Virtualize Everything

The PolygraphTest

10 Tips To Help You Become A Better Leader

– Because Sharing is Caring –

When a business hits some turbulence, an executive’s instinct is sometimes to focus on greater efficiency and productivity by tightening control. But the truth is that giving up authority and giving employees independence can improve innovation and success, even during crises. With that in mind, we have put together a number of tips to help you or someone you know become a better leader in the coming months.

10 Tips To Help You Maximize Your Leadership Skills:

 

  1.  Build Better Relationships – Great leaders know the value of relationships.  They know who people are, what is important to them, and what motivates them.  Knowing this will help you understand their goals and how you can support them.  When you help people, they will care about you and your goals in return.

 

  1.  Get To Know People On A Personal Level – If you take the time to get to know people you like, they will no doubt come to like you, too.  Furthermore, it is always nice to ask people about their families and interests.  You will also find that, if people like you, they will be more open to helping you and taking the extra time to get things done.

 

  1.  Develop A Mentoring Program – Great leaders know that mentoring someone will not only help develop that person’s career, but also help leaders refine their skills.

 

  1.  Be Upbeat And Stay Positive – In the business world, it is easy to criticize what everyone does and to be negative, especially in this economy.  As a leader, you need to find ways to stay positive and find ways to do things better, faster and more effectively.  It is important to remember that people are not perfect, and while you do need to address poor performance, great leaders know the value of acknowledging when people are doing things correctly.  Doing so builds a positive work environment that helps make people feel appreciated.

 

  1.  Know Your Strengths – We each have strengths and weaknesses.  That being said, you will find that it is better to spend time working on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.  By doing this, you will find that you can rise to the expert level sooner than you would be by working on your weaknesses.  Bottom line: Know what you are good at and keep at it.

 

  1.  Surround Yourself With People Who Complement You – As I mentioned above, we all have strengths and weaknesses.  Great leaders know what their weaknesses are and find people who support their shortcomings.  Not because they need to cover their weaknesses, but because they know the benefit of having a strong team — and when the team wins, everyone wins.

 

  1.  Look At Your Career, Not So Much At The Company – Great leaders know that they are the ones who will create their own career paths; therefore, they will work on making it happen.  And once they become an expert in their selected careers, they will find that they can go almost anywhere they want to go.

 

  1.  Respect Your People – If you do not like to be around people, let alone lead people, then do not take a leadership position.  Conversely, if you do want to be in a leadership position, start building relationships with people by respecting what they do.  Additionally, it is important that a great leader never misses an opportunity to learn more about the people behind them.  Great leaders never skip an employee’s birthday gathering or a holiday party because they are too busy — they know that work will always be there.

 

  1.  Balance Your Work And Personal Life – Great leaders are often times driven people, but they know the key to success is to balance work and family.  Life is too short for you to live at your job.  One day, when work is winding down, you will think to yourself I wished I had done things differently.  Unfortunately, it will be too late to do so.  Great leaders set career boundaries and know when to spend more time with family and friends. Doing this will make stronger leaders.

 

  1.  Evolve Into Someone You Aspire To Become – Great leaders know that they are individuals and that, as an individual, they are not required to be like everyone else.  They also know that they can take the path less traveled, as the risk is sometimes greater than the reward.  To be a great leader, one must become a person of great interest who has great skills.

 

Executive Summary: When it comes time to lead people, great leaders know the power of information, information they gather from listening to people they respect.  They also know what to say, how to say it and when to say it so that during tough times things get done.

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.

 

 

vSphere 6.5 release notes & download links

 

This weekend I had the fun of getting my hands and feet wet with installs of VMware’s ESXi 6.5 and vCenter 6.5. The links below should be useful to any of you looking to learn about the new release and download bits to install.

Release Notes:

Downloads:

Documentation:

Emoluments Clause

​Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: Emoluments Clause

Emoluments Clause. No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Ref: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs

Over 1 Million Google Accounts Hacked by ‘Gooligan’

As you know by now from the latest buzz. Over 1 Million #Google Accounts Hacked by ‘Gooligan’. Gooligan itself isn’t new, as its just a variant of  Ghost Push, a piece of Android malware

Researchers from security firm Check Point Software Technologies have found the existence of this malware in apps available in third-party marketplaces.

Once installed it then roots the phone to to gain system level access.  The rooted devices then download and install software that steals the authentication tokens that allow the phones to access the owner’s Google-related accounts without having to enter a password. The tokens work for a variety of Google properties, including Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Play, Google Drive, and G Suite

In a recent blog post by the folks over at Check Point:  http://blog.checkpoint.com/2016/11/30/1-million-google-accounts-breached-gooligan/

“The infection begins when a user downloads and installs a Gooligan-infected app on a vulnerable Android device. Our research team has found infected apps on third-party app stores, but they could also be downloaded by Android users directly by tapping malicious links in phishing attack messages. After an infected app is installed, it sends data about the device to the campaign’s Command and Control (C&C) server.

Gooligan then downloads a rootkit from the C&C server that takes advantage of multiple Android 4 and 5 exploits including the well-known VROOT (CVE-2013-6282) and Towelroot (CVE-2014-3153). These exploits still plague many devices today because security patches that fix them may not be available for some versions of Android, or the patches were never installed by the user. If rooting is successful, the attacker has full control of the device and can execute privileged commands remotely.

After achieving root access, Gooligan downloads a new, malicious module from the C&C server and installs it on the infected device. This module injects code into running Google Play or GMS (Google Mobile Services) to mimic user behavior so Gooligan can avoid detection, a technique first seen with the mobile malware HummingBad. The module allows Gooligan to:

  • Steal a user’s Google email account and authentication token information
  • Install apps from Google Play and rate them to raise their reputation
  • Install adware to generate revenue

Ad servers, which don’t know whether an app using its service is malicious or not, send Gooligan the names of the apps to download from Google Play. After an app is installed, the ad service pays the attacker. Then the malware leaves a positive review and a high rating on Google Play using content it receives from the C&C server.”

Android users who have downloaded apps from third-party markets can visit the Check Point blog post for a list of the apps known to contain Gooligan.

Also Check Point has released what is being called the Gooligan Checker web page to be used to check if you have been compromised by this latest threat.

 

 

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

The PiDrive Foundation Edition Makes Installing Multiple Operating Systems on Your Pi Easy

Priced at right around what you’d pay for any other hard drive and SD card, at $28.99 for 250GB and $37.49 for 375GB.

The PiDrive Foundation Edition is essentially a hard drive that also comes with an SD card installer that lets you install and boot from multiple operating systems.
Source: Lifehacker

FAA tests antidrone tech at Denver International Airport – CNET Share 

Pretty glad the FAA is looking into this.

As a person who flies periodically I’m comforted to know that somebody’s investigating this and possibly putting it to an end.

https://www.cnet.com/news/faa-federal-aviation-adminstration-drones-airports-safety/#ftag=CAD590a51e