Recently I got a request to find a way to let managers or Human Resources the ability to modify basic user attributes in Active Directory. Like anyone else, I presented the idea of using RSAT to let them modify users in ADUC or ADAC. This was not an ideal solution because ADUC can become overwhelming to someone that isn’t technical. They wanted something that was extremely basic, easy to follow and work in without any guidance or instructions, and did not show the user anything else that they could not modify or needed to see.
The decision was made to create a custom program with the pre-requisite of having RSAT installed so we could use the AD modules underneath the hood. We could then control permissions on the Active Directory side.
Improvements from ADUC
Because I built this with a specific audience in mind, I was able to make some … Continue...
The 2020 Election is happening on November 3rd, and many people have been lining up to vote early due to COVID-19. Now using PowerShell, you can get your registered polling places based on your address, all early voting locations around you, and drop off ballot locations. All of the information is retrieved using Google’s Civic Information API.
Early Voting Locations
To get early voting locations you can use Get-EarlyVotingPlaces or Get-EarlyPollingPlaces. It will return as many results as the API gets and show you the starting date of the location, Name, Polling hours for each day, address, city, state, and zip code.
Ballot Drop Off Locations
If you got a Mail-in ballot, you can look up drop off locations by using, Get-BallotDropOffLocations or Get-DropOffBallotLocations. Note: Not all states publish this data. You will get a max of 10 results back and it will show you the start … Continue...
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, I have found myself camping a lot more than in previous years. One problem that has brought with it is the high probability of being somewhere with no cell phone data service or poor cell phone data. Couple with my incredibly poor memory, I have often forgotten to turn off servers to save on cost in my dev or test environment until I’m out in the woods. Also, I wanted the ability to use Google Voice as well as Siri in my car or even at home, to turn off, turn on, or check the status of my servers in my Azure tenants. This has even come in handy when I didn’t have my phone on me and had to use the wife’s phone to turn on or off some servers in my tenant. (I set it to only accept messages from my phone … Continue...
E-mail spoofing/impersonation is a huge threat to many companies today. A very common approach by scammers is to send your users an email using the display name of a real person within your company. Many users will glance at the email and see the display name and be none the wiser. A popular defense against this is to tag all external emails with a banner, letting the user know that the email came from an external source. The biggest problem with this method is that it tags all emails, which over the course of a few months, could be thousands of emails for a single user, causing them to begin to ignore the banner altogether.
So I like to create mail flow rules in Exchange to only append a banner if the email originates from an external source, and the display name of the sender matches a display … Continue...
In this article, I will be showing you how to create an Azure DevOps CI/CD (continuous integration / continuous deployment) Pipeline that will deploy and manage an Azure environment using Terraform. Terraform is a tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently.
Configuration files (In our case, it will be named ‘Main.tf’) describe to Terraform how you want your environment constructed. “Terraform generates an execution plan describing what it will do to reach the desired state, and then executes it to build the described infrastructure. As the configuration changes, Terraform can determine what changed and create incremental execution plans which can be applied.”1
By creating an entire CI/CD pipeline, we can automate our infrastructure-as-code (IaC) deployment. When we have made a change to our Terraform code (adding something, removing something, changing something), the Pipeline will automatically log in to our Azure environment, add any new … Continue...
Recently, I have been doing a lot of Microsoft Intune deployments and write up’s. One of the most time-consuming tasks with Intune is the application portion, where you package applications up to deploy to your end-user machines. Currently, if the application is bundled as an executable (exe), the steps to get it into Intune is as follows:
- Grab the installation executable
- Find the install switches – most common one is the silent switch, but some applications may have other switches you will need as well
- Find the install directory or registry key to tell Intune if it installed correctly or not
- Find the uninstall executable and any switches it has as well
- Wrap the executable in an ‘INTUNEWIN’ format
- Import file into Intune
- Configure the application with the install and uninstall switches as well as the directory it creates to Intune knows if it installed correctly or not
This process … Continue...
With Auto Pilot you need to import a machines Auto Pilot hash, or hardware ID, to register the device with the Windows Auto Pilot deployment service in Azure. Ideally, the process of getting the Auto Pilot hash would be performed by the OEM, or reseller from which the devices were purchased, but currently the list over participating resellers is small. The other option is to do it manually which requires you boot the device up, go through the out of box experience (OOBE), and then run a PowerShell script which will spit out the hash CSV for you to then import into Auto Pilot. This process can be time consuming if you have a batch of new machines, and once you get the hash for each device, you must reset it so during the next boot it will go through the OOBE and enroll via Auto Pilot.
In this post … Continue...
Intune is a great way to deploy applications to your managed devices, couple that with Auto Pilot and its a quick and easy way to deploy new end-user machines as well. With Intune you can deploy applications like MSI, Win32, Microsoft Store, etc. The application files are cached on your local machine via Intune, and then installed. But with applications that require multiple files, or even install directories, or large install files this may not be the best method. With multiple files you could put all your files and directories in one folder, create a PowerShell script to move the files and call the installer, and wrap it all up in a intunewin format (and then in the Intune install command, call powershell.exe to run your custom PowerShell script). OR you can stick it up in Azure Blob Storage, and create a PowerShell configuration script to download and install it. … Continue...
Hybrid Azure AD join requires devices to have access to the following Microsoft resources from inside your organization’s network. These addresses must be accessed using the SYSTEM context. If you are using Auto Pilot this will be accessed during the enrollment status part:
https://autologon.microsoftazuread-sso.com (If you use or plan to use seamless SSO)
To verify if the device is able to access the above Microsoft resources under the system account, you can use Test Device Registration Connectivity script.
Review AD DS UPN support for Hybrid Azure AD join
The table below provides details on support for on-premises AD UPNs in Windows 10 Hybrid Azure AD join
I am flying out of the country in February and I recently decided to enroll in TSA Pre-Check as well as Global Entry. With Global Entry you automatically get TSA Pre-Check, but Global Entry works for international flights as well and is only a few extra dollars more than TSA Pre-Check.
Once you get your application approved, the next step is to schedule an interview, which is essentially a 15-minute appointment where a customs officer ask you a few questions (like where you are going, when and why) and then take bio-metrics (fingerprint scans). The interview must be done in person at one of relatively few U.S. Customs and Border Protection locations, like an international airport, and you must schedule your interview within 30 days of getting your application approved (otherwise you have to resubmit your entire application). You are allowed to drop and pick up appointments if you find … Continue...