Tuesday, April 14, 2020

MIS2000 Links

Using Power BI for data analytics and reporting

City of Winnipeg Software Piracy

What's wrong with this picture?

Computer system failure grounds transit system in San Francisco

Supply Chain Management Simulator

Career wisdom from IT pros

(A few) Ops Lessons We All Learn The Hard Way

Michael Geist blog (copyright and net freedom issues)

Government IT failures

Federal Government - Phoenix payroll system #1

Federal Government - Phoenix payroll system #2

More Phoenix payroll

Phoenix payroll - 3 years later and still broken

Federal Government - Gun registry


Malware distribution hosted in LED light control console

Ransomware attacks lock 2 Manitoba law firms out of computer systems

Is Huawei really a risk?

City of Saskatoon phishing

City of Ottawa victim of phishing

Stolen laptop with health data

Government of Nunavut Ransomware

Nursing Home Network Ransomware

Spear Phishing

Scammy companies

WeWork - A tech company?


Theranos timeline

Theranos - Wall Street Journal expose


What is cryptocurrency?

QuadrigaCX Cryptocurrency Exchange Shadiness

QuadrigaCX empty accounts - even more shady

Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then vanished

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Azure AD Connect Large Object Error

A client is migrating their remaining mailboxes from on-premises Exchange to Office 365. Today they went to migrate a mailbox, but the user account wasn't replicated up to Office 365. After verifying that it was not being filtered by OU in Azure AD Connect, I checked the Synchronization Service Manager for Azure AD Connect and found an error listed for the export to the Azure AD tenant (XXX.onmicrosoft.com).

The error was LargeObject and when I drilled down, it had these details:
The provisioned object is too large. Trim the number of attribute values on this object.

This error is typically caused by:
  • Too many user certificates (15 max)
  • Too many SMIME certificates (15 max)
  • A thumbnail photo that is too large
  • Too many proxy addresses
This user object did not have any user certificates, SMIME certificates, or a thumbnail photo. So, let's check out the proxy addresses.

The user object had 540 addresses. After a bit more research, I found that user objects in Azure AD have a limit of 400 proxy addresses, Azure AD Connect has a limit of 333 proxy addresses.

They do have a legitimate need for this account to receive mail for all of those addresses. We implemented a workaround by creating a group for the extra addresses. We removed 300 email addresses and put them on a group where that user is the only member. Mail flow is preserved and now both the user and the group can sync. The group is hidden from address lists to avoid confusing the users.

More information:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Reporting Script Duration

Currently working on a migration project where the source and target environments are quite large. We have a script that queries all mailboxes in the source and matches them to a target object.

The script takes 10-12 hours to run. We're making tweaks and want to see the effect, but we're not going to watch the script to verify the time to complete.

Here's a little bit of PowerShell that you can add to any script to measure the time to complete:

 #Start of Script  
 $start = Get-Date  
 #End of script  
 $end = Get-Date  
 # Calculate elapsed time  
 # Output in format hh:mm:ss  
 Write-Host “Script run time”  
 Write-Host $($end-$start)  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Azure AD Connect 1.4.x.0 Deletion Threshold Exceeded

Azure AD Connect is configured to perform automatic updates by default. When version 1.4.x.0 (in my case is installed, device objects previously synced to Azure AD might be removed. Previous versions of Azure AD Connect synchronized devices that were not relevant. So, this release is cleaning them up.

For details, see:
In larger organizations, the number of devices deleted might be more than 500 which exceeds the deletion threshold. At this point, Azure AD Connect stops syncing. You might not notice it right away, but any new user accounts will not be synced up to Azure AD/Office 365.

In the Synchronization Service app, you will see a line with the status of:

Before you attempt to fix the issues, you should verify that it is only device objects an not another accidental deletion issue. The steps for this from Microsoft are:

  1. Start Synchronization Service from the Start Menu.
  2. Go to Connectors.
  3. Select the Connector with type Azure Active Directory.
  4. Under Actions to the right, select Search Connector Space.
  5. In the pop-up under Scope, select Disconnected Since and pick a time in the past. Click Search. This page provides a view of all objects about to be deleted. By clicking each item, you can get additional information about the object. You can also click Column Setting to add additional attributes to be visible in the grid.

The fix for this issue is to allow the device deletes to occur by either increasing the threshold or disabling the threshold. You do this on your Azure AD Connect server using PowerShell.

To disable the threshold:
To increase the threshold:
Enable-ADSyncExportDeletionThreshold -DeletionThreshold 1000
To set the threshold back to default:
Enable-ADSyncExportDeletionThreshold -DeletionThreshold 500
 The Microsoft documentation about the deletion threshold is here:


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Your administrator has blocked this application

I do a lot of work with Powershell and Office 365. To allow for multi-factor authentication when managing Exchange Online, you can use the Microsoft Exchange Online Powershell Module.

I installed the Microsoft Exchange Online Powershell Module on my computer some time back and had used it successfully. However, at some point it stopped working and gives the error:

Your administrator has blocked this application because it potentially poses a security risk. Your security settings do not allow this application to be installed on your computer.

For a while, I've been connecting with normal Powershell for management, but today I wanted to get this thing fixed. This error can apply to ClickOnce applications in general. It is not specific to the Microsoft Exchange Online Powershell Module.

There are trust levels that you can define for ClickOnce applications. These are set in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework\TrustManager\PromptingLevel. There are settings for different security zones. On my system, all of the zones were set to Disabled.

Valid values for these settings are:
  • Disabled. App is never allowed.
  • AuthenticodeRequired. User is prompted to allow app only if the app is digitally signed by using a trusted certificate that identifies the publisher.
  • Enabled. User is prompted to allow app even if not digitally signed.
I have set my zones to AuthenticodeRequired. Any app I'm using should be signed by the publisher and not self-signed. After making the change, I'm prompted to allow the app.

It seems odd that I needed to do this, but I have some Visual Studio components installed on this computer and that might have created the registry keys and set them to disabled.

Microsoft documentation for these registry keys is here:

Saturday, September 14, 2019

SAGE 50 Email Integration Woes

Sage 50 is a pretty common app in Canada for doing small business accounting. However, one of it's major drawbacks is really poor email integration. I think they've improved it somewhat in recent versions, but there is a MAPI dependency.

If you install the 64-bit version of Office, then Sage 50 will not be able to use Outlook to send messages. Now that 64-bit Office is the default for Office 365, you need to watch for that as step one. However, yesterday, on a new install of Sage 50, it wasn't working even with the 32-bit version of Outlook.

We got the error:
Sage 50 cannot communicate with your e-mail program. Please ensure that your email program is MAPI-compatible and that it is the default MAPI client

You also need to have Outlook configured as the default mail program. The Mail program in Windows was configured as the default. So, we changed that to Outlook. Still no luck. Same error.

The final fix for me was adding a registry key. According to a few people in discussion forums, without that key, Sage 50 doesn't load the mapi32.dll that's required to send email. Silly that this is still happening.

In the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Messaging Subsystem, I needed to create a new String Value (Reg_SZ) named MAPI with a value of 1.

Some of the web pages I reviewed during troubleshooting:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Visual Studio 2017 TFS Client - Clear Cached Creds

This one is just a note for me.

To clear cached credentials in TFS 2017 browse to C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_ed299a44\Team Explorer and delete the TeamExplorer.config file. You will then be prompted for credentials next time you start the TFS client.