SSL on the Nortel BCM

All of these concepts are probably familiar to those in the know, but I wasn’t able to put the pieces together until I upgraded to Windows 7 and found that without a properly working SSL configuration Windows 7 wasn’t going to load up the BCM system administration utility.

The documentation for the Nortel BCM states to go to the ‘Maintenance’ section, and then ‘Maintenance Tools’ (well it doesn’t say that but I found it anyway), and then ‘Upload a Certificate and Private Key’.  However, where do I get these?  I knew that the certification would come from my Windows based CA that runs in the domain, but there wasn’t a tool to generate a certificate request on the BCM.  My clue was that a private key, the key used to generate the request, had to be uploaded as well.  I then used the version of openssl on the BCM to do the work, though in hindsight it probably would have been easier to use a newer version installed elsewhere. 

First, upon doing a version check of openssl I noticed that the working directory that it was looking for (‘c:\openssl\ssl’) didn’t exist.  I manually created the directory and did the work from there.  Eventually I discovered that the ‘openssl.cnf’ file (that was called something else and buried elsewhere on a different drive) that shipped with the BCM was lacking and I ended up brewing my own with the following settings:

[ req ]
default_bits        = 2048
default_keyfile         = privkey.pem
encrypt_rsa_key        = no
default_md        = sha1
distinguished_name        = req_distinguished_name
x509_extensions         = root_ca_extensions

[ req_distinguished_name ]
0.organizationName = Organization Name (company)
organizationalUnitName = Organizational Unit Name (department, division)
emailAddress = Email Address
emailAddress_max = 40
localityName = Locality Name (city, district)
stateOrProvinceName = State or Province Name (full name)
countryName = Country Name (2 letter code)
countryName_min = 2
countryName_max = 2
commonName = Common Name (hostname, IP, or your name)
commonName_max = 64

[ root_ca_extensions ]
basicConstraints        = CA:true

I then executed a command along the lines of the following and filling out the ‘form’ that comes up:

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:1024 -nodes -keyout bcmkey.pem -out bcmreq.pem

I then FTP’d (bad form, but I already said that a different method would have been better) the two files up to my file server.  I put the ‘req’ file through my Windows CA (‘Base 64 encoded’, and unlike the HP ILO card I didn’t need the whole chain) to get the web server certificate and I then uploaded them both up the BCM and viola, the SSL warning error messages were gone and the manager was happy under Windows 7.

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