HOWTO: Opportunistic IPsec using LetsEncrypt
The idea is to leverage the LetsEncrypt Certificate Agency to authenticate servers for IPsec. At the same time, we want our IPsec clients to remain anonymous. This allows the client configuration to be simple since it does not need to have its own verifiable identity. And it also offers the best privacy for the client. This is similar to how TLS works. But with IPsec we get to encrypt every kind of traffic between the two hosts and not just those applications that support SSL/TLS.
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The client configuration is reasonable straightforward. What is needed is the Root Certificate Agency file for LetsEncrypt and libreswan-3.19 or higher.
If libreswan is not yet installed or has never started before, it must be started first so that it initializes the NSS certificate store. For example:
yum install libreswan ipsec start
Next, we need to install the LetsEncrypt CA certificates into the NSS db. Note that for RHEL and Fedora, this store is located in /etc/ipsec.d and for Debian and Ubuntu this store is located in /var/lib/ipsec/nss/
mkdir letsencrypt cd letsencrypt wget https://letsencrypt.org/certs/lets-encrypt-x4-cross-signed.pem wget https://letsencrypt.org/certs/lets-encrypt-x3-cross-signed.pem wget https://letsencrypt.org/certs/isrgrootx1.pem # the trustid root is missing the header / footer and is stupidly embedded on web page # baesed on https://www.identrust.com/certificates/trustid/root-download-x3.html wget https://nohats.ca/LE/identrust-x3.pem # use the right NSS location! certutil -A -i lets-encrypt-x3-cross-signed.pem -n lets-encrypt-x3 -t CT,, -d sql:/etc/ipsec.d certutil -A -i lets-encrypt-x4-cross-signed.pem -n lets-encrypt-x4 -t CT,, -d sql:/etc/ipsec.d certutil -A -i isrgrootx1.pem -n isrgrootx1 -t CT,, -d sql:/etc/ipsec.d certutil -A -i identrust-x3.pem -n identrust-x3 -t CT,, -d sql:/etc/ipsec.d
Next, we need to configure libreswan to attempt to setup an IPsec tunnel for each new target IP address the kernel wants to send a packet to. This uses a special connection named "private-or-clear".
You can cut & paste the below configuration, or you can download it: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/libreswan/libreswan/master/docs/examples/oe-letsencrypt-client.conf oe-letsencrypt-client.conf] Place the file in /etc/ipsec.d/
# See https://libreswan.org/wiki/HOWTO:_Opportunistic_IPsec_using_LetsEncrypt # conn private-or-clear rightid=%fromcert rightrsasigkey=%cert rightauth=rsasig right=%opportunisticgroup rightmodecfgclient=yes rightcat=yes # Any CA will do because we only load the LetsEncrypt CA rightca=%any # left=%defaultroute leftid=%null leftauth=null leftmodecfgclient=yes leftcat=yes # narrowing=yes type=tunnel ikev2=insist negotiationshunt=drop failureshunt=passthrough keyingtries=1 retransmit-timeout=3s auto=ondemand
Next, we need to tell when this kind of LetsEncrypt connection is attempted. We are planning to add some plugins and DNS record or other kind of information that will allow libreswan to detect which sites support this before trying to connect. For now, we will just always try and if it fails we remember this for a while (1h).
# /etc/ipsec.d/policies/private-or-clear # # A number of hosts within this /24 support LetsEncrypt (letsencrypt.libreswan.org, nohats.ca, mx.nohats.ca) 188.8.131.52/24 # If you just want to always try it to everyone in the world, enable the below line 0.0.0.0/0
That's it. Now you can restart libreswan to reload the configuration and test it.
paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec restart Redirecting to: systemctl stop ipsec.service Redirecting to: systemctl start ipsec.service paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec whack --trafficstatus paul@thinkpad:~$ ping letsencrypt.libreswan.org PING letsencrypt.libreswan.org (184.108.40.206) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from letsencrypt.libreswan.org (220.127.116.11): icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=96.5 ms 64 bytes from letsencrypt.libreswan.org (18.104.22.168): icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=98.0 ms ^C --- letsencrypt.libreswan.org ping statistics --- 3 packets transmitted, 2 received, 33% packet loss, time 2062ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 96.564/97.306/98.049/0.805 ms paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec whack --trafficstatus 006 #4: "private-or-clear#22.214.171.124/24" ...126.96.36.199, type=ESP, add_time=1484626492, inBytes=168, outBytes=168, id='CN=letsencrypt.libreswan.org'
If a host does not support Opportunistic IPsec, you can see this in the bare shunt table.
paul@thinkpad:~$ ping 188.8.131.52 PING 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=2 ttl=52 time=93.9 ms 64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=3 ttl=52 time=93.9 ms ^C --- 126.96.36.199 ping statistics --- 3 packets transmitted, 2 received, 33% packet loss, time 2001ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 93.906/93.935/93.964/0.029 ms paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec whack --trafficstatus 006 #2: "private-or-clear#188.8.131.52/24" ...184.108.40.206, type=ESP, add_time=1484626698, inBytes=168, outBytes=168, id='CN=letsencrypt.libreswan.org' paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec whack --shuntstatus 000 Bare Shunt list: 000 000 220.127.116.11/32:0 -0-> 18.104.22.168/32:0 => %pass 0 oe-failing
(note the tunnel shown was already established above)
You can confirm with tcpdump:
23:21:25.682769 IP 22.214.171.124 > 126.96.36.199: ESP(spi=0x63c0c45a,seq=0x5), length 120 23:21:25.778733 IP 188.8.131.52 > 184.108.40.206: ESP(spi=0x43f7f488,seq=0x5), length 120 23:21:25.778733 IP 220.127.116.11 > 18.104.22.168: ICMP echo reply, id 18348, seq 3, length 64 23:21:26.683790 IP 22.214.171.124 > 126.96.36.199: ESP(spi=0x63c0c45a,seq=0x6), length 120 23:21:26.782588 IP 188.8.131.52 > 184.108.40.206: ESP(spi=0x43f7f488,seq=0x6), length 120 23:21:26.782588 IP 220.127.116.11 > 18.104.22.168: ICMP echo reply, id 18348, seq 4, length 64 23:21:27.685652 IP 22.214.171.124 > 126.96.36.199: ESP(spi=0x63c0c45a,seq=0x7), length 120 23:21:27.785603 IP 188.8.131.52 > 184.108.40.206: ESP(spi=0x43f7f488,seq=0x7), length 120 23:21:27.785603 IP 220.127.116.11 > 18.104.22.168: ICMP echo reply, id 18348, seq 5, length 64
Note that the way tcpdump and IPsec hook into the kernel, you see both the encrypted outgoing, encrypted incoming and decrypted incoming traffic, but not the outgoing pre-encrypt traffic. Work is underway to integrate OE with VTI interfaces where you will see all cleartext on the ipsec0 interface and all encrypted packets on the physical interface.
The server-side configuration consists of two parts. Getting a LetsEncrypt certificate and configurating libreswan. In this example, we will setup nssec.nohats.ca as an Opportunistic IPsec server for use with LetsEncrypt.
There are different methods and software available to get a LetsEncrypt certificate. While most people seem to use certbot, I found dehydrated much nicer to use. To proof ownership of the server, you need to answer an ACME challenge using either DNS or HTTP. We will use HTTP. Note that you only briefly need to run an HTTP server while getting or renewing the certificate. In our example we will use a standard apache install on RHEL/CENTOS server. It should work on version 6 or 7 of these distributions.
At the time of writing, those repositories do not yet have libreswan-3.19 or later. The Libreswan Project offers a repository for RHEL/CentoOS 6 and 7 that does have a new enough version:
cd /etc/pki/rpm-gpg wget https://download.libreswan.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-libreswan cd /etc/yum.repos.d wget https://download.libreswan.org/rhel-libreswan.repo </pre? Install libreswan and apache: <pre> yum install libreswan httpd ipsec start systemctl start httpd
Install and run "dehydrated" to get (and renew) a LetsEncrypt certificate. If your host has multiple DNS names, add all of them on a single line in the domains.txt file:
mkdir /etc/dehydrated cd /etc/dehydrated wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lukas2511/dehydrated/master/dehydrated chmod 755 dehydrated echo "nssec.nohats.ca" > domains.txt echo "WELLKNOWN=/var/www/html/.well-known/acme-challenge" >>config echo "CONTACTemail@example.com" >>config mkdir -p /var/www/html/.well-known/acme-challenge restorecon -R /var/www/html/.well-known ln -s /etc/dehydrated/dehydrated /usr/local/sbin/dehydrated dehydrated -c <pre> If everything worked, it will look like: <pre> [root@nssec dehydrated]# dehydrated -c # INFO: Using main config file /etc/dehydrated/config Processing nssec.nohats.ca + Signing domains... + Generating private key... + Generating signing request... + Requesting challenge for nssec.nohats.ca... + Already validated! + Requesting certificate... + Checking certificate... + Done! + Creating fullchain.pem... + Done!
Now we need to import the certificate into libreswan. It will require an "export password". It is not really used because we will immediately import it without password into libreswan. You should set the name (-name) to the DNs name of your host. We will use this later in the libreswan configuration.
cd /etc/dehydrated/certs/nssec.nohats.ca/ openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey privkey.pem -in cert.pem -name nssec.nohats.ca -certfile fullchain.pem -out nssec.nohats.ca.p12 Enter Export Password: Verifying - Enter Export Password:
The .p12 file can now be imported into libreswan:
ipsec import nssec.nohats.ca.p12 Enter password for PKCS12 file: pk12util: PKCS12 IMPORT SUCCESSFUL correcting trust bits for Let's Encrypt Authority X3 - Digital Signature Trust Co.
Now similar to what we had done on the client, we need to create a connection. You can cut & paste the below configuration, or you can download it: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/libreswan/libreswan /master/docs/examples/oe-letsencrypt-server.conf oe-letsencrypt-server.conf] Place the file in /etc/ipsec.d/
# See https://libreswan.org/wiki/HOWTO:_Opportunistic_IPsec_using_LetsEncrypt conn clear-or-private leftid=%fromcert leftrsasigkey=%cert # Use the nickname (DNS name) of YOUR server leftcert=nssec.nohats.ca leftauth=rsasig left=%defaultroute leftaddresspool=100.64.0.1-100.64.255.254 leftmodecfgclient=yes # rightid=%null rightauth=null right=%opportunisticgroup # negotiationshunt=passthrough failureshunt=passthrough type=tunnel ikev2=insist sendca=issuer auto=add
Since with this connection you want to respond to everyone who tries to connect to you, you should add 0.0.0.0/0 to the clear-or-private policy file:
# /etc/ipsec.d/policies/clear-or-private # The world 0.0.0.0/0
And now you are read to restart libreswan and test it all out!
List of servers that are known to support Opportunistic IPsec
- nssec.nohats.ca (This server can also be used as DNS server)
Monitoring and Debugging
Monitoring and debugging can be done using:
# to see all IPsec tunnels currently active (and the amount of traffic encrypted) sudo ipsec whack --trafficstatus # to see all the IP addresses that were tried, but did not offer Opportunistic IPsec: sudo ipsec whack --shuntstatus # to see all the gory inside state of the libreswan pluto daemon sudo ipsec status
Libreswan also logs via syslog (or to a file if specified using logfile=/var/log/pluto.log in /etc/ipsec.conf)
It can be useful to do a manual debug version of an OE request. Since you might already have an outstanding request, and there cannot be two requests, the easiest is to restart libreswan and then test. Note that you need to know your local IP and the remote IP. There is no DNS resolution using this debug command.
sudo ipsec restart sleep 3 sudo ipsec whack --oppohere YOURIP --oppothere REMOTEIP
It will look something like:
paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec restart Redirecting to: systemctl stop ipsec.service Redirecting to: systemctl start ipsec.service paul@thinkpad:~$ dig +short nssec.nohats.ca 22.214.171.124 paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec whack --oppohere 126.96.36.199 --oppothere 188.8.131.52 002 initiate on demand from 184.108.40.206:0 to 220.127.116.11:0 proto=0 because: whack 133 "private-or-clear#18.104.22.168/24" ...22.214.171.124 #1: STATE_PARENT_I1: initiate 002 "private-or-clear#126.96.36.199/24" ...188.8.131.52 #1: private-or-clear#184.108.40.206/24 IKE proposals for initial initiator (selecting KE): 1:IKE:ENCR=AES_GCM_C_256;PRF=HMAC_SHA2_512,HMAC_SHA2_256,HMAC_SHA1;INTEG=NONE;DH=MODP2048,MODP3072,MODP4096,MODP8192 2:IKE:ENCR=AES_GCM_C_128;PRF=HMAC_SHA2_512,HMAC_SHA2_256,HMAC_SHA1;INTEG=NONE;DH=MODP2048,MODP3072,MODP4096,MODP8192 3:IKE:ENCR=AES_CBC_256;PRF=HMAC_SHA2_512,HMAC_SHA2_256,HMAC_SHA1;INTEG=HMAC_SHA2_512_256,HMAC_SHA2_256_128,HMAC_SHA1_96;DH=MODP2048,MODP3072,MODP1536 4:IKE:ENCR=AES_CBC_128;PRF=HMAC_SHA2_512,HMAC_SHA2_256,HMAC_SHA1;INTEG=HMAC_SHA2_512_256,HMAC_SHA2_256_128,HMAC_SHA1_96;DH=MODP2048,MODP3072,MODP1536 (default) 002 "private-or-clear#220.127.116.11/24" ...18.104.22.168 #1: private-or-clear#22.214.171.124/24 ESP/AH proposals for initiator: 1:ESP:ENCR=AES_GCM_C_256;INTEG=NONE;ESN=DISABLED 2:ESP:ENCR=AES_GCM_C_128;INTEG=NONE;ESN=DISABLED 3:ESP:ENCR=AES_CBC_256;INTEG=HMAC_SHA2_512_256,HMAC_SHA2_256_128;ESN=DISABLED 4:ESP:ENCR=AES_CBC_128;INTEG=HMAC_SHA2_512_256,HMAC_SHA2_256_128;ESN=DISABLED 5:ESP:ENCR=AES_CBC_128;INTEG=HMAC_SHA1_96;ESN=DISABLED (default) 002 "private-or-clear#126.96.36.199/24" ...188.8.131.52 #2: certificate CN=nssec.nohats.ca OK 002 "private-or-clear#184.108.40.206/24" ...220.127.116.11 #2: negotiated connection [18.104.22.168,22.214.171.124:0-65535 0] -> [126.96.36.199,188.8.131.52:0-65535 0]
If you are trying to perform a manual OE operation for a target IP that is not covered by /etc/ipsec.d/policies/private* you will receive this error:
paul@thinkpad:~$ sudo ipsec whack --oppohere 184.108.40.206 --oppothere 220.127.116.11 002 initiate on demand from 18.104.22.168:0 to 22.214.171.124:0 proto=0 because: whack 002 Cannot opportunistically initiate for 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52: no routed template covers this pair 033 Cannot opportunistically initiate for 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11: no routed template covers this pair