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Updated:January 20, 2021
The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.
This document describes the basic configuration of a Cisco IOS® Router as an AnyConnect Secure Sockets Layer VPN (SSL VPN) Headend.
Cisco recommends that you have knowledge of these topics:
AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
General SSL Operation
The information in this document is based on these software and hardware versions:
Cisco 892W Router running 15.3(3)M5
AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client 3.1.08009
The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, ensure that you understand the potential impact of any command.
Licensing Information for Different IOS Versions
The securityk9 feature set is required to use the SSL VPN features, regardless of which Cisco IOS version is used.
Cisco IOS 12.x - the SSL VPN feature is integrated into all 12.x images that start with 12.4(6)T which have at least a security license (ie. advsecurityk9, adventerprisek9, and so on).
Cisco IOS 15.0 - earlier versions require a LIC file to be installed on the router which will allow for 10, 25, or 100 user connections. Right to Use* licenses were implemented in 15.0(1)M4
Cisco IOS 15.1 - earlier versions require a LIC file to be installed on the router which will allow for 10, 25, or 100 user connections. Right to Use* licenses were implemented in 15.1(1)T2, 15.1(2)T2, 15.1(3)T, and 15.1(4)M1
Cisco IOS 15.2 - all 15.2 versions offer Right to Use* licenses for SSLVPN
Cisco IOS 15.3 and beyond - earlier versions offer the Right to Use* licenses. Starting in 15.3(3)M, the SSLVPN feature is available after you boot into a securityk9 technology-package
For RTU licensing, an evaluation license will be enabled when the first webvpn feature is configured (that is, webvpn gateway GATEWAY1) and the End User License Agreement (EULA) has been accepted. After 60 days, this evaluation license becomes a permanent license. These licenses are honor-based and require a paper license to be purchased in order to use the feature. Additionally, rather than being limited to a certain number of uses, the RTU allows for the maximum number of simultaneous connections that the router platform can support concurrently.
Significant Software Enhancements
These bug IDs resulted in significant features or fixes for AnyConnect:
CSCti89976: Added support for AnyConnect 3.x to IOS
CSCtx38806: Fix for BEAST Vulnerability, Microsoft KB2585542
Step 1. Confirm License is Enabled
The first step when AnyConnect is configured on an IOS Router headend is to confirm that the license has been correctly installed (if applicable) and enabled. Refer to the licensing information in the previous section for the licensing specifics on different versions. It depends on the version of code and platform whether the show license lists an SSL_VPN or securityk9 license. Regardless of the version and license, the EULA will need to be accepted and the license will show as Active.
Step 2. Upload and Install AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Package on Router
In order to upload an AnyConnect image to the VPN, the headend serves two purposes. Firstly, only operating systems that have AnyConnect images present on the AnyConnect headend will be permitted to connect. For example, Windows clients require a Windows package to be installed on the headend, Linux 64-bit clients require a Linux 64-bit package, and so on. Secondly, the AnyConnect image installed on the headend will automatically be pushed down to the client machine upon connection. Users that connect for the first time will be able to download the client from the web portal and users that return will be able to upgrade, provided the AnyConnect package on the headend is newer than what is installed on their client machine.
AnyConnect packages can be obtained through the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client section of the Cisco Software Downloads website. While there are many options available, the packages which are to be installed on the headend will be labeled with the operating system and Head-end deployment (PKG). AnyConnect packages are currently available for these operating system platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (32-bit), and Linux 64-bit. Note that for Linux, there are both 32 and 64-bit packages. Each operating system requires the proper package to be installed on the headend in order for connections to be permitted.
Once the AnyConnect package has been downloaded, it can be uploaded to the Router's flash with the copy command via TFTP, FTP, SCP, or a few other options. Here is an example:
copy tftp: flash:/webvpn/
Address or name of remote host ? 192.168.100.100
Source filename ? anyconnect-win-3.1.08009-k9.pkg
Destination filename [/webvpn/anyconnect-win-3.1.08009-k9.pkg]?
Loading anyconnect-win-3.1.08009-k9.pkg from 192.168.100.100 (via GigabitEthernet0): !!!!!!!!!!!!!
[OK - 37997096 bytes]
37997096 bytes copied in 117.644 secs (322984 bytes/sec)
After you copy the AnyConnect image to the flash of the Router, it must be installed via the command line. Multiple AnyConnect packages can be installed when you specify a sequence number at the end of the installation command; this will allow for the Router to act as headend for multiple client operating systems. When you install the AnyConnect package, it will also move it to the flash:/webvpn/ directory if it was not copied there initially.
Step 3. Generate RSA Keypair and Self-Signed Certificate
When you configure SSL or any feature which implements Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates, a Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) keypair is required for the signing of the certificate. This command will generate an RSA keypair which will then be used when the self-signed PKI certificate is generated. Make use of a modulus of 2048 bits, it is not a requirement but it is recommended to use the largest modulus available for enhanced security and compatibility with the AnyConnect client machines. It is also recommended to use a descriptive key label which will assign with key management. The key generation can be confirmed with the show crypto key mypubkey rsa command.
Note: As there are many security risks associated with making RSA keys exportable, the recommended practice is to ensure keys are configured to be not exportable which is the default. The risks that are involved when you make the RSA keys exportable are discussed in this document: Deploying RSA Keys Within a PKI.
Once the RSA keypair has successfully been generated, a PKI trustpoint must be configured with our router's information and RSA keypair. The Common Name (CN) in the Subject-Name should be configured with the IP address or Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) which users use to connect to the AnyConnect gateway; in this example, the clients use the FQDN of fdenofa-SSLVPN.cisco.com when they attempt to connect. While it is not mandatory, when you correctly enter in the CN, it helps reduce the number of certificate errors that are prompted at login.
Note: Rather than using a self-signed certificate generated by the router, it is possible to use a certificate issued by a third-party CA. This can be done via a few different methods as discussed in this document: Configuring Certificate Enrollment for a PKI.
After the trustpoint has been correctly defined, the router must generate the certificate by using the crypto pki enroll command. With this process, it is possible to specify a few other parameters such as the serial number and IP address. However, this is not required. The certificate generation can be confirmed with the show crypto pki certificates command.
crypto pki enroll SSLVPN_CERT
% Include the router serial number in the subject name? [yes/no]: no
% Include an IP address in the subject name? [no]: no
Generate Self Signed Router Certificate? [yes/no]: yes
Router Self Signed Certificate successfully created
show crypto pki certificates SSLVPN_CERT
Router Self-Signed Certificate
Certificate Serial Number (hex): 01
Certificate Usage: General Purpose
start date: 18:54:04 EDT Mar 30 2015
end date: 20:00:00 EDT Dec 31 2019
Associated Trustpoints: SSLVPN_CERT
Step 4. Configure Local VPN User Accounts
While it is possible to use an external Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) server, for this example local authentication is used. These commands will create a user name VPNUSER and also create an AAA authentication list named SSLVPN_AAA.
Step 5. Define Address Pool and Split Tunnel Access List to be Used by Clients
A local IP address pool must be created in order for AnyConnect client adapters to obtain an IP address. Ensure you configure a large enough pool to support the maximum number of simultaneous AnyConnect client connections.
By default, AnyConnect will operate in full tunnel mode which means that any traffic generated by the client machine will be sent across the tunnel. As this is typically not desirable, it is possible to configure an Access Control List (ACL) which then defines traffic which should or should not be sent across the tunnel. As with other ACL implementations, the implicit deny at the end eliminates the need for an explicit deny; therefore, it is only necessary to configure permit statements for the traffic which should be tunneled.
ip local pool SSLVPN_POOL 192.168.10.1 192.168.10.10
access-list 1 permit 192.168.0.0 0.0.255.255
Step 6. Configure the Virtual-Template Interface (VTI)
Dynamic VTIs provide an on-demand separate Virtual-Access interface for each VPN session that allows highly secure and scalable connectivity for remote-access VPNs. The DVTI technology replaces dynamic crypto maps and the dynamic hub-and-spoke method that helps establish tunnels. Because DVTIs function like any other real interface they allow for more complex Remote Access deployment because they support QoS, firewall, per-user attributes and other security services as soon as the tunnel is active.
ip address 172.16.1.1 255.255.255.255 ! interface Virtual-Template 1
ip unnumbered Loopback0
Step 7. Configure WebVPN Gateway
The WebVPN Gateway is what defines the IP address and port(s) which will be used by the AnyConnect headend, as well as the SSL encryption algorithm and PKI certificate which will be presented to the clients. By default, the Gateway will support all possible encryption algorithms, which vary depending on the Cisco IOS version on the router.
webvpn gateway SSLVPN_GATEWAY
ip address 188.8.131.52 port 443
http-redirect port 80
ssl trustpoint SSLVPN_CERT
Step 8. Configure WebVPN Context and Group Policy
The WebVPN Context and Group Policy define some additional parameters which will be used for the AnyConnect client connection. For a basic AnyConnect configuration, the Context simply serves as a mechanism used to call the default Group Policy which will be used for AnyConnect. However, the Context can be used to further customize the WebVPN splash page and WebVPN operation. In the defined Policy Group, the SSLVPN_AAA list is configured as the AAA authentication list which the users are a member of. The functions svc-enabled command is the piece of configuration that allows users to connect with the AnyConnect SSL VPN Client rather than just WebVPN through a browser. Lastly, the additional SVC commands define parameters which are relevant only to SVC connections: svc address-pool tells the Gateway to handout addresses in the SSLVPN_POOL to the clients, svc split include defines the split tunnel policy per ACL 1 defined above, and svc dns-server defines the DNS server which will be used for domain name resolution. With this configuration, all DNS queries will be sent to the specified DNS server. The address which is received in the query response will dictate whether or not the traffic is sent across the tunnel.
Unlike on ASAs, Cisco IOS does not have a built-in GUI interface that can assist admins in creating the client profile. The AnyConnect client profile needs to be created/edited separately with the Stand-Alone Profile Editor.
Tip: Look for anyconnect-profileeditor-win-3.1.03103-k9.exe.
Follow these steps in order to have the Router deploy the profile:
Upload it to IOS Flash with the use of ftp/tftp.
Use this command to identify the profile that was just uploaded:
Use this section in order to confirm that your configuration works properly.
Once the configuration is complete, when you access the Gateway address and port via browser, it will return to the WebVPN splash page.
After you log in, the WebVPN home page is displayed. From here, click Tunnel Connection (AnyConnect). When Internet Explorer is used, ActiveX is utilized to push down and install the AnyConnect client. If it is not detected, Java will be used instead. All other browsers use Java immediately.
Once the installation is completed, AnyConnect will automatically attempt to connect to the WebVPN Gateway. As a self-signed certificate is being used for the Gateway to identify itself, multiple certificate warnings will appear during the connection attempt. These are expected and must be accepted for the connection to continue. In order to avoid these certificate warnings, the self-signed certificate that is presented must be installed in the trusted certificate store of the client machine, or if a third-party certificate is being used then the Certificate Authority certificate must be in the trusted certificate store.
When the connection completes negotiation, click on the gear icon in the lower-left of AnyConnect, it will display some advanced information about the connection. On this page, it is possible to view some connection statistics and route details attained from the split tunnel ACL in the Group Policy configuration.
Here is the final running-configuration result from the configuration steps:
This section provides information you can use in order to troubleshoot your configuration.
There are a few common components to check for when you troubleshoot AnyConnect connection issues:
As the client must present a certificate, it is a requirement that the certificate specified in the WebVPN Gateway be valid. To issue a show crypto pki certificate will show information that pertains to all certificates on the router.
Whenever a change is made to the WebVPN configuration, it is a best practice to issue a no inservice and inservice on both the Gateway and Context. This ensures that the changes take effect properly.
As mentioned earlier, it is a requirement to have an AnyConnect PKG for each client operating system which will connect to this Gateway. For example, Windows clients require a Windows PKG, Linux 32-bit clients require a Linux 32-bit PKG, and so on.
When you consider both the AnyConnect client and browser-based WebVPN to utilize SSL, to be able to access the WebVPN splash page generally indicates that AnyConnect will be able to connect (assume that the pertinent AnyConnect configuration is correct).
Cisco IOS offers some various debug webvpn options that can be used to troubleshoot failing connections. This is the output generated from debug webvpn aaa, debug wevpn tunnel, and show webvpn session upon a successful connection attempt:
WebVPN AAA debugging is on
WebVPN tunnel debugging is on
WebVPN Tunnel Events debugging is on
WebVPN Tunnel Errors debugging is on
*May 26 20:11:06.381: WV-AAA: Nas Port ID set to 184.108.40.206.
*May 26 20:11:06.381: WV-AAA: AAA authentication request sent for user: "VPNUSER"AAA returned status: 2 for session 37
*May 26 20:11:06.381: WV-AAA: AAA Authentication Passed!
*May 26 20:11:06.381: WV-AAA: User "VPNUSER" has logged in from "220.127.116.11" to gateway "SSLVPN_GATEWAY"
*May 26 20:11:12.265:
*May 26 20:11:12.265:
*May 26 20:11:12.265: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] CSTP Version recd , using 1
*May 26 20:11:12.265: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] Allocating IP 192.168.10.9 from address-pool SSLVPN_POOL
*May 26 20:11:12.265: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] Using new allocated IP 192.168.10.9 255.255.255.0
*May 26 20:11:12.265: Inserting static route: 192.168.10.9 255.255.255.255 Virtual-Access2 to routing table
*May 26 20:11:12.265: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] Full Tunnel CONNECT request processed, HTTP reply created
*May 26 20:11:12.265: HTTP/1.1 200 OK
*May 26 20:11:12.265: Server: Cisco IOS SSLVPN
*May 26 20:11:12.265: X-CSTP-Version: 1
*May 26 20:11:12.265: X-CSTP-Address: 192.168.10.9
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Netmask: 255.255.255.0
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Keep: false
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-DNS: 18.104.22.168
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Lease-Duration: 43200
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-MTU: 1280
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Split-Include: 192.168.0.0/255.255.0.0
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-DPD: 300
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Disconnected-Timeout: 2100
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Idle-Timeout: 2100
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Session-Timeout: 0
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-CSTP-Keepalive: 30
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-DTLS-Session-ID: 85939A3FE33ABAE5F02F8594D56DEDE389F6FB3C9EEC4D211EB71C0820DF8DC8
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-DTLS-Port: 443
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-DTLS-Header-Pad-Length: 3
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-DTLS-CipherSuite: AES256-SHA
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-DTLS-DPD: 300
*May 26 20:11:12.269: X-DTLS-KeepAlive: 30
*May 26 20:11:12.269:
*May 26 20:11:12.269:
*May 26 20:11:12.269:
*May 26 20:11:12.269: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] For User VPNUSER, DPD timer started for 300 seconds
*May 26 20:11:12.273: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] CSTP Control, Recvd a Req Cntl Frame (User VPNUSER, IP 192.168.10.9)
Severity ERROR, Type CLOSE_ERROR
Text: reinitiate tunnel to negotiate a different MTU
*May 26 20:11:12.273: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] CSTP Control, Recvd Close Error Frame
*May 26 20:11:14.105:
*May 26 20:11:14.105:
*May 26 20:11:14.105: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE690] CSTP Version recd , using 1
*May 26 20:11:14.109: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE690] Tunnel Client reconnecting removing existing tunl ctx
*May 26 20:11:14.109: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE410] Closing Tunnel Context 0x8A3AE410 for Session 0x8A3C2EF8 and User VPNUSER
*May 26 20:11:14.109: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE690] Reusing IP 192.168.10.9 255.255.255.0
*May 26 20:11:14.109: Inserting static route: 192.168.10.9 255.255.255.255 Virtual-Access2 to routing table
*May 26 20:11:14.109: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE690] Full Tunnel CONNECT request processed, HTTP reply created
*May 26 20:11:14.109: HTTP/1.1 200 OK
*May 26 20:11:14.109: Server: Cisco IOS SSLVPN
*May 26 20:11:14.109: X-CSTP-Version: 1
*May 26 20:11:14.109: X-CSTP-Address: 192.168.10.9
*May 26 20:11:14.109: X-CSTP-Netmask: 255.255.255.0
*May 26 20:11:14.109: X-CSTP-Keep: false
*May 26 20:11:14.109: X-CSTP-DNS: 22.214.171.124
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-Lease-Duration: 43200
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-MTU: 1199
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-Split-Include: 192.168.0.0/255.255.0.0
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-DPD: 300
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-Disconnected-Timeout: 2100
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-Idle-Timeout: 2100
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-Session-Timeout: 0
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-CSTP-Keepalive: 30
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-DTLS-Session-ID: 22E54D9F1F6344BCB5BB30BC8BB3737907795E6F3C3665CDD294CBBA1DA4D0CF
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-DTLS-Port: 443
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-DTLS-Header-Pad-Length: 3
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-DTLS-CipherSuite: AES256-SHA
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-DTLS-DPD: 300
*May 26 20:11:14.113: X-DTLS-KeepAlive: 30
*May 26 20:11:14.113:
*May 26 20:11:14.113:
*May 26 20:11:14.113:
*May 26 20:11:14.113: [WV-TUNL-EVT]:[8A3AE690] For User VPNUSER, DPD timer started for 300 seconds
fdenofa-892#show webvpn session user VPNUSER context SSLVPN_CONTEXT
Session Type : Full Tunnel
Client User-Agent : AnyConnect Windows 3.1.08009
Username : VPNUSER Num Connection : 5
Public IP : 126.96.36.199 VRF Name : None
Context : SSLVPN_CONTEXT Policy Group : SSLVPN_POLICY
Last-Used : 00:00:00 Created : *16:11:06.381 EDT Tue May 26 2015
Session Timeout : Disabled Idle Timeout : 2100
DNS primary serve : 188.8.131.52
DPD GW Timeout : 300 DPD CL Timeout : 300
Address Pool : SSLVPN_POOL MTU Size : 1199
Rekey Time : 3600 Rekey Method :
Lease Duration : 43200
Tunnel IP : 192.168.10.9 Netmask : 255.255.255.0
Rx IP Packets : 0 Tx IP Packets : 42
CSTP Started : 00:00:13 Last-Received : 00:00:00
CSTP DPD-Req sent : 0 Virtual Access : 2
Msie-ProxyServer : None Msie-PxyPolicy : Disabled
Split Include : ACL 1
Client Ports : 17462 17463 17464 17465 17471