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I recently built a new VM with Windows Server 2016 and installed Exchange Server 2016. As part of hardening the server, I implemented our normal security header and cipher suite hardening steps. The Exchange Control Panel (ECP) appeared to function properly after these changes were implemented, but about a week later I found an issue where one of the less commonly used pages would not open. The page would not load the style sheets and you could not navigate to the page when using the FQDN from the local server. The page mostly worked when accessing it via https://localhost/ecp or from the FQDN outside the network.

During troubleshooting, I decided to remove the security headers to see if that would resolve the issue and it did. I determined that adding the X-Content-Type-Options security header broke some pages in ECP. The only option for X-Content-Type-Options is "nosniff", so there is no alternate value to set. Basically, the Exchange style sheets aren't specifying the content in the style sheets and "nosniffs" tells the browser not to guess the MIME types. I implemented all of the other common security headers, but did not implement X-Content-Type-Options.


 
 

I recently worked with two Outlook 2016 installs that had been working fine for months, then both experienced an issue when attempting to launch Outlook. They were 'randomly' getting one of the following errors:
 
Your mailbox has been temporarily moved to Microsoft Exchange server.
A temporary mailbox exists, but might not have all of your previous data.
You can connect to the temporary mailbox or work offline with all of your old data.
If you choose to work with your old data, you cannot send or receive e-mail messages.
 
'AD lookup for email address failed "0x800500d"'
 
When attempting to create a new mail profile for testing, the new profile would come up in the following format - outlook_[letters and numbers]@outlook.com
 
During this time, both Outlook Web Access and ActiveSync access were working properly, along with building a mail profile using Outlook 2010 or 2013. I later found out that both clients had their email address for AspireMail added as an alias to a Microsoft account. We considered removing the alias, but we eventually came across the following article: https://blog.skykick.com/new-microsoft-direct-connect-feature-may-prematurely-connect-outlook-to-office-365
 
Starting in Outlook 2016 version 16.0.6741.2017, Microsoft enabled a new feature called Direct Connect to Office 365. It was designed to quickly connect Outlook 2016 to Office 365.
 
However, if Microsoft's Autodiscover is not working on the source server or the connection between a computer and the source email server is interrupted, Direct Connect may cause Outlook to connect to Office 365 prior to cutover, even though the Autodiscover DNS path is still pointing to the source server.
 
Once we added the DWORD registry key ExcludeExplicitO365Endpoint Value : 1 to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover, Outlook 2016 was then able to successfully authenticate the email account, finding the appropriate Autodiscovery DNS path.

 

The First Problem
After I installed Cisco Webex Teams, Skype began to crash each time I launched it.  I found some articles stating you can only have one application use Outlook for status updates and if you have both Webex Teams and Skype, it can cause Skype to crash (see https://collaborationhelp.cisco.com/article/en-us/gk4yog and https://collaborationhelp.cisco.com/article/en-us/yf1gc7).  My guess is this is what was causing Skype to crash.  However, it sounds like this issue didn't occur with others in our company so what was different with my install?  Well, my install was a little unique as I apparently already had a "personal" Webex account from when we used Webex years ago for webinars within our company.  With a personal account, you have options to integrate with Microsoft Outlook – my guess is one of these settings was enabled prior to "converting" to an enterprise account (with enterprise, these settings are not available).
 
The Solution to the First Problem
  1. First, I uninstalled Cisco Webex Teams.  After uninstalling Webex Teams, Skype would work fine, but if I reinstalled Webex Teams, Skype would crash again.
  2. Second, I tried installing Webex Teams and then running a "repair" on Outlook.  This seemed to fix the issue with Webex Teams and Skype (I could have both installed and Skype would not crash); however, this created my second problem – Outlook no longer showed "online status" or "presence" for company users (see internal staff status when I send emails in the "To" field).
The Second Problem
After running the repair on Outlook to fix the problem with Skype crashing when Webex Teams was installed, Outlook no longer display the "online status" or "presence" – while this doesn't seem like a critical issues, it has helped me ensure I don't send internal emails to customers with similar names in the past, so I wanted to get it fixed.
 
The Solution to the Second Problem
  1. First, I found the setting where you can enable online status (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/use-skype-with-outlook-to-display-a-contact-s-presence-information-b1509222-2c5d-4cd4-bff7-508d2b6f410d) but it was checked.
  2. Second, I researched the Registry settings for Skype and Cisco Webex Teams and found the following two settings I needed to change in order for Outlook to show "online status"
    1. Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IM Provider
      1. Had to change the DefaultIMApp from "Cisco Spark" to "Lync"
    2. Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IM Providers\Cisco Spark
      1. Had to change "UpAndRunning" from 2 to 0

 

Every time I would lock my Surface Pro running Windows 10 it would disconnect from the network after about a minute or two.  This would cause certain applications to disconnect and quit working.  After some research I found the culprit was an Advanced Power Setting called "Console lock display off timeout" which by default is disabled from view and set to 60 seconds.  To enable this setting, simply:
 
  1. To enable the "Console lock display off timeout" setting follow these steps:
    1. Open the Registry Editor (Press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run command and type regedit and click ok)
    2. Browse to KEYLOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc99\8EC4B3A5-6868-48c2-BE75-4F3044BE88A7
    3. Double click on Attributes to open Edit DWORD Value and set the Value data to 2 and click ok
  1. Now that the "Console lock display off timeout" setting is enabled, you can set the value by following these steps:
    1. Open the Control Panel
    2. Click on Power Options
    3. Select Change plan settings
    4. Select Change advanced power settings
    5. Navigate to Display > Console lock display off timeout and set the timeout to whatever you want (in minutes)
    6. Note, you can also use the PowerCfg.exe utility to set the display timeout using the following commands:
      1. powercfg.exe /setacvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOIDLE <time in seconds>
      2. powercfg.exe /setacvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK <time in seconds>
      3. powercfg.exe /setactive SCHEME_CURRENT
  1. After going through this process, I also understand it may be possible to bypass the default screen timeout of 60 seconds following a locked system by setting the basic "Turn off the display" power setting to "Never"; however, this may not be ideal in many situations.
 It appears my surface docking station considered my surface asleep when the display was disabled after 60 seconds from when I would lock my system; therefore, the docking station disconnected causing my network connection to be lost.

 

When trying to use open WiFi such as in a hotel or airplane and you have to go through an authorization page, you can have trouble getting started if your default page is something like https://google.com that is using HSTS headers and doesn't offer an HTTP option. Many times, the intermediate authorization page doesn't show up because the browser won't redirect from your HTTPS home page.
 
If this causes problems, you can always try to go first to http://neverssl.com which is HTTP only and will usually allow the intermediate authorization page to come up and get you started. Then, once online, you can proceed to setup a VPN connection, etc.

 

For our audits, we run VMware Health Analyzer (VMHA) on any vCenters to collect information on ESXi build numbers, snapshots, dormant VMs, etc. Recently, a customer we were scanning had two vCenters, and while VMHA worked fine on one of them, we were getting errors on the other. Standard troubleshooting didn't work, and the customer didn't know why we weren't able to collect the information this year. After running nmap on the vCenter, we determined the customer had redefined the port used for this vCenter instance and simply defining the port in our scan credentials solved the issue.


 

I was working with a user who uses Windows Fax and Scan to scan documents. One day it stopped scanning and threw an error that read, "A problem prevented the document from being scanned. Please try again or see Help and Support or the information that came with the scanner."
 
All research pointed to running the application as an administrator. Tested running as admin and we were able to scan. We then tried running normally again and the error occurred. Running as an admin was not a viable solution, but as a temporary fix, I created an alternate local admin account and a runas shortcut to run the application with while I searched for a true solution.
 
I found one article that caught my eye, because it referred to issues saving scans as .tiff format, which this user was trying to do. Turns out that when Windows Fax and Scan saves as .tiff, it creates a temporary version of the file and saves it in C:\users\%username%\app data\local\Temp. Once the magic number of 10,000 files is reached, it will no longer accept new temp files. When you run it as an admin since that is technically saving to the admin's temp directory it appears to work magically. I checked the user's temp files and sure enough there were 10,001 .tiff files. Deleted them all, tested scanning again and it scanned without issues.

 

By: (CISA, CISSP, CRISC)

If you are a credit union, you should expect to see the ACET during your next IT examination. The NCUA began piloting this new examination tool in 2018 with larger credit unions, but we anticipate it will be used in most credit union examinations in 2019. As you prepare for the ACET, here is a list of frequently asked questions for you to review.

What is the difference between the CAT and the ACET?

While the ACET mirrors the CAT (the FFIEC's Cybersecurity Assessment Tool) in content, ACET provides additional content, features, and details to help credit unions and the NCUA examine and benchmark the industry's cybersecurity preparedness. To learn more about specific differences, read our in-depth post on the differences between the NCUA ACET and the FFIEC CAT.

Does the ACET replace the risk assessment requirement per GLBA?

No. While ACET should be considered complimentary to information security risk assessment(s) as outlined in the Interagency Guidelines Establishing Information Security Standards per GLBA, it does not replace this requirement. 

Will NCUA IT Examinations be limited to ACET?

No. The NCUA indicates they will use the ACET during upcoming IT exams, and it will be in addition to risk-focused IT examinations.

Where do I get a copy of the ACET spreadsheet?

At the time of this post, the ACET is not available from the NCUA website. Per Supervisory Letter 17-CU-09, the NCUA stated they will "continue to test and refine the ACET through 2018," but you can download version 032618 of the ACET here. In addition, credit unions should receive the current version of the ACET prior to an IT examination. When the ACET is completed as part of the examination process, examiners will leave the completed ACET with the credit union, and discuss the results and any discrepancies with management.

Are credit unions required to complete the ACET?

No, the ACET is not required, but it is recommended. When the NCUA does an examination using the ACET, they will ask if the credit union has completed the ACET. If the credit union has not, the examiner will complete the ACET using the provided material from the exam request list. While this will not be considered a negative for the credit union, credit unions should complete the ACET ahead of time so they can have more meaningful discussions during the exam.

How can Tandem help my credit union with ACET?

Tandem offers an online tool to help financial institutions complete the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool and the NCUA Automated Cybersecurity Examination Tool. The features allow credit unions to complete the assessment through Tandem and download the results in the ACET spreadsheet format. The Tandem online software comes in both a free and paid version. Join more than 1,000 other financial institutions and sign up for the free Tandem Cybersecurity Assessment Tool today by visiting https://conetrix.com/tandem/cybersecurity-assessment-tool-ffiec. 


 

 

CoNetrix developed the online software tool highlighted in the video help financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and trust companies complete and report on the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool. The Tandem Cybersecurity module is available in three versions: Free, Pro, and Pro+. 

Additionally, CoNetrix has updated the tool to include the additional ACET features and to allow Credit Unions to complete the assessment through Tandem and download the results in the ACET spreadsheet format.

Join more than 1,000 other financial institutions and sign up for the free Tandem Cybersecurity Assessment Tool today by visiting conetrix.com/tandem/cybersecurity-assessment-tool-ffiec.