Cisco AnyConnect VPN authentication failure using NTLM

It turns out that Cisco AnyConnect VPN (through an ASA) doesn’t support NTLMv2. In server 2003 the Default Domain Controller Policy was set to Sent NTLM response only. This has changed from Server 2008 and higher which by default enforces NTLMv2 so if you want to carry on using NTLM authentication with Cisco ASA you will need to modify the Default Domain Controller Policy.

The failures you will see on the ASA and in the DC security log aren’t overly descriptive or helpful:


ERROR: Authentication Rejected: AAA failure


Logon Failure:
Reason:            Unknown user name or bad password
User Name:      username
Domain:            domain
Authentication Package:      MICROSOFT_AUTHENTICATION_PACKAGE_V1_0

The group policy setting you want to modify is: Default Domain Controller Policy\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Network security: LAN Manager authentication level
Value: Send NTLMv2 response only. Refuse LM
Description: Client computers use NTLMv2 authentication, and they use NTLMv2 session security if the server supports it. Domain controllers refuse to accept LM authentication, and they will accept only NTLM and NTLMv2 authentication.

There are security implications with doing this but it all depends on your environment. You can find more details here:

Outlook 2010 not accepting Office365 password

Just a quick post today. If one of your Office365 users suddently can’t login to Outlook 2010 (most often after password change) and you’re absolutely sure the password you’re using is correct, i.e. you can sign into and lync give this update a go: . It’s worked a treat for me today!

Cisco IPsec VPN and Windows 8

I think I may have finally found a solution to my problems with IPsec VPN on Windows8. When I first installed Windows8 the Cisco IPsec VPN client worked fine for some time – I’m not exactly sure how but it did. Unfortunately after a few weeks while I could still connect to the VPN I couldn’t actually access anything across the tunnel. RDP, ping…nothing would get through.

I resorted to using Shrew Soft VPN client for a while which mostly worked but I found with some VPNs it just wouldn’t connect and I would have to use a Windows7 VM to connect to those. Today I have decided to revisit the whole situation and came accross this post .

I didn’t have the Cisco VPN client installed at that point so went straight onto installing Citrix DNE. But if you already have the client you might want to install it first.

1. Download and install Citrix DNE.

2. Install Cisco IPsec client.

That’s all you should need to do but I’ll report back after a few weeks just in case it mysteriously breaks again. In the meantime if anyone has a better solution I’d be really glad for it.

Unexpected transaction log file growth (Exchange)

I’ve recently spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out why a client’s transaction logs were growing at the rate they were. I am talking 50GB worth of logs for one store every day. There really wasn’t anything warranting such growth. The usual things that came to mind like inbound/outbound spam issue didn’t apply. I have done a message tracking search to confirm this and with hindsight I should have really spotted the issue at that very point.

I have limited my search to a specific time period – but I would get a few messages showing sent date outside of the range. This was because the range you set in message tracking is when the message was logged – not when it originated. For some reason I decided not to pay any attention to this and persevere with some transaction logs analysis.

Scott Oseychik’s  guide on transaction log analysis is great for this:

  1. Download the “Unix for Win32” utilities from
  2. Extract all files from the UnxUtils\usr\local\wbin subsirectory to C:\UNIX
  3. Download strings.exe from, and place strings.exe into C:\UNIX
  4. Make a C:\TMP directory (Unix tools need a Win32 equivalent of /tmp)
  5. Make a directory for all your transaction log files (i.e. D:\customers\test), and place all the logs in this dir
  6. From a cmd prompt, navigate to your C:\UNIX dir
  7. Run the following command:
    strings -q -n 16 D:\customers\test\*.log | cut -f3 -d: | sort | uniq -c | sort | tee c:\log-output.wri

If you open the wri file (just use a text editor of your choice) you get a list of 16 character strings sorted from the least number of occurrences to the largest. While this won’t tell you exactly what the problem is it will definitely point you in the right direction.

In my case I had a totally ridiculous number of  “Out of Office Reply” – so much so the next highest expression wasn’t anywhere near it. At this point it finally occurred to me that the messages “randomly” showing in message tracking were the culprit. While they may have been sent a while ago they were still looping on the Exchange server and constantly generating new transaction logs and coming up in each message tracking search.

Now I just had to stop these messages by disabling the automatic reply on each offending mailbox. As usual in hindsight it sounds very simple.


RSA server time out of sync and users prompted for next token code or authentication failing

If the RSA server time is out by more than 3 minutes you will find some users completely failing to authenticate and some being prompted for the next token code. Once you correct the server time it is good to resynchronize all the tokens. I have run this batch job on a windows server but I’ll include instructions for UNIX based and appliance as well.


1. From command prompt run:
C:\Program Files\RSA Security\RSA Authentication Manager\utils>rsautil sync-tokens -I
2. You’ll be prompted for a a few bits of information including the path for the output file. The whole process should look like this:

Authenticator Bulk Synchronization Utility am-7.1.0-build20080715085805
Copyright (C) 2008 RSA Security Inc. All rights reserved.

Enter the absolute path for the output report file               : c:\sync.txt
Enter the base security domain name for recursive search [(none)]: none
Enter the type of token selection                [ (all) | file ]: all
Choose a token filter          [ assigned | unassigned | (both) ]: both
What action do you wish to perform?           [ (list) | modify ]: modify
Enter type of clock offset value  [ absolute | relative | (none)]: absolute
Enter clock offset value                                      [0]: 0
Do you want to reset the Next Tokencode Mode?             [ y/n ]: y
Do you want to reset the last login date and time?        [ y/n ]: n
Do you want to clear user lockout information?            [ y/n ]: y
Enter administrator user ID                                      : admin
Enter administrative password                                    : ***********  

Authenticator Bulk Synchronization Utility am-7.1.0-build20080715085805
Copyright (C) 2008 RSA Security Inc. All rights reserved.  
Started job on Wed Aug 20 10:19:51 EDT 2008 with ID = ims.e07c584ba263650a018d923bd0ac085d

3. That’s all you need to do. You can check the output file to get a list of tokens that were modified and their current status.

RSA Authentication Manager 7.1 – Applicance and UNIX based

I haven’t tried this so don’t take my word for it but it is the procedure from RSA support so hopefully not completely useless.

1. Connect to the Appliance using the console or an SSH client. (For remote access using an SSH client, verify in the RSA Operations Console that the Appliance is enabled for SSH connectivity.)
2. Log on using the emcsrv account and the Operating System password.
3. Switch users to root. Run: sudo su
4.When prompted, enter the Operating System password.
5. Switch users to rsaadmin. Run:su rsaadmin
6. Set the current directory to the folder that contains the RSA utilities.
          Run: cd /usr/local/RSASecurity/RSAAuthenticationManager/utils
7. Set the environmental variables. Run: . ./rsaenv (This command begins with a period, space, period, and forward slash)
8. Set the correct time on the RSA Authentication Manager server.
9. Synchronize the tokens:
10. (Recommended) Create a text file where you can write output from the command. On the Appliance, a convenient location is /tmp/sync.txt.
11. Run: ./ rsautil sync-tokens -I (Run this command as rsaadmin.)


Cannot access auto-mapped mailboxes after applying Update Rollup 5 for Exchange 2010

This update has been around since February but I’ve only come across this recently.


Users get “The set of folders cannot be opened” error in outlook when trying to access an additional mailbox automapped from Exchange 2010. The same users can access the mailbox if it is added manually (through Account Settings). Other users may be unaffected all together.


It appears that following the rollup update 5 automapped mailboxes can only be accessed using Outlook SP2 and higher. If you check your office version number you’ll likely find you’re either on RTM or SP1.

Office 2010 RTM 14.0.4763.1000
Office 2010 SP1 14.0.6029.1000
Office 2010 SP2 14.0.7015.1000


Update MS Office to SP2.



Using SAN certificates for Jabber

This is bit of a continuation on my previous post SSL Certificates for Jabber where I have mentioned the main downside to using public CA for your certificates is the cost. It has probably crossed your mind if you could maybe use a wildcard or SAN certificate. With the wildcard the answer is simple – no. Refer to enhancement Cisco bug ID CSCta14114.

SANs are supported but won’t really help you with reducing the number of certificates you need to buy. You can use them if you’d like your clients to use multiple URL’s to access the same server – for example internal and external domains but you still need to create a CSR on each server and then submit a corresponding CA certificate for each one. Unfortunately there’s no way of importing the SAN certificate’s private key to either the IM and Presence or CUCM servers as you might be used to with Windows IIS or other devices.

This all makes using your Enterprise CA as a more attractive option all together with the only sticking point being devices not joined to the domain (particularly mobile devices) and how to make them trust your internal CA. For some people this may not be an issue and you might be quite happy accepting the certificate warning initially but I’m yet to find a straight forward solution to this.