, open a text editor. We have to create our VPN config file manually, but it’s not much of an issue to do so.
Create a file in
C:\Program Files (X86)\OpenVPN\config(or equivalent) called
home.ovpn. In it, paste the following:
remote xxx.homedns.org 1194 client remote-cert-tls server dev tun0 proto udp resolv-retry infinite nobind persist-key persist-tun float route-delay 30 ca ca.crt cert laptop.crt key laptop.key
Save it. Be sure to replace the hostname in the first line with your home hostname or IP.
- You probably noticed the certificate key references in the config file. Copy the laptop.crt, laptop.key, and ca.crt files you generated earlier into the same directory as the home.ovpn file
- Start the OpenVPN GUI. I had to run it as an administrator to get it to work properly.
- Double-click the tray icon and hit Connect. After a few seconds, your machine should be connected to your VPN, and the systray will notify you of your new virtual IP.
Congrats, that’s all there is to it! You can now route all your mobile traffic securely through your home connection, and rest assured that it’s safe from prying eyes. In my case, I get some extra benefits like being able to access my development servers and Samba shares without any extra hassle - definitely a nice perk!
Enjoy, and be secure!