Being a work from home / travel employee means that VPN access is critical for me. From time to time I run into issues with my VPN that consume time and impact productivity. When I run across such issues I like to blog about them to hopefully solve the problem for someone else. In this post, I would like to discuss when Network Connect hangs with “Establishing secure connection…”
VPN issues can be caused by a variety of things, but in the case of Network Connect I find Java to be the underlying issue the majority of the time. My typical troubleshooting steps look something like the following:
- Did I recently upgrade Java? Yup, moved to Java 8 Update 60 (60… really?!)
- Clear temporary Java files and retry — fail
- Remove Java applications and retry — fail
- Clear browser cache and retry — fail
- Reinstall Network Connect — fail
- Restart the computer — fail
- Check the logs — note this should be the first step
In the logs I found an interesting message:
10/8/15 1:39:07.418 PM com.apple.kextd: ERROR: invalid signature for net.juniper.nke.nctun_tiger, will not load
Bingo, the signature is not being accepted likely due to the Java update — which means an update to Network Connect is needed. So the options are either revert to a previous version of Java (not going to happen) or ignore the signature error. To disable the signature error on mac run:
sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"
The above command disables signature validation for ALL applications and packages — technically this is a security risk, but if you know and trust what you are installing it is not an issue. After running the above command you need to restart your mac. Now Network Connect will work properly. In a few weeks I will try to turn signature checking back on and see if the issue is resolved.
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