How-To

Disabling SMB1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support

There is a lot of buzz these days about new ransomware hijacking systems worldwide. The malware, dubbed NotPetya because it masquerades as the Petya ransomware. One of the many ways to help the spread of malware is to patch your computer, effectively stopping the SMB exploits by disabling SMBv1.

Here are steps which can be used to disable (remove) SMBv1 support.

For client operating systems:

  1. Open Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off.
  2. In the Windows Features window, clear the SMB1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support checkbox, and then click OK to close the window.
  3. Restart

For server operating systems:

  1. Open Server Manager and then click the Manage menu and select Remove Roles and Features.
  2. In the Features window, clear the SMB1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support check box, and then click OK to close the window.
  3. Restart

Ref: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2696547/how-to-enable-and-disable-smbv1-smbv2-and-smbv3-in-windows-and-windows

Server 2008 R2, ‘Powershell’ is not recognized as an internal or external command …

While working on a task scheduling a powershell script, it was noticed that the powershell command does not execute from the command prompt on a server. When run I would encounter the following error: ‘powersehll’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

After searching around Google / Bing I gave up and made the following attempt which worked out for myself and the system owners.

Looking at the system PATH variable seems correct with the expected path variable included under system variables: %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\

I decided to check with my user only: I added ‘%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\’ to my user variable with success

In the systems path variables and removed the reference and added it to the end of the line which was successful in resolving the system wide issue.

Notes: This is a snapshot of before and after changes introduced which resolved my issue

original:
%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn\

updated:
%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn\;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\

Cause of issue is still unknown.  Perhaps an ordering issues in the variables.  If you know please feel free to comment.
Thanks,

Jermal

[SOLVED] Unable to migrate VM’s to other host

I had encountered the following issue when attempting to migrate a live VM to another host w/in my lab cluster.
The error received was: 

Currently connected network interface” ‘Network adapter 1’ cannot use network ‘VM Network’, because “the destination network on the destination host is configured for different offload or security policies than the source network on the source host”.

I was able to fix this by checking the configuration of the virtual switch (vSwitch0) on the ESXi host I was moving the virtual machine guest to.

  1. I click on each host went to the configure
  2. Under the Networking subsection located the virtual switch
  3. Selected edit on that virtual switch.
  4. Reviewed the settings in the Security tab and the Traffic Shaping tab between the hosts.

In my case the issue was with the Security tab.  The destination host did not match the source.
Just another reasons to use host profiles between systems so that settings all match.

 

VMware vCenter 6/6.5: Creating Host Profiles

This post describes how to perform the basic task of creating a host profile.
Description of Hos Profiles:

VMware Host Profiles are available through VMware vCenter Server and enable you to establish standard configurations for VMware ESXi hosts and to automate compliance to these configurations, simplifying operational management of large-scale environments and reducing errors caused by mis-configurations.

Prerequisites:

  1. You need to have a vSphere installation
  2. You need to have admin rights
  3. You need a configured ESXi host that acts as the reference model

Steps:

  1. In vCenter Navigate to the Host profiles view
  2. Click the Extract profile from a host icon
  3. Select the host that will act as the reference model host and click Next
  4. Enter the name and  a description for the new profile and click Next
  5. Review the summary information for the new profile and click Finish
  6. The new profile will appear in the profile list

Video:

Done!

PowerShell: Unlock Active Directory Users Account

Use:

 

  • Listing account lockouts in Active Directory
  • Unlocking locked out accounts

# Open PowerShell or PowerShell ISE with an account with rights to unlock accounts
# Import the Actice Directory Module to PowerShell
#
Import-Module ActiveDirectory
#
# Run the Search-ADAccount command to search for accounts that are locked out
# Accounts locked out will be displayed
#
Search-ADAccount -LockedOut
#
#
# To unlock multiple {All} accounts the following command can be used
Search-ADAccount -LockedOut | Unlock-ADAccount
#

This could be useful if you wanted to somehow send an email to a ticket system so that you log and create IT tickets of account lockouts. A good way for your IT staff to track those types of activities that they do spend time on.

 

PowerCLI: HowTo Remove Floppy Drive From {All} Powered Off VM`s

The following simple script will iterate though your vCenter environment and remove the floppy disk from VMware guest machines that are in a powered off state.

Script text: I used Windows PowerShell ISE

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned #may require running as administrator
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Core
Connect-VIServer -Server ‘your.server.here’

$off = Get-VM | where {$_.powerstate -eq “PoweredOff”}
$floppy = Get-FloppyDrive -VM $off
Remove-FloppyDrive -Floppy $floppy -Confirm:$false

Purpose:

The purpose of removing the floppy is to remove potential attack channels to the guest VM itself. It has also been noted that removing such devices will save kernel resources.

Ref: https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.security.doc%2FGUID-600D24C8-0F77-4D96-B273-A30F256B29D4.html

 

Restore of Checkpoint Fails with “The following hotfixes seem to be missing”

Ran into a slight snag when attempting to restore a production backup into a VM(*VMware*) image of Checkpoint R77.30. I was using the Gaia WebUI to restore image returns a message: “The following hotfixes seem to be missing”.

The message points me to a log file located under /tmp/ which indicates missing updates to the firewall I am restoring to. To get around this the following steps were taken.

 

  1. Log into the Checkpoint firewall via SSH to access the console (You could also console in  (i’m using a vm so the terminal would work also).
  2. Enter ‘Expert’ mode (password required.)
  3. The the command: dbset backup:override_hfs t’ from  the expert mode.
  4. Go back into Gain WebUI and attempt the restore of the backup.

Wait … Wait… The system will reboot and the configuration will be restored.

All done.

Cause of this issue was the backup file was taken from a system which had a version different from the system I was restoring into. In some cases, this message can be safely ignored and the restore can be performed without incident.

Please take time to review your configuration after you restore.

VMware vSphere 6.5 Nested Virtualization – Create and Install ESXi 6.5

With vSphere 6.5 and nested ESXi 6.5 hosts I enable myself to get hands on with vSphere advanced features with vCenter without having the physical hardware in my home lab. The advantages to this setup allows me to test out new VMware features or simulate issue that could happen in production.

The term “nested virtualization” is used to describe a hypervisor running under another hypervisor. In this case, I will be installing ESXi 6.5 inside a virtual machine hosted on a physical ESXi 6.5 host.

Requirements:

  • Physical ESXi Host (ESXi 6 – 6.5 – )
  • Physical hardware supporting either Intel EPT or AMD RVI

Steps to setup ESXi 6.5 virtual machine guest:

Log into vCenter or ESXi host with a user with admin credentials. In my case I am using the vSphere web client. *spoiler alert* no more C# (Thick) client for vCenter. However it still works with the ESXi 6.5 hosts.

Switch to the “VMs and Templates” view. Right click a folder and select New Virtual Machine > New Virtual Machine…

Choosing “Custom” configuration select type Other for OS family, doing the same for Guest OS version. *note* Ensure you are choosing 64-bit (Other 64-bit)

Once at the configuration hardware screen; Make a few modifications to the default values.

VM Guest Configuration Settings:

  • Define the CPU to a minimum of 2 or more. This includes cores.
  • Define memory to a minimum of 6GB RAM
  • Define Disk to 2 GB (Thin Disk)
  • Change network adapter type to VMXNET 3
  • Add an addition network adapter (also VMXNET 3)

Additional Configuration Step: Enabling support for 64-bit nested vms

Locate the and expand the CPU properties page and tick the check box next to “Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS”. This setting will allow you to 64-bit vms inside nested ESXi hosts. Read more about this feature here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware-assisted_virtualization

Click next and exit configuration

At this point you are ready to install ESXi 6 – 6.5 as a Guest VM.

I leave you with this video of the full process. Thanks for visiting and I hope this helps any of you looking to do the same.

 

Originally posted on my LinkedIn Page:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vmware-vsphere-65-nested-virtualization-create-install-jermal-smith

Installing vCenter Appliance 6.5

With the general availability (GA) release of vSphere 6.5 I decided to upgrade my home lab and learning environment to the latest and greatest of VMware’s product. Not only for learning, but for running the systems I use daily in my lab.

Preparation work:

  • Download and Install ESXi 6.5 to my new lab hardware – Configure ESXi 6.5
  • Download the VCSA 6.5 Installation media and start the install process – See below

I mounted the installation media (ISO) on my Windows notebook and started the installation by navigating to \vcsa-ui-installer\win32\ and starting the installer.exe application.

This will display the Center Server Appliance 6.5 Installer. Seeing how this install will be a new installation of vCenter I selected “Install”

Here you find a two step installation process. The first step will deploy a vCenter Server 6,5 appliance and the second step will be configuring this deployed appliance.

Accept the standard End User License Agreement (EULA) to move forward into the installation.

Next you select the type of installation you need for your environment needs. In my case I have chosen the embedded Platform Services Controller deployment.

Next, choose the ESXi host where you would like to have this vCenter appliance deployed and provide the root credentials of the host for authentication.

Then, provide a name for the vCenter appliance VM that is going to be deployed and set the root password for the appliance.

Based upon your environment size, select the sizing of the vCenter appliance. I went with Tiny as it fits the needs of my Lab environment. Note: It will configure the Virtual Appliance with 10GB of ram so be sure you can support this in yours.

Next, select the datastore where the vCenter appliance files need to reside.

Configure the networking of vCenter appliance. Please have a valid IP which can be resolved both forward / reverse prior to this to prevent any failures during installation.

Review and finish the deployment, and the progress for stage 1 begins. Upon completion, Continue to proceed to configure the appliance. This is stage 2.

The stage 2 wizard begins at this point. The first section is to configure Network Time Protocol (NTP) setting for the appliance and enable Shell access for the same.

Next configure an SSO domain name, the SSO password and the Site name for the appliance. Once the configuration wizard is completed you can login to the web client.

The following short video I made gives you an feel for the install process. Enjoy.

 

 

Fix for Checkpoint VPN tunneling Option being grayed out on Check Point Endpoint Security Client

I noticed that my Windows VPN client on my computer was forcing all traffic through the gateway of my VPN endpoint. Something that in most cases would be find however this limited my ability to access local network resources in addition to browsing the internet via my local internet provider (Split Tunneling).

What I soon noticed was that I could not remove the setting that encrypted all traffic, routing it to the gateway

To make these changes to the client the following needs to be done.

Step 1: Modify configuration allowing for trac.config to be edited as its obscured for security purpose.

  1. Exit the Check Point Endpoint Security Client
  2. Stop the “Check Point Endpoint Security” service
  3. Edit c:\program files (x86)\checkpoint\endpoint connect\trac.defaults

Change the top line from:

OBSCURE_FILE INT 1 GLOBAL 0

to

OBSCURE_FILE INT 0 GLOBAL 0

Step 2:

  1. Start the “Check Point Endpoint Security” service
  2. Start the Check Point Endpoint Security client
  3. Verify that the c:\program files (x86)\checkpoint\endpoint connect\trac.config file is de-obscured.
  4. Shutdown the Check Point Endpoint Security Client
  5. Stop the “Check Point Endpoint Security” service
  6. Edit c:\program files (x86)\checkpoint\endpoint connect\trac.config

Search and edit the following line:

From: <PARAM neo_route_all_traffic_through_gateway=”false”></PARAM>

To: <PARAM neo_route_all_traffic_through_gateway=”true”></PARAM>

Step 3:

  1. Delete c:\program files (x86)\checkpoint\endpoint connect\trac.config.bak
  2. Start the “Check Point Endpoint Security” service
  3. Start the Check Point Endpoint Security Client

Notes: Pros and Cons of Split VPN you should know about

Pros

If you are going to split tunnel, then you are going to reduce the overall bandwidth impact on your Internet circuit. Only the traffic that needs to come over the VPN will, so anything a user is doing that is not “work related” will not consume bandwidth. In addition, anything external to your network that is also latency sensitive will not suffer from the additional latency introduced by tunneling everything over the VPN to the corporate network. Users will get the best experience in terms of network performance, and the company will consume the least bandwidth.

Cons

If security is supposed to monitor all network traffic, and protect users from malware and other Internet threats by filtering traffic, users who are split tunneling will not get this protection and security will be unable to monitor traffic for threats or inappropriate activity. Traffic to websites that use HTTPS will still be protected, but other traffic will be vulnerable.

Ref: https://www.cpug.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-14545.html