Tech Blog

DNS security for all

Cloudflare have been pounding the security drum for years and I have always looked for financially viable solutions that help me stay safer than the next guy. After recently listening to the Security Now (https://twit.tv/shows/security-now) and Troy Hunt (https://www.troyhunt.com/my-weekly-updates-are-now-available-as-an-audio-podcast/) podcasts, I was intrigued about what Cloudflare could offer me on the go and there it was, 1.1.1.1 which has been a DNS offering to rival Google’s 8.8.8.8 for a short while now but Cloudflare have rolled it into an app that performs similarly to a VPN (I appreciate this is an over simplification). Using the offering on an iPhone gives me an on demand DNS directory over https or tls (depending on your preferences) which is faster than any other DNS provider. For further reading, see here for full details https://1.1.1.1/

OSSIM has limited or no connectivity: Make sure your network connection is active and try again

OSSIM has limited or no connectivity: Make sure your network connection is active and try again

In the event that you receive this message “Limited or no connectivity: Make sure your network connection is active and try again.” while trying to link OSSIM to the Open Threat Exchange (OTX) it may be that your DNS entries need adjusting. Simply SSH to the OSSIM environment and in the menu go to System Preferences, then Configure Network and Name Server (DNS) where you can change the entry to your required DNS settings.

Ensure you go back to the main menu and select Apply all Changes, this should then update the configuration file and solve the issue. You may however find that this does not help, in which case, go to  Jailbreak System and using the usual Linux navigation edit the file /etc/network/interfaces  check your details and if needed, change the DNS entry. Once complete, save and type exit, you will be returned to the main menu.

At this point you might wish to reboot the device.

” .\Global\vmx86″: The system cannot find the file specified.

Unable to open kernel device “.\Global\vmx86”:The system cannot find the file specified. Did you reboot after installing VMware Workstation?

This recently occurred on my system and although the cause is not yet know, the fix was pretty simple.

Open command prompt (Win+R) but ensure it is run as admin, try net start vmx86, it will probably fail but at least you’re not doing unnecessary steps. Now (still in cmd prompt) change directory into the Workstation install location and type vnetlib — uninstall vmx86 and reboot your physical host machine.

Open command prompt again and type vnetlib — install vmx86 then reboot again, this time the issue should be gone and you can run the VM’s as normal.

If you still have no luck then try reinstalling workstation.

The VMRC console has disconnected…attempting to reconnect

“The VMRC console has disconnected…attempting to reconnect” warning on my VMware esxi5.5 environment at work annoyed me no end for a few hours as I was baffling over what it meant.

VMRC error

There are two resolutions that I could find;

Restart the client machine, log back into the vsphere client and all should be well.

If like me however you try to avoid shutting down because it gets in the way of working then simply close vsphere client, open Task Manager and stop “vmware-vmrc.exe“, “vmware-remotemks.exe“, and “vpxclient.exe” by right clicking each event in processes and selecting “stop“. log back into vsphere client and the system should be up and running again.

What is the actual signal strength on my iPhone?

What is the actual signal strength on my iPhone? Well it probably has no useful link to the bars that you can see in the corner of your handset. Follow the below steps to change to a dB signal strength indicator.

  1. Dial *3001#12345#* on your iPhone then press Call.
  2. You’ll notice a signal strength indicator in the top left hand corner of your screen. You can toggle between signal strength bars and a number by simply taping on it. Press the home button to exit the app or if you would like the feature to be permanent, continue to the next step (you can reverse it later if you wish).
  3. Hold down on the Power button until you see the ‘slide to power off’ bar but don’t power off the device.
  4. Press down on the Home button until the app closes and you return to your home screen.

The closer your number is to zero, the stronger your signal is.

To undo this setting simply do the following.

  1. Dial *3001#12345#* on your iPhone then press Call.
  2. Press on your Home Button once

Accessing WiFi password history – Mac

In order to see the passwords used by your Mac, navigate to the applications folder and open other and then Keychain Access. Once open, select System inside the Keychain box and look for your network, double click the chosen network and tick the show password box. A dialogue box will then pop up and ask you to confirm you password and then may ask for an administrators details, complete each respectively and the password will then be shown.

Vi, commands at a glance – basic

Vi can often be daunting, so here is my Vi commands at a glace list.
Inserting:
r            Replace character under cursor with next typed character.
R           Replace characters under cursor until esc is pressed.
i            Insert before cursor.
a           Append after cursor.
A           Append at the end of the line.
O          Open line above cursor and enter append mode.
Deleting:
x            Delete character under cursor.
dd          Delete line under cursor.
dw         Delete word under cursor.
db          Delete word before cursor.
Write File:
:w          Saves the current file without quitting.
Exiting vi:
:wq        Exit and save changes.
:q!         Exit without saving.
 

Get the Start Menu back

If like me you have ignored the cries of frustration from others about how Windows 8 or 8.1 have stolen the Start Menu then fear not as there are several solutions kindly provided by great people. Below are a couple of links that are by no means exhaustive but will give you an idea of how to claw your functionality back. If you choose to install any third party softare, please ensure you read the instructions and don’t install anything you don’t want to.

Start Menu 8 – http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php

Classic Shell – http://www.classicshell.net/

Run as command

The “Run as command” is incredibly useful and can save you logging in as a different user.

Open cmd.exe and type the following

  • runas /user:<localmachinename>\administrator cmd

or if on a domain

  • runas /user:<DomainName>\<AdministratorAccountName> cmd

cmd is not required, it can be exchanged for your desired program.

Installing VMware tools – Ubuntu

Installing VMware tools – Ubuntu requires you to navigate to the toolbar and find the option to Install VMware tools, click on it and download it if required. Once the button is pressed, it will mount the drive in Ubuntu, a folder will auto open but can also be found in the Devices section of Files. Double click VMwareTools-……..tar.gz then select vmware-tools-distrib and click Extract and choose your destination directory, in my case Desktop and then click extract. Close the Extractor and now the files exist in a usable state for you to install.

  1. Open up Terminal and type cd ./Desktop/ and hit Enter to get terminal to look at the Desktop, type ls (lima sierra) if you want to check the contents.
  2. Type cd vmware-tools-distrib and hit Enter then sudo ./vmware-install.pl and hit Enter then type in your password when prompted.
  3. Accept the /usr/bin directory as the default by hitting Enter unless you want to use another.
  4. Confirm the directory that contains the init directories by hitting Enter and repeat for the init scripts, daemon files and library files.
  5. On a first install, /usr/lib/vmware-tools won’t exist, the installer will ask for confirmation to create it so hit Enter.
  6. Confirm the documentation files directory by hitting  Enter and repeat for creating the folder.
  7. Now the final request to confirm you want to run the program, hit Enter or if you have done all of the above by mistake type no and hit Enter.

Subsequent requests for confirmation will be made and are detailed below.

  • Do you want to allow shared folders between the Guest OS and the Host? Hit Enter or type no and hit Enter.
  • /usr/bin/gcc appears valid, do you want to change it? Hit Enter or type yes and hit Enter.
  • Searching for a valid kernel header path, do you want to change it? Hit Enter or type yes and hit Enter.
  • Do you want to allow copy and paste and dragging between host and guest? Hit Enter or type no and hit Enter.
  • Would you like to enable VMware automatic kernel modules? Hit Enter or type yes and hit Enter.
  • Enable Thinprint printing? Hit Enter or type no and hit Enter.
  • Enable guest authentication? Hit Enter or type no and hit Enter.

Installation will complete and a reboot will be required for all features to become available. Type sudo reboot and hit Enter the system will then reboot and you can use Ubuntu happily.