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LCD Arduino project Display Heart Rate

LCD Arduino project brief introduction
Some time ago, I found a heart rate sensor module MAX30100 in shopping online. This module can collect blood oxygen and heart rate data of users, which is also simple and convenient to use.
According to the data, I found that there are libraries of MAX30100 in the Arduino library files. That is to say, if I use the communication between LCD Arduino and MAX30100, I can directly call the Arduino library files without having to rewrite the driver files. This is a good thing, so I bought the module of MAX30100.
I decided to use Arduino to verify the heart rate and blood oxygen collection function of MAX30100. With STONE TFT LCD screen for monitoring blood pressure.
Note: this module by default only with 3.3 V level MCU communications, because it defaults to using IIC pin pull up the resistance of 4.7 K to 1.8 V, so there is no communication with the Arduino by default, if you want to commune with the Arduino and need two 4.7 K of the IIC pin pull-up resistor connected to the VIN pin, these contents will be introduced in the back of the chapter.

Functional assignments

Before starting this project, I thought about some simple features:
• Heart rate data and blood oxygen data were collected
• Heart rate and blood oxygen data are displayed through an LCD screen
These are the only two features, but if we want to implement it, we need to do more thinking:
• What master MCU is used?
• What kind of LCD display?
As we mentioned earlier, we use Arduino for the MCU, but this is an LCD Arduino project, so we need to choose the appropriate LCD display module. I plan to use the LCD display screen with a serial port. I have a STONE STVI070WT-01 displayer here, but if Arduino needs to communicate with it, MAX3232 is needed to do the level conversion.
Then the basic electronic materials are determined as follows:
  1. Arduino Mini Pro development board
  2. MAX30100 heart rate and blood oxygen sensor module
  3. STONE STVI070WT-01 LCD serial port display module
  4. MAX3232 module

Hardware Introduction

MAX30100

The MAX30100 is an integrated pulse oximetry and heart rate monitor sensor solution. It combines two LEDs, a photodetector, optimized optics, and low-noise analog signal processing to detect pulse oximetry and heart-rate signals. The MAX30100 operates from 1.8V and 3.3V power supplies and can be powered down through software with negligible standby current, permitting the power supply to remain connected at all times.

Applications

● Wearable Devices
● Fitness Assistant Devices
● Medical Monitoring Devices

Benefits and Features

1、Complete Pulse Oximeter and Heart-Rate SensorSolution Simplifies Design
• Integrated LEDs, Photo Sensor, and high-Performance Analog Front -End
• Tiny 5.6mm x 2.8mm x 1.2mm 14-Pin OpticallyEnhanced System-in-Package
2、Ultra-Low-Power Operation Increases Battery Life for wearable Devices
• Programmable Sample Rate and LED Current for Power Savings
• Ultra-Low Shutdown Current (0.7µA, typ)
3、Advanced Functionality Improves Measurement Performance
• High SNR Provides Robust Motion Artifact Resilience
• Integrated Ambient Light Cancellation
• High Sample Rate Capability
• Fast Data Output Capability

Detection Principle


https://preview.redd.it/254ou0pq20a51.jpg?width=817&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2d3287e1973b328412e14c6e56f74e6f5975153e
Just press your finger against the sensor to estimate pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse (equivalent to heartbeat).
The pulse oximeter (oximeter) is a mini-spectrometer that USES the principles of different red cell absorption spectra to analyze the oxygen saturation of the blood. This real-time and rapid measurement method is also widely used in many clinical references.
I will not introduce the MAX30100 too much, because these materials are available on the Internet. Interested friends can look up the information of this heart rate test module on the Internet, and have a deeper understanding of its detection principle.

Introduction to the STVI070WT-01 displayer

In this project, I will use the STONE STVI070WT-01 to display the heart rate and blood oxygen data.
The driver chip has been integrated inside the display screen, and there is software for users to use. Users only need to add buttons, text boxes, and other logic through the designed UI pictures, and then generate configuration files and download them into the display screen to run.
The display of STVI070WT-01 communicates with MCU through the UART RS232 signal, which means that we need to add a MAX3232 chip to convert the RS232 signal into a TTL signal so that we can communicate with Arduino MCU.

https://preview.redd.it/kyyv3hou20a51.jpg?width=749&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=512b7285eb763e518a85d0b172dabc08b15cab6a
If you are not sure how to use the MAX3232, please refer to the following pictures:

https://preview.redd.it/5laiqsxw20a51.jpg?width=653&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=126fb57d5171d942046277896e1552995df0ce13
If you think the level conversion is too troublesome, you can choose other types of displayers of STONE Tech, some of which can directly output uart-TTL signal.
The official website has detailed information and introduction:
https://www.stoneitech.com/
If you need video tutorials and tutorials to use, you can also find it on the official website.

https://preview.redd.it/0rkfwxk530a51.jpg?width=867&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=32803906927fff48bb8fbc1b0a7c073cfe54c5e5

Development steps

Three steps of STONE display screen development:
• Design the display logic and button logic with STONE TOOL software, and download the design file to the display module.
• MCU communicates with the STONE LCD display module through the serial port.
• With the data obtained in step 2, the MCU does other actions.

STONE TOOL software installation

Download the latest version of the STONE TOOL software (currently TOOL2019) from the website, and install it.
After the software is installed, the following interface will be opened:

https://preview.redd.it/evuct2w630a51.jpg?width=848&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=201d40fdb81e2c4fd229992daf15501f2cb177a0
Click the "File" button in the upper left corner to create a new project, which we will discuss later.

LCD Arduino

Arduino is an open-source electronic prototype platform that is easy to use and easy to use. It includes the hardware part (various development boards that conform to the Arduino specification) and the software part (Arduino IDE and related development kits).
The hardware part (or development board) consists of a microcontroller (MCU), Flash memory (Flash), and a set of universal input/output interfaces (GPIO), which you can think of as a microcomputer motherboard.
The software part is mainly composed of Arduino IDE on PC, related board-level support package (BSP) and rich third-party function library. With the Arduino IDE, you can easily download the BSP associated with your development board and the libraries you need to write your programs.
Arduino is an open-source platform. So far, there have been many models and many derived controllers, including Arduino Uno, Arduino Nano, Arduino Yun and so on. In addition, the Arduino IDE now not only supports the Arduino series development boards but also adds support for popular development boards such as Intel Galileo and NodeMCU by introducing BSP.
Arduino senses the environment through a variety of sensors, controlling lights, motors and other devices to feedback and influence the environment. The microcontroller on the board can be programmed with an Arduino programming language, compiled into binaries, and burned into the microcontroller. Programming for Arduino is implemented with the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino-based projects can contain Arduino only, as well as Arduino and other software running on PC, and they communicate with each other (such as Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

HMI for Arduino serial display TFT LCD project development environment

The Arduino development environment is the Arduino IDE, which can be downloaded from the Internet.
Log into the official website of Arduino and download the software
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software?setlang=cn
After installing the Arduino IDE, the following interface will appear when you open the software:

https://preview.redd.it/2ajmkke830a51.jpg?width=567&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=56dc9dd01c98b231c782ef94d24a9f620c4897b3
The Arduino IDE creates two functions by default: the setup function and the loop function.
There are many Arduino introductions on the Internet. If you don't understand something, you can go to the Internet to find it.

LCD Arduino Project implementation process

hardware connection

To ensure that the next step in writing code goes smoothly, we must first determine the reliability of the hardware connection.
Only four pieces of hardware were used in this project:
  1. Arduino Mini pro-development board
  2. STONE STVI070WT-01 TFT-LCD display screen
  3. MAX30100 heart rate and blood oxygen sensor
  4. MAX3232 (rs232-> TTL)
The Arduino Mini Pro development board and STVI070WT-01 TFT-LCD display screen are connected through UART, which requires level conversion through MAX3232, and then the Arduino Mini Pro development board and MAX30100 module are connected through IIC interface. After thinking clearly, we can draw the following wiring picture:

https://preview.redd.it/w2e5c9ha30a51.jpg?width=769&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=95129db838d6c358e986c88a4d1348f4783cd0ab
https://preview.redd.it/eom4wiia30a51.jpg?width=1091&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ff56c3afaf063d7785a5b85ba283532be0dd896e
Make sure there are no errors in the hardware connection and proceed to the next step.

STONE TFT LCD user interface design

First of all, we need to design a UI display image, which can be designed by PhotoShop or other image design tools. After designing the UI display image, save the image in JPG format.
Open the software STONE TOOL 2019 and create a new project:

https://preview.redd.it/sqjii2mc30a51.jpg?width=1004&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=12f0a87d6c2ca8decaff241d5a0b50a3a1aece89
https://preview.redd.it/4ta8cdlc30a51.jpg?width=871&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b31ac5e612a2c809e29f63974a04ba25bff83788
Remove the image that was loaded by default in the new project, and add the UI image that we designed.
Add the text display component, design the display digit and decimal point, get the storage location of the text display component in the displayer.
The effect is as follows:

https://preview.redd.it/2mfqapoe30a51.jpg?width=1335&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=aacfa0fde88defacd127ea9d9d27ab006ab618dd
Text display component address:
• Connection sta : 0x0008
• Heart rate : 0x0001
• Blood oxygen : 0x0005
The main contents of the UI interface are as follows:
• Connection status
• Heart rate display
• Blood oxygen showed

Generate configuration file

Once the UI design is complete, the configuration file can be generated and downloaded to the STVI070WT-01 displaye.

First, perform step 1, then insert the USB flash drive into the computer, and the disk symbol will be displayed. Then click "Download to u-disk" to Download the configuration file to the USB flash drive, and then insert the USB flash drive into STVI070WT-01 to complete the upgrade.

MAX30100

MAX30100 communicates via IIC. Its working principle is that the ADC value of heart rate can be obtained through infrared led irradiation. The MAX30100 register can be divided into five categories: state register, FIFO, control register, temperature register, and ID register. The temperature register reads the temperature value of the chip to correct the deviation caused by the temperature. The ID register can read the chip's ID number.

https://preview.redd.it/221fq8vg30a51.jpg?width=848&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=43e93284ac35cf1944a77d79ff9a2f662e540c7e

MAX30100 is connected with the Arduino Mini Pro development board through the IIC communication interface. Because there are ready-made MAX30100 library files in the Arduino IDE, we can read the heart rate and blood oxygen data without studying the registers of MAX30100.
For those who are interested in exploring the MAX30100 register, see the MAX30100 Datasheet.

Modify the MAX30100 IIC pull-up resistor

It should be noted that the 4.7k pull-up resistance of the IIC pin of MAX30100 module is connected to 1.8v, which is not a problem in theory. However, the communication logic level of the Arduino IIC pin is 5V, so it cannot communicate with Arduino without changing the hardware of the MAX30100 module.Direct communication is possible if the MCU is STM32 or another 3.3v logic level MCU.
Therefore, the following changes need to be made:

https://preview.redd.it/jti57usl30a51.jpg?width=521&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c56b1b1a8294d60a8f9e931e411305f68c5c5559
Remove the three 4.7k resistors marked in the picture with an electric soldering iron. Then weld two resistors of 4.7k at the pins of SDA and SCL to VIN, so that we can communicate with Arduino.

Arduino serial display LCD

Open the Arduino IDE and find the following buttons:

https://preview.redd.it/990d3bdp30a51.jpg?width=853&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=24136c385601b69d5afc67842358b102373277ef
Search for "MAX30100" to find two libraries for MAX30100, then click download and install.

https://preview.redd.it/4n167pbv30a51.jpg?width=933&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cef50833667bae3f30ac94f5a48b43795b779845
After the installation, you can find the Demo of MAX30100 in the LIB library folder of LCD Arduino:

https://preview.redd.it/rn05xgvw30a51.jpg?width=911&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3709bc7c5be36ebdd14c01cb0b7c1933953425b0
Double-click the file to open it.

https://preview.redd.it/q6fqylky30a51.jpg?width=819&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8073917be374a72bef2977b4b11ccb2b56fa944e
This Demo can be directly tested. If the hardware connection is ok, you can download the code compilation into the Arduino development board and see the data of MAX30100 in the serial debugging tool.
The complete code is as follows: /*
Arduino-MAX30100 oximetry / heart rate integrated sensor library
Copyright (C) 2016 OXullo Intersecans
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see .
*/
#include
#include "MAX30100_PulseOximeter.h"
#define REPORTING_PERIOD_MS 1000
// PulseOximeter is the higher level interface to the sensor
// it offers:
// * beat detection reporting
// * heart rate calculation
// * SpO2 (oxidation level) calculation
PulseOximeter pox;
uint32_t tsLastReport = 0;
// Callback (registered below) fired when a pulse is detected
void onBeatDetected()
{
Serial.println("Beat!");
}
void setup()
{
Serial.begin(115200);
Serial.print("Initializing pulse oximeter..");
// Initialize the PulseOximeter instance
// Failures are generally due to an improper I2C wiring, missing power supply
// or wrong target chip
if (!pox.begin()) {
Serial.println("FAILED");
for(;;);
} else {
Serial.println("SUCCESS");
}
// The default current for the IR LED is 50mA and it could be changed
// by uncommenting the following line. Check MAX30100_Registers.h for all the
// available options.
// pox.setIRLedCurrent(MAX30100_LED_CURR_7_6MA);
// Register a callback for the beat detection
pox.setOnBeatDetectedCallback(onBeatDetected);
}
void loop()
{
// Make sure to call update as fast as possible
pox.update();
// Asynchronously dump heart rate and oxidation levels to the serial
// For both, a value of 0 means "invalid"
if (millis() - tsLastReport > REPORTING_PERIOD_MS) {
Serial.print("Heart rate:");
Serial.print(pox.getHeartRate());
Serial.print("bpm / SpO2:");
Serial.print(pox.getSpO2());
Serial.println("%");
tsLastReport = millis();
}
}
📷
This code is very simple, I believe you can understand it at a glance. I have to say that the modular programming of Arduino is very convenient, and I don't even need to understand how the driver code of Uart and IIC is implemented.
Of course, the above code is an official Demo, and I still need to make some changes to display the data to STONE's displayer.

Display data to the STONE display through Arduino LCD

First, we need to get the address of the component that displays the heart rate and blood oxygen data in STONE's displayer:
In my project, the address is as follows:
Heart rate display component address: 0x0001
Address of blood oxygen display module: 0x0005
Sensor connection status address: 0x0008
If you need to change the display content in the corresponding space, you can change the display content by sending data to the corresponding address of the display screen through the serial port of Arduino.
The modified code is as follows:
/*
Arduino-MAX30100 oximetry / heart rate integrated sensor library
Copyright (C) 2016 OXullo Intersecans
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see .
*/
#include
#include "MAX30100_PulseOximeter.h"
#define REPORTING_PERIOD_MS 1000
#define Heart_dis_addr 0x01
#define Sop2_dis_addr 0x05
#define connect_sta_addr 0x08
unsigned char heart_rate_send[8]= {0xA5, 0x5A, 0x05, 0x82,\
0x00, Heart_dis_addr, 0x00, 0x00};
unsigned char Sop2_send[8]= {0xA5, 0x5A, 0x05, 0x82, 0x00, \
Sop2_dis_addr, 0x00, 0x00};
unsigned char connect_sta_send[8]={0xA5, 0x5A, 0x05, 0x82, 0x00, \
connect_sta_addr,0x00, 0x00};
// PulseOximeter is the higher level interface to the sensor
// it offers:
// * beat detection reporting
// * heart rate calculation
// * SpO2 (oxidation level) calculation
PulseOximeter pox;
uint32_t tsLastReport = 0;
// Callback (registered below) fired when a pulse is detected
void onBeatDetected()
{
// Serial.println("Beat!");
}
void setup()
{
Serial.begin(115200);
// Serial.print("Initializing pulse oximeter..");
// Initialize the PulseOximeter instance
// Failures are generally due to an improper I2C wiring, missing power supply
// or wrong target chip
if (!pox.begin()) {
// Serial.println("FAILED");
// connect_sta_send[7]=0x00;
// Serial.write(connect_sta_send,8);
for(;;);
} else {
connect_sta_send[7]=0x01;
Serial.write(connect_sta_send,8);
// Serial.println("SUCCESS");
}
// The default current for the IR LED is 50mA and it could be changed
// by uncommenting the following line. Check MAX30100_Registers.h for all the
// available options.
pox.setIRLedCurrent(MAX30100_LED_CURR_7_6MA);
// Register a callback for the beat detection
pox.setOnBeatDetectedCallback(onBeatDetected);
}
void loop()
{
// Make sure to call update as fast as possible
pox.update();
// Asynchronously dump heart rate and oxidation levels to the serial
// For both, a value of 0 means "invalid"
if (millis() - tsLastReport > REPORTING_PERIOD_MS) {
// Serial.print("Heart rate:");
// Serial.print(pox.getHeartRate());
// Serial.print("bpm / SpO2:");
// Serial.print(pox.getSpO2());
// Serial.println("%");
heart_rate_send[7]=(uint32_t)pox.getHeartRate();
Serial.write(heart_rate_send,8);
Sop2_send[7]=pox.getSpO2();
Serial.write(Sop2_send,8);
tsLastReport = millis();
}
}
Compile the code, download it to the Arduino serial display LCD development board, and you're ready to start testing.
We can see that when the fingers leave the MAX30100, the heart rate and blood oxygen display 0. Place your finger on the MAX30100 collector to see your heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real-time.

LCD Arduino project effect can be seen in the following picture:


https://preview.redd.it/k9u0jtg040a51.jpg?width=510&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1e9994109a072807a802eb1179b874f727aeff5a
https://preview.redd.it/0ow2lfg040a51.jpg?width=576&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b0f5f6ac073894c8b0c033549fce79fac1c90bc3
submitted by Tamesliu to arduino [link] [comments]

LCD Arduino + STONE HMI + Display Heart Rate

LCD Arduino project brief introduction

Some time ago, I found a heart rate sensor module MAX30100 in shopping online. This module can collect blood oxygen and heart rate data of users, which is also simple and convenient to use.
According to the data, I found that there are libraries of MAX30100 in the Arduino library files. That is to say, if I use the communication between LCD Arduino and MAX30100, I can directly call the Arduino library files without having to rewrite the driver files. This is a good thing, so I bought the module of MAX30100.
I decided to use Arduino to verify the heart rate and blood oxygen collection function of MAX30100. With STONE TFT LCD screen for monitoring blood pressure.

https://preview.redd.it/fbm2i8e32o251.jpg?width=328&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=20329c7187f3fdf628106e923453fdf588fe69ab
Note: this module by default only with 3.3 V level MCU communications, because it defaults to using IIC pin pull up the resistance of 4.7 K to 1.8 V, so there is no communication with the Arduino by default, if you want to commune with the Arduino and need two 4.7 K of the IIC pin pull-up resistor connected to the VIN pin, these contents will be introduced in the back of the chapter.

Functional assignments

Before starting this project, I thought about some simple features:
• Heart rate data and blood oxygen data were collected
• Heart rate and blood oxygen data are displayed through an LCD screen
These are the only two features, but if we want to implement it, we need to do more thinking:
• What master MCU is used?
• What kind of LCD display?
As we mentioned earlier, we use Arduino for the MCU, but this is an LCD Arduino project, so we need to choose the appropriate LCD display module. I plan to use the LCD display screen with a serial port. I have a STONE STVI070WT-01 displayer here, but if Arduino needs to communicate with it, MAX3232 is needed to do the level conversion.
Then the basic electronic materials are determined as follows:
  1. Arduino Mini Pro development board
  2. MAX30100 heart rate and blood oxygen sensor module
  3. STONE STVI070WT-01 LCD serial port display module
  4. MAX3232 module

Hardware Introduction

MAX30100

The MAX30100 is an integrated pulse oximetry and heart rate monitor sensor solution. It combines two LEDs, a photodetector, optimized optics, and low-noise analog signal processing to detect pulse oximetry and heart-rate signals. The MAX30100 operates from 1.8V and 3.3V power supplies and can be powered down through software with negligible standby current, permitting the power supply to remain connected at all times.

Applications

● Wearable Devices
● Fitness Assistant Devices
● Medical Monitoring Devices

Benefits and Features

1、Complete Pulse Oximeter and Heart-Rate SensorSolution Simplifies Design
• Integrated LEDs, Photo Sensor, and high-Performance Analog Front -End
• Tiny 5.6mm x 2.8mm x 1.2mm 14-Pin OpticallyEnhanced System-in-Package
2、Ultra-Low-Power Operation Increases Battery Life for wearable Devices
• Programmable Sample Rate and LED Current for Power Savings
• Ultra-Low Shutdown Current (0.7µA, typ)
3、Advanced Functionality Improves Measurement Performance
• High SNR Provides Robust Motion Artifact Resilience
• Integrated Ambient Light Cancellation
• High Sample Rate Capability
• Fast Data Output Capability

Detection Principle


https://preview.redd.it/kgu72wk52o251.jpg?width=817&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b44a5b4b476c50c1cbd311f048313777d06cabb
Just press your finger against the sensor to estimate pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse (equivalent to heartbeat).
The pulse oximeter (oximeter) is a mini-spectrometer that USES the principles of different red cell absorption spectra to analyze the oxygen saturation of the blood. This real-time and rapid measurement method is also widely used in many clinical references.
I will not introduce the MAX30100 too much, because these materials are available on the Internet. Interested friends can look up the information of this heart rate test module on the Internet, and have a deeper understanding of its detection principle.

Introduction to the STVI070WT-01 displayer

In this project, I will use the STONE STVI070WT-01 to display the heart rate and blood oxygen data.
The driver chip has been integrated inside the display screen, and there is software for users to use. Users only need to add buttons, text boxes and other logic through the designed UI pictures, and then generate configuration files and download them into the display screen to run.
The display of STVI070WT-01 communicates with MCU through the UART RS232 signal, which means that we need to add a MAX3232 chip to convert the RS232 signal into a TTL signal so that we can communicate with Arduino MCU.

https://preview.redd.it/oacuof082o251.jpg?width=749&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d1427adf34689c8a433a2af71c494f7698e4baf8
If you are not sure how to use the MAX3232, please refer to the following pictures:

https://preview.redd.it/u39qtog92o251.jpg?width=653&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=04cf458bcebcd27ba09f36903e20e7ebe1aaa6f9
If you think the level conversion is too troublesome, you can choose other types of displayers of STONE Tech, some of which can directly output uart-TTL signal.
The official website has detailed information and introduction:
https://www.stoneitech.com/
If you need video tutorials and tutorials to use, you can also find it on the official website.

Development steps

Three steps of STONE display screen development:
• Design the display logic and button logic with STONE TOOL software, and download the design file to the display module.
• MCU communicates with the STONE LCD display module through the serial port.
• With the data obtained in step 2, the MCU does other actions.

STONE TOOL software installation

Download the latest version of the STONE TOOL software (currently TOOL2019) from the website, and install it.
After the software is installed, the following interface will be opened:

https://preview.redd.it/ryc7qjkd2o251.jpg?width=848&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=72f674b6a2b653562a31735f103aecf2df16199d
Click the "File" button in the upper left corner to create a new project, which we will discuss later.

LCD Arduino

Arduino is an open-source electronic prototype platform that is easy to use and easy to use. It includes the hardware part (various development boards that conform to the Arduino specification) and the software part (Arduino IDE and related development kits).
The hardware part (or development board) consists of a microcontroller (MCU), Flash memory (Flash), and a set of universal input/output interfaces (GPIO), which you can think of as a microcomputer motherboard.
The software part is mainly composed of Arduino IDE on PC, related board-level support package (BSP) and rich third-party function library. With the Arduino IDE, you can easily download the BSP associated with your development board and the libraries you need to write your programs.
Arduino is an open-source platform. So far, there have been many models and many derived controllers, including Arduino Uno, Arduino Nano, Arduino Yun and so on. In addition, the Arduino IDE now not only supports the Arduino series development boards but also adds support for popular development boards such as Intel Galileo and NodeMCU by introducing BSP.
Arduino senses the environment through a variety of sensors, controlling lights, motors and other devices to feedback and influence the environment. The microcontroller on the board can be programmed with an Arduino programming language, compiled into binaries, and burned into the microcontroller. Programming for Arduino is implemented with the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino-based projects can contain Arduino only, as well as Arduino and other software running on PC, and they communicate with each other (such as Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

HMI for Arduino serial display TFT LCD project development environment

The Arduino development environment is the Arduino IDE, which can be downloaded from the Internet.
Log into the official website of Arduino and download the software
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software?setlang=cn
After installing the Arduino IDE, the following interface will appear when you open the software:

https://preview.redd.it/2fcfnrkg2o251.jpg?width=567&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9b6664d15fb99c31ee91c49be56d9eb9e17e04de
The Arduino IDE creates two functions by default: the setup function and the loop function.
There are many Arduino introductions on the Internet. If you don't understand something, you can go to the Internet to find it.

LCD Arduino Project implementation process

hardware connection

To ensure that the next step in writing code goes smoothly, we must first determine the reliability of the hardware connection.
Only four pieces of hardware were used in this project:
  1. Arduino Mini pro development board
  2. STONE STVI070WT-01 tft-lcd display screen
  3. MAX30100 heart rate and blood oxygen sensor
  4. MAX3232 (rs232-> TTL)
The Arduino Mini Pro development board and STVI070WT tft-lcd display screen are connected through UART, which requires level conversion through MAX3232, and then the Arduino Mini Pro development board and MAX30100 module are connected through IIC interface.After thinking clearly, we can draw the following wiring picture:

https://preview.redd.it/xkpv7bxi2o251.jpg?width=769&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b3658c7c455ba97c6f3a961e34ed020059201b8b

https://preview.redd.it/zobnoatl2o251.jpg?width=1091&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2263d1d5a6d208b6e9c1110334971a1d34ed742c
Make sure there are no errors in the hardware connection and proceed to the next step.

STONE TFT LCD user interface design

First of all, we need to design a UI display image, which can be designed by PhotoShop or other image design tools. After designing the UI display image, save the image in JPG format.
Open the software STONE TOOL 2019 and create a new project:

https://preview.redd.it/ou27uc4o2o251.jpg?width=1004&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e559c55a3d4fb014fc35dd94bca4d7a52938c87f

https://preview.redd.it/j7mkexnp2o251.jpg?width=871&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=eb80865fd5efe45a5b015790f0fd0c02f07ca069
Remove the image that was loaded by default in the new project, and add the UI image that we designed.
Add the text display component, design the display digit and decimal point, get the storage location of the text display component in the displayer.
The effect is as follows:

https://preview.redd.it/y7333lor2o251.jpg?width=1335&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=501576a9d57e92b1435bc25406612a0f758038a5
Text display component address:
• Connection sta : 0x0008
• Heart rate : 0x0001
• Blood oxygen : 0x0005
The main contents of the UI interface are as follows:
• Connection status
• Heart rate display
• Blood oxygen showed

Generate configuration file

Once the UI design is complete, the configuration file can be generated and downloaded to the STVI070WT-01 displaye.

https://preview.redd.it/c94grplt2o251.jpg?width=606&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ab0a7306791341599fbb874c63638f1066e5f1d9
First, perform step 1, then insert the USB flash drive into the computer, and the disk symbol will be displayed. Then click "Download to u-disk" to Download the configuration file to the USB flash drive, and then insert the USB flash drive into STVI070WT-01 to complete the upgrade.

MAX30100

MAX30100 communicates via IIC. Its working principle is that the ADC value of heart rate can be obtained through infrared led irradiation. The MAX30100 register can be divided into five categories: state register, FIFO, control register, temperature register, and ID register. The temperature register reads the temperature value of the chip to correct the deviation caused by the temperature. The ID register can read the chip's ID number.

https://preview.redd.it/dfomjb1z2o251.jpg?width=848&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=911b174be98448c64002c1a24fa6528ce56ae3b7
MAX30100 is connected with the Arduino Mini Pro development board through the IIC communication interface. Because there are ready-made MAX30100 library files in the Arduino IDE, we can read the heart rate and blood oxygen data without studying the registers of MAX30100.
For those who are interested in exploring the MAX30100 register, see the MAX30100 Datasheet.

Modify the MAX30100 IIC pull-up resistor

It should be noted that the 4.7k pull-up resistance of the IIC pin of MAX30100 module is connected to 1.8v, which is not a problem in theory. However, the communication logic level of the Arduino IIC pin is 5V, so it cannot communicate with Arduino without changing the hardware of the MAX30100 module.Direct communication is possible if the MCU is STM32 or another 3.3v logic level MCU.
Therefore, the following changes need to be made:

https://preview.redd.it/l5cimq013o251.jpg?width=521&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9fc29401ed402b9bf623c4f8e474336c8050fae8
Remove the three 4.7k resistors marked in the picture with an electric soldering iron. Then weld two resistors of 4.7k at the pins of SDA and SCL to VIN, so that we can communicate with Arduino.

Arduino serial display LCD

Open the Arduino IDE and find the following buttons:

https://preview.redd.it/w9mska373o251.jpg?width=853&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe0ee068c64ce109028dab4f5898335ded02c82e
Search for "MAX30100" to find two libraries for MAX30100, then click download and install.

https://preview.redd.it/pqlihp9a3o251.jpg?width=933&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=493965c54d1cc755a0dd2ac98ad6100cf7c93948
After the installation, you can find the Demo of MAX30100 in the LIB library folder of LCD Arduino:

https://preview.redd.it/srk2g83c3o251.jpg?width=911&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=da696328a0a198c0ee41a17a7811024d36a153ea
Double-click the file to open it.

https://preview.redd.it/lc8z3gtd3o251.jpg?width=819&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bbac5eb529e4279792c899d738ebdb0fa9263c54
This Demo can be directly tested. If the hardware connection is ok, you can download the code compilation into the Arduibo development board and see the data of MAX30100 in the serial debugging tool.
The complete code is as follows:
/*
Arduino-MAX30100 oximetry / heart rate integrated sensor library
Copyright (C) 2016 OXullo Intersecans
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see .
*/
#include
#include "MAX30100_PulseOximeter.h"
#define REPORTING_PERIOD_MS 1000
// PulseOximeter is the higher level interface to the sensor
// it offers:
// * beat detection reporting
// * heart rate calculation
// * SpO2 (oxidation level) calculation
PulseOximeter pox;
uint32_t tsLastReport = 0;
// Callback (registered below) fired when a pulse is detected
void onBeatDetected()
{
Serial.println("Beat!");
}
void setup()
{
Serial.begin(115200);
Serial.print("Initializing pulse oximeter..");
// Initialize the PulseOximeter instance
// Failures are generally due to an improper I2C wiring, missing power supply
// or wrong target chip
if (!pox.begin()) {
Serial.println("FAILED");
for(;;);
} else {
Serial.println("SUCCESS");
}
// The default current for the IR LED is 50mA and it could be changed
// by uncommenting the following line. Check MAX30100_Registers.h for all the
// available options.
// pox.setIRLedCurrent(MAX30100_LED_CURR_7_6MA);
// Register a callback for the beat detection
pox.setOnBeatDetectedCallback(onBeatDetected);
}
void loop()
{
// Make sure to call update as fast as possible
pox.update();
// Asynchronously dump heart rate and oxidation levels to the serial
// For both, a value of 0 means "invalid"
if (millis() - tsLastReport > REPORTING_PERIOD_MS) {
Serial.print("Heart rate:");
Serial.print(pox.getHeartRate());
Serial.print("bpm / SpO2:");
Serial.print(pox.getSpO2());
Serial.println("%");
tsLastReport = millis();
}
}


https://preview.redd.it/nyuyl4zl3o251.jpg?width=552&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=58e05bc67a250de6f7b24060290d8a0703624e30
This code is very simple, I believe you can understand it at a glance. I have to say that the modular programming of Arduino is very convenient, and I don't even need to understand how the driver code of Uart and IIC is implemented.
Of course, the above code is an official Demo, and I still need to make some changes to display the data to STONE's displayer.

Display data to the STONE display through Arduino LCD

First, we need to get the address of the component that displays the heart rate and blood oxygen data in STONE's displayer:
In my project, the address is as follows:
Heart rate display component address: 0x0001
Address of blood oxygen display module: 0x0005
Sensor connection status address: 0x0008
If you need to change the display content in the corresponding space, you can change the display content by sending data to the corresponding address of the display screen through the serial port of Arduino.
The modified code is as follows:
/*
Arduino-MAX30100 oximetry / heart rate integrated sensor library
Copyright (C) 2016 OXullo Intersecans
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see .
*/
#include
#include "MAX30100_PulseOximeter.h"
#define REPORTING_PERIOD_MS 1000
#define Heart_dis_addr 0x01
#define Sop2_dis_addr 0x05
#define connect_sta_addr 0x08
unsigned char heart_rate_send[8]= {0xA5, 0x5A, 0x05, 0x82,\
0x00, Heart_dis_addr, 0x00, 0x00};
unsigned char Sop2_send[8]= {0xA5, 0x5A, 0x05, 0x82, 0x00, \
Sop2_dis_addr, 0x00, 0x00};
unsigned char connect_sta_send[8]={0xA5, 0x5A, 0x05, 0x82, 0x00, \
connect_sta_addr,0x00, 0x00};
// PulseOximeter is the higher level interface to the sensor
// it offers:
// * beat detection reporting
// * heart rate calculation
// * SpO2 (oxidation level) calculation
PulseOximeter pox;
uint32_t tsLastReport = 0;
// Callback (registered below) fired when a pulse is detected
void onBeatDetected()
{
// Serial.println("Beat!");
}
void setup()
{
Serial.begin(115200);
// Serial.print("Initializing pulse oximeter..");
// Initialize the PulseOximeter instance
// Failures are generally due to an improper I2C wiring, missing power supply
// or wrong target chip
if (!pox.begin()) {
// Serial.println("FAILED");
// connect_sta_send[7]=0x00;
// Serial.write(connect_sta_send,8);
for(;;);
} else {
connect_sta_send[7]=0x01;
Serial.write(connect_sta_send,8);
// Serial.println("SUCCESS");
}
// The default current for the IR LED is 50mA and it could be changed
// by uncommenting the following line. Check MAX30100_Registers.h for all the
// available options.
pox.setIRLedCurrent(MAX30100_LED_CURR_7_6MA);
// Register a callback for the beat detection
pox.setOnBeatDetectedCallback(onBeatDetected);
}
void loop()
{
// Make sure to call update as fast as possible
pox.update();
// Asynchronously dump heart rate and oxidation levels to the serial
// For both, a value of 0 means "invalid"
if (millis() - tsLastReport > REPORTING_PERIOD_MS) {
// Serial.print("Heart rate:");
// Serial.print(pox.getHeartRate());
// Serial.print("bpm / SpO2:");
// Serial.print(pox.getSpO2());
// Serial.println("%");
heart_rate_send[7]=(uint32_t)pox.getHeartRate();
Serial.write(heart_rate_send,8);
Sop2_send[7]=pox.getSpO2();
Serial.write(Sop2_send,8);
tsLastReport = millis();
}
}

Compile the code, download it to the Arduino serial display LCD development board, and you're ready to start testing.
We can see that when the fingers leave the MAX30100, the heart rate and blood oxygen display 0. Place your finger on the MAX30100 collector to see your heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real-time.

LCD Arduino project effect can be seen in the following picture:


https://preview.redd.it/lf120a5s3o251.jpg?width=510&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d705a9e10bac1758afc554036a31748c5f73d255
submitted by woodkiki to ArduinoProjects [link] [comments]

Part 2: Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More

(continued from part 1)
Unlocker is a tool to help delete those irritating locked files that give you an error message like "cannot delete file" or "access is denied." It helps with killing processes, unloading DLLs, deleting index.dat files, as well as unlocking, deleting, renaming, and moving locked files—typically without requiring a reboot.
IIS Crypto's newest version adds advanced settings; registry backup; new, simpler templates; support for Windows Server 2019 and more. This tool lets you enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows and reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites from IIS, change advanced settings, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website. Available in both command line and GUI versions.
RocketDock is an application launcher with a clean interface that lets you drag/drop shortcuts for easy access and minimize windows to the dock. Features running application indicators, multi-monitor support, alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons, auto-hide and popup on mouse over, positioning and layering options. Fully customizable, portable, and compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher and Y'z Dock skins. Works even on slower computers and is Unicode compliant. Suggested by lieutenantcigarette: "If you like the dock on MacOS but prefer to use Windows, RocketDock has you covered. A superb and highly customisable dock that you can add your favourites to for easy and elegant access."
Baby FTP Server offers only the basics, but with the power to serve as a foundation for a more-complex server. Features include multi-threading, a real-time server log, support for PASV and non-PASV mode, ability to set permissions for download/upload/rename/delete/create directory. Only allows anonymous connections. Our thanks to FatherPrax for suggesting this one.
Strace is a Linux diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace tool with a traditional command-line interface. Uses the ptrace kernel feature to monitor and tamper with interactions between processes and the kernel, including system calls, signal deliveries and changes of process state.
exa is a small, fast replacement for ls with more features and better defaults. It uses colors to distinguish file types and metadata, and it recognizes symlinks, extended attributes and Git. All in one single binary. phils_lab describes it as "'ls' on steroids, written in Rust."
rsync is a faster file transfer program for Unix to bring remote files into sync. It sends just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring both sets of files to be present at one of the ends. Suggested by zorinlynx, who adds that "rsync is GODLY for moving data around efficiently. And if an rsync is interrupted, just run it again."
Matter Wiki is a simple WYSIWYG wiki that can help teams store and collaborate. Every article gets filed under a topic, transparently, so you can tell who made what changes to which document and when. Thanks to bciar-iwdc for the recommendation.
LockHunter is a file unlocking tool that enables you to delete files that are being blocked for unknown reasons. Can be useful for fighting malware and other programs that are causing trouble. Deletes files into the recycle bin so you can restore them if necessary. Chucky2401 finds it preferable to Unlocker, "since I am on Windows 7. There are no new updates since July 2017, but the last beta was in June of this year."
aria2 is a lightweight multi-source command-line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. It can be manipulated via built-in JSON-RPC and XML-RPC interfaces. Recommended by jftuga, who appreciates it as a "cross-platform command line downloader (similar to wget or curl), but with the -x option can run a segmented download of a single file to increase throughput."
Free Services
Temp-Mail allows you to receive email at a temporary address that self-destructs after a certain period of time. Outwit all the forums, Wi-Fi owners, websites and blogs that insist you register to use them. Petti-The-Yeti says, "I don't give any company my direct email anymore. If I want to trial something but they ask for an email signup, I just grab a temporary email from here, sign up with it, and wait for the trial link or license info to come through. Then, you just download the file and close the website."
Duck DNS will point a DNS (sub domains of duckdns.org) to an IP of your choice. DDNS is a handy way for you to refer to a serverouter with an easily rememberable name for situations when the server's ip address will likely change. Suggested by xgnarf, who finds it "so much better for the free tier of noip—no 30-day nag to keep your host up."
Joe Sandbox detects and analyzes potential malicious files and URLs on Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux and iOS for suspicious activities. It performs deep malware analysis and generates comprehensive and detailed reports. The Community Edition of Joe Sandbox Cloud allows you to run a maximum of 6 analyses per month, 3 per day on Windows, Linux and Android with limited analysis output. This one is from dangibbons94, who wanted to "share this cool service ... for malware analysis. I usually use Virus total for URL scanning, but this goes a lot more in depth. I just used basic analysis, which is free and enough for my needs."
Hybrid Analysis is a malware analysis service that detects and analyzes unknown threats for the community. This one was suggested by compupheonix, who adds that it "gets you super detailed reports... it's about the most fleshed out and detailed one I can find."
JustBeamIt is a file-transfer service that allows you to send files of any size via a peer-to-peer streaming model. Simply drag and drop your file and specify the recipient's email address. They will then receive a link that will trigger the download directly from your computer, so the file does not have to be uploaded to the service itself. The link is good for one download and expires after 10 minutes. Thanks to cooljacob204sfw for the recommendation!
ShieldsUP is a quick but powerful internet security checkup and information service. It was created by security researcher Steve Gibson to scan ports and let you know which ones have been opened through your firewalls or NAT routers.
Firefox Send is an encrypted file transfer service that allows you to share files up to 2.5GB from any browser or an Android app. Uses end-to-end encryption to keep data secure and offers security controls you can set. You can determine when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add a password. Your recipient receives a link to download the file, and they don’t need a Firefox account. This one comes from DePingus, who appreciates the focus on privacy. "They have E2E, expiring links, and a clear privacy policy."
Free DNS is a service where programmers share domain names with one another at no cost. Offers free hosting as well as dynamic DNS, static DNS, subdomain and domain hosting. They can host your domain's DNS as well as allowing you to register hostnames from domains they're hosting already. If you don't have a domain, you can sign up for a free account and create up to 5 subdomains off the domains others have contributed and point these hosts anywhere on the Internet. Thanks to 0x000000000000004C (yes, that's a username) for the suggestion!
ANY.RUN is an interactive malware analysis service for dynamic and static research of the majority of threats in any environment. It can provide a convenient in-depth analysis of new, unidentified malicious objects and help with the investigation of incidents. ImAshtonTurner appreciates it as "a great sandbox tool for viewing malware, etc."
Plik is a scalable, temporary file upload system similar to wetransfer that is written in golang. Thanks go to I_eat_Narwhals for this one!
Free My IP offers free, dynamic DNS. This service comes with no login, no ads, no newsletters, no links to click and no hassle. Kindly suggested by Jack of All Trades.
Mailinator provides free, temporary email inboxes on a receive-only, attachment-free system that requires no sign-up. All @mailinator.com addresses are public, readable and discoverable by anyone at any time—but are automatically deleted after a few hours. Can be a nice option for times when you to give out an address that won't be accessible longterm. Recommended by nachomountain, who's been using it "for years."
Magic Wormhole is a service for sending files directly with no intermediate upload, no web interface and no login. When both parties are online you with the minimal software installed, the wormhole is invoked via command line identifying the file you want to send. The server then provides a speakable, one-time-use password that you give the recipient. When they enter that password in their wormhole console, key exchange occurs and the download begins directly between your computers. rjohnson99 explains, "Magic Wormhole is sort of like JustBeamIt but is open-source and is built on Python. I use it a lot on Linux servers."
EveryCloud's Free Phish is our own, new Phishing Simulator. Once you've filled in the form and logged in, you can choose from lots of email templates (many of which we've coped from what we see in our Email Security business) and landing pages. Run a one-off free phish, then see who clicked or submitted data so you can understand where your organization is vulnerable and act accordingly.
Hardening Guides
CIS Hardening Guides contain the system security benchmarks developed by a global community of cybersecurity experts. Over 140 configuration guidelines are provided to help safeguard systems against threats. Recommended by cyanghost109 "to get a start on looking at hardening your own systems."
Podcasts
Daily Tech News is Tom Merrit's show covering the latest tech issues with some of the top experts in the field. With the focus on daily tech news and analysis, it's a great way to stay current. Thanks to EmoPolarbear for drawing it to our attention.
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a podcast that features IT experts explaining the complicated details of cutting-edge enterprise technology. Join host Lou Maresca on this informative exploration of enterprise solutions, with new episodes recorded every Friday afternoon.
Security Weekly is a podcast where a "bunch of security nerds" get together and talk shop. Topics are greatly varied, and the atmosphere is relaxed and conversational. The show typically tops out at 2 hours, which is perfect for those with a long commute. If you’re fascinated by discussion of deep technical and security-related topics, this may be a nice addition to your podcast repertoire.
Grumpy Old Geeks—What Went Wrong on the Internet and Who's To Blame is a podcast about the internet, technology and geek culture—among other things. The hosts bring their grumpy brand of humor to the "state of the world as they see it" in these roughly hour-long weekly episodes. Recommended by mkaxsnyder, who enjoys it because, "They are a good team that talk about recent and relevant topics from an IT perspective."
The Social-Engineer Podcast is a monthly discussion among the hosts—a group of security experts from SEORG—and a diverse assortment of guests. Topics focus around human behavior and how it affects information security, with new episodes released on the second Monday of every month. Thanks to MrAshRhodes for the suggestion.
The CyberWire podcasts discuss what's happening in cyberspace, providing news and commentary from industry experts. This cyber security-focused news service delivers concise, accessible, and relevant content without the gossip, sensationalism, and the marketing buzz that often distract from the stories that really matter. Appreciation to supermicromainboard for the suggestion.
Malicious Life is a podcast that tells the fascinating—and often unknown—stories of the wildest hacks you can ever imagine. Host Ran Levi, a cybersecurity expert and author, talks with the people who were actually involved to reveal the history of each event in depth. Our appreciation goes to peraphon for the recommendation.
The Broadcast Storm is a podcast for Cisco networking professionals. BluePieceOfPaper suggests it "for people studying for their CCNA/NP. Kevin Wallace is a CCIE Collaboration so he knows his *ishk. Good format for learning too. Most podcasts are about 8-15 mins long and its 'usually' an exam topic. It will be something like "HSPR" but instead of just explaining it super boring like Ben Stein reading a powerpoint, he usually goes into a story about how (insert time in his career) HSPR would have been super useful..."
Software Engineering Radio is a podcast for developers who are looking for an educational resource with original content that isn't recycled from other venues. Consists of conversations on relevant topics with experts from the software engineering world, with new episodes released three to four times per month. a9JDvXLWHumjaC tells us this is "a solid podcast for devs."
Books
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a comprehensive technical guide designed to help you optimize Microsoft's Configuration Manager 2012 according to your requirements and then to deploy and use it successfully. This methodical, step-by-step reference covers: the intentions behind the product and its role in the broader System Center product suite; planning, design, and implementation; and details on each of the most-important feature sets. Learn how to leverage the user-centric capabilities to provide anytime/anywhere services & software, while strengthening control and improving compliance.
Network Warrior: Everything You Need to Know That Wasn’t on the CCNA Exam is a practical guide to network infrastructure. Provides an in-depth view of routers and routing, switching (with Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches as examples), SOHO VoIP and SOHO wireless access point design and configuration, introduction to IPv6 with configuration examples, telecom technologies in the data-networking world (including T1, DS3, frame relay, and MPLS), security, firewall theory and configuration, ACL and authentication, Quality of Service (QoS), with an emphasis on low-latency queuing (LLQ), IP address allocation, Network Time Protocol (NTP) and device failures.
Beginning the Linux Command Line is your ally in mastering Linux from the keyboard. It is intended for system administrators, software developers, and enthusiastic users who want a guide that will be useful for most distributions—i.e., all items have been checked against Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. Addresses administering users and security and deploying firewalls. Updated to the latest versions of Linux to cover files and directories, including the Btrfs file system and its management and systemd boot procedure and firewall management with firewalld.
Modern Operating Systems, 4th Ed. is written for students taking intro courses on Operating Systems and for those who want an OS reference guide for work. The author, an OS researcher, includes both the latest materials on relevant operating systems as well as current research. The previous edition of Modern Operating Systems received the 2010 McGuffey Longevity Award that recognizes textbooks for excellence over time.
Time Management for System Administrators is a guide for organizing your approach to this challenging role in a way that improves your results. Bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli offers a collection of tips and techniques for navigating the competing goals and concurrent responsibilities that go along with working on large projects while also taking care of individual user's needs. The book focuses on strategies to help with daily tasks that will also allow you to handle the critical situations that inevitably require your attention. You'll learn how to manage interruptions, eliminate time wasters, keep an effective calendar, develop routines and prioritize, stay focused on the task at hand and document/automate to speed processes.
The Practice of System and Network Administration, 3rd Edition introduces beginners to advanced frameworks while serving as a guide to best practices in system administration that is helpful for even the most advanced experts. Organized into four major sections that build from the foundational elements of system administration through improved techniques for upgrades and change management to exploring assorted management topics. Covers the basics and then moves onto the advanced things that can be built on top of those basics to wield real power and execute difficult projects.
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition is designed to teach you PowerShell in a month's worth of 1-hour lessons. This updated edition covers PowerShell features that run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later, PowerShell v3 and later, and it includes v5 features like PowerShellGet. For PowerShell v3 and up, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools is a guide to the powerful Sysinternals tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis provide a deep understanding of Windows core concepts that aren’t well-documented elsewhere along with details on how to use Sysinternals tools to optimize any Windows system’s reliability, efficiency, performance and security. Includes an explanation of Sysinternals capabilities, details on each major tool, and examples of how the tools can be used to solve real-world cases involving error messages, hangs, sluggishness, malware infections and more.
DNS and BIND, 5th Ed. explains how to work with the Internet's distributed host information database—which is responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and listing phone numbers according to the ENUM standard. Covers BIND 9.3.2 & 8.4.7, the what/how/why of DNS, name servers, MX records, subdividing domains (parenting), DNSSEC, TSIG, troubleshooting and more. PEPCK tells us this is "generally considered the DNS reference book (aside from the RFCs of course!)"
Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Ed. is a comprehensive guide to PowerShell. Written by language designer Bruce Payette and MVP Richard Siddaway, this volume gives a great introduction to Powershell, including everyday use cases and detailed examples for more-advanced topics like performance and module architecture. Covers workflows and classes, writing modules and scripts, desired state configuration and programming APIs/pipelines.This edition has been updated for PowerShell v6.
Zero Trust Networks: Building Secure Systems in Untrusted Networks explains the principles behind zero trust architecture, along with what's needed to implement it. Covers the evolution of perimeter-based defenses and how they evolved into the current broken model, case studies of zero trust in production networks on both the client and server side, example configurations for open-source tools that are useful for building a zero trust network and how to migrate from a perimeter-based network to a zero trust network in production. Kindly recommended by jaginfosec.
Tips
Here are a couple handy Windows shortcuts:
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one.
Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button."
This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them."
Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such."
To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one!
Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory."
Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one!
This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator (alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe"
Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)."
Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one.
Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip!
Websites
Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work.
Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit.
High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace.
Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture."
SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts."
Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website."
A Slack Channel
Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration.
Blogs
KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world.
The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration.
An Infosec Slideshow
This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules."
Tech Tutorials
Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012.
The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed.
SysAdmin Humor
Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate!
Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions.
u/crispyducks
submitted by crispyducks to sysadmin [link] [comments]

Tools & Info for MSPs #2 - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More

(continued from part #1)
Unlocker is a tool to help delete those irritating locked files that give you an error message like "cannot delete file" or "access is denied." It helps with killing processes, unloading DLLs, deleting index.dat files, as well as unlocking, deleting, renaming, and moving locked files—typically without requiring a reboot.
IIS Crypto's newest version adds advanced settings; registry backup; new, simpler templates; support for Windows Server 2019 and more. This tool lets you enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows and reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites from IIS, change advanced settings, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website. Available in both command line and GUI versions.
RocketDock is an application launcher with a clean interface that lets you drag/drop shortcuts for easy access and minimize windows to the dock. Features running application indicators, multi-monitor support, alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons, auto-hide and popup on mouse over, positioning and layering options. Fully customizable, portable, and compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher and Y'z Dock skins. Works even on slower computers and is Unicode compliant. Suggested by lieutenantcigarette: "If you like the dock on MacOS but prefer to use Windows, RocketDock has you covered. A superb and highly customisable dock that you can add your favourites to for easy and elegant access."
Baby FTP Server offers only the basics, but with the power to serve as a foundation for a more-complex server. Features include multi-threading, a real-time server log, support for PASV and non-PASV mode, ability to set permissions for download/upload/rename/delete/create directory. Only allows anonymous connections. Our thanks to FatherPrax for suggesting this one.
Strace is a Linux diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace tool with a traditional command-line interface. Uses the ptrace kernel feature to monitor and tamper with interactions between processes and the kernel, including system calls, signal deliveries and changes of process state.
exa is a small, fast replacement for ls with more features and better defaults. It uses colors to distinguish file types and metadata, and it recognizes symlinks, extended attributes and Git. All in one single binary. phils_lab describes it as "'ls' on steroids, written in Rust."
rsync is a faster file transfer program for Unix to bring remote files into sync. It sends just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring both sets of files to be present at one of the ends. Suggested by zorinlynx, who adds that "rsync is GODLY for moving data around efficiently. And if an rsync is interrupted, just run it again."
Matter Wiki is a simple WYSIWYG wiki that can help teams store and collaborate. Every article gets filed under a topic, transparently, so you can tell who made what changes to which document and when. Thanks to bciar-iwdc for the recommendation.
LockHunter is a file unlocking tool that enables you to delete files that are being blocked for unknown reasons. Can be useful for fighting malware and other programs that are causing trouble. Deletes files into the recycle bin so you can restore them if necessary. Chucky2401 finds it preferable to Unlocker, "since I am on Windows 7. There are no new updates since July 2017, but the last beta was in June of this year."
aria2 is a lightweight multi-source command-line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. It can be manipulated via built-in JSON-RPC and XML-RPC interfaces. Recommended by jftuga, who appreciates it as a "cross-platform command line downloader (similar to wget or curl), but with the -x option can run a segmented download of a single file to increase throughput."
Free Services
Temp-Mail allows you to receive email at a temporary address that self-destructs after a certain period of time. Outwit all the forums, Wi-Fi owners, websites and blogs that insist you register to use them. Petti-The-Yeti says, "I don't give any company my direct email anymore. If I want to trial something but they ask for an email signup, I just grab a temporary email from here, sign up with it, and wait for the trial link or license info to come through. Then, you just download the file and close the website."
Duck DNS will point a DNS (sub domains of duckdns.org) to an IP of your choice. DDNS is a handy way for you to refer to a serverouter with an easily rememberable name for situations when the server's ip address will likely change. Suggested by xgnarf, who finds it "so much better for the free tier of noip—no 30-day nag to keep your host up."
Joe Sandbox detects and analyzes potential malicious files and URLs on Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux and iOS for suspicious activities. It performs deep malware analysis and generates comprehensive and detailed reports. The Community Edition of Joe Sandbox Cloud allows you to run a maximum of 6 analyses per month, 3 per day on Windows, Linux and Android with limited analysis output. This one is from dangibbons94, who wanted to "share this cool service ... for malware analysis. I usually use Virus total for URL scanning, but this goes a lot more in depth. I just used basic analysis, which is free and enough for my needs."
Hybrid Analysis is a malware analysis service that detects and analyzes unknown threats for the community. This one was suggested by compupheonix, who adds that it "gets you super detailed reports... it's about the most fleshed out and detailed one I can find."
JustBeamIt is a file-transfer service that allows you to send files of any size via a peer-to-peer streaming model. Simply drag and drop your file and specify the recipient's email address. They will then receive a link that will trigger the download directly from your computer, so the file does not have to be uploaded to the service itself. The link is good for one download and expires after 10 minutes. Thanks to cooljacob204sfw for the recommendation!
ShieldsUP is a quick but powerful internet security checkup and information service. It was created by security researcher Steve Gibson to scan ports and let you know which ones have been opened through your firewalls or NAT routers.
Firefox Send is an encrypted file transfer service that allows you to share files up to 2.5GB from any browser or an Android app. Uses end-to-end encryption to keep data secure and offers security controls you can set. You can determine when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add a password. Your recipient receives a link to download the file, and they don’t need a Firefox account. This one comes from DePingus, who appreciates the focus on privacy. "They have E2E, expiring links, and a clear privacy policy."
Free DNS is a service where programmers share domain names with one another at no cost. Offers free hosting as well as dynamic DNS, static DNS, subdomain and domain hosting. They can host your domain's DNS as well as allowing you to register hostnames from domains they're hosting already. If you don't have a domain, you can sign up for a free account and create up to 5 subdomains off the domains others have contributed and point these hosts anywhere on the Internet. Thanks to 0x000000000000004C (yes, that's a username) for the suggestion!
ANY.RUN is an interactive malware analysis service for dynamic and static research of the majority of threats in any environment. It can provide a convenient in-depth analysis of new, unidentified malicious objects and help with the investigation of incidents. ImAshtonTurner appreciates it as "a great sandbox tool for viewing malware, etc."
Plik is a scalable, temporary file upload system similar to wetransfer that is written in golang. Thanks go to I_eat_Narwhals for this one!
Free My IP offers free, dynamic DNS. This service comes with no login, no ads, no newsletters, no links to click and no hassle. Kindly suggested by Jack of All Trades.
Mailinator provides free, temporary email inboxes on a receive-only, attachment-free system that requires no sign-up. All @mailinator.com addresses are public, readable and discoverable by anyone at any time—but are automatically deleted after a few hours. Can be a nice option for times when you to give out an address that won't be accessible longterm. Recommended by nachomountain, who's been using it "for years."
Magic Wormhole is a service for sending files directly with no intermediate upload, no web interface and no login. When both parties are online you with the minimal software installed, the wormhole is invoked via command line identifying the file you want to send. The server then provides a speakable, one-time-use password that you give the recipient. When they enter that password in their wormhole console, key exchange occurs and the download begins directly between your computers. rjohnson99 explains, "Magic Wormhole is sort of like JustBeamIt but is open-source and is built on Python. I use it a lot on Linux servers."
EveryCloud's Free Phish is our own, new Phishing Simulator. Once you've filled in the form and logged in, you can choose from lots of email templates (many of which we've coped from what we see in our Email Security business) and landing pages. Run a one-off free phish, then see who clicked or submitted data so you can understand where your organization is vulnerable and act accordingly.
Hardening Guides
CIS Hardening Guides contain the system security benchmarks developed by a global community of cybersecurity experts. Over 140 configuration guidelines are provided to help safeguard systems against threats. Recommended by cyanghost109 "to get a start on looking at hardening your own systems."
Podcasts
Daily Tech News is Tom Merrit's show covering the latest tech issues with some of the top experts in the field. With the focus on daily tech news and analysis, it's a great way to stay current. Thanks to EmoPolarbear for drawing it to our attention.
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a podcast that features IT experts explaining the complicated details of cutting-edge enterprise technology. Join host Lou Maresca on this informative exploration of enterprise solutions, with new episodes recorded every Friday afternoon.
Security Weekly is a podcast where a "bunch of security nerds" get together and talk shop. Topics are greatly varied, and the atmosphere is relaxed and conversational. The show typically tops out at 2 hours, which is perfect for those with a long commute. If you’re fascinated by discussion of deep technical and security-related topics, this may be a nice addition to your podcast repertoire.
Grumpy Old Geeks—What Went Wrong on the Internet and Who's To Blame is a podcast about the internet, technology and geek culture—among other things. The hosts bring their grumpy brand of humor to the "state of the world as they see it" in these roughly hour-long weekly episodes. Recommended by mkaxsnyder, who enjoys it because, "They are a good team that talk about recent and relevant topics from an IT perspective."
The Social-Engineer Podcast is a monthly discussion among the hosts—a group of security experts from SEORG—and a diverse assortment of guests. Topics focus around human behavior and how it affects information security, with new episodes released on the second Monday of every month. Thanks to MrAshRhodes for the suggestion.
The CyberWire podcasts discuss what's happening in cyberspace, providing news and commentary from industry experts. This cyber security-focused news service delivers concise, accessible, and relevant content without the gossip, sensationalism, and the marketing buzz that often distract from the stories that really matter. Appreciation to supermicromainboard for the suggestion.
Malicious Life is a podcast that tells the fascinating—and often unknown—stories of the wildest hacks you can ever imagine. Host Ran Levi, a cybersecurity expert and author, talks with the people who were actually involved to reveal the history of each event in depth. Our appreciation goes to peraphon for the recommendation.
The Broadcast Storm is a podcast for Cisco networking professionals. BluePieceOfPaper suggests it "for people studying for their CCNA/NP. Kevin Wallace is a CCIE Collaboration so he knows his *ishk. Good format for learning too. Most podcasts are about 8-15 mins long and its 'usually' an exam topic. It will be something like "HSPR" but instead of just explaining it super boring like Ben Stein reading a powerpoint, he usually goes into a story about how (insert time in his career) HSPR would have been super useful..."
Software Engineering Radio is a podcast for developers who are looking for an educational resource with original content that isn't recycled from other venues. Consists of conversations on relevant topics with experts from the software engineering world, with new episodes released three to four times per month. a9JDvXLWHumjaC tells us this is "a solid podcast for devs."
Books
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a comprehensive technical guide designed to help you optimize Microsoft's Configuration Manager 2012 according to your requirements and then to deploy and use it successfully. This methodical, step-by-step reference covers: the intentions behind the product and its role in the broader System Center product suite; planning, design, and implementation; and details on each of the most-important feature sets. Learn how to leverage the user-centric capabilities to provide anytime/anywhere services & software, while strengthening control and improving compliance.
Network Warrior: Everything You Need to Know That Wasn’t on the CCNA Exam is a practical guide to network infrastructure. Provides an in-depth view of routers and routing, switching (with Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches as examples), SOHO VoIP and SOHO wireless access point design and configuration, introduction to IPv6 with configuration examples, telecom technologies in the data-networking world (including T1, DS3, frame relay, and MPLS), security, firewall theory and configuration, ACL and authentication, Quality of Service (QoS), with an emphasis on low-latency queuing (LLQ), IP address allocation, Network Time Protocol (NTP) and device failures.
Beginning the Linux Command Line is your ally in mastering Linux from the keyboard. It is intended for system administrators, software developers, and enthusiastic users who want a guide that will be useful for most distributions—i.e., all items have been checked against Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. Addresses administering users and security and deploying firewalls. Updated to the latest versions of Linux to cover files and directories, including the Btrfs file system and its management and systemd boot procedure and firewall management with firewalld.
Modern Operating Systems, 4th Ed. is written for students taking intro courses on Operating Systems and for those who want an OS reference guide for work. The author, an OS researcher, includes both the latest materials on relevant operating systems as well as current research. The previous edition of Modern Operating Systems received the 2010 McGuffey Longevity Award that recognizes textbooks for excellence over time.
Time Management for System Administrators is a guide for organizing your approach to this challenging role in a way that improves your results. Bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli offers a collection of tips and techniques for navigating the competing goals and concurrent responsibilities that go along with working on large projects while also taking care of individual user's needs. The book focuses on strategies to help with daily tasks that will also allow you to handle the critical situations that inevitably require your attention. You'll learn how to manage interruptions, eliminate time wasters, keep an effective calendar, develop routines and prioritize, stay focused on the task at hand and document/automate to speed processes.
The Practice of System and Network Administration, 3rd Edition introduces beginners to advanced frameworks while serving as a guide to best practices in system administration that is helpful for even the most advanced experts. Organized into four major sections that build from the foundational elements of system administration through improved techniques for upgrades and change management to exploring assorted management topics. Covers the basics and then moves onto the advanced things that can be built on top of those basics to wield real power and execute difficult projects.
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition is designed to teach you PowerShell in a month's worth of 1-hour lessons. This updated edition covers PowerShell features that run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later, PowerShell v3 and later, and it includes v5 features like PowerShellGet. For PowerShell v3 and up, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools is a guide to the powerful Sysinternals tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis provide a deep understanding of Windows core concepts that aren’t well-documented elsewhere along with details on how to use Sysinternals tools to optimize any Windows system’s reliability, efficiency, performance and security. Includes an explanation of Sysinternals capabilities, details on each major tool, and examples of how the tools can be used to solve real-world cases involving error messages, hangs, sluggishness, malware infections and more.
DNS and BIND, 5th Ed. explains how to work with the Internet's distributed host information database—which is responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and listing phone numbers according to the ENUM standard. Covers BIND 9.3.2 & 8.4.7, the what/how/why of DNS, name servers, MX records, subdividing domains (parenting), DNSSEC, TSIG, troubleshooting and more. PEPCK tells us this is "generally considered the DNS reference book (aside from the RFCs of course!)"
Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Ed. is a comprehensive guide to PowerShell. Written by language designer Bruce Payette and MVP Richard Siddaway, this volume gives a great introduction to Powershell, including everyday use cases and detailed examples for more-advanced topics like performance and module architecture. Covers workflows and classes, writing modules and scripts, desired state configuration and programming APIs/pipelines.This edition has been updated for PowerShell v6.
Zero Trust Networks: Building Secure Systems in Untrusted Networks explains the principles behind zero trust architecture, along with what's needed to implement it. Covers the evolution of perimeter-based defenses and how they evolved into the current broken model, case studies of zero trust in production networks on both the client and server side, example configurations for open-source tools that are useful for building a zero trust network and how to migrate from a perimeter-based network to a zero trust network in production. Kindly recommended by jaginfosec.
Tips
Here are a couple handy Windows shortcuts:
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one.
Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button."
This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them."
Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such."
To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one!
Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory."
Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one!
This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator (alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe"
Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)."
Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one.
Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip!
Websites
Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work.
Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit.
High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace.
Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture."
SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts."
Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website."
A Slack Channel
Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration.
Blogs
KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world.
The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration.
An Infosec Slideshow
This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules."
Tech Tutorials
Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012.
The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed.
SysAdmin Humor
Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate!
Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments.
Graham | CEO | EveryCloud
Fyi - I've set up a subreddit /itprotuesday, where we feature / encourage posts of some additional tools, tips etc. throughout the week. Pop over and subscribe if you’re interested.
submitted by crispyducks to msp [link] [comments]

IT Pro Tuesday #64 (part 2) - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More

(continued from part 1)
Captura is a flexible tool for capturing your screen, audio, cursor, mouse clicks and keystrokes. Features include mixing audio recorded from microphone and speaker output, command-line interface, and configurable hotkeys. Thanks to jantari for the recommedation.
Unlocker is a tool to help delete those irritating locked files that give you an error message like "cannot delete file" or "access is denied." It helps with killing processes, unloading DLLs, deleting index.dat files, as well as unlocking, deleting, renaming, and moving locked files—typically without requiring a reboot.
IIS Crypto's newest version adds advanced settings; registry backup; new, simpler templates; support for Windows Server 2019 and more. This tool lets you enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows and reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites from IIS, change advanced settings, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website. Available in both command line and GUI versions.
RocketDock is an application launcher with a clean interface that lets you drag/drop shortcuts for easy access and minimize windows to the dock. Features running application indicators, multi-monitor support, alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons, auto-hide and popup on mouse over, positioning and layering options. Fully customizable, portable, and compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher and Y'z Dock skins. Works even on slower computers and is Unicode compliant. Suggested by lieutenantcigarette: "If you like the dock on MacOS but prefer to use Windows, RocketDock has you covered. A superb and highly customisable dock that you can add your favourites to for easy and elegant access."
Baby FTP Server offers only the basics, but with the power to serve as a foundation for a more-complex server. Features include multi-threading, a real-time server log, support for PASV and non-PASV mode, ability to set permissions for download/upload/rename/delete/create directory. Only allows anonymous connections. Our thanks to FatherPrax for suggesting this one.
Strace is a Linux diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace tool with a traditional command-line interface. Uses the ptrace kernel feature to monitor and tamper with interactions between processes and the kernel, including system calls, signal deliveries and changes of process state.
exa is a small, fast replacement for ls with more features and better defaults. It uses colors to distinguish file types and metadata, and it recognizes symlinks, extended attributes and Git. All in one single binary. phils_lab describes it as "'ls' on steroids, written in Rust."
rsync is a faster file transfer program for Unix to bring remote files into sync. It sends just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring both sets of files to be present at one of the ends. Suggested by zorinlynx, who adds that "rsync is GODLY for moving data around efficiently. And if an rsync is interrupted, just run it again."
Matter Wiki is a simple WYSIWYG wiki that can help teams store and collaborate. Every article gets filed under a topic, transparently, so you can tell who made what changes to which document and when. Thanks to bciar-iwdc for the recommendation.
LockHunter is a file unlocking tool that enables you to delete files that are being blocked for unknown reasons. Can be useful for fighting malware and other programs that are causing trouble. Deletes files into the recycle bin so you can restore them if necessary. Chucky2401 finds it preferable to Unlocker, "since I am on Windows 7. There are no new updates since July 2017, but the last beta was in June of this year."
aria2 is a lightweight multi-source command-line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. It can be manipulated via built-in JSON-RPC and XML-RPC interfaces. Recommended by jftuga, who appreciates it as a "cross-platform command line downloader (similar to wget or curl), but with the -x option can run a segmented download of a single file to increase throughput."
Free Services
Temp-Mail allows you to receive email at a temporary address that self-destructs after a certain period of time. Outwit all the forums, Wi-Fi owners, websites and blogs that insist you register to use them. Petti-The-Yeti says, "I don't give any company my direct email anymore. If I want to trial something but they ask for an email signup, I just grab a temporary email from here, sign up with it, and wait for the trial link or license info to come through. Then, you just download the file and close the website."
Duck DNS will point a DNS (sub domains of duckdns.org) to an IP of your choice. DDNS is a handy way for you to refer to a serverouter with an easily rememberable name for situations when the server's ip address will likely change. Suggested by xgnarf, who finds it "so much better for the free tier of noip—no 30-day nag to keep your host up."
Joe Sandbox detects and analyzes potential malicious files and URLs on Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux and iOS for suspicious activities. It performs deep malware analysis and generates comprehensive and detailed reports. The Community Edition of Joe Sandbox Cloud allows you to run a maximum of 6 analyses per month, 3 per day on Windows, Linux and Android with limited analysis output. This one is from dangibbons94, who wanted to "share this cool service ... for malware analysis. I usually use Virus total for URL scanning, but this goes a lot more in depth. I just used basic analysis, which is free and enough for my needs."
Hybrid Analysis is a malware analysis service that detects and analyzes unknown threats for the community. This one was suggested by compupheonix, who adds that it "gets you super detailed reports... it's about the most fleshed out and detailed one I can find."
JustBeamIt is a file-transfer service that allows you to send files of any size via a peer-to-peer streaming model. Simply drag and drop your file and specify the recipient's email address. They will then receive a link that will trigger the download directly from your computer, so the file does not have to be uploaded to the service itself. The link is good for one download and expires after 10 minutes. Thanks to cooljacob204sfw for the recommendation!
ShieldsUP is a quick but powerful internet security checkup and information service. It was created by security researcher Steve Gibson to scan ports and let you know which ones have been opened through your firewalls or NAT routers.
Firefox Send is an encrypted file transfer service that allows you to share files up to 2.5GB from any browser or an Android app. Uses end-to-end encryption to keep data secure and offers security controls you can set. You can determine when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add a password. Your recipient receives a link to download the file, and they don’t need a Firefox account. This one comes from DePingus, who appreciates the focus on privacy. "They have E2E, expiring links, and a clear privacy policy."
Free DNS is a service where programmers share domain names with one another at no cost. Offers free hosting as well as dynamic DNS, static DNS, subdomain and domain hosting. They can host your domain's DNS as well as allowing you to register hostnames from domains they're hosting already. If you don't have a domain, you can sign up for a free account and create up to 5 subdomains off the domains others have contributed and point these hosts anywhere on the Internet. Thanks to 0x000000000000004C (yes, that's a username) for the suggestion!
ANY.RUN is an interactive malware analysis service for dynamic and static research of the majority of threats in any environment. It can provide a convenient in-depth analysis of new, unidentified malicious objects and help with the investigation of incidents. ImAshtonTurner appreciates it as "a great sandbox tool for viewing malware, etc."
Plik is a scalable, temporary file upload system similar to wetransfer that is written in golang. Thanks go to I_eat_Narwhals for this one!
Free My IP offers free, dynamic DNS. This service comes with no login, no ads, no newsletters, no links to click and no hassle. Kindly suggested by Jack of All Trades.
Mailinator provides free, temporary email inboxes on a receive-only, attachment-free system that requires no sign-up. All @mailinator.com addresses are public, readable and discoverable by anyone at any time—but are automatically deleted after a few hours. Can be a nice option for times when you to give out an address that won't be accessible longterm. Recommended by nachomountain, who's been using it "for years."
Magic Wormhole is a service for sending files directly with no intermediate upload, no web interface and no login. When both parties are online you with the minimal software installed, the wormhole is invoked via command line identifying the file you want to send. The server then provides a speakable, one-time-use password that you give the recipient. When they enter that password in their wormhole console, key exchange occurs and the download begins directly between your computers. rjohnson99 explains, "Magic Wormhole is sort of like JustBeamIt but is open-source and is built on Python. I use it a lot on Linux servers."
EveryCloud's Free Phish is our own, new Phishing Simulator. Once you've filled in the form and logged in, you can choose from lots of email templates (many of which we've coped from what we see in our Email Security business) and landing pages. Run a one-off free phish, then see who clicked or submitted data so you can understand where your organization is vulnerable and act accordingly.
Hardening Guides
CIS Hardening Guides contain the system security benchmarks developed by a global community of cybersecurity experts. Over 140 configuration guidelines are provided to help safeguard systems against threats. Recommended by cyanghost109 "to get a start on looking at hardening your own systems."
Podcasts
Daily Tech News is Tom Merrit's show covering the latest tech issues with some of the top experts in the field. With the focus on daily tech news and analysis, it's a great way to stay current. Thanks to EmoPolarbear for drawing it to our attention.
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a podcast that features IT experts explaining the complicated details of cutting-edge enterprise technology. Join host Lou Maresca on this informative exploration of enterprise solutions, with new episodes recorded every Friday afternoon.
Security Weekly is a podcast where a "bunch of security nerds" get together and talk shop. Topics are greatly varied, and the atmosphere is relaxed and conversational. The show typically tops out at 2 hours, which is perfect for those with a long commute. If you’re fascinated by discussion of deep technical and security-related topics, this may be a nice addition to your podcast repertoire.
Grumpy Old Geeks—What Went Wrong on the Internet and Who's To Blame is a podcast about the internet, technology and geek culture—among other things. The hosts bring their grumpy brand of humor to the "state of the world as they see it" in these roughly hour-long weekly episodes. Recommended by mkaxsnyder, who enjoys it because, "They are a good team that talk about recent and relevant topics from an IT perspective."
The Social-Engineer Podcast is a monthly discussion among the hosts—a group of security experts from SEORG—and a diverse assortment of guests. Topics focus around human behavior and how it affects information security, with new episodes released on the second Monday of every month. Thanks to MrAshRhodes for the suggestion.
The CyberWire podcasts discuss what's happening in cyberspace, providing news and commentary from industry experts. This cyber security-focused news service delivers concise, accessible, and relevant content without the gossip, sensationalism, and the marketing buzz that often distract from the stories that really matter. Appreciation to supermicromainboard for the suggestion.
Malicious Life is a podcast that tells the fascinating—and often unknown—stories of the wildest hacks you can ever imagine. Host Ran Levi, a cybersecurity expert and author, talks with the people who were actually involved to reveal the history of each event in depth. Our appreciation goes to peraphon for the recommendation.
The Broadcast Storm is a podcast for Cisco networking professionals. BluePieceOfPaper suggests it "for people studying for their CCNA/NP. Kevin Wallace is a CCIE Collaboration so he knows his *ishk. Good format for learning too. Most podcasts are about 8-15 mins long and its 'usually' an exam topic. It will be something like "HSPR" but instead of just explaining it super boring like Ben Stein reading a powerpoint, he usually goes into a story about how (insert time in his career) HSPR would have been super useful..."
Software Engineering Radio is a podcast for developers who are looking for an educational resource with original content that isn't recycled from other venues. Consists of conversations on relevant topics with experts from the software engineering world, with new episodes released three to four times per month. a9JDvXLWHumjaC tells us this is "a solid podcast for devs."
Books
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a comprehensive technical guide designed to help you optimize Microsoft's Configuration Manager 2012 according to your requirements and then to deploy and use it successfully. This methodical, step-by-step reference covers: the intentions behind the product and its role in the broader System Center product suite; planning, design, and implementation; and details on each of the most-important feature sets. Learn how to leverage the user-centric capabilities to provide anytime/anywhere services & software, while strengthening control and improving compliance.
Network Warrior: Everything You Need to Know That Wasn’t on the CCNA Exam is a practical guide to network infrastructure. Provides an in-depth view of routers and routing, switching (with Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches as examples), SOHO VoIP and SOHO wireless access point design and configuration, introduction to IPv6 with configuration examples, telecom technologies in the data-networking world (including T1, DS3, frame relay, and MPLS), security, firewall theory and configuration, ACL and authentication, Quality of Service (QoS), with an emphasis on low-latency queuing (LLQ), IP address allocation, Network Time Protocol (NTP) and device failures.
Beginning the Linux Command Line is your ally in mastering Linux from the keyboard. It is intended for system administrators, software developers, and enthusiastic users who want a guide that will be useful for most distributions—i.e., all items have been checked against Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. Addresses administering users and security and deploying firewalls. Updated to the latest versions of Linux to cover files and directories, including the Btrfs file system and its management and systemd boot procedure and firewall management with firewalld.
Modern Operating Systems, 4th Ed. is written for students taking intro courses on Operating Systems and for those who want an OS reference guide for work. The author, an OS researcher, includes both the latest materials on relevant operating systems as well as current research. The previous edition of Modern Operating Systems received the 2010 McGuffey Longevity Award that recognizes textbooks for excellence over time.
Time Management for System Administrators is a guide for organizing your approach to this challenging role in a way that improves your results. Bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli offers a collection of tips and techniques for navigating the competing goals and concurrent responsibilities that go along with working on large projects while also taking care of individual user's needs. The book focuses on strategies to help with daily tasks that will also allow you to handle the critical situations that inevitably require your attention. You'll learn how to manage interruptions, eliminate time wasters, keep an effective calendar, develop routines and prioritize, stay focused on the task at hand and document/automate to speed processes.
The Practice of System and Network Administration, 3rd Edition introduces beginners to advanced frameworks while serving as a guide to best practices in system administration that is helpful for even the most advanced experts. Organized into four major sections that build from the foundational elements of system administration through improved techniques for upgrades and change management to exploring assorted management topics. Covers the basics and then moves onto the advanced things that can be built on top of those basics to wield real power and execute difficult projects.
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition is designed to teach you PowerShell in a month's worth of 1-hour lessons. This updated edition covers PowerShell features that run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later, PowerShell v3 and later, and it includes v5 features like PowerShellGet. For PowerShell v3 and up, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools is a guide to the powerful Sysinternals tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis provide a deep understanding of Windows core concepts that aren’t well-documented elsewhere along with details on how to use Sysinternals tools to optimize any Windows system’s reliability, efficiency, performance and security. Includes an explanation of Sysinternals capabilities, details on each major tool, and examples of how the tools can be used to solve real-world cases involving error messages, hangs, sluggishness, malware infections and more.
DNS and BIND, 5th Ed. explains how to work with the Internet's distributed host information database—which is responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and listing phone numbers according to the ENUM standard. Covers BIND 9.3.2 & 8.4.7, the what/how/why of DNS, name servers, MX records, subdividing domains (parenting), DNSSEC, TSIG, troubleshooting and more. PEPCK tells us this is "generally considered the DNS reference book (aside from the RFCs of course!)"
Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Ed. is a comprehensive guide to PowerShell. Written by language designer Bruce Payette and MVP Richard Siddaway, this volume gives a great introduction to Powershell, including everyday use cases and detailed examples for more-advanced topics like performance and module architecture. Covers workflows and classes, writing modules and scripts, desired state configuration and programming APIs/pipelines.This edition has been updated for PowerShell v6.
Zero Trust Networks: Building Secure Systems in Untrusted Networks explains the principles behind zero trust architecture, along with what's needed to implement it. Covers the evolution of perimeter-based defenses and how they evolved into the current broken model, case studies of zero trust in production networks on both the client and server side, example configurations for open-source tools that are useful for building a zero trust network and how to migrate from a perimeter-based network to a zero trust network in production. Kindly recommended by jaginfosec.
Tips
Here are a couple handy Windows shortcuts:
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one.
Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button."
This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them."
Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such."
To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one!
Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory."
Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one!
This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator (alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe"
Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)."
Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one.
Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip!
Websites
Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work.
Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit.
High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace.
Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture."
SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts."
Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website."
A Slack Channel
Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration.
Blogs
KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world.
The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration.
An Infosec Slideshow
This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules."
Tech Tutorials
Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012.
The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed.
SysAdmin Humor
Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate!
Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments.
Graham | CEO | EveryCloud
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Blindspot Whitepaper: Specialized Threat Assessment and Protection (STAP) for the Blockchain

BlindSpot™
Stop attacks before ”zero day” and stop the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)
We live in a dangerous world — our information technology systems face that danger every single day. Hackers are constantly attempting to infiltrate systems, steal information, damage government and corporate reputations, and take control of systems and processes.
Hackers share and use a variety of tools and techniques to gain access to, and
maintain access to, IT systems, including groups and techniques so dangerous
they have their own category - the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). At the
center of the APT are sophisticated techniques using malware to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. Traditional cyber security technologies use file signatures to locate these tools and hacker malware, but hackers are now actively camouflaging their tools by changing, customizing, and “morphing” them into new files that do not match any known signatures (‘Polymorphic Malware’). This introduces a massive gap in malicious file detection which leaves the enterprise open to exploitation — and it’s just not possible for traditional signature-based systems to keep up. In fact, signature-based anti-virus and anti-malware systems are only around 25% effective today. BlindSpot™ sees through it all, even as the files morph and change in a futile attempt to remain camouflaged.
Digital File Fingerprints
Any File Type, Any Language, Partial Matches, Exact Matches
BlindSpot™, the adaptive security solution from BlindSpot™, can see through the
Polymorphic camouflage used by the worlds most advanced hackers by utilizing
digital file fingerprints and our proprietary adaptive BlindSpot™ ‘brain’ that constantly analyzes the fingerprints of known malicious files and tools to locate partial matches within the files on your systems - servers, laptops, desktops, USB drives, and even mobile devices. BlindSpot™ can cut right through the Polymorphic files, revealing the true hacking tools underneath, even if they are only fragments or pieces of a more complete set of hacking tools and technologies.
Most cyber attacks happen weeks or even months after their initial penetration and access to a network or system, and even the simplest attacks tend to have a fuse that is typically several days. It takes them time to map out a system, probe for the information they want, and obtain or forge credentials with the type of access they need. But from the moment their tools first land on your network and systems, BlindSpot™ sees them. If fact, BlindSpot™ can see them sitting on a newly inserted USB drive even if the files are not copied to your systems. This means BlindSpot™ can identify and alert you to malicious files and potential illicit activities before the attack happens - before zero day!
How does BlindSpot™ work? BlindSpot™ sits on the endpoint and continuously monitors file activity. Digital fingerprints, which can be used to find partial matches of any file type in any language, are reported back where they are kept forever in a temporal repository.
BlindSpot™ looks through all of the digital fingerprints — both those from files on your systems and those in a constantly updated database of known malicious files and hacking tools, to locate and alert you to any indication of hacking, malicious files, or illicit activity. BlindSpot™ is a disruptive technology that can see polymorphic malware and stop attacks before zero day.
Digital File Fingerprints are created from a file or a piece of digital data/information by using advanced mathematics to look at all of the small pieces of data that make up the file to create a very small, unique piece of mathematical data — a digital file fingerprint. Files may be of any file type and in any language - digital fingerprints can find partial and exact matches regardless of what is in the file itself.
Just like with humans, once a fingerprint has been taken, you no longer need the
person to identify them. The fingerprint is enough. Even a partial fingerprint is
enough, and sometimes a smudge will do. Digital fingerprints work on the same
principle. Once BlindSpot™ has taken a digital fingerprint of a file, the file is no longer needed to identify it or to compare it with other files. And because digital fingerprints are tiny, they are easy to store. Even a multi-gigabyte file has a digital fingerprint that is no larger than 10k bytes.
Once you have two sets of digital fingerprints, you can compare them. Because BlindSpot™ starts with full fingerprints of known malicious files, it can identify matching files even when the digital fingerprint is only partially there. And with BlindSpot™’s advanced processing capabilities, file fragments, recovered data from a hard drive, partially downloaded documents, damaged files (both intentional and accidental) and other incomplete file structures can be properly fingerprinted in a way that still allows matches to be found.
Other technologies and software use static signatures, which do not work if any part of a file, regardless of how small, is different from another, or if the file is damaged in any way. BlindSpot™ and digital fingerprints enable partial matching, and can see through the camouflage that has become the industry standard for hackers across the globe. Static signature based solutions simply cannot do this.
Imagine your favorite detective drama on TV. The prosecutor says “This partial
fingerprint was found at the crime scene and the video camera across the
street recorded a perfect image of the person’s face.” The jury deliberates and
compares the picture and fingerprints of the defendant that were taken the day
before. They conclude, because the fingerprint was not all there and was not 100% identical, and because one picture showed a mustache that looked identical but was one millimeter longer than the other picture, that the two people were not identical - and set the criminal free. Well, that show wouldn’t be on TV long because crime would run rampant. Now imagine they had BlindSpot™. Criminals would be caught, the town would be a much safer place, and the show would be on for years to come.
Now imagine your network and systems without BlindSpot™, where traditional
exact match signature software is on your front line of defense. All kinds of
malicious files could walk right through and sit down on your hard drives, just
waiting for hackers to activate them. But you don’t have to imagine what your
systems would be like with BlindSpot™ — instead, simply contact us, get BlindSpot™ in place, and we’ll work with you to show you what’s really on your systems and help you keep those systems safe.
Ensuring System Compliance
Take the guesswork out of compliance assessment
All Government systems go through Certification and Accreditation. BlindSpot™ can help you with malicious code protection, for both security considerations and required compliance. Guidelines found in NIST 800-53 Revisions 3+ Security Requirements for System Integrity, SI-3 Malicious Code Protection, state that malicious code protection mechanisms must be employed at information system entry and exit points, including workstations, notebook computers, and mobile devices, to detect and eradicate malicious code.
BlindSpot™, with its continuous monitoring of the files on your endpoints and its
continuous updating of its known malicious file repository, will provide the
required real-time and full monthly re-scans of your files, will alert your
administrative staff when malicious code is found, will provide reports on
potential malicious files, illicit activity, and follow-up with very short false positive reports. BlindSpot™’s false positive rate is less than 0.01%. BlindSpot™ helps organizations meet the security requirements set forth and ensure compliance.
Intellectual Property Protection
Track sensitive information as it changes and moves around the enterprise
BlindSpot™ uses digital file fingerprints to identify partial and exact matches between files, regardless of file type or language. This ability can be used to track movements of and changes to files on a network of computers.
Government entities and corporations need to addresses the issue of monitoring
documents and files that contain sensitive information intellectual property, and it
is no longer sufficient to simply store them on a secure server and require specific credentials to access the information. People, both unintentionally and sometimes with malicious intent, copy and paste parts of documents, move files to USB drives, and otherwise edit and transfer files in order to get them on to a laptop, share them with a co-worker, or exfiltrate confidential information to outside networks and systems. BlindSpot™ carefully watches all of the files on your network, including what’s going with USB drives. If someone copies part of a file that has sensitive data to another file, BlindSpot™ sees it. Furthermore, BlindSpot™ can alert you when it sees questionable activity with certain documents/files or with specific computers/individuals.
Your sensitive files now have a watchdog that catches both unintentional and
malicious exposure to non-secure systems. Use BlindSpot™ to set up a custom
database of the locations where your sensitive files are stored, and BlindSpot™ will create a set of digital file fingerprints that can be used to track those files across your network and systems. This ensures that an organization can know where its proprietary and sensitive information is 365/7/24, in real-time.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a system for remote monitoring and control that operates with coded signals over communication channels (using typically one communication channel per remote station).
SCADA networks contain computers and applications that perform key functions in providing essential services and commodities (e.g. electricity, natural gas, gasoline, water, waste treatment, transportation) to all Americans. They are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, provide great efficiency, are widely used, and require protection from a variety of cyber threats.
One of the most significant threats is benign files residing on the computers on
the network that morph into tools that hackers can use to gain access to the
network and the equipment it monitors and/or controls. These files might be part
of the operating system (binary files), might be a normal file that includes
scripting, or can even be a general data file moved onto the computer through a
network or a USB drive. By morphing, these files circumvent detection and
countermeasures. This is just one example of how a hacker can compromise and
exploit the system and the worst part is that you will never know until it is too late!
The recent Department of Justice announcement charging Iranian hackers
believed to be tied to the 2013 hacking of a New York dam illustrates this threat
clearly.
Enter BlindSpot™’s BlindSpot™ Adaptive Security — BlindSpot™ monitors all files of all types (any format or language) without the requirement of a translator or human operator. BlindSpot™ can see right through the hacker’s camouflage of
morphing files to quickly identify problems and threats before hackers have the
opportunity to active and use their tools. For U.S. and foreign based systems,
BlindSpot™ is a must have cyber security solution.
The BlindSpot™ team has extensive experience with SCADA systems and critical infrastructure. Our BlindSpot™ solution is critical to the overall security framework of such systems as it was designed to find the morphing, malicious files and associated illicit file activity that can lead to compromise of the integrity, confidentiality and/or availability of the system. Threats loom on both the inside and outside, and the dynamic nature of these systems require continuous, temporal monitoring to stop cyber attacks before they happen.
Stop Ransomware
Identify and remove Ransomware before it encrypts your files
Ransomware attacks are on the rise and affect Fortune 500 companies, Federal
organizations, and consumers. This vicious type of attack affects your user’s ability to get their work done and prevents users from accessing files on a device or network by making the device or network unusable, by encrypting the files your users need to access, and/or by stopping certain applications from running (e.g. the web browser). A ransom is then demanded (an electronic payment of currency or bitcoins) with the promise that your data will be unencrypted and accessible again following the payment.
If the ransom payment is made, there is no guarantee that the data will be
unencrypted or returned to a state of integrity and/or availability. Furthermore,
there is also no guarantee that the people behind the ransom will not re-infect
your systems again with a variant of what was initially used. Payment encourages future attacks because they know you cannot detect it and will pay again next time. Surprisingly, there are only a handful of known ransomware files in use today (e.g. Crowti, Fakebsod). Safeguards exist that use static signatures to find exact matches for these known files, but the moment these files morph or are changed in any way they become undetectable by these solutions. BlindSpot™ digs deeper with digital file fingerprints and can find the new files, enabling you to analyze, quarantine, or delete them before they activate. This pro-active approach can be the difference between a system being protected and a system being made completely unavailable with encrypted data being held hostage for a ransom. The image below is an actual Fakebsod notification message.
BlindSpot™ uses digital file fingerprints to detect the ransomware by looking at
both partial and exact matches and can report the problem before it happens.
Ransomeware of the past attacked your personal computer and today’s variant
attacks the servers — BlindSpot™ can detect both.
Case Study: March 2016 - Two more healthcare networks are hit by ransomware targeting servers. Advice from law enforcement — pay the ransom! (They did). File backups are insufficient. Paying ransoms is costly and only encourages repeat attacks.
BlindSpot™ is the most comprehensive solution available to detect and root out
ransomware. Take charge of the situation and put BlindSpot™ to work continuously monitoring your systems.
Get BlindSpot™ Now
Commercial or Government, with multiple contract vehicles available
How Can I Get BlindSpot™?
CYBR develops and sells its adaptive enterprise cyber security software product, BlindSpot™, and provides professional services and support for BlindSpot™ implementations.
Product
BlindSpot™ Adaptive Security is a continuous monitoring enterprise solution that tracks file-based activity on the endpoint using digital file fingerprints, can identify problems and cyber threats before zero day, and can see through morphing, camouflaged (polymorphic) files to make accurate determinations of malicious files and illicit activity.
Deployment Options
BlindSpot™ can deployed as a secure cloud application for maximum flexibility, a standalone Enterprise implementation for maximum security, or the two combined in an Enterprise implementation augmented through a secure cloud gateway.
Professional Services and Training
BlindSpot™’s team of cyber security experts have the expertise to support
you by creating a holistic, enterprise security framework that consists of people,
policy, procedures and technology that will ensure a security posture that implements the best risk management strategies, tactics and operations available.
Email us at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) for more information.
BlindSpot Solution Brief
June 29, 2018
POC: Shawn R. Key CEO, President
[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Executive Summary and Estimated Pricing
CYBR’s BlindSpot is an enterprise cyber security solution that pro-actively identifies unknown and known malicious files and circumventive activity on endpoint devices. It is designed to interact with the CYBR Ecosystem and associated Web Portal. Distributed clients serve as the connection to the various BlindSpot server tiers.
BlindSpot identifies Illicit File Activity (IFA) and associated hacker activity via perceptive, industry standard algorithms. BlindSpot identifies exact AND similar files regardless of file type and/or language. This applies to ALL file types (e.g. documents, images, audio and video, carrier, etc.). Currently implemented safeguards and counter measures (such as anti-virus (AV), content filters and malware analysis tools) cannot address polymorphic/adaptive files and emerging threats. This introduces a massive gap in illicit file detection and leaves the enterprise open to exploitation. BlindSpot fills that void.
Additionally, corporations and government entities have a need to address known files and associated activity with regards to content and data management. The uncertainty of Intellectual Property (IP) location and propagation poses significant risk to the organization. The ability to identify the life cycle of a file (origin, source, destination, attributes and proliferation) ensures an organization knows where its proprietary, sensitive and privacy information is 365/24/7, in near real-time.
BlindSpot, is significantly different from solutions in the emerging Specialized Threat Assessment and Protection (STAP) marketplace, as it scales to meet the needs of enterprise organizations and the commercial marketplace. BlindSpot’s proprietary database consists of millions of unique, digital identifiers (hash values) that identify exact AND similar, modified files. This ensures that files existing in their original state or those which have been intentionally modified, do not circumvent detection. Our algorithms ensure near zero false positive return rates. The combinatory effect and the rare expertise of our executives and development thwarts potential competition as BlindSpot is an enterprise solution; not a tool.
The enterprise solution is provide as a license per IP address with associated appliance and/or server hardware requirements.
CYBR BlindSpot Technical Deep Dive
CYBR’s BlindSpot product is currently available as a Software as a Service) (SaaS) deployment blockchain solution and will be available as a full enterprise-install by Q2 2019. In both implementations, end-point agent software monitors the hard drive(s) of a computer or server, analyses any files that change, and reports [multiple] file hashes back to the main system. This enables the main system to effectively monitor which files could be malicious or represent intellectual property on the computers and servers within the customer’s network. By using fuzzy hashing algorithms, the system can detect polymorphic malware and intellectual property that has been partially hidden or obfuscated.
Applications
End-point (client) agent: native to each major OS as a fat client. Currently we have end-point agents for Microsoft Windows-based systems using MS .NET c# 2.0/4.5 and C++, although the c# portion will be replaced with all c++ code to increase scalability, efficiency, and security, in Q1 2016. End-point agents for Mac OS (written in Objective-C) and popular Linux platforms (written in c++) will ship in Q1/Q2 2016. Development work on the CentOS linux agent will begin in December 2015.
The Control Application enables system administrators to configure each end-point agent, the system itself, and to actively monitor and access reports on files that have been identified by the system as problematic or of interest. At this time the Control Application is able to provide configuration and monitoring services but is not yet ready for customer on-site deployment and is therefore only available in a SaaS model.
The middle-tier of the system, the Portal sever, currently runs in MS .NET and is written in c#. This tier will be upgraded to a full c++ implementation to increase scalability, efficiency, and security, in Q1 2016, and will run as a standard web server extension on a Linux platform (CentOS/Apache).
The data-tier of the system currently is running in MS SQL Server 2008/2012 and uses transact-SQL tables, but does not use any stored procedures or transactions. Although this tier is sufficient for scalability through mid to late 2016, a no-SQL version of the data tier will be developed in 2016.
The Crush server (hashing services) currently runs on MS Server 2008/2012, is written in c#/c++ and is a) being ported to run as a (c++) daemon on a standard Linux (CentOS) server, and b) being re-engineered to function as a massively parallel application (c/c++) running on NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerated systems. The Crush server communicates with the data-tier directly and the C2 server indirectly. Multiple Crush servers can run simultaneously and are horizontally scalable and fault-tolerant.
The C2 (Command and Control) server, written in c# and being moved to c++, communicates with the data-tier directly and the Crush server and Control Application indirectly to provide scheduling, system health and integrity, and prioritization services, as well redirecting jobs to maintain fault tolerance of the back-end server components. Multiple C2 servers can run simultaneously and are horizontally scalable.
Hardware and Network:
The basic architecture of the system has two different stacks of software. First, a typical 3-tier approach isolates data storage from end-point and Control Application access with a middle-man protocol altering Portal server. In the SaaS model, the end-point and Control Application software reside on-site with the customer, and the remaining stack components reside at the SaaS hosting datacenter. The second stack consists of multiple horizontally-scalable server components that run entirely in the backend as daemons and interact primarily through the data area to provide the services that are being marketed and sold to the customers. The two stacks are kept somewhat separate from each other in order to buffer one against the other in times of extreme load and for enhanced security.
Following is a description of each software module in the system and how it relates to the others:
The system has one component for data collection (the end-point agent software, which resides on the desktop computers and servers within a deployed customer site), one component for system administration (the Control Application, which resides on a desktop computer that the customer has access to or that an analyst can access through the SaaS system), and a collection of software processes/daemons and a data storage area that comprise the back-end.
The end-point agent collects data from the end-point computer, passes it to the Portal server, which in turn stores it in the data area.
The C2 server monitors the in-flow of data from the end-points, and tasks the Crush server(s) to analyze the data and compare it to databases of known good, known bad, and watch list files, in an efficient manner.
The C2 server also provides notification to the customer of any problematic or watch-list files following the completion of the Crush server tasks.
The Crush server monitors the data area, and performs batch or real-time processing of data as instructed to by the C2 server.
Technology
CYBR’s BlindSpot software is a commercially available product that combines a small footprint end-point agent with a centralized monitoring and management system to track files and file changes on the end-point using partial-match digital fingerprints rather than rigid full-match-only file signatures. As files and data buffers are created, edited/altered, and moved either through the network or via removable media devices including USB drives, the product uses its unique and proprietary technologies in combination with industry standard technologies to identify and locate both known malware and unknown [polymorphic] malware on end-points that are continuously monitored by the product. Staff is notified, depending on the urgency or type of digital fingerprint identified, through integrations with 3rd party SIEM solutions, email/SMS transmissions, and reports that are available using the central management system. A false positive rate of partial digital fingerprint matching of ~1 in 10-12 means staff will not be bombarded with unnecessary alerts, maintaining staff efficiency.
Overview: Traditional anti-malware products use static file signatures to locate known malware but have no means of detecting unknown malware, CYBR’s product uses digital file fingerprints that can identify both partial file matches as well as full file signature matches and in doing so can locate and identify both known and unknown malware within the deployed enterprise. A combination of industry standard and publicly available algorithms and CYBR’s own proprietary algorithms, trade secrets, methods, optimizations, and intellectual property for which a patent is currently pending (which is owned solely by CYBR) are combined to form a comprehensive anti-malware platform and continuous end-point monitoring product that is completely unique in the marketplace. Through the use of our proprietary algorithms and optimizations, the product has the ability to scale to the enterprise level and can track desktops/servers as well as mobile/phone/tablet/Internet of Things (IoTs) devices.
Project Implementation: The implementation of this product would include both the commercially available BlindSpot product as well as prototypes of integration packages to connect with the on-site Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and other systems and prototypes of end-point agents running on operating systems that are not yet available in the currently available version of the product. Both the integration and end-point agent prototypes would be based on existing modular code/functionality and would extend functionality past the currently available modules to ensure the full needs and requirements of the project are met. A full version of BlindSpot would be deployed on servers at/on the enterprise site, and prototypes of both SIEM integrations and new end-point agents would be deployed to augment the full production system. Information flow between all areas of the full system and prototypes would be tested and verified with increasing scale to ensure the level of performance required is available prior to the completion of the project.
End-point Agents: Each end-point is installed with native low-profile proprietary agent software that minimizes both its file system footprint and CPU use. The current product has a native end-point available for Microsoft Windows OSs (both desktops/tablets and servers) in production, and has native end-point agents in development/prototype stage for iOS, Android, MacOS, and RHEL/CentOS, with additional popular Linux derivatives to follow. The main job of the end-point agent is to communicate with the OS and monitor the file system for any changes in files that occur. When changes are detected, a digital file fingerprint of the file is taken and reported to the centralized data store, or cached until a later time if the centralized data store is unreachable (e,g, no cell coverage, laptop not connected to internet). The agent normally runs in “stealth-mode” and uses minimal CPU, RAM, and file system footprint so as not to disrupt the end-user’s workflow or impact system performance. Taking a digital fingerprint of a file and reporting it is very fast and thus the main job of the end-point agent is not system resource intensive. The “heavy lifting” is done on the back-end and does not burden the users or the end-point devices. Configuration of each end-point agent is conducted through the centralized management system, and changes in configuration are transmitted to the end-point agent within a few seconds (provided there is network connectivity).
Central Data Store: A collection of databases on the back end store file watch lists, known good and known bad digital file fingerprints (whitelists and blacklists containing digital file fingerprints of known malware), priority lists and configurations, end-point configurations, last-seen lists, and the full temporal accounting of all digital file fingerprints reported by end-point agents. As new threats are identified they are added to the central data store. As files on end-points change or are edited, their new digital fingerprints are added to the central data store as well. As new threats are identified though polymorphic partial matching, they are added to the known bad list as well.
Identification of Known and Unknown Malware: By comparing the databases of digital file fingerprints of known malware and digital file fingerprints of files on end-points, the product’s Crush server(s) use sophisticated algorithms to compare the partial digital file fingerprints, regardless of content of the files themselves. The product looks at the raw data (bytes) in the files when creating the digital file fingerprints and as such all file types/formats/languages are handled. This means that all file types and data in any and all languages can be compared with similar files. Binary DLLs, MS Word documents and spreadsheets (MS Excel, csv, …), JPEG images, Javascript, HTML, Executable files (.exe) — all of these files are handled by the product and known/unknown malware within them can be located using the digital file fingerprints in the centralized data store and Crush server’s analysis.
Scale, System Throughput, and Priority: A single Crush server can serve a small enterprise (100s or 1,000s of end-points), and a horizontally scalable array of Crush servers can be used to provide identification of malware for large enterprises. Similarly, databases in the central data store can be split and maintained/mirrored on several servers or run in a monolithic configuration. This makes the system highly scalable and able to be adapted to enterprises of varying sizes/scales while maintaining a good price/performance ratio. Priority lists can be designated for Crush servers such that high-priority end-points and/or high-priority malware fingerprints can be compared and identified in real-time, and similarly, low-priority lists (e.g. malware fingerprints that have not been seen in months or years) can be run in the evenings or when the system is running below normal load to ensure both immediate analysis of high-priority threats and comprehensive analysis of low-priority threats.
Integration: Several modular integration points within the product enable the straight-forward integration with 3rd party SIEM software and other reporting/management tools and systems. Distinct “notification channels” within the product are used based on the type of threat detected, the priority level of the specific threat detected, the confidence of the match (low percentage match of digital fingerprint vs high), and the location of the match (specific end-point list). Each notification channel has integration points that can be linked in with 3rd party systems so that staff are notified using software and procedures they are already familiar with and trained on (i.e., through a SIEM solution that is already begin monitored by dedicated, trained staff). Prototypes of each specific integration would need to be developed as a part of this project to match/communicate with the exact SIEM (or other) system that is in use at the deployment site in the mannemethod desired. Such a prototype would be developed for the purpose of evaluating the technical interconnectivity between systems to meet the requirements of the deployment, and following the prototype testing period, would be load-tested and stress-tested to ensure it’s performance meets the demands of a highly scalable environment, leading to a mature integration over a period of 3-6 months following the initial prototype period of 1-3 months.
Technology Section Summary: With end-points being continuously monitored by the product, both known and unknown malware threats delivered by the network and removable media will be detected and reported through SIEM system integration and direct email/SMS messages with minimal impact to the end-point (on all major OSs, including desktop and mobile). Centralized management and temporal monitoring of digital fingerprints enables the system to proactively locate and identify malware threats before zero day as well as enabling the staff to conduct their own investigations of systems either in the present or the past for forensic investigations. This makes CYBR’s BlindSpot a complete product that reaches all of the end-point devices to ensure safety and security from all types of malware threats.
Defense Utility
The blockchain’s cyber security posture will be greatly enhanced by BlindSpot. CYBR’s executive team works with various military and federal organizations and has a deep understanding of the cyber security challenges that face the enterprise today including advanced persistent threat (APT), polymorphic and pleomorphic malware, zero day attacks and the need to locate white and black files in real time. These threats have now permeated to the blockchain and must be secured.
Company and Customers
The proposed team includes CYBR, Inc. executive management and staff. The company is a works closely with its sister company, 21st Century Technologies, Inc. (21CT), which is a HUBZone certified, Small Business entity. 21CT serves as a value added reseller (VAR) for CYBR, Inc. and is currently a teammate on the DOMino classified DHS contract as a subcontractor to Raytheon.
Existing, paying customers include Stratford University, Test Pros and Devitas. The company also has integrator and VAR partner relationships with Anomali (formerly Threatstream), Lockheed Martin (Cyber and Space) and various commercial entities, which the company believes will become paying customers in 2019.
Transition and Commercialization
Our technology is a commercially available product and commercial sales have been made. The company is actively working to scale this solution to hundreds of thousands of users, which the company has deemed do-able and is in the process of horizontally scaling.
Data Rights Assertions
CYBR, Inc. currently holds a provisional patent and incorporates other trade secrets into the solution. No unreasonable restrictions (including ITAR) are placed upon the use of this intellectual property with regards to global sales.
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