[Ovmsdev] Reverse connections (module -> developer)
dexter at expeedo.de
Tue Feb 4 16:18:54 HKT 2020
This illustrates why my preference would be a standard VPN client. VPNs can be used by normal users.
Am 04.02.20 um 00:45 schrieb Stephen Casner:
> At the job from which I retired we made heavy use of SSH port
> forwarding and reverse ssh clients to allow support access to our
> products installed at customer sites. To achieve an acceptable level
> of security we dedicated one Linux server at our HQ to be the target
> of "phone home" SSH connections from the customer units. This server
> exposed only the sshd service and allowed only key-based logins, not
> passwords. For customers who agreed to allow this access inside their
> networks, the unit would maintain a continuous SSH connection to the
> server, automatically reconnecting after an outage.
> A Perl script named phonehome on the customer unit established and
> maintained the ssh connection using an unlocked private key. The
> login shell for the target account on the server was another Perl
> script, phonehomed, so if a customer unit were compromised then an
> attacker who reached the server would not be able to do anything.
> Phonehome sent along some identity information to the server so we
> could tell which customer it was, and phonehomed would just send back
> "success" to indicate successful connection up to the application
> level and then sleep.
> The phonehome client script would randomly select a port number and
> use that to establish port forwarding from that port number at the
> server end to port 22 on the customer unit. With many customer units
> calling in, there would occasionallly be a collision for the random
> port number, in which case phonehomed would send "collision" and close
> the connection so the phonehome script would try again.
> Support staff would be allowed access to the server. A script named
> et on the server listed all the open connections from customer units
> with the randomly chosen port numbers so we'd know how to connect to
> the desired customer using ssh to localhost at that port. No SSH
> private keys were allowed to be stored on the server; instead, staff
> were required to use ssh-agent forwarding to connect from their own
> computers through the server to the customer units.
> Now, to relate all this back to the problem at hand, perhaps we could
> have a server somewhere with a similar setup. This would avoid the
> need for multiple developers to open holes in their personal NAT
> and/or firewall to allow incoming connections from remote OVMS units.
> Rather than having all the OVMS units try to maintain call-back
> connections to that server all the time, the existing ovms v2 protocol
> shell provides sufficient access to initiate a call back when one is
> A prerequisite for developing such a service would be for me to get
> off my duff and update the SSH implementation in OVMS to use the
> current WolfSSH release. They took back the extensions I made to
> their code to support SCP, but they made some changes that I would
> need to adapt our code to fit. They added SFTP support, too, but I
> have not studied it to see if it can fit into task structure.
> -- Steve
> On Mon, 3 Feb 2020, Mark Webb-Johnson wrote:
>> Seeking opinions (in particular Stephen, our ssh guru).
>> As I (and others) are doing more work remotely (OVMS modules in cars, and trying to connect in remotely to diagnose, test, or develop), I am seeing the same issue come up often. If the car is on your own home WiFi, it is simple and easy. But if the car is elsewhere, on someone else’s WiFi, then connecting _to_ the car becomes hard. Firewalls, port forwarding, and all that mess. Security also becomes an issue (once ports are opened and forwarded).
>> The core requirements seem to be:
>> A way to get a proper shell. The ovms v2 protocol shell is ok, but quite painful to work with (especially as logs are not shown and there is no command expansion).
>> A way to get CAN dumps out of the car. Can save to sd card, but can’t copy in/out.
>> Both of these are simple TCP connections.
>> The second issue (CAN dumps) is resolvable if the developer has a public address. Open the firewall, ’nc -l’ a port, and ‘can log start tcpclient …’ on the module. But a little kludgy, and doesn’t support SavvyCAN (which can only connect _to_ the module, not receive a connection _from_ the module).
>> I can see three possible approaches to this:
>> Extension of OVMS v2 protocol
>> We could extend the OVMS v2 protocol to support a PIPE mode. Have it allow connections and data to be transferred over the v2 protocol link using simple messages. Then, the pipe could be used to tunnel SSH and CAN log connections. The same could be done with v3 over MQTT (the transport is different, but the console / port forwarding bits inside the ovms module are the same).
>> The advantage here is that the OVMS v2 server becomes a man-in-the-middle broker. Both the car module and the developer connect to the OVMS v2 server to exchange data. No incoming connections, so everything can be dynamic.
>> The disadvantage is security is fairly weak on that protocol. Very dated RC4 encryption and poor authentication.
>> Leverage SSH
>> SSH has a port forwarding facility built in, that wolfssh seems to support. It is also possible to do a reverse ssh client.
>> The advantage here is security (very strong encryption and authentication).
>> The disadvantage is complexity and the fact that the developer end needs to poke a hole in their firewall (and possibly do NAT port forwarding, etc) to allow the incoming connections from the car.
>> STUNNEL / WireGuard / Mosh / VPN / etc
>> Perhaps someone else knows of something suitable? The issues here are that the LWIP stack is not the easiest to work with.
>> My initial preference is #1 or #2, but open to discussion…
>> Regards, Mark.
>> P.S. To save you time, the reverse SSH (using normal Unix like systems) works like this:
>> Say developer at IP address A wants to connect to module at IP address B.
>> On the module: $ ssh -R 19999:localhost:22 <user-A>@<A>
>> (And go through authentication for B to ssh to A)
>> Then, on the developer’s workstation: $ ssh -p 19999 <user-B>@localhost
>> OvmsDev mailing list
>> OvmsDev at lists.openvehicles.com
Michael Balzer * Helkenberger Weg 9 * D-58256 Ennepetal
Fon 02333 / 833 5735 * Handy 0176 / 206 989 26
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the OvmsDev