Careers in Cybersecurity

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Have you considered a career in Cybersecurity? It is a fast-paced, highly dynamic field with a huge number of specialties to choose from, including forensics, endpoint security, critical infrastructure, incident response, secure coding, and awareness and training. In addition, a career in cybersecurity allows you to work almost anywhere in the world, with amazing benefits and an opportunity to make a real difference. However, the most exciting thing is you do NOT need a technical background, anyone can get started.

New Telemetry in PowerShell 7 Preview 3

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Beginning in PowerShell 7 Preview 3, PowerShell will be sending some additional data points to Microsoft.
This data will allow us to better understand usage of PowerShell and enable us to prioritize our future investments.
These additional points of data were reviewed with the PowerShell community and approved by the PowerShell Committee through the PowerShell RFC process.

What we added

We will continue to use Application Insights to collect the following new telemetry points:

- Count of PowerShell starts by type (API vs console)
    - Count of unique PowerShell usage
    - Count of the following execution types:
        - Application (native commands)
        - ExternalScript
        - Script
        - Function
        - Cmdlet
    - Enabled Microsoft experimental features or experimental features shipped with PowerShell
    - Count of hosted sessions
    - Microsoft owned modules loaded (based on white list)
This data will include the OS name, OS version, the PowerShell version, and the distribution channel when provided.

We will continue to share portions of our aggregated data with the PowerShell community through the
Public PowerBi report.

Why we added it

We want to make PowerShell better and believe this can be achieved by better understanding how PowerShell is being used.
Through these additional data points we will get answers backed by data to the following questions:

  • Is the PowerShell Core user-base growing?
  • How is PowerShell being used? What is the usage distribution across command types and session type?
  • How can we encourage PowerShell Core usage growth?
  • What are issues that customers are hitting in PowerShell Core?
  • What versions of PowerShell tools and services should Microsoft continue to support?
  • Which experimental features are being used and tested? Which experimental features should we invest in?
  • How can we optimize the engine size and efficiency of PowerShell for cloud scenarios?

To ensure we are getting an accurate picture of how everyone uses PowerShell, not just those most
vocal/involved in the community, we made improvements in our telemetry.
PowerShell usage telemetry will allow us to better prioritize testing, support, and investments.

Performance testing

When implementing this telemetry we took special care to ensure that there would not be a discernible performance impact.
The telemetry is collected through Application Insights and is batched and sent on a separate thread in order to reduce impact.
We also conducted tests to verify that there would not be a noticeable difference in PowerShell performance.

In order to test the performance impact of the telemetry we ran our test suite 5 times with and 5 times without the telemetry changes
and compared the average time for test completion.
The tests had a 1% difference in average completion time with the telemetry-enabled test runs actually having the faster average completion. The difference in average completion time, however, was not statistically significant.

We also tested the impact of collecting telemetry on startup time for both cold starts (first start-up of PowerShell) and warm starts (all future starts). We found that on average cold starups were .028 seconds slower with the additional telemetry while warm startups were, on average, .027 slower. The average performance impact was around 4% and all start-ups during the test runs performed faster than .6023 seconds.

How to disable

The telemetry reporting can be disabled by setting the environment variable POWERSHELL_TELEMETRY_OPTOUT to true, yes, or 1.
This should not be done in your profile, as PowerShell reads this value from your system before executing your profile.

Feedback and issues

If you encounter any issues with PowerShell telemetry, the best place to get support is through our GitHub page.

The post New Telemetry in PowerShell 7 Preview 3 appeared first on PowerShell.

PowerShell 7 Preview 3

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PowerShell 7 Preview 3

In May, I published our PowerShell 7 Roadmap. We have been making progress on our roadmap and are currently on track to have a Generally Available (GA)
release by end of this calendar year.

Long Term Servicing

PowerShell 7 GA will also be our first Long Term Servicing (LTS) release which is a change from our current Modern Lifecycle support for PowerShell Core 6.
We will support PowerShell 7 GA for as long as .NET Core 3.1 is supported before you must upgrade to a newer version to continue to be supported by Microsoft.

Windows PowerShell compatibility

One of the main goals of PowerShell 7 is to have a viable replacement for Windows PowerShell 5.1 in production and we’ve made significant progress towards that goal.

PowerShell 7 Preview 3 is built on .NET Core 3.0 Preview 8 and leverages the work from the .NET Team to close the gap between .NET Core and .NET Framework. .NET Core 3.0 reintroduces a large number of .NET Framework APIs, opening up a large number of PowerShell modules shipped with Windows to be validated and marked as compatible by our team. Because the compatibility changes to the modules come as part of Windows, the latest version of Windows 10/Windows Server is required for full module compatibility.

However, on older versions of Windows, some modules may just work if you use:

Import-Module <moduleName> -SkipEditionCheck

If you have issues with a Microsoft PowerShell module, please open an issue in the PowerShellModuleCoverage repository!

Expect more content on this specific topic from Joey Aiello in the near future with more detail on which modules are compatible and where they’re marked as such.

New Features in Preview 3

This is just a small part of the entire changelog.
New features in this preview from the community and also the PowerShell team:

Experimental Features on by default in Preview builds

We decided to enable all Experimental Features by default in order to solicit more feedback for the PowerShell Committee to determine if a feature should continue as experimental, move from experimental to stable (non-experimental), or be withdrawn. On Stable builds (as well as Release Candidates), experimental features will continue to be disabled by default.

Note that if you had previously manually enabled experimental features, your powershell.config.jsonsettings file will take precedence and only experimental features listed within that file will be enabled. You can delete that file or run Get-ExperimentalFeature | Enable-ExperimentalFeature to ensure all experimental features are enabled. However, if you use the pipeline, you’ll have to do it again with a future Preview release that has new experimental features.

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Single Apartment Thread as default

In general, you don’t need to worry about a concept called ApartmentState which only applies to Windows.

Prior to this release pwsh would run as a multi-threaded apartment by default. However, graphical user interface (GUI) APIs such as WinForms and WPF require a single-threaded apartment. What is important here is that pwsh is now the same as powershell.exe in regards to apartment state and as such support calling WinForms and WPF APIs from PowerShell script.

gif

Display COM Method Signature Argument Names

On Windows, if you happen to call COM APIs from PowerShell, a new capability by nbkalex will now show the argument names of COM methods instead of just the type information which can be used as simple documentation indicating what arguments should be passed.

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Consider DBNull and NullString as $null

If you work with database types, you may get back a [dbnull]::Value which is equivalent to $null within the database, but in PowerShell, this was not equal to $null so you can’t compare it directly. This change from Joel Sallow allows you to compare both [dbnull]::Value and [nullstring]::Value to $null and get $true.

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Read-Host -Prompt works for all input

Due to how Read-Host calls into the console host and how the console host prompts for input (such as mandatory parameters that are given a value), you might encounter a situation where using Read-Host to prompt for input in your script exhibits unintended behavior when certain characters are used. This has been fixed so Read-Host will accept input as expected.

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Support negative numbers with -Split operator

The -Split operator splits one or more strings into substrings. You can optionally specify a value to indicate the maximum number of substrings you want returned.

This new capability by Jacob Scott now allows you to specify the maximum number of substrings as a negative value signifying that the split should happen right to left instead of the usual left to right.

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ForEach-Object -Parallel

We’ve received consistent feedback that PowerShell users use PSWorkflow primarily to easily run scriptblocks in parallel.

We’ve added a -Parallel parameter to ForEach-Object that accepts a scriptblock to execute in parallel. There is an optional -ThrottleLimit parameter to set the maximum threads to use in parallel where it defaults to 5.

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Resolve AppX reparse points

On Windows 10, if you have apps installed from the Windows Store and list them in the command line, they show up as 0 byte files. These files are actually a different type of link to the actual executable. With this change, the target executable will now show up when using Get-ChildItem.

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pwsh as a login shell

On Linux and macOS systems, there is a concept of a login shell which sets up the environment from which other apps and shells inherit. Prior to this release if you used pwsh as your default login shell, you may have noticed that some environment variables are missing or incomplete.

With this change, pwsh will work the same as sh Bourne Shell in how it sets up the login environment so that everything works correctly.

Additional Telemetry

In this Preview release, we’ve added more telemetry. Please see Sydney Smith‘s blog post on New Telemetry in PowerShell 7 Preview 3.

Closing

Although this blog post focuses on new features, this release also contains many bug fixes as well as targeted performance improvements.

You can always get the latest version of PowerShell from https://aka.ms/get-powershell.

Expect more new features from the community and the PowerShell team in future Preview releases!

Steve Lee
PowerShell Team

The post PowerShell 7 Preview 3 appeared first on PowerShell.

Out-GridView Returns

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Out-GridView Returns!

It’s been almost 3 years since PowerShell Core debuted for Linux and Mac, and as we’ve increased our cmdlet coverage more and more, one cmdlet has always stood out as a top, cross-platform request. Today, we are excited to announce that Out-GridView is debuting on all Core-supported platforms through the GraphicalTools Module.

Linux Windows Mac
linux-gif window-gif macos-gif

Installation

If you want to get right to it:

Install-Module Microsoft.PowerShell.GraphicalTools

Features

Out-GridView is a visualization tool to help you deep dive into objects returned from PowerShell.

Out-GridViewImage Piping Get-Process into Out-GridView

Quick Search

Easily locate data points matching a query.

Filters

Display specific data matching only selected filters. Supports common string comparison operators, such as contains, equals, starts with, etc..

DataGrid

Rearrange, sort, and select columns to display. Auto-generates object columns based on the PowerShell format type data, expands PSObject properties if no format definition is available.

PassThru

One of the most powerful features, the -PassThru parameter lets you use the GUI to select data to send further down the pipeline.

Get-Process | Out-GridView -PassThru | Stop-Process

If you were so inclined the above script uses -PassThru to create a pretty effective emulation of Windows Task Manger.

Show Code

Sometimes, you need to automate infrequent but complex tasks where filters may be error-prone. Out-GridView can be used as a filtering tool for these cases to ensure that your filters will produce the output you expect.

Occasionally, you end up needing to repeat this automation and so it would be useful to port your existing Out-GridView workflow to a script.

Pressing the “Show-Code” button will do this for you. It will generate a PowerShell filtering script that is ready for production.

Out-GridViewImage Using Show Code to find a specific instance of VSCode

Examples of Out-GridView

The Future

We are looking for a community member to help port Show-Command and Show-Object. Check out the repository and post in the issue tracking Show-Command if you’re interested.

With the majority of the brunt work integrating PowerShell & Avalonia done, we are also open to submissions for new graphical commands or packages. A huge thanks to Adam Driscoll for showing the potential of Avalonia + PowerShell with PSAvalonia.

Lastly, check out the great work AvaloniaUI is doing for cross-platform, .NET Core-based GUIs if you haven’t already.


John Zeiders
Software Engineering Intern
PowerShell Team

The post Out-GridView Returns appeared first on PowerShell.

VMware 4.1 a 5.5 HP Proliant 350 g5

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Thank you very much for reading my concern, I am taking a project from a company that has a team 8 years ago, HP Proliant 350 g5 and have VMware ESXi 4.1.0-260247 installed, we need to install Windows Server 2016, but with this release we cannot install , we have an original license but for 8 years, a new one must be purchased to be able to install updates, this HP Proliant is supported by the next updates, as far as I can update 5.1, 5.5 ??? thank you very much for your help?

 

There is some risk when updating, all the commercial infrastructure of the company is there in those virtual machines.?.Thank.

DSC Resource Kit Release July 2019

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We just released the DSC Resource Kit!

This release includes updates to 11 DSC resource modules. In the past 6 weeks, 96 pull requests have been merged and 45 issues have been closed, all thanks to our amazing community!

The modules updated in this release are:

  • ActiveDirectoryDsc
  • ActiveDirectoryCSDsc
  • ComputerManagementDsc
  • SecurityPolicyDsc
  • SharePointDsc
  • SqlServerDsc
  • StorageDsc
  • xDnsServer
  • xExchange
  • xPSDesiredStateConfiguration
  • xWebAdministration

For a detailed list of the resource modules and fixes in this release, see the Included in this Release section below.

Our latest community call for the DSC Resource Kit was last Wednesday, July 31. A recording of the call is posted on the PowerShell YouTube channel. You can join us for the next call at 12PM (Pacific time) on August 28th to ask questions and give feedback about your experience with the DSC Resource Kit.

The next DSC Resource Kit release will be on Wednesday, September 8.

We strongly encourage you to update to the newest version of all modules using the PowerShell Gallery, and don’t forget to give us your feedback in the comments below, on GitHub, or on Twitter (@PowerShell_Team)!

Please see our documentation here for information on the support of these resource modules.

Included in this Release

You can see a detailed summary of all changes included in this release in the table below. For past release notes, go to the README.md or CHANGELOG.md file on the GitHub repository page for a specific module (see the How to Find DSC Resource Modules on GitHub section below for details on finding the GitHub page for a specific module).

Module Name Version Release Notes
ActiveDirectoryCSDsc 4.0.0.0
  • BREAKING CHANGE: ActiveDirectoryCSDsc module minimum requirements updated to WMF 5.0 because newly added AdcsCertificateAuthoritySettings resource requires WMF 5.0.
  • Added new resource AdcsCertificateAuthoritySettings – see Issue 13.
  • Added new resource AdcsTemplate.
  • Replaced switch blocks with if blocks for evaluating “Ensure” parameter because switch was missing break – fixes Issue 87.
  • Added Comment Based Help for New-NotImplementedException common function.
  • Moved code to create the user account for use in integration test into a CommonTestHelper.psm1 function.
  • Removed user account creation code from AppVeyor.yml and into integration tests themselves to make tests execution easier.
  • Updated user account creation code to use local user/group management Powershell cmdlets available in WMF 5.1 – fixes Issue 24.
  • AdcsCertificationAuthority:
    • Integration tests updated to create test user account in administrators group to make test execution easier.
ActiveDirectoryDsc 4.0.0.0
    The change log length exceeds the allowable limit for PowerShell Gallery. For detailed information about the changes to each resource, see the changelog.md file in the GitHub repo.

  • Changes to ActiveDirectoryDsc
  • Changes to ADManagedServiceAccount
  • Changes to ADComputer
  • Changes to ADOrganizationalUnit
  • Changes to ADUser
  • Changes to ADDomain
  • Changes to ADServicePrincipalName
  • Changes to ADDomainTrust
  • Changes to WaitForADDomain
  • Changes to ADDomainController
  • Changes to ADObjectPermissionEntry
  • Changes to ADGroup
  • Changes to ADDomainDefaultPasswordPolicy
ComputerManagementDsc 6.5.0.0
  • Computer:
    • Fix for “directory service is busy” error when joining a domain and renaming a computer when JoinOU is specified – Fixes Issue 221.
  • Added new resource SmbShare
    • Moved and improved from deprecated module xSmbShare.
  • Changes to ComputerManagementDsc.Common
    • Updated Test-DscParameterState so it now can compare zero item collections (arrays).
  • Changes to WindowsEventLog
    • Minor style guideline cleanup.
  • Opt-in to common test to validate localization. Fixed localization strings in resources – Fixes Issue 217.
  • PowerShellExecutionPolicy:
    • Removed SupportsShouldProcess as it cannot be used with DSC – Fixes Issue 219.
  • Combined all ComputerManagementDsc.ResourceHelper module functions into ComputerManagementDsc.Common module – Fixes Issue 218.
    • Minor code cleanup against style guideline.
    • Remove code from New-InvalidOperationException because it was a code path that could never could be used due to the parameter validation preventing the helper function being called that way.
    • Updated all Get-LocalizationData to latest version from DSCResource.Template.
    • Fixed an issue with the helper function Test-IsNanoServer that prevented it to work. Though the helper function is not used, so this issue was not caught until now when unit tests was added.
    • Improved code coverage.
SecurityPolicyDsc 2.9.0.0
  • Bug fix – Max password age fails when setting to 0. Fixes Issue 121
  • Bug fix – Domain_controller_LDAP_server_signing_requirements – Require Signing. Fixes Issue 122
  • Bug fix – Network_security_Restrict_NTLM security options correct parameter validation. This fix could impact your systems.
SqlServerDsc 13.1.0.0
  • Changes to SqlServerDsc
    • New DSC resource SqlAgentFailsafe
    • New DSC resource SqlDatabaseUser (issue 846).
      • Adds ability to create database users with more fine-grained control, e.g. re-mapping of orphaned logins or a different login. Supports creating a user with or without login name, and database users mapped to a certificate or asymmetric key.
    • Changes to helper function Invoke-Query
      • Fixes issues in issue 1355.
      • Works together with Connect-SQL now.
      • Parameters now match that of Connect-SQL (issue 1392).
      • Can now pass in credentials.
      • Can now pass in “Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server” object.
      • Can also pipe in “Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server” object.
      • Can pipe Connect-SQL
StorageDsc 4.7.0.0
  • Removed suppression of PSUseShouldProcessForStateChangingFunctions PSSA rule because it is no longer required.
  • Combined all StorageDsc.ResourceHelper module functions into StorageDsc.Common module and removed StorageDsc.ResourceHelper.
  • Opted into Common Tests “Common Tests – Validate Localization” – fixes Issue 206.
  • Refactored tests for StorageDsc.Common to meet latest standards.
  • Minor style corrections.
  • Removed unused localization strings from resources.
  • DiskAccessPath:
    • Added function to force refresh of disk subsystem at the start of Set-TargetResource to prevent errors occuring when the disk access path is already assigned – See Issue 121
xDnsServer 1.14.0.0
  • Copied enhancements to Test-DscParameterState from NetworkingDsc
  • Put the helper module to its own folder
  • Copied enhancements to Test-DscParameterState from NetworkingDsc
  • Put the helper module to its own folder
  • Added xDnsServerRootHint resource
  • Added xDnsServerClientSubnet resource
  • Added xDnsServerZoneScope resource
xExchange 1.28.0.0
  • Added MSFT_xExchFrontendTransportService resource, based on MSFT_xExchTransportService resource. Issue 283
  • Added unit and integration tests to the MSFT_xExchFrontendTransportService resource.
  • Added comment based help to the MSFT_xExchFrontendTransportService resource.
  • Minor style fix in MSFT_xExchEcpVirtualDirectory to ensure new PowerShell Script Analyzer custom rules pass.
xPSDesiredStateConfiguration 8.9.0.0
  • MSFT_xRemoteFile:
    • Add a retry mechanism when the download fails.
  • Fixes 631, typo in SQL connection string property name
xWebAdministration 2.7.0.0
  • Changes to xWebAdministration
    • Opt-in to the following DSC Resource Common Meta Tests:
      • Common Tests – Relative Path Length
      • Common Tests – Validate Script Files
      • Common Tests – Validate Module Files
      • Common Tests – Validate Markdown Files
      • Common Tests – Validate Markdown Links
      • Common Tests – Custom Script Analyzer Rules
      • Common Tests – Flagged Script Analyzer Rules
      • Common Tests – Required Script Analyzer Rules
      • Common Tests – Validate Example Files
    • Add ConfigurationPath to xIisMimeTypeMapping examples since it is now a required field.

How to Find Released DSC Resource Modules

To see a list of all released DSC Resource Kit modules, go to the PowerShell Gallery and display all modules tagged as DSCResourceKit. You can also enter a module’s name in the search box in the upper right corner of the PowerShell Gallery to find a specific module.

Of course, you can also always use PowerShellGet (available starting in WMF 5.0) to find modules with DSC Resources:

# To list all modules that tagged as DSCResourceKit
Find-Module -Tag DSCResourceKit 
# To list all DSC resources from all sources 
Find-DscResource

Please note only those modules released by the PowerShell Team are currently considered part of the ‘DSC Resource Kit’ regardless of the presence of the ‘DSC Resource Kit’ tag in the PowerShell Gallery.

To find a specific module, go directly to its URL on the PowerShell Gallery:
http://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/< module name >
For example:
http://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/xWebAdministration

How to Install DSC Resource Modules From the PowerShell Gallery

We recommend that you use PowerShellGet to install DSC resource modules:

Install-Module -Name < module name >

For example:

Install-Module -Name xWebAdministration

To update all previously installed modules at once, open an elevated PowerShell prompt and use this command:

Update-Module

After installing modules, you can discover all DSC resources available to your local system with this command:

Get-DscResource

How to Find DSC Resource Modules on GitHub

All resource modules in the DSC Resource Kit are available open-source on GitHub.
You can see the most recent state of a resource module by visiting its GitHub page at:
https://github.com/PowerShell/< module name >
For example, for the CertificateDsc module, go to:
https://github.com/PowerShell/CertificateDsc.

All DSC modules are also listed as submodules of the DscResources repository in the DscResources folder and the xDscResources folder.

How to Contribute

You are more than welcome to contribute to the development of the DSC Resource Kit! There are several different ways you can help. You can create new DSC resources or modules, add test automation, improve documentation, fix existing issues, or open new ones.
See our contributing guide for more info on how to become a DSC Resource Kit contributor.

If you would like to help, please take a look at the list of open issues for the DscResources repository.
You can also check issues for specific resource modules by going to:
https://github.com/PowerShell/< module name >/issues
For example:
https://github.com/PowerShell/xPSDesiredStateConfiguration/issues

Your help in developing the DSC Resource Kit is invaluable to us!

Questions, comments?

If you’re looking into using PowerShell DSC, have questions or issues with a current resource, or would like a new resource, let us know in the comments below, on Twitter (@PowerShell_Team), or by creating an issue on GitHub.

Michael Greene
Principal Program Manager
PowerShell DSC Team
@migreene (Twitter)
@mgreenegit (GitHub)

The post DSC Resource Kit Release July 2019 appeared first on PowerShell.