For information about feature support in Cisco IOS software, use Cisco Feature Navigator.
This chapter describes how to configure lock-and-key security at your router. Lock-and-key is a traffic filtering security feature available for the IP protocol.
For a complete description of lock-and-key commands, refer to the Cisco IOS Security Command Reference
. To locate documentation of other commands that appear in this chapter, use the command reference master index or search online.
To identify the hardware platform or software image information associated with a feature, use the Feature Navigator on Cisco.com to search for information about the feature or refer to the software release notes for a specific release.
Lock-and-key uses IP extended access lists. You must have a solid understanding of how access lists are used to filter traffic, before you attempt to configure lock-and-key. Access lists are described in the chapter “Access Control Lists: Overview and Guidelines.”
Lock-and-key employs user authentication and authorization as implemented in Cisco’s authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) paradigm. You must understand how to configure AAA user authentication and authorization before you configure lock-and-key. User authentication and authorization is explained in the “Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA)” part of this document.
Lock-and-key uses the autocommand command, which you should understand. This command is described in the Cisco IOSTerminal Services Command Reference.
Information About Configuring Lock-and-Key Security (Dynamic Access Lists)
Lock-and-key is a traffic filtering security feature that dynamically filters IP protocol traffic. Lock-and-key is configured using IP dynamic extended access lists. Lock-and-key can be used in conjunction with other standard access lists and static extended access lists.
When lock-and-key is configured, designated users whose IP traffic is normally blocked at a router can gain temporary access through the router. When triggered, lock-and-key reconfigures the interface’s existing IP access list to permit designated users to reach their designated host(s). Afterwards, lock-and-key reconfigures the interface back to its original state.
For a user to gain access to a host through a router with lock-and-key configured, the user must first open a Telnet session to the router. When a user initiates a standard Telnet session to the router, lock-and-key automatically attempts to authenticate the user. If the user is authenticated, they will then gain temporary access through the router and be able to reach their destination host.
Benefits of Lock-and-Key
Lock-and-key provides the same benefits as standard and static extended access lists (these benefits are discussed in the chapter “Access Control Lists: Overview and Guidelines”). However, lock-and-key also has the following security benefits over standard and static extended access lists:
Lock-and-key uses a challenge mechanism to authenticate individual users.
Lock-and-key provides simpler management in large internetworks.
In many cases, lock-and-key reduces the amount of router processing required for access lists.
Lock-and-key reduces the opportunity for network break-ins by network hackers.
With lock-and-key, you can specify which users are permitted access to which source and destination hosts. These users must pass a user authentication process before they are permitted access to their designated hosts. Lock-and-key creates dynamic user access through a firewall, without compromising other configured security restrictions.
When to Use Lock-and-Key
Two examples of when you might use lock-and-key follow:
When you want a specific remote user (or group of remote users) to be able to access a host within your network, connecting from their remote hosts via the Internet. Lock-and-key authenticates the user, then permits limited access through your firewall router for the individual’s host or subnet, for a finite period of time.
When you want a subset of hosts on a local network to access a host on a remote network protected by a firewall. With lock-and-key, you can enable access to the remote host only for the desired set of local user’s hosts. Lock-and-key require the users to authenticate through a TACACS+ server, or other security server, before allowing their hosts to access the remote hosts.
How Lock-and-Key Works
The following process describes the lock-and-key access operation:
A user opens a Telnet session to a border (firewall) router configured for lock-and-key. The user connects via the virtual terminal port on the router.
The Cisco IOS software receives the Telnet packet, opens a Telnet session, prompts for a password, and performs a user authentication process. The user must pass authentication before access through the router is allowed. The authentication process can be done by the router or by a central access security server such as a TACACS+ or RADIUS server.
When the user passes authentication, they are logged out of the Telnet session, and the software creates a temporary entry in the dynamic access list. (Per your configuration, this temporary entry can limit the range of networks to which the user is given temporary access.)
The user exchanges data through the firewall.
The software deletes the temporary access list entry when a configured timeout is reached, or when the system administrator manually clears it. The configured timeout can either be an idle timeout or an absolute timeout.
The temporary access list entry is not automatically deleted when the user terminates a session. The temporary access list entry remains until a configured timeout is reached or until it is cleared by the system administrator.
Compatibility with Releases Before Cisco IOS Release 11.1
Enhancements to the access-list command are used for lock-and-key. These enhancements are backward compatible--if you migrate from a release before Cisco IOS Release 11.1 to a newer release, your access lists will be automatically converted to reflect the enhancements. However, if you try to use lock-and-key with a release before Cisco IOS Release 11.1, you might encounter problems as described in the following caution paragraph:
Cisco IOS releases before Release 11.1 are not upwardly compatible with the lock-and-key access list enhancements. Therefore, if you save an access list with software older than Release 11.1, and then use this software, the resulting access list will not be interpreted correctly. This could cause you severe security problems. You must save your old configuration files with Cisco IOS Release 11.1 or later software before booting an image with these files.
Risk of Spoofing with Lock-and-Key
Lock-and-key access allows an external event (a Telnet session) to place an opening in the firewall. While this opening exists, the router is susceptible to source address spoofing.
When lock-and-key is triggered, it creates a dynamic opening in the firewall by temporarily reconfiguring an interface to allow user access. While this opening exists, another host might spoof the authenticated user’s address to gain access behind the firewall. Lock-and-key does not cause the address spoofing problem; the problem is only identified here as a concern to the user. Spoofing is a problem inherent to all access lists, and lock-and-key does not specifically address this problem.
To prevent spoofing, configure encryption so that traffic from the remote host is encrypted at a secured remote router, and decrypted locally at the router interface providing lock-and-key. You want to ensure that all traffic using lock-and-key will be encrypted when entering the router; this way no hackers can spoof the source address, because they will be unable to duplicate the encryption or to be authenticated as is a required part of the encryption setup process.
Router Performance Impacts with Lock-and-Key
When lock-and-key is configured, router performance can be affected in the following ways:
When lock-and-key is triggered, the dynamic access list forces an access list rebuild on the silicon switching engine (SSE). This causes the SSE switching path to slow down momentarily.
Dynamic access lists require the idle timeout facility (even if the timeout is left to default) and therefore cannot be SSE switched. These entries must be handled in the protocol fast-switching path.
When remote users trigger lock-and-key at a border router, additional access list entries are created on the border router interface. The interface’s access list will grow and shrink dynamically. Entries are dynamically removed from the list after either the idle-timeout or max-timeout period expires. Large access lists can degrade packet switching performance, so if you notice performance problems, you should look at the border router configuration to see if you should remove temporary access list entries generated by lock-and-key.
When lock-and-key is in use, dynamic access lists will dynamically grow and shrink as entries are added and deleted. You need to make sure that entries are being deleted in a timely way, because while entries exist, the risk of a spoofing attack is present. Also, the more entries there are, the bigger the router performance impact will be.
If you do not have an idle or absolute timeout configured, entries will remain in the dynamic access list until you manually remove them. If this is the case, make sure that you are extremely vigilant about removing entries.
Dynamic Access Lists
Use the following guidelines for configuring dynamic access lists:
Do not create more than one dynamic access list for any one access list. The software only refers to the first dynamic access list defined.
Do not assign the same
dynamic-name to another access list. Doing so instructs the software to reuse the existing list. All named entries must be globally unique within the configuration.
Assign attributes to the dynamic access list in the same way you assign attributes for a static access list. The temporary access list entries inherit the attributes assigned to this list.
Configure Telnet as the protocol so that users must open a Telnet session into the router to be authenticated before they can gain access through the router.
Either define an idle timeout now with the
timeout keyword in the
access-enable command in the
autocommand command, or define an absolute timeout value later with the
access-list command. You must define either an idle timeout or an absolute timeout--otherwise, the temporary access list entry will remain configured indefinitely on the interface (even after the user has terminated their session) until the entry is removed manually by an administrator. (You could configure both idle and absolute timeouts if you wish.)
If you configure an idle timeout, the idle timeout value should be equal to the WAN idle timeout value.
If you configure both idle and absolute timeouts, the idle timeout value must be less than the absolute timeout value.
If you realize that a job will run past the ACL’s absolute timer, use the
access-listdynamic-extend command to extend the absolute timer of the dynamic ACL by six minutes. This command allows you to open a new Telnet session into the router to re-authentication yourself using lock-and-key.
The only values replaced in the temporary entry are the source or destination address, depending whether the access list was in the input access list or output access list. All other attributes, such as port, are inherited from the main dynamic access list.
Each addition to the dynamic list is always put at the beginning of the dynamic list. You cannot specify the order of temporary access list entries.
Temporary access list entries are never written to NVRAM.
To manually clear or to display dynamic access lists, refer to the section “Maintaining Lock-and-Key” later in this chapter.
There are three possible methods to configure an authentication query process. These three methods are described in this section.
Cisco recommends that you use the TACACS+ server for your authentication query process. TACACS+ provides authentication, authorization, and accounting services. It also provides protocol support, protocol specification, and a centralized security database. Using a TACACS+ server is described in the next section, “Method 1--Configuring a Security Server.”
Use a network access security server such as TACACS+ server. This method requires additional configuration steps on the TACACS+ server but allows for stricter authentication queries and more sophisticated tracking capabilities.
Router(config-line)# login tacacs
username command. This method is more effective because authentication is determined on a user basis.
login commands. This method is less effective because the password is configured for the port, not for the user. Therefore, any user who knows the password can authenticate successfully.
Router(config-line)# login local
The autocommand Command
The autocommand command configures the system to automatically execute a specified privileged EXEC command when a user connects to a particular line. Use the following guidelines for configuring the autocommand command:
If you use a TACACS+ server to authenticate the user, you should configure the autocommand command on the TACACS+ server as a per-user autocommand. If you use local authentication, use the autocommand command on the line.
Configure all virtual terminal (VTY) ports with the same autocommand command. Omitting an autocommand command on a VTY port allows a random host to gain privileged EXEC mode access to the router and does not create a temporary access list entry in the dynamic access list.
If you do not define an idle timeout with the autocommandaccess-enable command, you must define an absolute timeout with the access-list command. You must define either an idle timeout or an absolute timeout--otherwise, the temporary access list entry will remain configured indefinitely on the interface (even after the user has terminated the session) until the entry is removed manually by an administrator. (You could configure both idle and absolute timeouts if you wish.)
If you configure both idle and absolute timeouts, the absolute timeout value must be greater than the idle timeout value.
How to Configure Lock-and-Key Security (Dynamic Access Lists)
To configure lock-and-key, use the following commands beginning in global configuration mode. While completing these steps, be sure to follow the guidelines listed in the “Lock-and-Key Configuration Guidelines” section of this chapter.
Configures a dynamic access list, which serves as a template and placeholder for temporary access list entries.
(Optional) Extends the absolute timer of the dynamic ACL by six minutes when you open another Telnet session into the router to re-authenticate yourself using lock-and-key. Use this command if your job will run past the ACL’s absolute timer.
Configures an interface and enters interface configuration mode.
Router(config-if)# ip access-groupaccess-list-number
Applies the access list to the interface.
Exits interface configuration mode and enters global configuration mode.
Router(config)# line vty
Defines one or more virtual terminal (VTY) ports and enters line configuration mode. If you specify multiple VTY ports, they must all be configured identically because the software hunts for available VTY ports on a round-robin basis. If you do not want to configure all your VTY ports for lock-and-key access, you can specify a group of VTY ports for lock-and-key support only.
Do one of the following:
Router(config-line)# login tacacs
Router(config-line)# login local
Configures user authentication in line or global configuration mode.
Enables the creation of temporary access list entries in line configuration or privilege EXEC mode.
autocommand with the
access-enable command in line configuration mode configures the system to automatically create a temporary access list entry in the dynamic access list when the host connects to the line (or lines).
If the optional
host keyword is not specified, all hosts on the entire network are allowed to set up a temporary access list entry. The dynamic access list contains the network mask to enable the new network connection.
If the optional
timeout keyword is specified, it defines the idle timeout for the temporary access list.
Valid values, in minutes, range from 1 to 9999.
Verifying Lock-and-Key Configuration
You can verify that lock-and-key is successfully configured on the router by asking a user to test the connection. The user should be at a host that is permitted in the dynamic access list, and the user should have AAA authentication and authorization configured.
To test the connection, the user should Telnet to the router, allow the Telnet session to close, and then attempt to access a host on the other side of the router. This host must be one that is permitted by the dynamic access list. The user should access the host with an application that uses the IP protocol.
The following sample display illustrates what end-users might see if they are successfully authenticated. Notice that the Telnet connection is closed immediately after the password is entered and authenticated. The temporary access list entry is then created, and the host that initiated the Telnet session now has access inside the firewall.
Router% telnet corporate
Trying 172.21.52.1 ...
Connected to corporate.example.com.
Escape character is ‘^]’.
User Access Verification
Password:Connection closed by foreign host.
You can then use the showaccess-lists command at the router to view the dynamic access lists, which should include an additional entry permitting the user access through the router.s
Displaying Dynamic Access List Entries
You can display temporary access list entries when they are in use. After a temporary access list entry is cleared by you or by the absolute or idle timeout parameter, it can no longer be displayed. The number of matches displayed indicates the number of times the access list entry was hit.
To view dynamic access lists and any temporary access list entries that are currently established, use the following command in privileged EXEC mode:
Router# show access-lists [access-list-number]
Displays dynamic access lists and temporary access list entries.
Manually Deleting Dynamic Access List Entries
To manually delete a temporary access list entry, use the following command in privileged EXEC mode:
This example shows how to configure lock-and-key access, with authentication occurring locally at the router. Lock-and-key is configured on the Ethernet 0 interface.
ip address 172.18.23.9 255.255.255.0
ip access-group 101 in
access-list 101 permit tcp any host 172.18.21.2 eq telnet
access-list 101 dynamic mytestlist timeout 120 permit ip any any
line vty 0
autocommand access-enable timeout 5
The first access-list entry allows only Telnet into the router. The second access-list entry is always ignored until lock-and-key is triggered.
In the access-list command, the timeout is the absolute timeout. In this example, the lifetime of the mytestlist ACL is 120 minutes; that is, when a user logs in and enable the access-enable command, a dynamic ACL is created for 120 minutes (the maximum absolute time). The session is closed after 120 minutes, whether or not anyone is using it.
In the access-enablecommand, the timeout is the idle timeout. In this example, each time the user logs in or authenticates there is a 5-minute session. If there is no activity, the session closes in 5 minutes and the user has to reauthenticate. If the user uses the connection, the absolute time takes affect and the session closes in 120 minutes.
After a user opens a Telnet session into the router, the router will attempt to authenticate the user. If authentication is successful, the autocommand executes and the Telnet session terminates. The autocommand creates a temporary inbound access list entry at the Ethernet 0 interface, based on the second access-list entry (mytestlist). If there is no activity, this temporary entry will expire after 5 minutes, as specified by the timeout.
Example Lock-and-Key with TACACS+ Authentication
Cisco recommends that you use a TACACS+ server for authentication, as shown in the example.
The following example shows how to configure lock-and-key access, with authentication on a TACACS+ server. Lock-and-key access is configured on the BRI0 interface. Four VTY ports are defined with the password “password1”.
aaa authentication login default group tacacs+ enable
aaa accounting exec stop-only group tacacs+
aaa accounting network stop-only group tacacs+
enable password ciscotac
isdn switch-type basic-dms100
ip address 172.18.23.9 255.255.255.0
ip address 172.18.21.1 255.255.255.0
dialer idle-timeout 3600
dialer wait-for-carrier-time 100
dialer map ip 172.18.21.2 name dialermapname
isdn spid1 2036333715291
isdn spid2 2036339371566
ppp authentication chap
ip access-group 102 in
access-list 102 permit tcp any host 172.18.21.2 eq telnet
access-list 102 dynamic testlist timeout 5 permit ip any any
ip route 172.18.250.0 255.255.255.0 172.18.21.2
priority-list 1 interface BRI0 high
tacacs-server host 172.18.23.21
tacacs-server host 172.18.23.14
tacacs-server key test1
tftp-server rom alias all
dialer-list 1 protocol ip permit
line con 0
line aux 0
line VTY 0 4
autocommand access-enable timeout 5