I have a VPN server (
strongswan) used for testing that I connect to via
IKEv2 on a variety of systems (here, I tried Windows, Ubuntu, & Android), normally without issues. This morning, I was on a train in the UK (a Transpennine Express, which use Icomera.com) and connected to the onboard wifi. This is an IPv4-only network and utilises OpenDNS to block certain sites. Unfortunately, they block stack exchange, so I connected to my VPN to try to bypass these restrictions. It worked fine on some sites, such as news.bbc.co.uk, and some of twitter.com (it allowed access to https://abs.twimg.com at some addresses like
/responsive-web/web/main.d9a47f436e41de1a4.js but blocked others like
/responsive-web/web/icon-default.3c3b224a61f8b0e54.png). However, other domains did not work at all; google.com and amazon.com for example. What could be stopping certain communication?
traceroute worked on all domains and returned valid IPs (over both v4 and v6, via the VPN - the issues still occurred if I disabled IPv6). Connecting via
telnet to sites via port 80 worked, but when I tried
wget it would get stuck after a redirect (normally to https, although the below failed redirecting to a http address):
wget -vv -4 google.com --2019-09-02 08:39:18-- http://google.com/ Resolving google.com (google.com)... 22.214.171.124 Connecting to google.com (google.com)|126.96.36.199|:80... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 301 Moved Permanently Location: http://www.google.com/ [following] --2019-09-02 08:39:18-- http://www.google.com/ Resolving www.google.com (www.google.com)... 188.8.131.52 Connecting to www.google.com (www.google.com)|184.108.40.206|:80... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... ^C
adb (Android debug shell, connected to my mobile in case there was a peculiarity with my hardware), I tried the same - it does not have
wget and so I used
curl, but with the same result:
NB1:/ $ curl google.com <HTML><HEAD><meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8"> <TITLE>301 Moved</TITLE></HEAD><BODY> <H1>301 Moved</H1> The document has moved <A HREF="http://www.google.com/">here</A>. </BODY></HTML> NB1:/ $ curl https://google.com curl: (28) Operation timed out after 300191 milliseconds with 0 out of 0 bytes received
If I try to SSH in to the server that the VPN is hosted on (I'm not using the key here), whilst connected to the VPN:
ssh -v firstname.lastname@example.org OpenSSH_7.6p1 Ubuntu-4, OpenSSL 1.0.2n 7 Dec 2017 debug1: Reading configuration data /jkl/ssh_config debug1: /abc/ssh_config line 19: Applying options for * debug1: Connecting to 220.127.116.11 [18.104.22.168 port 22. debug1: Connection established. debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519 type -1 debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory debug1: identity file /home/user/.ssh/id_ed25519-cert type -1 debug1: Local version string SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_7.6p1 Ubuntu-4 debug1: Remote protocol version 2.0, remote software version OpenSSH_7.4 debug1: match: OpenSSH_7.4 pat OpenSSH* compat 0x04000000 debug1: Authenticating to 22.214.171.124:22 as 'user' debug1: SSH2_MSG_KEXINIT sent
Then nothing, no timeout or message that it can not be authenticated etc. Another SSH server I have access to connected fine.
The VPN server uses Cloudflare 126.96.36.199 DNS servers. Running the command
dig +nocmd +multiline +noall +answer TXT resolver.dnscrypt.info returns the actual resolver it appears that it is using the correct DNS configuration over the VPN:
resolver.dnscrypt.info. 10 IN TXT "Resolver IP: 188.8.131.52"
resolver.dnscrypt.info. 10 IN TXT "Resolver IP: 184.108.40.206"
Clearly it's not a DNS error as addresses are resolved, and the VPN is connecting and receiving data correctly over multiple ports (at least 22, 25, 80, 443). What could be stopping certain communication here? It's almost like there is some sort of DPI going on, and it seems related to secure communications - certain HTTPS connections, and the above SSH. It isn't a connection issue - I ran a script pinging in the background every second, and when that failed I obviously stopped trying to diagnose the issue.
The only relevant question asking similar I can find is Cisco ASA: Part of the traffic via VPN is blocked785363 here about a Cisco ASA device but that's not causing the issues as they only appear on the network I was connected to. I am assuming it's to do with the OpenDNS setup used but can't figure out how it's working.
Nothing immediate is apparent in the logs of the server in question.
For reference, when not connected to the VPN (and allowing the unsafe certificate) I see this when attempting to access stackoverflow.com in Chrome:
This site is blocked due to content filtering. stackoverflow.com Sorry, stackoverflow.com has been blocked by your network administrator. You can still get FREE movies, TV shows and magazines through our TPE App or at tv.tpexpress.co.uk. This site was blocked due to the following categories: Forums/Message boards Diagnostic Info ACType 0 Block Type aup Bundle ID 640224 Domain Tagging - Host block.opendns.com IP Address 220.127.116.11 Org ID 2218188 Origin ID 72833478 Prefs - Query url=8485666876808770837177808815688078&ablock&server=lon15&prefs=&tagging=&nref Server lon15 Time 2019-09-02 08:48:01.341364541 +0000 UTC m=+5779291.314972467