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Is there anyone here who is using Cisco VPN client on Windows 8.

I am wondering has anyone been able to resolve the error 403 Unable to contact the security gateway.

I have found solutions like on this blog, importing the certificate to computer store instead the user store, but it seems that they are not applicable when using smart card, I have found on some forums that this works only if you import the private key of the certificate in the computer store (which I cannot do in this case)

Is anybody using smartcard and ipsec dialup to Cisco on Windows 8

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I am having the same issue with Windows 8 and eToken instead of smart card. Any solution yet? – user155345 Jan 21 '13 at 9:24

Cisco VPN Client does not officially support Windows 8 and has many issues. We were able to ask the TOC about this issue. IPsec to L2tp or straight ipsec connections are supported, but cisco VPN client will not run on Windows 8. In Fact the client will not be supported by Cisco come 2014 as they feel their ssl protocol is much more secure. The work around to install Cisco VPN Client is to edit the registry:

  1. Open Registry editor by typing regedit in Run prompt

  2. Bowse to the Registry Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CVirtA Select the DisplayName to modify, and remove the leading characters from the value data up to "%;":

    • For x86, change the gobeldegook data from something like "@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter” to "Cisco Systems VPN Adapter”

    • For x64, change the value data from something like "@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows” to "Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows”

  3. Try connecting again

Instead you can use the native Windows 8 VPN Client. Be sure IPsec to L2tp is enabled on your ASA. Just open the Network and Sharing Center, click Set up a new connection or network, click Connect to a workplace and complete the wizard.

If a third party client is better for you, Shrew is the preferred app and has far fewer issues. it even imports cisco VPN profile file (.pcf). (

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