Presented at Security BSides Boston on May 10 2014, "Insecure about using public WiFi? Connect to your home's OpenVPN appliance, for free."

Posted by Paul Braren on May 10 2014 in
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  • BostonSkylineFromMicrosoftNERDCenterFirstFloorJun172012
    by Paul Braren, May 2013
    by Paul Braren, May 2014

    I'm fortunate enough to live only 2 hours away from the Microsoft NERD Center, founded in 2008. The employees there have long been open to a bit of fun, even on Father's Day, and open to a wide variety of free user group meetings for the IT Professional community. I'd guess that Microsoft doesn't exactly mind the sheen of a Security conference being held at their lovely location, and I certainly don't mind any excuse to drive on up there, listening to the Security Now Podcast courtesy of my tightly cradled smartphone, with steering wheel controls to repeat stuff I missed. Yep, this is what I do with my days off from work.


    I've had the opportunity to present at Security BSides before, but this year, something a little different for me. A bit further out of my comfort zone, which makes it all the more exhilarating. And risky. And fun. Live demo! Here's the thing that people often don't think about, when considering whether to run a virtualization lab at home. There's a wide variety of appliances available for download, many of them free. Yes, think "App Store" for your Hypervisor, over at the VMware Virtual Appliances Marketplaces, extending your home lab's capabilities well beyond the typical VMs you'd use on their VMware's workstation product offerings. These are 24x7 apps, intended to be left running, for their utility. So if you have the lab, and the VMware hypervisor, you can have a free personal OpenVPN solution for your travel needs, without any monthly service fees. It's the OpenVPN Access Server Virtual Appliance.

    After a bit of tinkering, I got it to work well, even if your ISP gives you a dynamic IP. The full write up on exactly how this is done, on an isolated network this time, with my usual step-by-step configuration video, to be posted right here at TinkerTry soon. Meanwhile, the teaser is the presentation I just gave, literally minutes ago, available to you below, right now. Enjoy, and please, leave a comment. What do you think of this little weekend project?


    PDF of the PowerPoint I presented

    Insecure about using public WiFi? Connect to your home's OpenVPN appliance, for free.

    Or just scroll through (or click on) these same slides below.

    See also on TinkerTry

    Using your home network’s ESXi or Hyper-V OpenVPN appliance to safely use public WiFi Dec 12 2013

    Presented at Security BSides Boston on May 18 2013, “Build Your Own VMWare ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V lab at Home, Using Affordable and Efficient Hardware” May 18 2013

    Display your iOS and Android devices on Windows, using Reflector and Droid @ Screen May 04 2014

    Superguide: Home virtualization server enthusiasts’ colorful variety of ESXi whiteboxes Jan 05 2014

    Hamachi VPN free software can make you feel right at home, even when you’re far from it Nov 14 2011