Dynamic Multipoint VPN (CCIE Notes)

Disclaimer: These are my rough cut notes for CCIE Security studies! Not a detailed explanation of DMVPN.

Three components that make up DMVPN:

1. Mulitpoint GRE (mGRE)

  • Tunnel interface having multiple tunnel destinations unlike a point-to-point GRE tunnel that has a single tunnel destination.

2. Next-Hop Resolution Protocol (NHRP)

  • Each router in an NHRP topology acts as either a NHC or a NHS.
  • mGRE uses NHRP for mapping logical/tunnel IP address to physical/real IP addresses.
  • NHC registers its physical-to-tunnel mapped IP address to the NHS and the NHS acts as a database agent which stores all registered mappings and replying to NHC queries.
  • If a NHS does not have a requested entry in its database, it can forward packet to another NHS to see if it has the requested association.

3. Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF)

  • Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) is a packet-switching technique which provides the ability to switch packets through a device in a very quick efficient way while also keeping the load on the router’s processor low.
  • CEF is made up of two different main components: the Forwarding Information Base (FIB) and the CEF Adjacency Table.

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TCP Intercept for DoS Attack Prevention (CCIE Notes)

TCP Intercept

  • It protects a TCP server from TCP SYN-flooding attacks (DoS) attacks.
  • It intercepts and validates TCP connection requests.
  • Establishes connection with the client on behalf of the destination server, and if successful, establishes a connection with the server on behalf of the client and knits the two half connections transparently.
  • Either all requests can be intercepted or those coming from specific networks or destined for specific servers.

Modes of Operation:

Intercept Mode

  • This is the default mode.
  • Performs a three-way handshake with the client, if successful, sends the original SYN packet to the destination server and performs a three-way handshake with the server.
  •  When this is completed, the two half connections are joined.

Watch mode

  • Connection requests are allowed to pass through the router to the server but are watched until they become established.
  • If requests fail to establish within 30 seconds (default), the software sends a reset request to the server to clear up its state.

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Monitoring Site-to-Site VPNs in ASA/PIX (Syslog)

Recently I’ve got a task of monitoring our site-to-site VPNs on some PIX firewalls (yeah, I know, we still use it in some locations). After a lot of researching I’ve found a working and quite decent solution for now. Monitoring specific syslog IDs for VPN disconnections looks like the way to go.

I’m going to start off with PIX and will add the ASA config when I lab it up.

Note: You need not setup logging lists if you are already monitoring error level logs and above because the log message ID that we explicitly want to log for our VPN monitoring is a warning level log. Hence my logging list has a separate critical (level 2) logging as the VPN monitoring isn’t covered under that level.

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Configure IOS router to initiate a VPN in Aggressive Mode

Enabling Aggressive Mode globally on an IOS router is pretty straight forward and is the default any way;

no crypto isakmp aggressive-mode disable

But the problem with this is that the router will only act as a responder to VPN requests that come in. It cannot initiate a VPN in Aggressive Mode.

Adding the Aggressive Mode option in an ISAKMP profile and attaching that profile to the crypto map of that peer will allow the IOS router to also initiate a VPN in Aggressive Mode with the peer;

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Zone-Based Firewall – Configuration (CCIE Notes)

Let’s have a look at a very basic configuration first;

1. Zone Security

zone security OUTSIDE
zone security INSIDE

2. Zone Member

interface fa0/0 zone-member security OUTSIDE
interface fa0/1 zone-member security INSIDE

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