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CCIE Self-Study: Security Protocols

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press.
  • Date: Oct 28, 2005.

Chapter Description

This chapter covers some of today's most widely used technologies that enable network administrators to ensure that sensitive data is secure from unauthorized sources. Standards such as IP Security (IPSec) and encryption standards are covered, as are all the fundamental foundation topics you need to understand to master the topics covered in the CCIE Security written exam.

Virtual Private Dial-Up Networks (VPDN)

A VPDN is a network that extends remote access dialup clients to a private network. VPDN tunnels use either Layer 2 forwarding (L2F) or Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol (L2TP).

Cisco introduced L2F in RFC 2341. It is also used to forward PPP sessions for Multichassis Multilink PPP.

L2TP, introduced in RFC 2661, combines the best of the Cisco L2F protocol and Microsoft Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Moreover, L2F supports only dial-in VPDN, while L2TP supports both dial-in and dial-out VPDN.

Both protocols use UDP port 1701 to build a tunnel through an IP network to forward link-layer frames.

For L2F, the setup for tunneling a PPP session consists of two steps:

Step 1.

Establish a tunnel between the NAS and the home gateway (HWY). The HWY is a Cisco router or access server (for example, an AS5300) that terminates VPDN tunnels and PPP sessions. This phase takes place only when no active tunnel exists between both devices.

Step 2.

Establish a session between the NAS and the home gateway.

For L2TP, the setup for tunneling a PPP session consists of two steps:

Step 1.

Establish a tunnel between the L2TP access concentrator (LAC) and the L2TP network server (LNS). The LAC acts as one side of the L2TP tunnel endpoint and has a peer to the LNS. This phase takes place only when no active tunnel exists between both devices.

Step 2.

Establish a session between the LAC and the LNS.

Figure 4-19 displays the tunnel termination points between a remote point of presence (POP) (typically an ISP router) and the home gateway router.


Figure 4-19 L2F or L2TP Tunnel Termination

The remote POP accepts frames encapsulated in L2F or L2TP and forwarded over the tunnel.

The LAC and LNS are hardware devices, such as Cisco's AS 5300 series router platform. The LAC's function is to sit between the LNS and the remote system and forward packets to and from each device. The LNS logically terminates the PPP connection.

VPDNs are implemented so that users connected through ISPs in any part of the world can take advantage of the connection to the ISP and tunnel the company's remote access traffic through the ISP network.

VPDNs include the following benefits:

  • Access to the corporate network from a remote location.
  • Offload remote access services to the ISP, which already has the infrastructure place.
  • End system transparency because the remote user does not require any hardware or software to use VPDN. Cisco IOS routers performs all the requirements.
  • Allows for accounting, which is sent from the home gateway router.

Figure 4-20 displays a typical VPDN scenario where a PC or router dials the NAS/LAC to request a VPDN connection to the private network.


Figure 4-20 VPDN Network Scenario

To implement the VPDN configuration, you need the following:

  • A Cisco router or access server for client access (NAS/LAC) and a Cisco router for network access (HGW/LNS) with IP connectivity between them.
  • Host names of the routers or local names to use on the VPDN groups.
  • A tunneling protocol, either the L2TP or L2F Protocol. L2TP is an industry standard, and L2F is a Cisco-proprietary protocol.
  • A password for the routers to authenticate the tunnel.
  • A tunneling criteria, either domain name or Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS).
  • Username and password for the user (client dialing in).
  • IP addresses and keys for your TACACS+ servers.

A VPDN connection between a remote user (router or through PSTN) and the corporate LAN is accomplished in the following steps:

Step 1.

The remote user initiates a PPP connection to the ISP using the analog telephone system or ISDN.

Step 2.

The ISP's NAS accepts the connection.

Step 3.

The ISP NAS authenticates the end user with CHAP or PAP. The username determines whether the user is a VPDN client. If the user is not a VPDN client, the client accesses the Internet or other contacted service.

Step 4.

The tunnel endpoints—the NAS and the home gateway—authenticate each other before any sessions are attempted within a tunnel.

Step 5.

If no L2F tunnel exists between the NAS and the remote users' home gateway, a tunnel is created. Then, an unused slot within the tunnel is allocated.

Step 6.

The home gateway accepts or rejects the connection. Initial setup can include authentication information required to allow the home gateway to authenticate the user.

Step 7.

The home gateway sets up a virtual interface. Link-level frames can now pass through this virtual interface through the L2F tunnel.

VPDN Configuration Task List

To configure VPDNs on the home gateway router, complete the following steps:

Step 1.

Create a virtual template interface, and enter the interface configuration mode:

interface virtual-template 
Step 2.

Identify the virtual template interface type and number on the LAN:

ip unnumbered 
         interface number
Step 3.

Enable PPP encapsulation on the virtual template interface:

encapsulation ppp
Step 4.

Enable PPP authentication on the virtual template interface:

ppp authentication {chap | ppp}
Step 5.

Enable the global configuration command to allow virtual private networking on the NAS and home gateway routers:

vpdn enable
Step 6. Specify the remote host (the NAS), the local name (the home gateway) to use for authenticating, and the virtual template to use:

Home gateway router:

vpdn incoming 
         nas-name hgw-name 

NAS configuration:

vpdn outgoing 
         domain-name NAS-nameip 

Example 4-17 displays a typical NAS/LAC configuration using TACACS+.

Example 4-17. Sample NAS/LAC Configuration

hostname NAS-LAC
aaa new-model
aaa authentication login default local
aaa authentication login CONSOLE none
aaa authentication ppp default if-needed group tacacs+
aaa authorization network default group tacacs+
enable password cciesarecool
username Melanie password 0 verysecretpassword
vpdn enable
interface Ethernet0
ip address
interface Dialer1
Description USER dials in and is assigned this interface
 ip unnumbered Ethernet0
 encapsulation ppp
 dialer-group 1
 peer d\efault ip address pool IPaddressPool
 ppp authentication chap
ip local pool IPaddressPool                        
tacacs-server host
tacacs-server key extremelysecrtetpassword
dialer-list 1 protocol ip permit
line con 0
 login authentication CONSOLE
 transport input none
line 1 96
 autoselect during-login
 autoselect ppp
 modem Dialin
line aux 0
line vty 0 4

Example 4-17 displays the ISP router that typically supplies the tunnel-id to the HGW and IP address to the dial users.

Example 4-18 displays a typical configuration the home gateway router.

Example 4-18. Sample HGY/LNS Configuration

hostname HGY-LNS
aaa new-model
aaa authentication login default local
aaa authentication login CONSOLE none
aaa authentication ppp default if-needed group tacacs+
aaa authorization network default group tacacs+
enable password cciesarecool
vpdn enable
vpdn-group DEFAULTcanbeanyname
! Default L2TP VPDN group
  protocol any
  virtual-template 1
 local name LNS
 lcp renegotiation always
 l2tp tunnel password 0 secretpwd
interface Virtual-Template1
 ip unnumbered FastEthernet0/0
 peer default ip address pool IPaddressPool
 ppp authentication chap
ip local pool IPaddressPool
tacacs-server host
tacacs-server key easypwd
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