Strong Authentication at Fermilab
Chapter 6: Logging In from Off-Site
TOC PREV NEXT INDEX

Chapter Contents

Chapter 6: Logging In from Off-Site
  6.1 Description of Choices for Off-Site Machines
  6.2 REMOVED SECTION -- OBSOLETE In a Pinch: Download Client-Only Version of Kerberos
  6.3 Obtaining CRYPTOCards
  6.4 Exporting CRYPTOCards
  6.5 Network Address Translation
    6.5.1 Windows
    6.5.2 Linux
    6.5.3 Macintosh

 

Links

View or print PDF file of chapter

Back to Strong Auth Index Page
CD Home Page
Fermilab at Work
Fermilab Home


Chapter 6: Logging In from Off-Site


In this chapter, we discuss what off-site users are required to do in order to access Fermilab's strengthened realm, and some of the issues they may encounter.

Due to practical considerations, namely the fact that off-site machines at universities may be shared by many people, some of whom do not access Fermilab at all, off-site users are not required to install a Kerberos 5 server. Off-site machines participating in Fermilab's strengthened realm have a choice of authentication methods, including ssh with passwords, public/private keys, host-based keys or Kerberos. Access to a system on-site at Fermilab requires Kerberos credentials or a CRYPTOCard.

6.1 Description of Choices for Off-Site Machines

The choices for off-site machines include:

  1. Install the Kerberos client (and optionally the Kerberized ssh client) software on your machines and sign up to be part of the FNAL.GOV strengthened realm. This means you can authenticate to Kerberos locally and connect to Fermilab computers using the Kerberized version of a network connection program. This is the preferred method. (Kerberos-lite is available, too; see section 6.2 In a Pinch: Download Client-Only Version of Kerberos).
  2. Leave your machines unstrengthened and always log in to Fermilab using your CRYPTOCard (see Chapter 5: Using your CRYPTOCard). Note that if you choose to do this, we recommend that you use ssh as the transport program in order to ensure encryption. You must NEVER type in your password if you are on an unencrypted channel! There is no way to perform any Kerberos command that requires a password while logged in using an X-terminal. And please, as much as possible, refrain from performing operations that involve typing your Kerberos password over the network.
  3. Your site may have its own version of strong authentication which may be acceptable to Fermilab and then you could become a trusted realm.
  4. In addition, a stripped-down kerberos product exists for emergency off-site use, e.g., for people who've misplaced their CRYPTOCard. It is called FNAL-kerberos-clientonly and is described in section 6.2 In a Pinch: Download Client-Only Version of Kerberos. This product is intended for temporary use. People using the same machine repeatedly will likely find a full Kerberos installation more useful and convenient.

The Cryptography Publishing Project is making MIT Kerberos V5 release 1.2.1 available for export without restriction (software for Macintosh excepted); see http://www.crypto-publish.org/.

If people need to log in from your site to change their passwords, there must be at least one local machine on which there is software which will allow it to be done locally (best) or over an encrypted connection (second best).

6.2 In a Pinch: Download Client-Only Version of Kerberos This Section Obsolete

6.3 Obtaining CRYPTOCards

All users, on-site and off-site, can request a CRYPTOCard using the Request Form for Computing Username and Primary Accounts at http://computing.fnal.gov/cd/forms/acctreq_form.html. If you visit Fermilab occasionally, come by the WH Ground Floor to pick it up when it's ready. For those experimenters or other users who will not be visiting Fermilab, CRYPTOCards can be mailed. Each group or experiment should have a person designated to mail CRYPTOCards; contact the appropriate person to request mailing.

If you lose your CRYPTOCard or it becomes unusable for any reason, please open a helpdesk ticket (http://helpdesk.fnal.gov/ or email helpdesk@fnal.gov) to request a new one. Then ask the person designated for your group or experiment to pick it up and mail it to you. Currently we do not have a way of restoring your access more quickly. By the end of 2001, we expect to have a mechanism in place whereby we can fax you a one-time password.

6.4 Exporting CRYPTOCards

For users outside the U.S., you can carry a CRYPTOCard back to your home or institution with no customs problems since the cards are for authentication, not encryption. They can be mailed outside the U.S., too.

6.5 Network Address Translation

There is an issue concerning users who maintain a small network of computers at home and whose ISP subjects them to NAT (Network Address Translation). NAT creates a firewall of sorts in which one computer (or the router itself) sits on your assigned IP address and routes traffic to a number of machines inside your house (wireless or not), all at the same time, using that one IP address.

When you authenticate, normally your IP address is part of that authentication. But that would be your local IP address, the one the machine knows, not the one that the outside world knows you by. Authentication won't work in this case. You can get an addressless ticket that doesn't have this problem.

A remote process (e.g., X Client) must be able to send its messages back to the correct machine through the NAT. The two simplest ways to do this are:

  1. Use Fermilab's VPN (Virtual Private Network) to tunnel through the NAT. This gives you a Fermilab address (...fnal.gov) for Fermilab machines, but to the rest of the world, your address is still the one your ISP gave you. You must use VPN for tasks such as connecting to Windows disk servers on site, changing your Windows password, etc.
  2. Tunnel through the NAT using ssh.

Kerberos 5 has the ability to natively generate addressless tickets, and Fermilab has built the Kerberos binaries with this functionality enabled. So you can use kinit -A instead of plain kinit to obtain a Kerberos ticket not bound to a particular IP address, which can then be passed through your firewall. In this case, the problem described above just doesn't arise.

Secondly, the Kerberos 4 compatibility libraries used to build the new Kerberos 5-based Kerberos Kits have been modified such that they do not check the IP addresses on Kerberos 4 tickets. This means that all the new server binaries (klogind, telnetd, etc.) also don't check IP address of Kerberos 4 tickets anymore, and therefore should work with clients behind NAT.

6.5.1 Windows

Install a version of WRQ® Reflection that supports OpenSSH connections and creation of addressless tickets (as with the kinit -A option). Versions 11 and following will work ( for everything but FTP). To support remote processes (e.g., X Client), OpenSSH connections should be configured with the "Kerberos key exchange" box checked (an option under "Advanced" button on the WRQ Reflection X Manager - Connection template). The resulting communications tunnel through the NAT transparently.

6.5.2 Linux

If you install Linux, configure your machine such that its hostname is equivalent to the external hostname your ISP uses, then install a Kerberos client. (If you're not sure how to configure, send an email to kerberos-users@fnal.gov, or check the archives.)

6.5.3 Macintosh

For Macintosh OS 9 and earlier: To enable BetterTelnet to work for a Kerberized Macintosh in a NAT environment, you must add the following line to the libdefaults section of the Kerberos Preferences file (Note that this reduces the security of your Kerberos credentials.):

noaddresses = true

Forwardable tickets to do not work. Opening a connection with BetterTelnet results in a dialog box from the Kerberos5 Telnet Plugin about the forwarded credentials being refused due to bad address. Clicking OK will result in the telnet connection opening as expected, otherwise.

For Mac OS X and later: Add to the [libdefaults] section:

noaddresses = TRUE
 


TOC PREV NEXT INDEX
View/print PDF file | Back to Strong Auth Index Page | Computing Division | Fermilab at Work | Fermilab Home
This page updated on: 05/09/07