802.1x Authentication fails while CHAP authentication succeeds

This document (7001667) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

FreeRADIUS configured to use EAP in any SSL/TLS format
... and one of ...
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
... or ...
Microsoft Windows 2000

Situation

Authentication fails from a Microsoft Windows workstation, while using CHAP from the NTRadPing utility (or any service utilizing CHAP) successfully authenticate.  In the FreeRADIUS "radiusd -X" output while attempting authentication :

rlm_eap_tls: <<< TLS 1.0 Alert [length 0002], fatal bad_certificate

Resolution

When rlm_eap_tls encounters an SSL failure, this is specifically because the workstation has failed to accept the SSL certificate used in the TLS-encrypted EAP communication.  This is remedied using one of two methods:

  • Procure a third party SSL certificate that the workstations trust
  • Reconfigure the workstation to not trust the SSL certificate by doing the following :
    1. Open the properties for the network connection on the workstation (e.g. "Wireless Network Connection Properties", "Wireless Networks", highlight the network desired, and then click on "Properties").  It should bring up a window that looks like:

    2. Click on the "Authentication" tab at the top.
    3. Click on the "Properties" button.  It should bring up a window that looks like:

    4. Ensure that "Validate server certificate" is NOT checked.

Additional Information

The SSL/TLS handshake errors occur because the workstation does not accept the SSL/TLS certificate provided by the FreeRADIUS server - usually because a self-signed SSL certificate has been used (one that has been signed by a non-recogniced certificate authority).  The excerpt from the "radiusd -X" output:
      rlm_eap_tls: <<< TLS 1.0 Alert [length 0002], fatal bad_certificate
    TLS Alert read:fatal:bad certificate
        TLS_accept:failed in SSLv3 read client certificate A
    rlm_eap_tls: SSL_read failed in a system call (-1), TLS session fails.
    In SSL Handshake Phase
    In SSL Accept mode
    rlm_eap_tls: BIO_read failed in a system call (-1), TLS session fails.
      eaptls_process returned 13
      rlm_eap_peap: EAPTLS_HANDLED
      rlm_eap: Freeing handler
      modcall[authenticate]: module "eap" returns reject for request 19

    Disclaimer

    This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

    • Document ID:7001667
    • Creation Date: 16-Oct-2008
    • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
      • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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