WIndows Server 2016 and Sync Host

Many administrators (including me) are not happy with two services in Server 2016. This services are OneSyncSvc (synchronizes mail, contacts, calendar and various other user data) and Download Maps Manager (for application access to downloaded maps) and are really not critical on server OS.

This is the reason why, you can disable them in almost all cases without any deep research. Anyway, when you try to disable OneSyncSvc from services console, you will receive an error, as this service cannot be disabled. At this point, use a trick and disable both services form elevated command prompt using commands:
sc config “OneSyncSvc” start= disabled
sc config “MapsBroker” start= disabled
Of course, before you run this commands, services have to be stopped, otherwise you will receive an error. You can do this also from command prompt:
sc stop “OneSyncSvc”
sc stop “MapsBroker”
This two simple commands will put services into startup type “disabled” and errors in Server Manager that are related to non-running services will disappear. Problem solved.

WannaCrypt Malware

Of course you have heard about the new malware, which yesterday created a lot of problems in industry. Unfortunately it is not an unknown problem.
Microsoft released a patch for this type of vulnerability already in March, but it seems once again that administrators are not patching their systems.
So, if you haven’t patched your systems at least every month, if you haven’t patched your system from March, is time to do it. And don’t forget to have a good defense system (antivirus and other prevention mechanisms). Update them to!
You can find additional information in this link.

Here is a link to post how was neutralized and who did this.
Anyway, we have already a version 2.0; you can read about this version here.
Again, please patch your systems! This update will solve a vulnerability. And don’t forget: this is not the first malware who was written on known vulnerability – patch your systems constantly!
Additionally, please disable SMB1 protocol – it is not new that it is not secure. Here and here are some guidelines how to do it via GPO.

Have your forgotten your Local Administrator password?

Well, if the computer is yours and you have physical access to it, than you can solve it.
This procedure will work with Windows 8.x and newer and Windows server 2012 and newer. It is not a real hacking technology, but we will use a hole of the operating system.
All we need in this case is to open a shell with enough high privileges before we are asked for the password. Impossible? Not really.
We will do it in a simple way:

  • Insert installation media to your computer and start it from installation media
  • In installation process select Repair your computer

  • In Choose your option select Troubleshoot and then Command prompt

  • Find the partition where Windows are installed (default is C:) and change directory to Windows\System32 (cd \\Windows\\System32)
  • For server systems you have to rename file “UserInit.exe” to something else, using command Ren UserInit.exe Userinit.Old and replace the missing file with cmd by copying a file with command copy cmd.exe userinit.exe
  • For windows systems you have to rename the file “Utilman.exe” to something else, using the command Ren Utilman.exe Utilman.Old and replace the missing file with cmd by copying a file with command copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe

  • Restart the computer to boot into normal operating system (where you forgot the password)
  • Click on Easy of Access icon and a Command prompt window will open. To clarify, this Command shell is opened as system, so you can do a lot of things here.

  • If Administrator account is disabled (Windows 8.x or 10), first you need to enable it with command Net user Administrator /enable:yes
  • Reset password of Administrator account with command Net user Administrator MyPassword, where MyPassword is your new password

  • Close command prompt and login to your System.

Do not use this procedure for hacking. This article is meant for recovering your passwords and passwords for your clients and will not recover domain passwords.

Using FSRM against Ransomware

Every administrator is afraid about Ransomware software. We want to protect our systems with so many different approaches and at many layers, but almost always we try to use complicate techniques to archive basic objectives. I found on TechNet an article, which sounds good for me and I am also confidential using Windows embedded functionalities for trying to prevent an attack.
Are there positive and negative sides? Of course they are, the most important negative thing I recognize is that we are using technology based on file type. Actually we are trying to prevent to write all known file extensions that can be written on our system. This will work if we know the extension and we have to search for new used file extensions and add them as blocked file types. But there are also positive things: we don’t need to buy anything, we have all we need ready on our server – we have just to use it! It is very simple to configure and maintain and it works!
When I read this article, I was surprised why I have to do all those steps thru GUI? We can simply use PowerShell that is quicker and it will do exactly the same things every time we will start it. Well, I made a script that you can run on every server you have to protect and for every share or partition you want to protect. There is only one think that you cannot protect: system drive if you try to prevent whole drive. In this case, the protection will be passive and not active and there is no way to change it (but I hope that you don’t share system drive).
Things that you have to know are basic, just few data:
  • Path to protect
  • SMTP server for sending mail (and be careful with authentication! Test it!)
  • Mail address form which mail will be sent
  • Mail address from administrator
  • Script that you want to run after detection (if you want)
You can run it as many times you want, on every server you want (version 2008 and newer) and you will be able to protect your data. It is a secure way to do it because you just prevent to change the data transformation and not the malware itself. I recommend also to use a script published on TechNet article for disabling the AD user or deny user access to server (It is also zipped into my file; including subinacl.msi).
To prevent malware, you can use an additional build in function: AppLocker and also this is explained here. And by the way, the approach is tested on Server 2016 TP5 – it’s working!

Kaspersky cause Hyper-V error 0x80070005 when creating switch

Kaspersky Hyper-V ErrorAs I trust and use Kaspersky Antivirus, I had some problems in last month or two. It seems that Kaspersky is not really well integrated with Windows 10 and you have to expect some problems.
In my case, I use Kaspersky Small Office Security and this software prevents me to do a lot of actions. I found the issue when I tried to create External Network Switch in Hyper-V console – the problem is when you create a new network adapter. In this case I received an Error Access Denied – 0x80070005.
I received the same Error also when I tried to install Shrew Soft VPN Client. I was always unable to install network component due to Access Deny.  Analyzing the problem, I found that there is a problem accessing to folder INF (Change) and some other system folders, but all permissions were as they should be and there was no way to establish the right permissions to get installers work.
Well, removing Kaspersky I was able to solve the problem. But be careful, just disabling the antivirus will not be enough; you have to completely uninstall the entire antivirus and reboot the computer to correct the issue.
Hope that Kaspersky will correct the issue soon. It is my preferred antivirus program and I like it, but unfortunately it is not well integrated with Windows 10.