jermsmit

Tech Short: Modify vCenter Single Sign-On Password Policy

Warning:  I do not advocate that anyone to make modifications which extend outside of their organizations security policies. Doing so may put account security as risk.

By default, passwords associated with vSphere Single Sign-On expire every 90 days. As a user approaches this expiry point they will be reminded that their password is about to expire.

In my lab I wanted to avoid the need to change my password so frequently so I decided to extend the number of days required between password changes.

The steps below can be followed:

  1. Log in to the vSphere Web Client as a user with vCenter Single Sign-On administrator privileges
  2. Browse to Administration > Single Sign-On > Configuration
  3. Click the Policies tab and select Password Policies
  4. Click Edit
  5. Modify the “Maximum Lifetime”
  6. Click OK

Under the password policies you may take note of various options which can be modified based on your criteria or organization password policy.

Here are the password policy options:

 

Maximum lifetime:

Maximum number of days that a password can exist before the user must change it.

Restrict reuse:

Number of the user’s previous passwords that cannot be selected. For example, if a user cannot reuse any of the last six passwords, type 6.

Maximum length:

Maximum number of characters that are allowed in the password.

Minimum length:

Minimum number of characters required in the password. The minimum length must be no less than the combined minimum of alphabetic, numeric, and special character requirements.

Character requirements:

Minimum number of different character types that are required in the password. You can specify the number of each type of character, as follows:

  • Special: & # %
  • Alphabetic: A b c D
  • Uppercase: A B C
  • Lowercase: a b c
  • Numeric: 1 2 3

The minimum number of alphabetic characters must be no less than the combined uppercase and lowercase requirements.

In vSphere 6.0 and later, non-ASCII characters are supported in passwords. In earlier versions of vCenter Single Sign-On, limitations on supported characters exist.

Identical adjacent characters:

Maximum number of identical adjacent characters that are allowed in the password. The number must be greater than 0.

For example, if you enter 1, the following password is not allowed: p@$$word

 

Ref: ESXi and vCenter Server 5.1 Documentation > vSphere Security > vCenter Server Authentication and User Management > Configuring vCenter Single Sign On

Office 365: Use Content Search to delete unwanted Emails from Organization

Office 365: Use Content Search to delete unwanted Emails from Organization

As an admin you can use the Content search located under Security & Compliance to search for and delete email message from select or all mailbox in your organization.  This is particularly useful to remove high-risk emails such as:

  • Message that contains sensitive data
  • Messages that were sent in error
  • Message that contain malware or viruses
  • Phishing message

 

To start the process, we begin with creating a content search:

  1. Log into your Office 365 protection center – https://protection.office.com
  2. Click on Search & investigation, then select Content search
  3. From Content search click on the “New” Icon
  4. Enter a name for this search job
  5. Select either specific mailboxes or “all mailboxes”
  6. Select “Search all sites”, public folders are an option depending on your search criteria
  7. Click Next
  8. Enter in keywords to search of leave blank to search for all content
  9. Add Conditions – In my example I am looking for a subject (ex. Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity)

  10. Click Search

 

The search will start and results will be displayed in the right pane.

When completed you a preview the results and export to computer as a report.

Now the you have generated a search you can move to deleting the content you had searched for.

To do this we will need to connect to the Security & Compliance Center using remote PowerShell.

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.compliance.protection.outlook.com/powershell-liveid -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session -AllowClobber -DisableNameChecking

$Host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle = $UserCredential.UserName + ” (Office 365 Security & Compliance Center)” 

 

Once successful authenticated, and connected to the compliance center you can creation a new action to delete the items found in our previous search.

This is done by using the following example:

New-ComplianceSearchAction -SearchName “Phishing” -Purge -PurgeType SoftDelete

 

New Phishing Scam Using Microsoft Office 365

*** Attention Required ***

It seems that the bad guys are at it once again with an attempt to collect information by phishing credentials from those of us using Office 365 for corporate emails.  The characteristics of this particular attack the hackers intention is to deceive Office 365 users into providing their login credentials”.

The user sees a fake Office 365 login page, which requests their credentials. Once the Office 365 usernames and passwords have been compromised, the hackers can:

  • Send emails to other users in the victim’s address book, asking them for anything, sending fake invoices, sending more phishing emails, etc.
  • Access the user’s OneDrive account, to download files, install more malware, infect files with malware, etc.
  • Access the users SharePoint account, to download files, install more malware, etc.
  • Steal company intellectual property or other customer information such as customer SSNs, credit card numbers, email addresses, etc.

One of the characteristic of this recent attack is an email being sent with an embedded image which resembles an Microsoft Office Word document containing a link back to a site with a fake Office 365 logon page.  In addition to this the site URL ends in php?userid= syntax.

I have provided the following YouTube video to illustrate the interaction of the fake Office 365 logon page.

Link: https://youtu.be/wHxkzxGF4JY

 

Advice:

It’s an important part of your responsibility to be cautious when accessing emails even from known senders to ensure its legitimate by reviewing the email to ensure that its legitimate.

If in doubt do not open the email and reach out to the sender to ensure they sent you the email.  If you self-determine an email to be suspicious immediately report incidents as soon as they happen.

 

Here are a few guidelines below that could be followed.  Please review:

 

Check the sender.

Sometimes, cybercriminals and hackers will fake (or “spoof”) the sender of an email. If the “from” address doesn’t match the alleged sender of the email, or if it doesn’t make sense in the context of the email, something may be suspicious.

Check for (in)sanity.

Many typical phishing emails are mass-produced by hackers using templates or generic messages. While sophisticated attacks may use more convincing fake emails, scammers looking to hit as many different inboxes as possible may send out large numbers of mismatched and badly written emails. If the email’s content is nonsensical or doesn’t match the subject, something may be suspicious.

Check the salutation.

Many business and commercial emails from legitimate organizations will be addressed to you by name. If an email claims to come from an organization you know but has a generic salutation, something may be suspicious.

Check the links.

A large number of phishing emails try to get victims to click on links to malicious websites in order to steal data or download malware. Always verify that link addresses are spelled correctly, and hover your mouse over a link to check its true destination. Beware of shortened links like http://bit.ly, http://goog.le, and http://tinyurl.com. If an email links to a suspicious website, something may be suspicious.

Don’t let them scare you.

Cyber criminals may use threats or a false sense of urgency to trick you into acting without thinking. If an email threatens you with consequences for not doing something immediately, something may be suspicious.

Don’t open suspicious attachments.

Some phishing emails try to get you to open an attached file. These attachments often contain malware that will infect your device; if you open them, you could be giving hackers access to your data or control of your device. If you get an unexpected or suspicious attachment in an email, something may be suspicious.

Don’t believe names and logos alone.

With the rise in spear phishing, cybercriminals may include real names, logos, and other information in their emails to more convincingly impersonate an individual or group that you trust. Just because an email contains a name or logo you recognize doesn’t mean that it’s trustworthy. If an email misuses logos or names, or contains made-up names, something may be suspicious.

If you still aren’t sure, verify!

If you think a message could be legitimate, but you aren’t sure, try verifying it. Contact the alleged sender separately (e.g., by phone) to ask about the message. If you received an email instructing you to check your account settings or perform some similar action, go to your account page separately to check for notices or settings.

 

 

Going Vegan for 30 Days – Part 1

 

Hey friends,

Here I am, making my very own attempt choice to try do new things while learn something about myself and others via what we all love… Food! This is not some new short lived diet that I am attempting. Its a peek into a lifestyle that many others, and a few friends live.

Today it technical the 2nd day for me… Not bad as I have been preparing myself for over a year now. This is now my commitment for the next 30 days.

With that I will leave myself the following note.

Jermal: Things you can’t eat –

  • Butter or cream
  • Eggs
  • Cheese from cows or goats
  • Milk from cows or goats
  • Meat, poultry, lamb, or beef
  • Fish, shellfish, shrimp, or lobster
  • Gelatin
  • Honey (this one is going to be hard; I love honey in my tea)
  • Anything that poops

Jermal: Things you can and should eat –

  • All fruits
  • All vegetables
  • All herbs and spices
  • Beans
  • Soy-based protein like tofu and tempeh
  • Grains
  • Pasta (that’s not made from eggs)
  • Olive oil

Admittedly I will need help from some of you in the community, so please comment and help me with some tips / advice. I have already singed up for PETA’s vegan starter kit! Time to pull in the other resources I’ve booked marked over the year

More to come.

‘#22Kill’ Push-up Challenge, What It Means

A few weeks back, I had the chance to visit the Team #22KILL website and to participate in this now social media awareness challenge to bring about awareness not only to myself but to others that a shocking number of  soldiers and veterans die every day as a result of suicide.

Marked by the hashtag “#22Kill” , “#22KillPushUpChallenge,”  or “#22pushups”, people are responding with 22 push-ups for a cause.

As stated on the site the goal is to “Help us reach our goal to get 22 Million pushups – To honor those who serve and to raise awareness for veteran suicide prevention through education and empowerment.”

So my journey began via my YouTube channel 

Starting From Day 1 to Day 22

Suicide Prevention, whether it be for vet’s or the everyday person is a serious cause that needs your support.

If You Need help? For Yourself or a Loved one.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1 (800) 273-8255

You will find supportive individuals willing to offer you the tools you need.

If you want to join the challenge – or challenge a friend – make sure that you include the hashtag “#22Kill” and that your post is made “public” so that 22Kill can keep their count accurate. You can also become a veteran advocate yourself by volunteering through the 22Kill organization website.

Thanks