[tahoe-dev] keeping private grids private

Vladimir Arseniev vladimira at aport.ru
Sun Mar 18 21:15:41 UTC 2012

Thanks for your responses, Markus and Brian. Running the grid on a VPN
is still the best option, it seems (with firewall rules to block non-VPN
traffic). Only VPN clients can see the introducer, and connect to other
nodes on the VPN. But there are vulnerabilities.

We've been using OpenVPN's commercial Access Server, which is presumably
well secured. However, the setup is vulnerable to attackers with
physical access to the server. We've mitigated the risk by encrypting
the server's credential databases, but determined attackers can read
passphrases from memory. We've tried running the server locally, and
forwarding the access port to a VPS, but connections (through commercial
VPNs) haven't been reliable enough, and latencies are huge. Still, we do
control the introducer, and could readily move our grid to a new VPN, if

OpenVPN's default star topology is also problematic, and creating mesh
networks seems complicated. We've looked at CloudVPN, but nodes can be
cloned, and there's no mechanism for refusing connections. Access
control depends on firewall rules, and using a public DHCP server with
static mapping and static ARP. That may be the way to go, however, if
the OpenVPN server bottleneck becomes an issue.

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