Make Sure your DFSR is working!

This one is kind of interesting. I use a replicated test environment to validate things, it works great. I was using the domains sysvol to quickly copy some text between member servers, however to my amazement I was not seeing the same contents from two different member servers even though both of them validated their security with my domain (nltest /sc_verify:domain)…

It wasn’t until I checked both DC’s that I noticed one member server was seeing a SYSVOL from DC 1 and the other member server was seeing contents from SYSVOL from DC2.

Now, all DC’s have the same SYSVOl contents right?! So what gives?

You may have already guessed it, DFSR issues…. if you know the title didn’t give anything away…

Which lead me to this nice MS support page.

The most important line from it is this…

For /f %i IN ('dsquery server -o rdn') do @echo %i && @wmic /node:"%i" /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path dfsrreplicatedfolderinfo WHERE replicatedfoldername='SYSVOL share' get replicationgroupname,replicatedfoldername,state

with this my DC’s reported a state of 2 (well that could explain the diff I was seeing)

which lead me to this nice MS Support page. 🙂 These are usually better than most I’ll admit. I followed the steps on “How to perform an authoritative synchronization of DFSR-replicated SYSVOL (like “D4″ for FRS)”

Until I realized that core doesn’t come with DFSR mgmt tools, even if you install the AD role… So for the most part I skipped the steps stating run “DFSRDIAG POLLAD” cause it’ll fail to run, as it does not exist

Maybe some one out there is smart enough to know the answer…

STS Security Token Service on SharePoint 2013

Today I was bringing my stepping server back up. In this case I use it to upgrade content databases from 2010 -> 2016.

Since you can’t directly upgrade, since the config data had been wiped, I was going through the config wizard to get it rebuilt. Now the wizard will complain if the old website still exists. So for some reason I decided to remove all the old sites and app pools. figured it would get rebuilt.

Now the wizard completed without a hitch, and I was off creating a web app and some content databases to delete as I’d test and mount the 2010 content databases for staging.

Oddly after I had mounted the database I had noticed the server was failing to successfully call “Get-SPSite”, saying that it was due to the security token store service.  There’s lots of links out there with similiar issues… such as this, this, this, this and even this …. most of which are dead ends.

There’s MS support page on this as well, however I may have accidentally deleted that App Pool…

Then I stumbled across this, a MS blog post, which I find a lil more useful usually cause they are more hands on… in this case since I was already hooped I gave the command a try, and it ran just like his…

I wasn’t sure if this was enough, then I found this and ran these commands as well…

$sts = Get-SPServiceApplication | ?{$_ -match "Security"}
$sts.Status
$sts.Provision()

after a reboot, all of a sudden Get-SPSite was working again!

How to Shrink a VMDK

Hey all,

Not often you have to shrink a VMDK file, expanding one is super easy, even on a live Virtual Machine. Shrinking one however, isn’t as straight forward.

This guy does a decent job giving a step by step tutorial, but you can soon realize you can do it even faster, and without cloning…

1)  Use his math to get the disk size you need to edit inside the vmdk:

The number highlighted above, under the heading #Extent description, after the letters RW, defines the size of the VMware virtual disk (VMDK).

this number – 83886080, and it’s calculated as follows:

40 GB = 40 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 / 512 = 83886080

2) Only shrink VMDKs in which you know the end of the disk contains allocated blocks, do this in a test only, make sure you have backups.

Now instead of cloning, simply remove the disk from the vm, and re-attach it. watch it’s reattached size be smaller, and it matches, much like the source guys post.

Classic Editor

Ahhhh Yes!!!!! The Classic editor where life is easy!

CHeck this out!

Ohhhhh man! That took me 2 seconds! and it’s perfect!

Go Classic editor, simple and it works! Leave fancy editor stuff for plug-ins WordPress…. You’re bloating WordPress like MS bloated Windows…

At least Classic Editor will be supported till 2021, and my guess with how crappy the new editor seems, it’ll probably be supported longer. like XP, good things die hard. New shitty things die fast.

WordPress 5 and Blocks

Here I am, trying out WordPress 5+ and it’s new content editor.

Big Gaping Asshole… I mean spacer Block!!! OMG Now I can move My big Gaping Spacer Block using Arrows… OMG!!! AMAZING… meh

My old ways don’t work and it’s painful to do something that was super easy before.

I sound like like an old fart but I liked the old way, not that I don’t like the ingenuity and clearly the scaleabilty of the new way, but things were obviously missed…

for instance I used to be able to paste my imgur links and then using my old plug in options mark them clickable and pop out. Now if I paste it, it tatoos the living crap out of the image with imgur crap all over it….

God look at this garbage

But hey at least I can caption my shit and move them around, cause you know how often I screw up the order of my post when I make them….

This paragraph, I can, cause you know how people love to mess up there paragraphs and have to rearrange them all the time!

Now when I press enter it simply adds a new “Document” block, so If I wanted this paragraph after ^ That Paragraph.

If that was confusing trust me so is finding the Point of these “blocks” if I had maybe some horizontal control I could see some use, but it’s literally just vertical, up down that’s it… wooo, man it was so hard before selecting content with the mouse and using, keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + X to cut, move to location, Ctrl+v to paste) in those times you needed to re-arrange… boy that stuff sure was hard to do. I’m glad I have blocks now to waste my life learning how to get something simple as my old pop up image plug-in to work again….. Pricks….

Time to install the Classic editor!

Sysprep Fatal Error

The Story

The error is fatal alright…

I was helping my buddy setup a bunch of laptops for a classroom deployment, since all these drives had spindle discs it was a lot faster to get windows install on one machine, get all the drivers, install all the updates, install all the software…. then shrink the partition to size used (using gparted in linux live), then sysprep it, then DD the drive up to the used spaced partition end point to a NTFS formatted drive.

After that simply DD the .img file to any /dev/sda drive via Linux Live. Since the DD is writing the image onto the disc sequentially this is far faster then doing the above steps for every machine. When you boot them up they are in OOBE mode, enter a user, machine name, license key and away you go…

However, I got an error…

“A fatal error occured while trying to sysprep the machine”

How insightful, so to google I go… Most of the usual answers…

Issues with Generalize (I’m not generalizing this image)…

The Solution

Checking the registry for sysprep state keys (This was a brand new install, so all was clean), at this point I did remember I had injected “SP2” into this Windows 7 install and thought maybe that might be something… but then I noticed something really simple and odd from one Microsoft Answers page…

OldMX “Load a command prompt with admin rights and type “Net Stop WMPNetworkSvc”

I didn’t think it would work, but figured it was worth a shot, to my amazement it worked!

Thanks OldMX!

Secure a WordPress Site with HTTPS

Intro

Well it is slowly becoming a requirement, even for a site that simply shares content and has no portal or user information… such as my site… but may as well do it now since we can get certified certificates for free!!! Wooohoooo!

So doing a bit of research….

Research

Securing WordPress

TurnKey SSL Certs

Let’s Encrypt!

Cert-Bot

TurnKey WordPress uses Debian… what version?

The Tasks

Alright so we are running Debian 8, let’s follow that cert-bot tut….

Let’s start by creating a snapshot, at this point I don’t exactly have backups running yet… I know I know… I was suppose to do Free Hypervisor Backup Part 3 where I redesign ghettoVCB’s script…. unfortunately I can only do so much and I have many projects on the run. I will get it to though, I promise!


Now with that out of the way, running Cert-Bot…
Then I ran into some errors… oopsies….


What happened?!?!
Well I was working through a lot of network redesign, and my public website, the very WordPress I was trying to get a certificate for,
had a NAT rule to get out to the internet, which is why the grabbing and running of the CertBot succeeded up until this point.
I didn’t create the NAT rule to allow HTTP traffic just yet as I was wanting to create this certificate first. Little did I know it was going to be a prerequisite
Anyway I had to update my Websites DNS record to point to my new public IP,
as well as create a NAT and security rule to allow my website to be accessible from the outside world…


I had to wait a while for DNS to replicate to other servers outside, specifically whichever ones Lets Encrypt servers use to locate and validate my requests from CertBot.
so…
after making the changes, and waiting a while I attempted to access my website from the internet again,
it was failing and then I realized my mistake was in the security rule I defined. correcting my security rule, I could access my website.
running Certbot again…

Yay, and it listed all the virtual hosts hosted by my turnkey wordpress..

then created another NAT rule to hanndle https traffic… and then the security rule…

That was literally it! CertBot made it so easy! Yay that’s a first! 😀

Palo Alto VPN (GlobalProtect)
Part 5 – Rules, Testing, Troubleshooting

Intro

In this 5 Part series I covered all the requirements to configure Palo Alto Network’s GlobalProtect VPN:

1)  Authentication, Auth Profiles and testing them. 

2) Certificates, Cert Profiles, SSL/TLS Profiles and creating them.

3) Portals, what they do and how to configure them.

4) Gateways, what they do and how to configure them.

This part will cover the security rule required, and a little troubleshooting steps along the way.

Thing not Covered

I didn’t cover creating DNS records, as again, these come down to your own DNS provider and whatever tools and portals they offer to manage those.

I don’t cover configuring the interfaces (public facing or internal), I don’t cover the virtual router and routes. All these are assumed to be handled by the administrator reading these guides.

I don’t cover installing the client software, if you have the certificates installed on the client devices (Required), it’s simply navigating to the portal address with a supported browser and downloading the installation packages (.exe for windows).

For giggles, I tested navigating my portal from my phone, it did prompt me for my certificate (the VPN was working well) yet after selecting my certificate I got a connection reset error on my browser and checking the Palo Alto Firewall logs (Monitor tab -> traffic) I indeed saw the Deny traffic and action reset-both action… why this is, even though the application was identified correctly as web-browsing and that was enabled in the rule, it wasn’t being allowed by my rule and instead was being denied by my deny all rule. I”m not sure exactly why this is, however I don’t have intentions of accessing my portal web page anytime soon, so for now I’ll ignore this as I use IPsec XAuth RSA on my android device.

I have also noticed that for some reason with Samsung Android I can’t seem to get this VPN setup to work, from quick google searches people seem to say it’s due to packet fragmentation somehow. I haven’t yet had the chance to look into the nitty gritty of this issue just yet, but when I do it will be it’s own blog post!

I also don’t cover installing the completed certificates onto end devices as again this comes down to the end devices being supported by the administrator configuring Global Protect and is outside the scope of this guide.

The Security Rule

As you can tell pretty simple, anyone from the internet (I could be connecting from anywhere, and my IP address changes on my phone all the time, random access points etc) to my public IP address which hosts my portal and gateway, and the required applications (IKE, ipsec-esp-udp, and the SSL and web-browsing) again I haven’t exactly figured out the portal web-page loading issue just yet.

My Phone Config

In my case I do run an Android phone, running : 8.0.0: Kernel 4.4.78

The OS is some H93320g couldn’t find much but this about it

For the most part I install both my Offline-Root-CA and my Sub-CA certificates on my phone. Which can be found under (General -> Lock Screen & Security -> Encryption & Credentials -> Trusted Credentials (Instead of CA’s who knows?)  -> User (Both Should be listed here)

Then Installed the User certificate with the private key, which then shows up under (General -> Lock Screen & Security -> Encryption & Credentials -> User Credentials (Instead of User Certificates?)) The other annoying part is once you have the certificate installed, this area doesn’t allow you to see the certificate details, you can see them under the area mentioned above, but this area…. nope.. :@

Once the certificates are installed, it simply comes down to configuring the VPN settings. (Settings -> Network -> VPN -> BasicVPN -> Click the plus in the upper right hand corner. Then)

Name: Give it a meaningful name

Type: IPSec XAuth RSA

Server Address: The Address defined in Part 3 -> Agents -> External Gateways

IPSec User Cert: The User Certificate you installed and verified above

IPSec CA Certificate: Don’t verify server (Which is probably why I didn’t need the above server address in the gateway certs as a SAN)

IPSec Server Certificate: Receive from server

Then enter a username and password for a user you defined to be allowed per your Authentication Profile you created in Part 1.

You shouldn’t have to define the advanced settings as those should defined to the client from the gateway config we created in Part 4.

Summary

If done correctly you should have a successfully, you should be able to see all the parts play out in both the traffic logs, and the system logs…

System:

Traffic:

That is pretty much it, if you have a failed connection do the usual step by step troubleshooting starting with connectivity, you should be able to see the access attempt from the device in the traffic logs, if they are being blocked by rules, adjust them accordingly.

If you verified all other things, it maybe your chain, or you are enabling extra security like verifying the server certificate than you chain would have to be different then presented here, probably all certificate including the portal and gateway certs being signed by the sub CA completely, then all certs will be trusted by all devices. I’ll admit this isn’t the cleanest setup, but it’s the closest to a bare minimum install of Global Protect using your own internal PKI.

I hope this guide helps someone. 😀

Palo Alto VPN (GlobalProtect)
Part 4 – Gateways

Intro

The Gateway is pretty much exactly as it is named, the gateway where you get a virtual connection to tunnel into the network.

Requirements:

1)  And Interface with a Public IP address.
2) Certificates (Covered in Part 2)
3) Authentication Profile (Covered in Part 1)

Configuration

On the Palo Alto Firewall go to Network -> GlobalProtect -> Gateway

Under General give it a Name and define the interface in which has your Public IP address. *Note* The IP address can be left as none, this will work fine if your interface gets its IP address via DHCP, if you have static the static IP address should be populated from the drop down and can be selected. The Appearance section allows you to alter the web login portal that can be used to download the GlobalProtect client software.

Under Authentication Select a SSL/TLS Profile which contains the certificate which will secure this portal)

Then click add under Client Authentication and add the Auth Profile which states which users are going to be allowed to authenticate through this portal. Then select a Certificate Profile. (Covered in Part 2)

This is the first section that actually looks different than the portal configurations, under the Agent section the first area is the tunnel settings. This is where you define which tunnel interface (i picked the default, you may need to create additional tunnel interfaces if doing multiple portal/gateway configurations). In my case I was setting up tunnel based IPsec type VPN.

I left all the Timeout Settings as default, then moved onto client settings. Here we define any particular users, what OS they are allowed, and what IP addresses they are to be assigned (basically acts as a dedicated DHCP for the virtual tunnel interface when the VPN is established).

 

Next, under Network Services define the internal DNS server and WINS servers, as well as the DNS suffix users who connect will use, this will allow them to work as if they were locally at work.

In my case I didn’t have to deal with HIP Notifications or the Satellites section. 😀

That’s it for the Gateway, this unfortunately is not enough and we still need to define our Security Rules. Luckily since the Portal utilizes a public facing interfaces, we don’t have to deal with any NAT rules as connections are routed through the virtual tunnels that get created pretty much through the settings we defined in this part. 😀

As you can tell these post are a lot shorter as the hardest parts is building the pre-requisites.

Till Part 5, Cheers!

Palo Alto VPN (GlobalProtect)
Part 3 – Portals

Intro

The Portal is pretty much exactly as it is named, the portal where you fist connect to, validate you have the certificate to establish a secure communication to send your credentials over and tell your device what gateway to establish to tunnel connection with.

Requirements:

1)  And Interface with a Public IP address.
2) Certificates (Covered in Part 2)
3) Authentication Profile (Covered in Part 1)

Configuration

On the Palo Alto Firewall go to Network -> GlobalProtect -> Portals

Under General give it a Name and define the interface in which has your Public IP address. *Note* The IP address can be left as none, this will work fine if your interface gets its IP address via DHCP, if you have static the static IP address should be populated from the drop down and can be selected. The Appearance section allows you to alter the web login portal that can be used to download the GlobalProtect client software.

Under Authentication Select a SSL/TLS Profile which contains the certificate which will secure this portal)

Then click add under Client Authentication and add the Auth Profile which states which users are going to be allowed to authenticate through this portal.


Under the Agent section is where you define the which users group use which gateways. As well as which CA they use. *NOTE* The address defined as the gateway should created on your external DNS provider. Also it seem it is not required as a SAN on the certificate.

In my case I didn’t have to deal with Satellites section. 😀

That’s it for the Portal, this unfortunately is not enough and we still need to define our gateway as well, which ironically in a simple setup such as in my case and examples as a lot of the same steps.

As you can tell these post are a lot shorter as the hardest parts is building the pre-requisites. I also don’t cover creating your external DNS records as that comes down to your own DNS provider and the tools and services they provide.

Till Part 4, Cheers!