Tag Archives: Windows

Flaw in Windows allows attackers to gather Usernames and Passwords

Zach Whittaker points out a scary flaw in Windows that allows malicious URLs to gather usernames and passwords of Microsoft accounts. The title of the Article is “Microsoft won’t fix Windows flaw that lets hackers steal your username and password

Evidently the flaw was discovered in 1997, and relies on Internet Explorer and Edge allowing users to access network shares. When attempting to access a share, those browsers silently sends the username and hashed password.

Of course, since Windows 8 began allowing users to sign in using their Microsoft accounts, the username and password which is sent is the user’s live account info.

How can the danger from this be reduced?

  1. Don’t follow bad URLs in emails. – Yes, this is always going to be hard to follow especially if you’re responsible for a large user base.
  2. Use strong passwords. – Please tell me that this is how you handle passwords these days.

Microsoft said that they are “aware of this information gathering technique” and that “if needed, we’ll take additional steps”.

Installing RSAT for Windows 10 gives 0x80070003


After the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, I’m missing all of my admin tools. Found the link to download the “Remote Server Administration Tools”

Fired up the install, and I received “Windows Update Standalone Installer” Installer encountered an error 0x80070003 The system cannot find the path specified.

Well, the fix was easy enough. I was actually installing it from a network location. Usually my first troubleshooting step is to copy it locally, and then try and install it. That’s what I did in this case, and it worked.

So just copy it locally, then try again.

How to Change your Password from the Command Line in Windows


I mainly run into this when I’m using a server core install, but this works on pretty much any version of Windows. The only caveat is that you need to be an administrator on the system.

Of course, you need to run an elevated command prompt as well.

Just enter the following, and you’ll be prompted to enter the password and confirm it.

net user %username% *

You can also run the following command, which specifies the password:

net user %username% %password%

So, if BoDuke wanted to set his password, he would enter:

net user BoDuke *

or to specify a password of “GeneralLee4Life!” he would use:

net user BoDuke GeneralLee4Life!

What to do about Shell Shock (bash vulnerability)

One of my rules of thumb is that if a virus, worm, trojan, or other vulnerability has made it to the broadcast news, then it’s probably nothing to worry about anymore. I’ll have to say, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to hold true. This morning Shellshock (officially it’s CVE-2014-6271) made the broadcast news, and it’s actually something that we should worry about.

When I say we, I mean we sysadmins / IT guys. Although … Continue reading What to do about Shell Shock (bash vulnerability)

How to remove Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Server 2008 R2

Click here for the same instructions for Windows Server 2012

Personally, I never saw much use in Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. As a SysAdmin or Network Administrator, I don’t see anyone doing much web surfing on their server. Personally, the only time I use Internet Explorer on the server is when I’m trying to access built in application web pages, or get more details on an Event log message.

Of course, that’s when Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration blocks everything I need.

At least in Windows Server 2008 R2, you can easily turn in on or off, unlike Server 2003 where you would just uninstall it. Once you’re done with whatever you’re doing, you can just turn it back on. Here’s how you turn it off.

Open Server Manager and click on your server in the navigation pane:


In the “Security Information section, click on “Configure IE ESC”


Then change your options accordingly. No reboot required


Remove or Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Server 2012

Click here for the same directions in Windows Server 2008 R2

You’ve been there, you try to access a web page for an app that’s running on the server, or maybe you’re trying to get more info for a Windows Event, when Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration blocks it.

At least you can turn it off temporarily on the server instead of uninstalling it. Here’s how:

Open server manager, then click on the local server.


In the second column, second grouping of items is “IE Enhanced Security Configuration”


Just click on they hyperlinked “On”, and another dialog will pop up. Make the choices you would like, and then click OK. No reboot required.


How to get Windiff on Windows 7 or 8

Windiff is below, and it’s OK, but you really should check out WinMerge, it’s free and much better.

I’m actually using Windows 8.1 at the time of this writing, and the below procedure also works.

Download the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 support tools.

If you’re feeling lazy, you can go ahead and install it. I personally only wanted Windiff, and not all of the old Server 2003 tools, so here’s what I did.

With your trusty Compression / Zip utility, extract the contents somewhere (I used the folder I saved the file in, and used 7-Zip).


Double click on Support, it’s a cabinet file, and Windows will open it natively.


Find Windiff , right click on it, and choose extract. Save it somewhere that you’ll be able to find it.


Then you can run it from wherever you extracted it to. Feel free to create a shortcut.

How to Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8 or 8.1


Click here for the same instructions for Windows 7

For some tasks, you have to be in an elevated command prompt, if you’re lucky you get an error like “Access denied”, but sometimes whatever you are trying to do just doesn’t work.

It’s pretty easy to get an administrative command prompt, just click on the Windows Logo:


Type “cmd”, and the search results will open on the left hand screen, with “Command Prompt” listed. Right click on it. A menu pops up, choose “Run as Administrator”.


You’ll be prompted with the User Account Control confirmation. Click Yes.


Finally, the command prompt will open. You can always tell you’re in an administrative command prompt by the Title bar. If it says “Administrator” then that’s it.


An Error Occurred during Port Configuration. Access is Denied.

imageSo you’re just cruising along, minding your own business, trying to add a new shared printer to a Windows 2008 Server, when all of a sudden, you get hit with this strange error message. I mean, come on, we’re just trying to configure or delete a port, right?

One of my favorite sayings is that the only constant is change.

The first time I ran into this one, it drove me a little batty. I’ve been configuring shared printers on TCP/IP ports for years, and never had a machine give me this error. Well, Microsoft changed this one on me.

The solution is to close the Printer properties dialog, then in the “Device and Printers” window, highlight the printer you want to change, and click on “Print Server Properties” in the menu bar.


Then in the next screen, click the ports tab, and “Change Port Settings” Note: If you’re using Windows 10, you may want to look at “How to Change Port Settings for Printers in Windows 10


Now you’ll have the configure port button that works. Just select your port and click “Configure Port” and you’ll have access to everything you expected.


Hope that helps you out. I don’t know why they made the change, but we’ll just have to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

Weekly News Roundup

The Wil Wheaton ProjectI bet this will be cool, SyFy is carrying a “topical comedy show hosted by actor, blogger and chanpion of geek culture Wil Wheaton” starting May 27th. It’s supposed to be a working title, but it sounds just find to me. Mark your calendars! Wil has a long article that explains some of the trials and tribble-ations that went into pitching, and creating the show. It’s a good read.

Computers are pretty good at Captcha – As Scooby Doo would say, Ruh Roh Shaggy! Now if computers can figure out Captcha, which I only get right about half the time, why can’t they figure out my handwriting?

Now you can email to OneNote! – Yea baby! Saw this on the office blog.  Go into the “email settings” page (linked from the article) and after making sure you’re logged in with the correct live account, register the “from” address. Then email sent to “me@onenote.com” goes into your onenote notebook, in the “quick notes” (unfiled on android) section.

MS Fixes WSUS for Windows 8.1 – Microsoft released a fix for WSUS 3.2 so that Windows 8.1 Devices can now be patched. The 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 updates will be able to be deployed for 120 days. Apply by August 12th. After that window, separate security updates will be made available to get you there.

Peter Bright has an interesting article over at arstechnica Stating why he believes this to be an indication that Microsoft won’t be issuing any more service packs. Personally I don’t see it that way, I think the 8.1 update was a “aww crap we put something out that no on likes, so let’s make people a bit happier”. There was such an outcry from folks about the Metro style interface, and the lack of a start button, that Microsoft felt they had to do something. I will say, I’m looking forward to the update that let’s you get rid of the Metro interface.

Ask your friends for entertainment recommendations via Facebook – Over on Mashable, Kurk Wagner highlights an upcoming feature to facebook that allows you to ask friends for recommendations on what to watch, read, or listen to. Sounds pretty good, depending on your friends tastes of course.

I personally never enter stuff like that on facebook. There’s already so many sites where I can list things I like, and rate movies and books, it just seems a little redundant to tell yet another service what I like. The article says it’s coming out in late 2013, but since he just posted the article a day before I read it, I assume he means 2014.

Microsoft slashes Windows XP custom support prices just days before axing public patches – Up to 90% for large corporations. Read more over at Computerworld.

Feature Photo courtesy of laffy4k, unmodified under a Creative Commons License.