Tag Archives: Hack

SSL Sniffing – How Safe Is Your Information?

Some firewalls now have a new feature (or not so new), unbeknownst to most web users:  The little lock in your browser that shows that you are using a secure connection is not what it used to be.

When you make a secure connection to a web site, your bank for example, and you see the little lock appear, that is an indicator that your browser is connecting to and exchanging information with a server through a secure, certificate based channel.  Behind the scenes, some encryption keys are exchanged and the information that you are transmitting and that is being transmitted back to you is encrypted and not easily readable by others.  That perception of safety is the basis of all financial, as well as other, transactions on the Internet and you as the consumer believe when you see that lock, your information is safe.

There’s a lot that happens and can happen in between you and the server that you’re communicating with.  To illustrate what I’m talking about, here is a simplified diagram of a typical network configuration.  Using the example of a bank:


You can click the image above to enlarge it.  Your computer connects to your bank through firewalls.  The close firewall protects your network and the firewall on the bank’s end protects their network.  The is typically a certificate installed on the bank’s firewall and server that allow you to establish a secure connection to that server.

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VMware Tools Fail During Upgrade / Uninstall

As I’ve upgraded my lab environment to vSphere over the weekend, I’ve been running across the occasional VM that fails to allow me to upgrade it’s VMware Tools.  This seems to be predominantly happening with my Windows Server 2008 VMs. 

I’ve received various error messages including ‘can’t find vmware tools.msi’ looking at c:windowsinstallers, and messages stating that Installation cannnot continue because a previous version is installed, even though it had just been removed.  FRUSTRATING!  Fortunately, this isn’t the first time people are running across it and there’s a VMware KB article on how to address this.

Issues as noted on the VMware KB:

  • Unable to upgrade existing VMware Tools
  • Unable to upgrade existing installation of VMware Tools because the previous installation fails to be removed
  • The uninstall feature of VMware Tools fails to complete, and finally
  • Cannot uninstall VMware Tools.

All this boils down to ‘IT’S BROKE!  HOW CAN I FIX IT!?’

Keep Reading…

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Get the vSphere Client Running on Windows 7

I found an article in the VMware forums that had these steps so I decided to document them a little better and blog about it so that I have it.  Until VMware releases the officially supported Windows 7 version of the VI Client, I guess this hack will have to do.

Make sure you have the VI / vSphere Client installed.  The typical installation works just fine.  You can also download the files attached at the end of this post, to make the process a little easier.

When I tried to run the client without following these steps, I got an error, as I’m sure many others have, upon trying to log in to the server.


Error reads: Error parsing the server “[server]” “clients.xml” file. Login will continue, contact your system administrator.

After a little research, I came across this solution…

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