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!

Resolving a down CA

Downed CA!

First off I wanted to address that this wasn’t the intended post of today, this was suppose to be part 2 of the Global Protect post, which is the second dependency; Certificates. However I recently had to get a new cert at work, and discovered this same issue as I had deployed my CA following a decent blog tutorial online by StealthPuppy, and sure enough the same sight provides a follow up on how to fix a mistake made, we all make them and these are great opportunities to learn, so lets get learning!

So you might happen to open up the Certificate Authority Snap and point it to your CA server, to find this…. it’s shutdown….

Fear not StealthPuppy has given us some helpful tips to resolve this!

The Issue

You might find your certificate authority, in this case, a subordinate certificate authority that is not started, perhaps after a server reboot. Attempting to start the CA, results in this message:

The revocation function was unable to check revocation because the revocation server was offline.
0x80092013 (-2146885613 CRYPT_E_REVOCATION_OFFLINE)

Which looks like this:

In the Application log on the subordinate CA, I can see event id 100 from source CertificationAuthority:

Active Directory Certificate Services did not start: Could not load or verify the current CA certificate.  stealthpuppy Issuing CA The revocation function was unable to check revocation because the revocation server was offline. 0x80092013 (-2146885613 CRYPT_E_REVOCATION_OFFLINE).

As well as, event id 48 from the same source, CertificationAuthority:

Revocation status for a certificate in the chain for CA certificate 0 for stealthpuppy Issuing CA could not be verified because a server is currently unavailable.  The revocation function was unable to check revocation because the revocation server was offline. 0x80092013 (-2146885613 CRYPT_E_REVOCATION_OFFLINE).

Certificate 0 is the subordinate CA’s certificate, issued by the offline Root CA.

I bypassed this portion of the blog as I didn’t want to have pictures of before the next required step soooo….

The Workaround

Of course, you probably want to get the CA up and running as quickly as possible. The easy way to do that is to disable CRL checking with the following command on the CA server:

certutil –setreg ca\CRLFlags +CRLF_REVCHECK_IGNORE_OFFLINE

Run this from an elevated command prompt and you should now be able to start the CA and get on with the business of troubleshooting.

Perfect, now lets fix this!

The Cause

My CRL was online as it is available in Active Directory (for domain joined machines) and via HTTP at crl.home.stealthpuppy.com, an alias of the subordinate CA. I’ve tested that I can retrieve the CRL by putting the HTTP path into a browser and I’m prompted to download a file.

Through having spent some time recently with setting up an Enterprise PKI in my lab and for a project, I’ve come to know the command line tool certutil.exe. This tool is available in all versions of Windows and should be the first tool to use to troubleshoot and manage certificates and certificate authorities on Windows.

Certutil can be used to perform many functions, one of which is to verify a CRL. I know the path to the CRL file because I can view the CRLs on the file system (in C:\Windows\System32\certsrv\CertEnroll) and I’ve previously configured CRLs for both CAs.

To verify the CRL, use the -URL switch with the HTTP (or LDAP) path to the CRL:

certutil -URL "http://subca.zewwy.ca/CertEnroll/OFFLINE-ROOT-CA.crl"

This will display the URL Retrieval Tool that shows that the CRLs are able to be contacted and show a status of OK.

*NOTE* I discovered this works directly on the Windows Core Server, if you happened to be running Core (I do as I love optimization, specially when you have to work in lab environments). Except as you might have noticed from the screenshot, the radio buttons are all messed (wonder what library handles that, that wasn’t in core…)

However, if we load a target certificate, in this case, the subordinate CA’s cert, we can start to see why we have an issue with the CRL.

Select the certificate for the subordinate CA that has been previously exported to the file system (in C:\Windows\System32\certsrv\CertEnroll) – click Select, open the certificate and click Retrieve again. This time, we can see a new line that shows that the base CRL for the subordinate CA’s certificate is Expired. (Unfortunetly I had to simply use his source images as in my case I had to also correct my CDP locations on my sign Sub CA Certificate as I had mentioned in my initial Setup Offline Root CA blog post, but I guess I didn’t do it in my lab, so I sort of had to fix to birds with one stone, the CPD locations in my cert by reissuing that, and the offline root ca CRL file, so my additional steps were a bit beyond these exact steps, I also didn’t take snapshots as I wanted to get back on pace with my blog post)

An expired base CRL on the Subordinate CA

An expired base CRL on the Subordinate CA

The CRL for the subordinate CA’s certificate will come from the root CA, so we’ll need to check that CRL. Open the CRL file (C:\windows\system32\certsrv\CertEnroll\stealthpuppy Offline Root CA.crl) – double-click or right-click and Open. Here we can see the CRL information, including the next publishing time (Next CRL Publish).

Viewing the properties of the Root CA's CRL

Viewing the properties of the Root CA’s CRL

At the time of troubleshooting, this date was in the past and because the Root CA is offline and the CRL is hosted on a different server (the subordinate CA), this particular CRL will never receive an update. So, when the subordinate CA has rebooted, it has checked the Root CA’s CRL and found it expired. Hence the certification authority service won’t start.

How To Fix It

Now we know why the certification authority service won’t start and an understanding of why the CRL is offline, even if the wording doesn’t match the symptoms. If the error message had told me the CRL had expired instead of being offline, I might have saved some troubleshooting time. We now know that we need to re-publish the CRL from the Root CA.

Start the offline Root CA, log into it and open the Certification Authority console. We will first want to ensure that the CRL publication interval is extended so that we don’t run into the same problem in the near future. Open the properties of the Revoked Certificates node to view and set the publication interval. The default interval is 1 week, obviously too often for an offline Root CA.

Instead, set this value to something suitable for the environment you have installed the CA into. Remember that you’ll need to boot the Root CA and publish a new CRL before the end of this interval, otherwise, you’ll have exactly the same issue.

Setting the CRL Publication Interval on the Root CA

Setting the CRL Publication Interval on the Root CA

Now publish a new CRL – right-click the Revoked Certificates node and click All Tasks /Publish.

Publishing a new CRL from the Root CA

Publishing a new CRL from the Root CA

Copy the updated CRL (from C:\Windows\System32\certsrv\CertEnroll by default) from the Root CA to the CRL distribution point and overwrite the existing CRL file (C:\Windows\System32\certsrv\CertEnroll again on my subordinate CA).

Now if we again use certutil.exe to verify the CRL, it comes up roses:

Viewing the verified CRL with certutil.exe

Viewing the verified CRL with certutil.exe

To ensure that the subordinate CA’s certification authority service will start, re-enable CRL checking:

certutil –setreg ca\CRLFlags -CRLF_REVCHECK_IGNORE_OFFLINE

If you have re-published the CRL from the Root CA correctly, the service should start and you can then shut down the Root CA. Then open Outlook and put a reminder in the calendar for a week before the CRL expires again.

Conclusion

I’ve had this issue with an Offline CRL a few times now and not really understood what the issue is until I took the time to troubleshoot the issue properly. I don’t spend that much time with an enterprise PKI and it’s easy to underestimate the complexity of setting up AD Certificate Services correctly.

Palo Alto VPN (GlobalProtect)
Part 1 – Authentication

Hey all,

I’d figure I’d spin up a really quick guide on setting up client type VPN using Palo Alto Firewalls. In this case it will use GlobalProtect, so will require appropriate licenses to work. I won’t exactly cover the license aspect in my blog as I find that stuff a bore, and can leave that for the good ol’ VARs to handle. Anyway let’s get into this.

Authentication

Palo Alto firewalls support a wide range of authentication sources (which is awesome) however, to start my lab utilizes LDAP. There are ways to secure LDAP with certs and TLS for LDAPS however again that is beyond the scope of this blog post, and will stick with plaintext LDAP connection son port 389. (In my case all my servers reside on one hypervisor, thus the chances of the vswitch being man in the middle is highly unlikely ;))

Step 1) Add a Server Profile

So to start on the Palo Alto (My Examples utilize PAN OS 7.1.x, however, 5-6, as well as 8 are very similar) Web interface go to Device -> Server Profiles -> LDAP then click add.

Give the Profile a meaningful name, then click on the add button under server list.

Couple Notes here:

1) The Name doesn’t have to be the server name, just give it a meaninful name, or give it the server name, whatever you choose (it’s not a DNS lookup)

2) I was having some issues with testing the Auth profile (Which will be covered a bit further down in the blog post) and I thought I may have had issues with my LDAP settings, however “During LDAP server configuration, the device automatically pulls the Base DN if the connection is successful.

Since I didn’t have LDAPS setup, I had no cert to use, so I had to uncheck “Require SSL/TLS secured connection” only then would the Base DN auto-populate, verifying that my LDAP connection was indeed successful.

Also note in my lab I had a separate NIC dedicated to my domain, which was separate from the usual home network, thus I had to setup a “Service Routes” for LDAP specifically.

I decided to also create a standard domain account and use it for the Bind DN. This may or may not be required.

Now this is where things get a little weird….

According to step 2 from this Palo Alto post you setup the authentication profile.

Step 2) Group Mapping (Optional)

Which is technically the bare minimum, however, I was hoping to have some group filtering at the Auth Profile, in order to do this one has to first setup a “Group Mapping” and followed this to do it:

Device -> User Identification -> Group Mapping

Click Add, Give it a meaningful name, and optionally fill in the domain

Helpful Commands

  • show user group-mapping state all
    Lists all group mappings on the firewall, which shows the Server Profile used and all groups found from it
  • show user group list
    Also lists all groups, but without ordering via the group mapping info
  • show user group name <group name>
    Lists users within the group specified
  • debug user-id refresh group-mapping all
    If new groups or users added to groups in AD, refresh the info on the PA

If you do not setup a group mapping, you can’t filter by groups in the Authentication Profile, under the “allow list” which from testing might not be a bad thing… you’ll see…

Step 3) Create an Authentication Profile

This is where my results get weird, which I finally discovered was all due to the “allow list” filtering in which I was attempting to use. Let me show you what I mean, using my first authentication profile as an example:

So nothing special, select LDAP, selected my LDAP Server Profile, then click the next tab is it is required “Advanced” tab.

Now if you setup a group mapping as I specified under the option step 2, you will see all the groups in the domain (CN=xxxx,OU=xxxx,DC=xxxx) format. If you didn’t you will get only all (and that is probably a good thing, not exactly sure yet,…)

So in my first case I decided to use my “domain users” as my filter group, as it’s pretty common group and I don’t have many users in it.

Simple, so now we have all the basics to now test it.

Step 4) Testing the Authentication Profile

Test and fail and test and fail, and smash your face in for using group mappings…. (yet to be determined why)… but for now, log in via SSH into the Palo Alto firewall and test it:

What the heck?!?! I swear everything was correct, I also knew I was entering my password correctly and everything. No matter how you change the settings in the Auth Profile nothing works (I double and triple checked proper group membership in AD, and ensured the firewall could see it all “show user group” and “show user group name “CN=domain users,OU=users,DC=zewwy,DC=ca””) until I noticed from the link in this steps title that his simple test was using that “all” group that is used when there is no group mapping defined, or just simple at the top of the list.

So creating a new Authentication Profile not specifying my AD group..

and testing…

BAMMMMMMMM….

And that concludes the Authentication part well at least the dependency, in part 2 I’ll cover the certificates requirements. I currently have a ticket open with Palo ALto as to why the “Allow List” section of the Authentication Profile doesn’t pick up the users in which should be in those account as shown by the “show user group name “CN group name”, so if this commands shows users based on a group, the allow list should be able to validate that as well.

Until Part 2, Adios!

*UPDATE* According to PAN support the Test Authentication *BUG* although he didn’t want to admit it as a bug is claimed to be fixed in PAN OS 8.1.3. I have yet to upgrade some units to this version and verify that claim.

IIS redirect HTTP to HTTPS

The Requirement

Recently I posted about creating and using a certificate for use on and IIS website. I did this recently for my Dev to deploy his new web app, which required use of a devices camera for QR scanning purposes, well it runed out that the camera could not be used unless the app was secured with TLS (a certificate). So we created a cert and created a new secure binding.

However, it was soon pretty apparent every time I pressed the down arrow key on my browsers URL it would use the regular HTTP (at first we removed the port 80 binding which caused site unavailable issue). So after re-adding the standard port 80 binding for regular HTTP, I decided to use a rewrite rule to handle the redirection.

It wasn’t as intuitive as I thought it would be so a little google search and I was on my way…

As the source states, after you have your certificate and port binding for HTTPS, as well as one for regular HTTP.

In order to force a secure connection on your website, it is necessary to set up a certain HTTP/HTTPS redirection rule. This way, anyone who enters your site using a link like “yourdomain.com” will be redirected to “https://yourdomain.com” or “https://www.yourdomain.com” (depending on your choice) making the traffic encrypted between the server and the client side.

Below you can find the steps for setting up the required redirect:

The Source

    1. Download and install the “URL Rewrite” module.
    2. Open the “IIS Manager” console and select the website you would like to apply the redirection to in the left-side menu:iisred1
    3. Double-click on the “URL Rewrite” icon.
    4. Click “Add Rule(s)” in the right-side menu.
    5. Select “Blank Rule” in the “Inbound” section, then press “OK”:iisred2
    6. Enter any rule name you wish.
    7. In the “Match URL” section:- Select “Matches the Pattern” in the “Requested URL” drop-down menu
      – Select “Regular Expressions” in the “Using” drop-down menu
      – Enter the following pattern in the “Match URL” section: “(.*)”
      – Check the “Ignore case” box

      iisred3

    8. In the “Conditions” section, select “Match all” under the “Logical Grouping” drop-down menu and press “Add”.
    9. In the prompted window:
      – Enter “{HTTPS}” as a condition input
      – Select “Matches the Pattern” from the drop-down menu
      – Enter “^OFF$” as a pattern
      – Press “OK”

      iisred4

    10. In the “Action” section, select “Redirect” as the action type and specify the following for “Redirect URL”:https://{HTTP_HOST}/{R:1}
    11. Check the “Append query string” box.
    12. Select the Redirection Type of your choice. The whole “Action” section should look like this:iisred5

The Note

NOTE: There are 4 redirect types of the redirect rule that can be selected in that menu:
– Permanent (301) – preferable type in this case, which tells clients that the content of the site is permanently moved to the HTTPS version. Good for SEO, as it brings all the traffic to your HTTPS website making a positive effect on its ranking in search engines.
– Found (302) – should be used only if you moved the content of certain pages to a new place *temporarily*. This way the SEO traffic goes in favour of the previous content’s location. This option is generally not recommended for a HTTP/HTTPS redirect.
– See Other (303) – specific redirect type for GET requests. Not recommended for HTTP/HTTPS.
– Temporary (307) – HTTP/1.1 successor of 302 redirect type. Not recommended for HTTP/HTTPS.

  1. Click on “Apply” on the right side of the “Actions” menu.

The redirect can be checked by accessing your site via http:// specified in the URL. To make sure that your browser displays not the cached version of your site, you can use anonymous mode of the browser.

The Helping Hand

The rule is created in IIS, but the site is still not redirected to https://

Normally, the redirection rule gets written into the web.config file located in the document root directory of your website. If the redirection does not work for some reason, make sure that web.config exists and check if it contains the appropriate rule.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In the sites list of IIS, right-click on your site. Choose the “Explore” option:iisred6
  2. “Explore” will open the document root directory of the site. Check if the web.config file is there.
  3. The web.config file must have the following code block:
    <configuration>
    <system.webServer>
    <rewrite>
    <rules>
    <rule name=”HTTPS force” enabled=”true” stopProcessing=”true”>
    <match url=”(.*)” />
    <conditions>
    <add input=”{HTTPS}” pattern=”^OFF$” />
    </conditions>
    <action type=”Redirect” url=”https://{HTTP_HOST}/{R:1}” redirectType=”Permanent” />
    </rule>
    </rules>
    </rewrite>
    </system.webServer>
    </configuration>
  4. If the web.config file is missing, you can create a new .txt file, put the aforementioned code there, save and then rename the file to web.config.

This one, much like my Offline Root CA post is a direct copy of the source. For the same reason, I felt I had no need to re-word it as it was very well written.

Thanks Namecheap, although it would have been nice to thank the actual author who took the time to do the beautiful write up with snippets. 🙂

MSI installer – Network Resource Unavailable

The Start

The other day my boss came in with a colleagues laptop and told me that the VPN software failed to update, and by fail to update completely removed the old version and didn’t update to the latest version. Checking the laptops ‘Programs and Features’ sure enough showed no signs of the application.

I simply grabbed the latest version of the software installer and attempt to reinstall the application, yet to my dismay the latest installer complains with the following error ‘The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable.’ How insightful…

I figured it was a registry issue, as the registry is known to hold old settings from applications and do not get cleaned up properly. This place can be a cease pool on old machines that have been constantly upgraded.

The Dig

There are plenty of references online when it comes to this error. The main one people reference is the HKLM/Software/Classes/installer/products.

Even though I cleaned everything in this based on the application I was installing, it was still failing with with same error.

The Answer

Lucky for me it kept specifying what it was expecting for a network path, I decided to search the registry based on this, and found there was a key.

After removing the parent GUID based key, the installer ran successfully.

If my memory serves me correctly I believe the problematic key was under:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products