Exchange 2010 – Part 19 – Client Access Server Security and Secure Socket Layer Certificates

Client Access Server Security and Secure Socket Layer Certificates

In this post we will review:

– CAS security through digital certificates and how these vary.

– We’ll also review the different SSL certificate types.

– Lastly, we’ll work through the following:

  1. Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
  2. Obtain a certificate from a Certification Authority (CA)
  3. Install the SSL Certificate on the Client Access Server

Up until this point in your Exchange deployment, you may have configured access with the default self-signed certificate. This may be problematic because it doesn’t support all of the access methods (Outlook Anywhere) and isn’t the most secure method of authentication. You may decide to obtain a trusted certificate from a third-party commercial Certification Authority (CA) and install that certificate on the Client Access Server. You do also have the ability to use a PKI certificate through Microsoft Certificate Services which you can setup internally, however, the infrastructure costs and labor may not be worth the trouble.

Managing Authentication

  • A digital certificate will authenticate to the client that the server with the certificate is trust-worthy. The server can prove, they are who they say they are.
  • In addition, a digital certificate will ensure the data that is exchanged is protected.
  • By default, with Exchange 2010, client communications are encrypted using SSL with Outlook Web App, Exchange ActiveSync, and Outlook Anywhere (SSL will not use the Self-Signed Certificates). By default, POP and IMAP aren’t configured to communicate over SSL. You will use the IIS Manager to ensure SSL is enabled on the virtual directory.

Go to the IIS Manager on your mailbox server. Select the server itself, scroll down to Server Certificates. Here you’ll find the Microsoft Exchange Certificate (Issued to itself by itself).

Click Image to Enlarge

You can double-click on the certificate and check out the properties and see that it’s not trusted.

In IIS, expand Sites and then Default Web Site.  If we look at the different sites in IIS, as far as SSL turned on, click on OWA, and then Secure Socket Layer settings, and see if it says “Require SSL”. We can test to see if that works by browsing to localhost in the web browser. An easy way to do this is to click on the “Browse: 443 (https)” link in the Actions pane:

iissslbrowse443
Click Image to Enlarge

This will open the browser and we’ll be brought to our Outlook Web App. We will have a certificate error. Users will have to install the certificate if they want to get rid of the Red Security Trust Bar in their browser. In this case we will want to install the certificate into the Trusted Certificate Store. Windows cannot validate the certificate, but since we know where the certificate is from we can install it and accept the warning.

Three types of Certificates:

  1. Self-signed: Signed by the application itself (in our case Exchange 2010) and will allow for OWA and/or ActiveSync functionality but not Outlook Anywhere. *For these to work you have to manually copy them over to the trusted root certificate store of the client computer or mobile device.
  2. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI): Requires setting up certificate servers and establishing the certificates for communication.
  3. Trusted Third-Party Certificates: Provided by a CA, these are automatically trusted by clients (unlike the two options above), so the deployment is simplified.

Certificate Types

When you go to purchase a certificate from a CA you’re going to find that different types to purchase.

  • Wildcard Certificates: Can represent multiple domain names (for example *.jasoncoltrin.com), however these types of certs provide a less secure method because the wildcard can be used for any sub-domain. Microsoft does not recommend wildcard certs, but to use SAN’s.
  • Subject Alternative Name (SAN) or Unified Communications Certificates (UCC) certificates are considered better in this regard because you specifically list out each of the trusted domain names. *It is considered best practice to use as few host names as possible (perhaps as few as three).

The CA Process for Obtaining and Installing Certs

  • Take a look at the GoDaddy website for SSL Certificates
  • Begin the process of managing a purchased certificate
  • We will return to our Exchange Server and use the Exchange Certificate Wizard to obtain a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
  • Use the CSR to complete the GoDaddy certificate process
  • Once that certificate is provided (up to 72 hours), we will install it on our Client Access Server
On our Mailbox Server, open the EMC, browse to Server Configuration.
Under the Server Config Node, beneath the servers, we will have our Exchange Certificates.
What we really want is an SSL certificate from a CA.
In the GoDaddy website, we’ll purchase our cert, manage our Products -> manage my certificates, and then in the SSL management, we will click “Request Certificate”. It will ask where the cert will be hosted. We will want to choose Third Party or dedicated server. Now we will need to Enter your Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Use at least a 2048 bit key.

 

Go back to the EMC, under server configuration, in the Actions Pane, click on New Exchange Certificate. For Starters, enter a friendly name for the certificate.
If we want to Enable Wildcard Certificate we can do that here. But we don’t want that at this time, we want a literal domain name so leave unchecked and click next.
Now depending on the cert purchased, our options here will be different. For example we have 5 certs purchased and can only use 5 names.
For Federated Sharing, we will place a checkmark in the Public Certificate because in the future we may want to Federate with a different site.
For Client Access Server (Outlook Web App), for the Intranet – you may want to use a local name like mail.jasoncoltrin.local and for the Internet – use mail.jasoncoltrin.com
New Exchange Certificate
Click Image to Enlarge
We want Exchange ActiveSync, so perhaps sync.jasoncoltrin.com is the name we’ll want to use. Most use mail.domainname.com.
Go down the list and have Exchange Web services enabled; Outlook Anywhere enabled.
Autodiscover used on the internet: Autodiscover URL to use: autodiscover.jasoncoltrin.com.
The use of sync.jasoncoltrin.com differentiates and relates to mobile devices. When you set up the cert, that’s when it (the name) counts. For the dropping of POP and IMAP support, in all honesty is probably a good thing, and we prefer a more secure protocol and have everyone come in through ActiveSync. With ActiveSync we have the ability to wipe devices.
At this time we don’t need a cert that supports POP or IMAP.
For Unified Messaging, you can go with a self-signed cert.
At this time we are going to skip Hub Transport server mutual TLS and Hub Transport server for POP/IMAP.
At this time we are not going to use Legacy Exchange Server.
Clicking next will give us a review of our cert (request). In our case we have 6 names. To bring this down to 5, we can change intranet/internet mail.jasoncoltrin.local to mail.jasoncoltrin.com and save a name.
Click next, and the wizard will ask for some information. The full legal organization name, Org unit (none), Country, City, State, Certificate Request File Path – name the file something like “SSLRequest”, then New and Finish. Make sure the CSR generated is 2048 bit. Once finished, browse to where the file was placed, open the Certificate request with notepad, and copy and paste the entire string including –Begin new cert —  to   —End New Cert..— into the GoDaddy.com CSR text box.
SSLCertcopytoCSR
Click Image to Enlarge

After submitting the encrypted data to GoDaddy, you will see the Subject Alt Names and Primary Domain Name. Your cert will be issued shortly (72hrs), and at that time we will be able to import it. Once the cert is issued, you can download it from GoDaddy. The cert will come down zipped, so unzip it.

Go back to the EMC, You will still see your requests and your self signed cert. Right-click on the SSL Cert and choose Complete Pending Request.

CompleteCertRequest
Click Image to Enlarge

Browse to the downloaded cert (domain.com – not the intermediate cert), click complete, and that’s all there is to it. So we’ve installed it but don’t have any services using it. Right-click on the cert and choose Assign Services to Certificate.

AssignCertServices
Click Image to Enlarge

Use SMTP, IIS, click Next, and then Assign.

AssignServices
Click Image to Enlarge

Do we want to override? Yes.

When we downloaded and unzipped the SSL Certificate, we also received an Intermediate Certificate. The intermediate certificate is used to enhance the security of the root certificate. These are also called a Chained Root Certificates. There are instructions on the GoDaddy site for installing the Intermediate Certificate. It is optional, but you should install the Intermediate certificate if the CA provides you with one, but we will forego that for now. Your CA may or may not issue Intermediate certificates.

In conclusion, in this lesson we discussed the benefits of SSL digital certificates, encouraged SAN certificates, worked through the process of requesting a certificate from the GoDaddy Certificate Authority, and installed and enabled services using that cert on our Exchange Client Access Server.

 

 

 

 

A large majority of the content provided in my Blog’s Exchange series is derived from J. Peter Bruzzese’ excellent Train Signals Exchange Server 2010 Video Disk Series, as well as my own Exchange 2010 lab. Trainsignal.com is an invaluable source for accurate, easy to understand, IT information and training. http://www.trainsignal.com

Hits: 25

Sharing a Windows 7 Notebook/Laptop Wireless Connection with a Desktop PC Using A Bridge

I have a notebook that is connected to a wireless network and also has a Cat5 network port. I also have a desktop PC with no wireless card, but is too difficult to run a cable to the wireless router. How do you easily share your notebook laptop wireless connection in Windows 7 via a notebook’s Ethernet NIC port, so that the PC will pick up a DHCP address from the router, and not have to use Windows 7 ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) service?

It’s actually pretty easy to share your laptop’s wireless connection through the notebook’s NIC, to a Desktop PC’s network card. You can do this without an additional (second) router, or a crossover cable, or setting static IP addresses, etc.

1. Go into your laptop’s Network Sharing Center and then click on the “Change Adapter Settings” link.

2. Next, you’ll see your Local Area Connection is in Network Cable Unplugged status (hold off on plugging in the network cable). You should also see your Wireless Network Connection is connected to the network/internet. I like change the view settings on the screen to View Details, and sort the adapters so that the two you’re trying to share are right next to each other.

Click Image to Enlarge

3. Next, hold down the Ctrl button and click on both adapters so that they are both highlighted. You can also click-drag your mouse highlight/select both adapters. After they are both selected, right-click on the two and choose “Bridge Connections.”

Click image to enlarge

4. After a few moments you should see a Network Bridge adapter created and then connected to the internet.

click image to enlarge

5. Now take a simple Cat5e/ethernet cable (not cross-over) and plug it into your PC’s NIC, and the other end into the laptop’s NIC port. The Local Area Connection adapter should change to “Enabled, Bridged”.

click image to enlarge

6. Your Desktop PC should pick up a new IP address from the same router as your laptop, and go online. If not, make sure the Local Area Connection adapter on the Desktop PC is set to DHCP, and then then hit “Troubleshoot Problems” on the network connection, or do a DHCP address release/renew. During testing, my PC warned me that there was an IP address conflict when first plugging in the cable from the laptop to the PC. I did a release/renew on the adapter and received a new IP address from the router, and all is well.

Hopefully this post will save you a little time when trying share your wireless internet connection on your laptop out to your PC.

 

 

Hits: 34