Patch Tuesday: CVE-2017-11826 Microsoft Office

There is an in-the-wild exploit for Microsoft Office. A patch has been released. This exploit has turned up on Virtus Total today.

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Office software when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Exploitation of the vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Microsoft Office software. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending the specially crafted file to the user and convincing the user to open the file. In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website (or leverage a compromised website that accepts or hosts user-provided content) containing a specially crafted file designed to exploit the vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit the website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to click a link, typically by way of an enticement in an email or instant message, and then convince them to open the specially crafted file.

Patch Tuesday: KB4041691 & KB4041676 gona ruin your day

Microsoft has made a bit of a boo-boo this week. Hopefully, you haven’t auto approved patches this week.

KB4041691 and KB4041676 were pushed as delta updates through WSUS. First published on Twitter, but now there is a Reddit thread on the issue

If you run into this issue, you will need to boot into WinRE and use DISM to remove the update.

With all updates from Microsoft lately, I recommend you lab them first. Don’t take the risk.

Veeam to AWS VTL (Virtual Tape Library) – Guide


You may or may not know that there is quite a cheap way to archive your backup jobs to tape, without actually having a tape drive.

While I was looking at options to store my backup jobs off-site, I researched a number of things:

  • Buying a tape library
  • Buying another enterprise NAS (Network Attached Storage)
  • Using a JBOD (Just a bunch of disks) system like Microsoft Storage Spaces

All of these are expensive. All of these require some sort of hardware plus additional network and configuration. All of these are a pain in the ass.

Continue reading Veeam to AWS VTL (Virtual Tape Library) – Guide

User Device Registration Event ID 304 307

With Server 2016, we’ve been getting a lot of these errors in the event log

This is caused by a task called Automatic-Device-Join which runs as a scheduled task whenever someone logs into a server (terminal server). This can cause a lot of events on the system.

Disable this task. This is used for Azure AD device joins. No idea why this is enabled by default.

The provided manifest file is invalid VMWare OVA

Recently while trying to import the AWS Virtual Tape gateway, I found the OVF template for VMWare was failing to install.

After getting pretty frustrated, I decided to open the OVA file in 7zip and extract the MF file.

What I found was the file contained a lot of whitespaces.

If you remove this whitespace and add this file back to the OVA archive, the OVA will deploy.

Happy days.

OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration Flashes a black CMD window every hour

This is an annoying issue I’ve been trying to find the answer to for a couple of days.

I get a quick flash on my screen with a black box which looks like a command window. I finally had this happen on a slow enough computer where I could see where it was running from. See below.

To fix this issue, do the following:

  1. Open task scheduler from the start menu
  2. Find Microsoft Office under tasks
  3. Disable OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration

A fix from Microsoft on this issue is underway.

Accessing VMWare CLI via Lenovo IMM2 (KVM)

I’ve just recently run in to a problem trying to access ESXi’s CLI from the console using IMM2 (Integrated Management Module). The KVM seems to be intercepting commands incorrectly. This seems to be the case for a number of KVM tools.

The normal command for accessing the CLI once enabled, is to press ALT+F1. This won’t work. You will need to hold down ALT+Space, release Space and press F1 while keeping ALT held down.

ALT+Space release space ALT+F1

VMWare: Set IP Hash policy via CLI

I recently lost a host at one of my sites which have a failover policy set of IP Hash. No problem, connect a new host remotely and add it back to the network. Problem is, I cannot access this host from vCenter because of this policy. After posting on Reddit, someone gave me the following command to enter via CLI

You will need to enable the CLI from the console -> troubleshooting options.

esxcli network vswitch standard portgroup policy failover set -p "Management Network" -l iphash

Once this is set, you should now be able to see your host from vCenter.

Veeam cannot see ReFS 3.1 volumes in backup (Server 2012 R2)

We had a problem recent where Veeam 9.5 which was installed on Windows 2012 R2 trying to restore from Exchange 2016 on Server 2016 with ReFS datastores.

It turns out, Server 2012 R2 cannot recognise ReFS 3.1 which is on Server 2016. From the screenshot below, this backup is missing two drives which are ReFS:

When logging in to the Exchange server, you will see the correct drives

To fix this you really only have one option: Install Veeam B&R on Server 2016, or at the bare minimum, the mount points on Server 2016.

Once you have a Server 2016 mount point, you will be able to see the ReFS drives.