vCloud Director is no more… Long Live vCD! [VMware Cloud Director Service for VMC]

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There was a very significant announcement at VMworld Barcelona overnight, with the unveiling of a new service targeted at Managed Service Providers. VMware Cloud Director Service (CDS) looks to leverage a hosted SaaS based instance of vCloud Director to offer multi-tenancy on VMware Cloud on AWS. The VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC becomes the provider and MSPs can look to

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VMworld 2019 Europe Day 1 Recap!

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We’re off to an incredible start in Barcelona! It’s been a busy few days as more than 13,000 attendees arrived and registered. Day one reinforced VMware’s vision of a software architecture that enables any app, on any cloud, to any device with the introduction of new technology offerings and strategic partnerships.       VMworld

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Driving Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Innovation with VMware Horizon at VMworld 2019 Europe

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Well this is a busy time of year! Right now, two conferences are happening that affect nearly every organization on the planet: VMworld Europe and Microsoft Ignite. Our teams are split between Barcelona and Orlando, and there is a lot going on! It’s an especially exciting time for the virtual desktop and apps market as […]

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More malspam pushing Formbook, (Wed, Nov 6th)

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Formbook is an information stealer that has been active since early 2016.  My previous diary about Formbook was in February 2018, and not much has changed since then.  We still see malicious spam (malspam) pushing Formbook through malicious attachments.  A quick check through Twitter or URLhaus reveals several items tagged as Formbook in recent weeks.

Today’s diary reviews a recent Formbook infection from Tuesday 2019-11-05.

The email

The email I found was very generic.  It had an attached RTF document designed to exploit vulnerable versions of Microsoft Office when opened in Microsoft Word.

Shown above:  An example of malspam using an attached RTF document to distribute Formbook.

The attachment

The attached RTF document was Quotation.doc and used an exploit, probably CVE-2017-11882 to infect a vulnerable computer with Formbook.  It was filled with German text followed by random characters used for the exploit.

Shown above:  The malicious RTF document when viewed in Microsoft Word.

The infected Windows host

The infected Windows host had a Windows executable file for Formbook made persitent through a Windows registry entry.  Under the user’s AppDataRoaming directory, the infected Windows host had a folder that included a screenshot of the desktop, and it included text files with stolen usernames and password information.

Shown above:  Formbook executable made persistent on the infected Windows host.

Shown above: Directory with a screenshot of the desktop and text files with stolen login credentials.

The infection traffic

Infection traffic was typical for Formbook, very similar to patters we saw in my previous diary about Formbook.

Shown above: Traffic from the infection filtered in Wireshark.

Shown above: Alerts from an Any.Run sandbox analysis of the infection indicating this is Formbook.

Final words

Any.Run’s sandbox analysis of the RTF document and the resulting Formbook infection can be found here.

Brad Duncan
brad [at]

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Now Available: New C5d Instance Sizes and Bare Metal Instances

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Amazon EC2 C5 instances are very popular for running compute-heavy workloads like batch processing, distributed analytics, high-performance computing, machine/deep learning inference, ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding.

In 2018, we added blazing fast local NVMe storage, and named these new instances C5d. They are a great fit for applications that need access to high-speed, low latency local storage like video encoding, image manipulation and other forms of media processing. They will also benefit applications that need temporary storage of data, such as batch and log processing and applications that need caches and scratch files.

Just a few weeks ago, we launched new instances sizes and a bare metal option for C5 instances. Today, we are happy to add the same capabilities to the C5d family: 12xlarge, 24xlarge, and a bare metal option.

The new C5d instance sizes run on Intel’s Second Generation Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Cascade Lake) with sustained all-core turbo frequency of 3.6GHz and maximum single core turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz.

The new processors also enable a new feature called Intel Deep Learning Boost, a capability based on the AVX-512 instruction set. Thanks to the new Vector Neural Network Instructions (AVX-512 VNNI), deep learning frameworks will speed up typical machine learning operations like convolution, and automatically improve inference performance over a wide range of workloads.

These instances are based on the AWS Nitro System, with dedicated hardware accelerators for EBS processing (including crypto operations), the software-defined network inside of each Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and ENA networking.

New Instance Sizes for C5d: 12xlarge and 24xlarge
Here are the specs:

Instance Name Logical Processors Memory Local Storage EBS-Optimized Bandwidth Network Bandwidth
c5d.12xlarge 48 96 GiB 2 x 900 GB NVMe SSD 7 Gbps 12 Gbps
c5d.24xlarge 96 192 GiB 4 x 900 GB NVMe SSD 14 Gbps 25 Gbps

Previously, the largest C5d instance available was c5d.18xlarge, with 72 logical processors, 144 GiB of memory, and 1.8 TB of storage. As you can see, the new 24xlarge size increases available resources by 33%, in order to help you crunch those super heavy workloads. Last but not least, customers also get 50% more NVMe storage per logical processor on both 12xlarge and 24xlarge, with up to 3.6 TB of local storage!

Bare Metal C5d
As is the case with the existing bare metal instances (M5, M5d, R5, R5d, z1d, and so forth), your operating system runs on the underlying hardware and has direct access to processor and other hardware.

Bare metal instances can be used to run software with specific requirements, e.g. applications that are exclusively licensed for use on physical, non-virtualized hardware. These instances can also be used to run tools and applications that require access to low-level processor features such as performance counters.

Here are the specs:

Instance Name Logical Processors Memory Local Storage EBS-Optimized Bandwidth Network Bandwidth
c5d.metal 96 192 GiB 4 x 900 GB NVMe SSD 14 Gbps 25 Gbps

Bare metal instances can also take advantage of Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, Amazon CloudWatch, and other AWS services.

Now Available!
You can start using these new instances today in the following regions: US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Canada (Central), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Stockholm), Europe (London), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), South America (São Paulo), and AWS GovCloud (US-West).

Please send us feedback, either on the AWS forum for Amazon EC2, or through your usual AWS support contacts.


VMUG Advantage EVALExperience is serious about home labs with VCF recently added and a 10% discount for TinkerTry readers!

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Last week, this timely twitter exchange occurred, seen at right. JD Wallace noticed that the code at VMUG Advantage isn’t always quite at the very latest patch level. The kind volunteer who updates the VMUG Advantage EVALExperience growing library of huge files does so on a quarterly basis in general. Exceptions are for when major new releases like when 6.7 first appear, he’ll then usually get that code updated within weeks or even days. But if you just can’t wait even that long, and you’re hankering to home-lab test the latest bits, no problem, TinkerTry has you covered, see How to update any VMware ESXi Hypervisor to the latest using ESXCLI for easy download and install. As for VCSA, it’s got updating built right in, see also my video that covers both, it’s called Updating to VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3 – VCSA first using VAMI, then ESXi Xeon D host using ESXCLI. Yes, I’ve closed the gap, you can update as soon as the bits are available, even if you don’t have a My VMware account or the right entitlements!

I normally don’t interact with the companies that come and go from the BuySellAds area of TinkerTry, but what happened here was quite different. After 455 mentions of VMUG Advantage and 357 EVALExperience spread over the past 8+ years of blogging, the thankful VMUG organization reached out to me directly via email, wanting to see if I’d be interested in having a set of ads run that get the word out about their new offerings, while also offering everybody who enters TINKERTRY into their EVALExperience shopping cart 10% off. What a match, their ads are spot-on for my audience. We talked, then it happened, and as with all ads, I reviewed them before they went live.

Ever since I heard folks grousing at the unfortunate loss of the VMTN subscription to VMware code when eating lunch at Moscone during VMworld 2012, I new this gap had to be solved. I’m so glad the VMUG organization came to the rescue of home lab enthusiasts across the globe.

If you have an ad blocker enabled, here’s the 3 VMUG ads running right now that you’re not seeing, seen below. They sum up nicely what’s new, while directly helping TinkerTry continue to produce valuable content for my audience.


VMware Cloud Foundation is now included


You can read all about VMware Cloud Foundation:

VMware Cloud Foundation makes it easy to deploy and run a hybrid cloud. VMware Cloud Foundation provides integrated cloud infrastructure (compute, storage, networking, and security) and cloud management services to run enterprise applications in both private and public environments.

You’ll need to login and have a current EVALExperience subscription to be able to download VCF, click on the image above to get started.

I’ve been super thankful to the VMUG organization for years now, including their incredibly generous give-away to help with attendance at the Connecticut VMUG, see March 1st Connecticut VMUG UserCon – one lucky attendee will win a TinkerTry’d SuperServer, thanks to the VMware User Group!, see also Brad Tompkins visit to my VMworld 2018 US spread.

Don’t forget that your $20 discount is still available by entering TINKERTRY at checkout!


Here’s the login for existing subscribers:


The list of benefits to VMUG Advantage are vast, including:

  • EVALExperience
  • 20% off VMware Training Courses
  • 20-35% off VMware Certification
  • 35% off VMware Certification prep
  • 35% off VMware Lab Connect
  • $100 off VMworld

See also at TinkerTry