Windows Server

Windows Server 2003 : Centralizing Authentication and Authorization with Internet Authentication Server - Installing and Configuring IAS

5/2/2011 5:59:48 PM
IAS is a free network service available with Windows Server 2003 that doesn't come installed by default. An IAS server does not have to be a member of an AD domain, but if it is, it can be used in more RADIUS deployment scenarios. If IAS is not a domain member, the local user database is used for authenticating users. If IAS is a domain member, AD is used.

In the following example, we will install IAS on a domain member computer. After installation, the server is registered in AD. If the server is not registered, it will not be able to access user information in AD and, therefore, not be able to authenticate users. As this is the reason that IAS is installed, the registration process is essential to the operation of IAS. If you want to use the IAS server to authenticate users from multiple domains, the server must be given permission to access user information in each domain. To do so, register IAS in each domain.

1. Installing IAS

To install and register an IAS server, begin by opening the Add or Remove Programs applet in Control Panel and click Add/Remove Windows Components. In the components list, scroll down and select Networking Services. Click the Details button. Select Internet Authentication Service, click OK, and click Finish. If prompted, insert the Windows Server 2003 installation CD-ROM, or browse to the location for installation files. When the process is complete, click Finish and then close the Add/Remove applet.

Open the Internet Authentication Service console from the Administrative Tools folder. Right-click the Internet Authentication Service (see Figure 1) and then click Register Server in Active Directory.

Figure 1. The Internet Authentication Service console

In the Register Internet Authentication Server in Active Directory dialog box (Figure 2), click OK to indicate you want to authorize this computer to read the user's dial-in properties.

Figure 2. You must register IAS server in AD in order to use RADIUS authentication

In the Register Internet Authentication Server in Active Directory dialog box, click OK.

2. Configuring IAS for Remote Access

After you install IAS, you must configure it before you can use it. This consists of configuring a connection request policy, configuring access servers (network access servers sometimes referred to as NAS, or as the RADIUS clients), configuring logging, and configuring Remote Access policies. Optional configuration options

Registering IAS in AD

An IAS server should be registered in AD during IAS installation. If not, then it must be registered after installation by one of the methods given below. Moreover, if users from domains other than the one that IAS is installed in will be using the IAS server, then it must be registered in those domains as well. Several methods may be used to register IAS in AD. To check to see which IAS servers are registered, open the Properties page of the RAS and IAS Servers group and select the Member tab. To register IAS you must be a member of the Domain Admins group in the domain within which the IAS server is a member.

To register IAS using the IAS console, right-click on the IAS server and select Register Server in Active Directory. When the Register Internet Authentication Service in Active Directory pop up appears, click OK.

You can also register IAS using the netsh command. Open a command prompt and type the following:

netsh RAS add registeredserver

You can also add a registered server from another domain by extending the command and adding the DNS domain name and IAS server name as follows:

    netsh RAS add registeredserver DNSdomainNAME IASServerNAME

To register IAS using the Active Directory Users and Computers console, select the Users folder. In the details pane, right-click the RAS and IAS Servers group and click Properties. Select the Member tab, and then add the IAS server.

An IAS member server can be registered in any domain in the forest.

include configuring different or additional RADIUS ports, and configuring account lockout. Additional configuration may be necessary to support authentication switches, VLANs, and wireless clients. The process is not complete until the access servers (RADIUS clients) are configured and any additional access client account or client software is configured. Access clients are the end-user computers used to request connections to the remote network.

2.1. Configuring a connection request policy

Connection request policies are rules that define whether authentication will take place locally or remotely. Therefore, they help define whether the IAS server will become a RADIUS server or a RADIUS proxy. They consist of conditions and a profile, and are similar to Remote Access policies.

Conditions are RADIUS attributes that are compared to the RADIUS attributes of an incoming connection request. If multiple conditions exist in the policy, the attributes of the policy must be matched by all of the incoming connection request attributes. The conditions and attributes for connection request policies can also be set in Remote Access policies on the RADIUS server. They may also be used when configuring RRAS servers as RADIUS clients. Table 1 defines condition attributes that can be set in IAS.

Table 1. Attributes that can be defined in a connection request policy
Called Station IDPhone number of NAS.
Calling Station IDPhone number of caller.
Client Friendly NameName of the RADIUS client computer requesting authentication. A friendly name is a name assigned by an administrator during installation. The use of a friendly name makes it easier to identify which RADIUS client is attempting a connection and to trace activity in the RADIUS server logs.
Client IP addressIP address of the RADIUS client.
Client-VendorThe NAS vendor.
Day and Time RestrictionsDay of week and time of day of connection request.
Framed ProtocolType of frame for incoming packets (such as FTP, SLIP, Frame Relay).
NAS IdentifierName of NAS.
NAS IP AddressIP address of NAS server.
NAS Port typeMedia used such as asynch (phone), tunnels, virtual (VPN), Ethernet (switches), and wireless.
Remote RADIUS to Windows User MappingAuthentication can occur for users of a remote RADIUS server. In other words, partners authenticate to their own RADIUS and can use one of your user accounts to access LAN resources.
Service TypeService requested such as framed (PPP) and login (Telnet).
Tunnel TypeTunnel type such as PPTP and L2TP.
User NameUsername used by access client in RADIUS message Typically this is a realm (domain) name and user account name.

Profiles are sets of properties that are applied to the incoming connection request and used by IAS to determine if the client requesting access is authorized to do so. They include information on Authentication, Auditing, Attribute Manipulation, and some advanced processes as explained in Table 10-3. Profile properties and processes are often collectively referred to as profile elements. Table 2 defines profile choices for IAS as a RADIUS server.

Table 2. RADIUS connection request profile elements
AuthenticationAuthenticate Requests on this ServerUse the Local user database.
AuthenticationForward the request to another RADIUS server in a remote RADIUS server groupThis IAS server is acting as a RADIUS proxy.
AuthenticationAccept the connection attempt without performing authentication or authorizationUsed for some mandatory tunnels. Cannot be selected if MS-CHAP v2 or EAP/TLS are used for authentication because these authentication protocols implement mutual authentication. A choice to not require IAS to authenticate should not prevent the client from requiring it. Therefore, this option is not available when mutual authentication is required.
AccountingForward accounting information in a specific remote RADIUS server groupPass accounting information from this RADIUS proxy to a RADIUS server. (Connection request records will always be logged to the RADIUS proxy where received.)
Attribute ManipulationUser-IDFind and replace this attribute before subjecting the request to authentication and authorization. User-ID manipulation is changing the realm (domain name) from the default.
Attribute ManipulationCalled Station IDThis option applies to the Called Station ID, which identifies the RADIUS side of the connection. Find and replace this attribute before subjecting the request to authentication and authorization.
Attribute ManipulationCalling Station IDThis option applies to the Calling Station ID, which identifies the client side of the connection. Find and replace this attribute before subjecting the request to authentication and authorization.
AdvancedVarious RADIUS attributesAdd attribute value to the RADIUS response message of a RADIUS authentication or accounting server, or a RADIUS authentication or accounting proxy server. The value will replace any present in the request message.

The default connection request policy is set to configure IAS as a RADIUS server, but must be completed with the specifics of the network on which it operates.

2.2. Configuring RADIUS clients for the IAS server

RADIUS clients are the access servers to whom the access clients connect. A RADIUS client can be a RRAS server, a wireless access point or an authenticating switch. A maximum of 50 RADIUS clients and 2 remote RADIUS server groups can be configured on an IAS server installed on Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. If IAS is installed on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition or Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, an unlimited number of RADIUS clients and RADIUS server groups can be configured.

Refer to Table 1 for explanations of many of the required parameters when adding an RRAS server as a RADIUS client. To add an RRAS server as a RADIUS client, begin by opening the Start → Administrative Tools → Internet Authentication Service console. Right-click the RADIUS client's node and click New RADIUS Client. Enter a friendly name (a name that will help an administrator identify the server) for the RRAS server in the "Friendly name" box of the Name and Address page. Enter the clients IP address or DNS name in the "Client address (IP or DNS)" field, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Identify the RADIUS client by a friendly name

Click the Verify button to verify that the server is present on the network. Click Next. If necessary, use the Client-Vendor drop-down list to select the manufacturer of the client. In this case, the default is fine because we are using Windows RRAS servers as clients. Enter a shared secret and then enter it again to confirm. The shared secret must match the one entered in the configuration of the RRAS server. Check the box "Request must contain the Message Authenticator attribute," as shown in Figure 4. Then click Finish.

Figure 4. Adding the use of the Message Authenticator improved the security offered by using a shared secret

2.3. Configuring RRAS servers as RADIUS clients

Before IAS server can be used to authenticate remote access requests, RRAS servers (or other access servers) must be configured to use RADIUS for authentication and accounting.

To configure a Windows Server 2003 server to be a RADIUS client, begin by opening Routing and Remote Access. Right-click the server and select Properties. Select the Security tab. Change the "Authentication provider" to RADIUS Authentication by using the drop-down list. Change the "Accounting provider" to RADIUS Accounting by using the drop-down list, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Change the authentication and accounting provider to RADIUS

Click the Configure button next to the "Authentication provider" drop-down list. Click the Add button to add information on the RADIUS server. Enter the server name of the RADIUS server and select the "Always use message authenticator," as shown in Figure 10-8, and then click OK. The Time-out (seconds) and Initial score entries should be left to defaults until the operation of the server as a RADIUS client is tested. If connections time out, then this value may be increased.

Click the Configure button next to the "Accounting provider" field in the Security tab of the Properties window (see Figure 5). Click the Add button to add information on the RADIUS server. Enter the server name of the RADIUS server, then select the "Send RADIUS Accounting On and Accounting Off messages," as shown in Figure 7. Click OK twice to return to the Properties page.

If you need to allow a shared secret IPSec policy for communications between RADIUS and RRAS servers, select "Allow custom IPSec Policy for L2TP connection" (see Figure 5). Click OK to exit the Properties page.

Figure 6. Add a RADIUS server

Figure 7. Configure the RADIUS server for accounting

Configuring a RRAS Server to Use Multiple RADIUS Servers

Multiple RADIUS servers are often implemented for redundancy. Rather than allowing a single RADIUS server to become a single point of failure, two RADIUS servers are provided, and each RRAS server is configured with information on both of them. The initial score parameter of the Add RADIUS Server configuration window identifies which RADIUS server is the primary server. The RRAS server will attempt a connection with the primary RADIUS server (the one configured with the lower "Initial score"). If a connection attempt times out, the RADIUS server will attempt a connection with the RADIUS server with the next-lowest "Initial score." This is why the "Time-out (seconds)" parameter should be carefully considered before it is changed. If set too low, connections may needlessly time out, forcing the RRAS server to attempt to connect to the secondary RADIUS server. If the time-out is set too high and the RADIUS server becomes unavailable, unnecessary time is wasted before the RRAS server attempts to connect to the secondary server.

2.4. Configuring auditing and logging

By default, minimal IAS data is logged in IAS log format to a log file at %windir%\System32\Log Files. Only authentication information is recorded, and a new log is started monthly (as shown in Figure 78). As a best practice, you should put log files on a different drive than the system drive. Log file data can also be forwarded to a remote server by using a UNC format log file path.

Figure 8. The log files should be configured to reflect the needs of your organization

It is imperative that logging be configured so that information on each connection attempt (whether successful or denied) is recorded. The purpose of IAS is to protect information assets by only allowing authenticated and authorized access to the network. To ensure that it's doing its job, IAS must be configured to log connection information. That information must be reviewed on a regular basis. Reviewing the logs can uncover attacks (both successful and unsuccessful). Finding this information may help to thwart an in-progress attack, identify sources of attacks, and provide evidence useful in closing security holes or in prosecuting attackers. The frequency of log review will depend on the sensitivity of the information IAS protects and the resources available for the reviewing.

The following list shows other reasons for collecting and analyzing IAS log information:


Both connection and session state information are logged.


When IAS is used to manage customer access to the network, or where departmental use of resources must be accounted for, IAS data provides the records necessary to determine usage.


Knowing who has connected and when they connected can be an important part of usage reporting as well as key information in a security investigation.

2.4.1. Log format and creation

Log data is not consistent. That is, the data recorded depends on the data collected by the type of access server or NAS acting as the RADIUS client, rather than some strict IAS-determined list of characteristics. Log data for IAS is recorded in one of the following:

  • IAS format

  • Database-compatible format

  • Microsoft SQL Server logging

Logging to SQL Server is a new feature in Windows Server 2003.

Table 3 provides information on log file formats and their locations.

Table 3. IAS log location and file format
 IAS formatDatabase-compatibleSQL server loggingEvent log
Location of fileLocalLocalSQL server computerLocal Application Event Log
File formatTextTextRecords sent to SQL Server XML compliant databaseWindows Event Log

Before configuring SQL logging, the SQL Server database, stored procedures and related applications must be installed and configured.

To configure local text file logging for IAS, begin by opening the IAS console. Select the Remote Access Logging node. In the details pane, right-click Local File and then click Properties. Select the Log File tab, as shown in Figure 7. In the Directory box, enter the filename and path for storing the local log file.

To change the file format from the IAS log default, select "Database-compatible" in the Format box. In the "Create a new log file" section, schedule the opening of new log files by clicking Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. To keep all data in one log file, click "Never (unlimited file size)." To limit log file size, click "When log file reaches this size" and then enter a file size in the field next to the option. To delete old log files automatically, click "When disk is full delete old log files." If the file is the current file, it will not be deleted.

To provide adequate log file storage and to prevent disk-full issues that might interfere with system operation, place the log file on a separate disk. Select the Settings tab, as shown in Figure 9. Table 4 provides information on these settings.

Figure 9. To log additional items, modify the Settings page

Table 4. RADIUS log file property settings
Log requestDefinition
Accounting requestsAccounting requests and responses
Authentication requestsAccess-Accept and Access-Reject messages
Periodic statusStatus updates such as interim accounting packets

In addition to IAS-specific log files, information is recorded in the Windows Application Event log. To maximize the information recorded to the event log, begin by opening the IAS console. Right-click on the service and select Properties. Select the General tab, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10. Maximize event log information on authentication.

Enter a "Server description" that will aid you in identifying the server in the log entries. In this case, there is only one IAS server so we are simply identifying it as IAS. If multiple IAS servers are active, then a more descriptive entry should be used. Select "Rejected authentication requests" and "Successful authentication requests." Click OK.

2.4.2. Log contents

The log files contain extensive data about connections. Table 10-6 identifies logged items.

Table 5. IAS log data
DataSent byDefinition
Accounting-on requestAccess serverThe access server is online and ready to accept connections.
Accounting-off requestAccess serverThe access server is going offline.
Accounting-start requestAccess serverAn authenticated user session is starting.
Accounting-stop requestAccess serverThe user session has ended.
Accounting Interim requestsSome access serversSent during a user session when the Acct-Interim Interval RADIUS attribute is configured on the IAS server. If an access server supports this feature, it will send data for logging; if not, no data is sent.
Authentication requestsAccess serverSent on behalf of the user attempting to connect to the network.
Authentication accepts (Access-Accept message)IASThe connection is accepted.
Authentication rejects (Access Reject)IASThe connection is denied.

2.4.3. SQL server logging

Ordinary IAS text logs can be used for analysis and reporting. Logging to SQL Server provides the advantages of maintaining data on a non-IAS computer, using a relational database, and the capability of providing customized applications for log analysis. Logging to a modern relational database provides the following:

  • Large amounts of data can be stored; terabytes of data can be efficiently managed and used.

  • Relationships between data tables enable flexible creation of dynamic data views.

  • Data backup can be written in parallel to multiple backup devices. You can also use differential backups, which are backups that only record the data changed after the last backup. Both features allow fast backup, which is especially important for large databases.

  • Multiple IAS servers can log to the same database for centralized management and reporting, as well as a more comprehensive view.

  • SQL Server logging can provide failover and redundancy.

SQL Server logging can be configured to log to the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000) or to SQL Server 2000. Data is passed to the database in XML format to a stored procedure (a collection of stored Transact SQL statements compiled into a single executable program). The stored procedure is developed by your SQL Server staff and must be called report_event.

To determine the data fields that must be created in the database tables, you must understand both the nature of the data collected by the different devices that you use as RADIUS clients and also the minimum requirements of IAS server logging. A Microsoft document, Deploying SQL Server Logging with Windows Server 2003 Internet Authentication Service (IAS), is available from This is a good place to prepare for development efforts. Setting up the SQL Server logging process requires configuration of IAS, development of a SQL Server database, creation of the report_event stored procedure, and creation of applications that can be used to query the database and create reports, trouble tickets, and so forth. Only an experienced SQL database programmer or administrator should attempt setting up SQL Server logging for IAS.

2.5. Configuring Remote Access policies

Remote Access policies can be configured on RRAS servers or IAS servers to control remote access authorization and communication configuration. When an IAS server is used for centralization of authentication, authorization, and accounting, any Remote Access policies configured on the RRAS servers identified as the IAS server's RADIUS clients will not be used. In addition, new remote access conditions and profile options are available for configuration. These elements, as well as those defined for both RRAS and RADIUS Remote Access policies, are passed as RADIUS attributes in the RADIUS messages between RADIUS servers and clients.

For a complete listing of RADIUS specific attributes, see the Microsoft document RADIUS Attributes at WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/doncumentation/windowsserv/ 2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/sag_rass_radius_attrib.asp.

Two RFCs are also excellent resources for more in-depth information: RFC 2865, Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) and RFC 2548, Microsoft Vendor-specific RADIUS Attributes.

2.6. Configuring additional ports

By default, IAS uses ports 1812 and 1645 for authentication, and ports 1813 and 1646 for accounting. To configure additional ports, begin by opening the IAS console. Right-click on the service and select Properties. Select the Ports tab, as shown in Figure 11. Add, and/or remove ports and then click OK.

Figure 11. Standard RADIUS ports are preconfigured, but can be changed

2.7. Configuring account lockout

You can lock a user account after a number of failed attempts by using account lockout for IAS client connections. This is not the same as account lockout as specified for user accounts in the domain GPO. Account lockout for remote access connections must be configured in the registry of the IAS server, (If RRAS is not configured as a RADIUS client, you configure account lockout in the registry of the RRAS server.) Values are configured under the following key:

By default, the MaxDenials value is set to 0, meaning account lockout is disabled. To enable account lockout, set the value to 1 (or greater) to indicate the maximum number of failed attempts before an account is locked out. The "ResetTime (mins)" value should be set to the number of minutes before the account will automatically be reenabled.

If a user account is locked out, the account name will be added as a subkey to the AccountLockout key in the format domainname:username. If the account is automatically reset, the subkey will be deleted. To manually reset the user account, delete the subkey.

Now that you are familiar with the RADIUS protocol, how to install IAS, and how to configure IAS, let's take a look at how to configure IAS as a RADIUS proxy.

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