How to Make SquidGuard Redirect URLs When Nothing Else Seems to Work

I was running pfSense with Squid Proxy Server (available in pfSense at the touch of a button via System -> Package Manager -> Available Packages) when I decided it would be nice to use SquidGuard to redirect some URLs based on blacklists. I tried using the well-known blacklist at, but no matter what I did, I could not get SquidGuard to redirect any URLs. It was maddening, because it seemed like it really should be working. After going down a lot of dead ends, and trying lots of tweaks, I finally got it working, and figured it would be worth memorializing in a blog post for others. Read more

Remediate Specific Cipher and TLS/SSL Vulnerabilities in Windows

If you’ve ever had to remediate server security vulnerabilities related to ciphers and protocols, you know it can be tricky to figure out exactly how to get it done. There’s lots of info about how to enable specific ciphers in Windows, but it is more difficult to figure out how to explicitly disable things, and if you’re new to the world of ciphers & protocols, even knowing what to disable/enable can be confusing. To hopefully save you some searches and lots of trial & error, here are the solutions to three issues I’ve often come across which aren’t as well documented on the ‘net as they could be. Read more

Edit a VM’s Properties When There’s an Unhandled Exception in ESXi 6.5 Web Client

If you’ve ever had a physical VMware ESXi server with an external USB drive attached to it, and then tried moving the VM that was connected to that USB drive from that server to a new ESXi 6.5 server, you’ve probably noticed that trying to edit the VM’s properties on the new server is impossible – even if the old USB drive is connected to the new server. The browser begins to display the settings page, but just as it’s about to finish rendering it, it suddenly goes gray with an “unhandled exception” that requires you to reload the page and start over. Here’s how to get around that, so you can edit the properties of your VM and move on with your life… Read more

How to Assign Static IP to Linux Mint and Enable Desktop Sharing & Firewall

You can remotely control a Linux Mint machine just like you can control a Windows machine. But first you need to give your machine a static IP address so you know how to connect to it. Unfortunately, if you haven’t spent a lot of time using Linux Mint, then you may find configuring a static IP address frustrating (to say the least). It’s nice they have a graphical UI to set it up, but it’s not very intuitive, and manually configuring configuration files in a text editor, as many people advise online, also doesn’t always work. So here’s what works for me.  Read more

How to Fix Hangs When Increasing Resolution in a VM

I recently installed Linux Mint, Kali Linux, and a few other distros in VMs on VMware ESXi but was frustrated by the default 800×600 screen resolution. Increasing it via the OS’s display settings just rendered the OS unusable until a reboot when it would be back to 800×600 again. Though you can always hold down the ALT key while clicking & dragging to see the contents of too-large windows, that gets old fast, so here’s how to fix it for good.  Read more

How to Fix the Google AdSense Plugin When it Stops Working in WordPress

I’d been using the Google AdSense plugin for WordPress ever since launching this site, but recently when I decided to tweak a few settings, any additional changes seemed impossible. When I tried clicking on the “Manage ads” button in AdSense it would sometimes sit for a while at “Analyzing your site” and then say “Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again.” But sometimes, it would make it past analyzing the site, but then would generate this error whenever I tried to save any changes: “Sorry we were unable to save your configuration. The request to your server failed with error code 500.” After some trial & error, I figured out what the problem was… Read more

A PowerShell Script to export VMware data to CSV

While working in a VMware environment with thousands of VMs, I needed to make a spreadsheet containing a lot of of the data listed in vCenter for each VM, including their custom attributes (a.k.a. Annotations). Rather than using the vSphere Client’s built-in “Export List” option, I wrote a PowerShell script to do it instead. Since it seemed like something others may find useful, I’m posting it here. Read more