Aztech! You may have been compromised…

Today, I received the following in my mailbox and I seriously want to share with you all.

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So what do you notice in this email? This may have one of the nice presentation that would usually capture the eyes of people receiving it in the mailbox. What actually caught my eyes are the following few points.

  1. I am sensitive when I see the word “Ukranian” – I have not done any business with such folks or neither I know any one from Ukraine. However, I welcome visitors from Ukraine to read my blog and share their comments.
  2. The content is simply not something that would interests me. I am an IT person who have IT news revolving around me almost every minutes (OK, exaggerating, I do read up on Business or Social news from time to time.)
  3. If it meant big business or something of some sort that surround the word “BitCoin”, then probably it should have enough money to register for a simple domain and hosting package to get a proper email instead of relying on Gmail. Of course, you can get custom domain on Gmail or definitely I would recommend Office 365.
  4. It possesses number that is out of my range of country code that I have ever dial for the past of my life with ever me knowing anything about using my phone to dial overseas. (I didn’t born to know how to dial the keypad, stupid?)
  5. It trying to impersonate as Aztech with all the information with information probably gotten with anyone receiving newsletter from Aztech. From time to time, I do get advertisement from Aztech promoting their new range of products but definitely never ever once I received in this purple background colour.
  6. It’s getting me to dial to Ukraine when user like me who is in Singapore would definitely be dialling the Singapore line since I resides here.

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Lastly, I see the email is really the one that probably was the one that is used to blast out this newsletter. I have not done any checks on how legitimate this email is but definitely from the outlook, I wouldn’t even bother studying it further as it is just that obvious!

Conclusion

So… I conclude that this may be the case where Aztech mailing list database was being compromised and therefore I received such message.

To Aztech (IT Support): Please get your act on on this issue!

To my friends out there: If you ever received such email as per similar to mine, do nothing about it and delete it straight away. Of course, you could spend some time admiring the nice bunny!

Cheers!
Milton Goh

It’s a sign of worries.

When I was trying to sign into my Internet Banking account with DBS Bank (Singapore) this evening, I am being hit with sudden slowness of the web page. This isn’t a norm to be because Internet Banking website usually load like lightning speed for me. Then next I was given this message as shown.

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It kept me worrying what has happened because I have already entered my credentials! Therefore, my work senses suddenly got activated and out of the norm (which I admit I seldom even bother to do so), I went to check the SSL certificate information that is being used on the following site as shown.

Awwwwwwwww_DBS_01

This tab gives me some assurance that things are moving in the right direction. Then the next one boost me to the maximum too.

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I think it is part and parcel of my job to ensure that I am protected against any Cyber Thief or Cyber Attack.

How important is Security to you? Share with us below!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

Configuring KEMP Technologies Virtual LoadMaster

Hooray! It’s a Sunday today and I didn’t really do anything except for meddling around with my lab environment and completed some of the long overdue tasks. So one of the major milestone that I have hit today is that I have successfully configured my lab environment to use KEMP Technologies Virtual LoadMaster to simulate out how easy it is to use their solutions to create a load-balanced zone.

So, I started off with spinning up two virtual machines and perform the necessary such as getting the machine updated (the usual stuffs which I can’t live without having to do so even if I know I might screw the image up within days!).

So basically, the two virtual machine has IIS installed so that I can use it as a Web Server. For the basic, I will be using pure HTML pages and not going to dwell deeper in using customize ASP.NET solutions which I will be covering in future with a new project codenamed, NerdExpenses.)

Basic Web Servers Environment

Above is a simple architecture that I have deployed i my lab environment where the KEMP Technologies LoadMaster is running virtually on Hyper-V. At the point of writing, I can’t find any proper Visio Stencils from KEMP Technologies to represent the Virtual LoadMaster series so I have chosen to use one of the given ones which can be obtained here.

I remembered during the last Technical Summit that I have attended weeks ago, Benjamin Hodges shown us how easy it is to configure KEMP Technologies LoadMaster and through the technical deep-dive, it really proven that this solutions is really made so easy that anyone can simple click through the setup (of course, if it is your first time configuring it, it may take some time to get used to the user-interface – however, trust me. it’s really neatly done up!)

Take a look at the video below which I have done up, apology for the poorly done up work as this is the first time I am using Camtasia Studio 8.0. Will definitely learn it well and produce more quality video the next time!

That’s all for this time round, the next time I will be posting how easy it will be to replace the load-balancing feature in Microsoft Azure with KEMP Technologies one.

Regards,
Milton Goh

Goodbye MCT, Welcome MCT Alumni!

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As per the image attached above, it is clear that I am leaving the MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) zone when the time is up sometime end of April or May depends on when the MCT registered.

So it’s just last week when I received an email from Microsoft Learning that it’s the time of the year where MCT have to do the necessary justifications to get renewed in the MCT programme. So sometimes last year, Microsoft has already make the rules clear that all MCT who wants to be able to renew needs to go through the measurement mechanism done up by MTM. For those who don’t know what MTM stands for, it stands for Metrics that Matter. To me, the interpretation is, “Hey, let’s look at your KPI (Key-Performance Index) for the previous year before we decide to offer you with a new year of contract.

So let’s go back to the image that I have attached above. It says clearly that my MCT Exception Request has been Rejected. So it is so obvious that, that this is something out of the norm kind of arrangement. So what Microsoft Learning did was to provide a favour to every yet-to-expired MCT a chance to raise an appeal to see if we can convince them that we deserve another year of holding the honorary title “MCT”. So what they offered me was an Excel template in which I have to filled up the necessary details of the class that I have taught for year 2013 and send it back to them for the review.

My situation is kind of special, we do customize solutions on SharePoint Server and deliver to the end-user some awesome nice website that is hosted on SharePoint Server platform. The only thing that we needs to teach the users is the features of SharePoint Server and on how to use the SharePoint portal to get things done such as modifying the contents all by themselves without our intervention. It is the same concept as Content Management System (CMS). So how do all these get linked up with being a MCT?

  • I look through the courseware that is provided to MCT which is known as the Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC). From there, I will then make use of the content provided for SharePoint Server. Make use of the content and deliver my customized training to the end-users.
  • I make use of the courseware to teach the internal employees or rather the Operations Team on how they can administrate the SharePoint Server on a day-to-day basis. (SharePoint is not something that a normal person could navigate to get things done without breaking it! – IMHO)

So whatever that I have been doing for the past one year with or without the title “MCT” is not being recognized just because I couldn’t be getting my end-user to perform the survey so that they could provide me a grade so that I could be in favour of what is needed to meet the requirements as a MCT for the following year. The revised requirements in order to be awarded the chance to renew as a MCT is also shown in the image attached above.

I am not holding any grudges against Microsoft Learning for this because I know they must have done this so that to shape the program nicely and to meet a simple objective of not wanting people to abuse the programme as the new programme does gives out access to Software that MCT could use it for their training and learning purposes. They must have seen it through that people would have make use of the programme so that they would not need to fork out a huge amount of money to get the equivalent set of program that is provided by MSDN which they could get it through being a MCT.

Well, bid farewell, MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer)!

Welcome to the MCT Alumni zone! So what’s MCT Alumni all about?

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So it is as simple as the following benefits…

  • Continue to speak to all MCT within the community.
  • Get discount on e-Learning, Books and eBooks.
  • Most importantly, received discount on Exam voucher.

After all, it is not that bad right? Are you affected by this change? If yes, share with me by dropping me a comment or drop me an email to vent your anger.

Cheers!
Milton Goh
[email protected]

Valore USB 3.0 Hub for my Surface Pro 2

It’s time that I realize that I would need to spend a little on this gadget. I never had any affinity with USB Hub because for those that I bought in the past always fails me after a while. This makes me worry when I need to put on investments into spending bucks on it. So while doing shopping at the local computer store, Challenger yesterday, I walked into the store with the aim to walk out with a USB Hub. So while trying to find the various brands, I am always directed at those from Valore where it seems to storm the whole of Challenger nationwide with their line of products. Nevertheless, let me present to you – Valore 4 Ports USB 3.0 Hub.

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For goodness sake, I don’t know why of all colours I start to choose colour that I wouldn’t have chosen in the past. Perhaps, it’s Nokia Lumia that changed my mind!

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Looking at the packaging, it is really simple and neat. Somehow I feel that the design is like a battery pack though. I hooked up to my Surface Pro 2 and everything is working amazing as it should be.

Cheers.
Milton Goh

Automation: Using Synology Task Scheduler

As part of the continuous series about “Automation”, I took a look at how my Synology DS 412+ could be part of the story. The situation is where every Monday of the week, my lab environment will need to be shut down as my helpers will be cleaning up my desk area therefore based on my past experiences where they meddle with my electrical appliances and causes it to shut down; therefore I always shut down all my equipment on Monday. However, lately I am getting a little lazy of shutting them down via the readily available web-console so I took a look at the Task Scheduler within Synology NAS.

Let’s take a look at what it offers.

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It looks amazing with lots to offer with the hefty price to pay for the tip-top performance that I am enjoying!

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After navigating to “Hardware & Power”, I take a look at the “Power Schedule”.

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I am able to set the schedule freely!

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Within a few clicks, I am able to configure the NAS to shut down by itself at 3.15am on a Monday, prior to shutting down the NAS, I would have use some PowerShell scripts to shut down all the Virtual Machine that uses the NAS and the lab server to be shut down too.

It’s amazing to have all these automatically shut down without manual intervention!

Cheers!
Milton Goh