Tag Archives: Event

Paint it blue with PowerShell – China MVP Community Connection

Earlier this week I was invited to attend and speak at the Chinese MVP event, China MVP Community Connection in Hangzhou. As a foreign MVP at a local event it was a very interesting experience to discuss the common issues they ran into and compare that to the struggle and challenges we face back over at Europe.

To paraphrase the description of the MVP CC site:

2017 Microsoft’s MVP China Summit – China MVP Community Connection will be held in Hangzhou, China on October 20-21, 2017. The Microsoft MVP team is here to invite you to participate in this fall summit, with hundreds of MVPs from all over the country gathered together to discuss the future direction in which we are headed.

There have been some photos taken at the event which are available here:

My session was called Paint it blue with PowerShell, a session about implementing PowerShell in your workflow to prevent context switching. For engineers and developers working on a diverse range of operating systems and cloud platform having a uniform scripting language can be beneficial and I highlighted the benefits in this presention. The slides have been shared on GitHub in my Events repository:

China MVP Community Connection 2017

I also shared the slides I used and my other presentations on SlideShare:

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EIC Inspiration Night – Chat Ops session

Tonight I was invited to speak at the EIC Inspiration event, located in Groningen. It was my first time attending, and as a result, speaking at this event. If you living in the neighborhood or if you are interested in the events they host have a look over here:

IEC Inspiration

There was a photographer, Melanie S, present, the photos of the event are posted here: IEC Inspiration. To get an impression of the event here is a first impression based on the photos on Twitter:

All the code and slides are as always available in my Events GitHub repository:

I also shared the slides I used and my other presentations on SlideShare:

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Dutch PowerShell User Group – Basics part Deux

It had already been well over a year since the first iteration of the DuPSUG Basics day, but yesterday we finally had the opportunity to host our second day of basic PowerShell training. This time we were hosted at the Sogeti office in Vianen.

BEGIN END SPEAKER TITLE
09:15 10:30 Mark van de Waarsenburg Powershell basics
10:40 11:25 Erik Heeres Powershell Remoting
11:30 12:15 Jaap Brasser [MVP] Manage your infrastructure with PowerShell
13:15 14:00 Robert Prust Improving your scripts
14:00 14:45 Ralph Eckhard Powershell for Office 365 Administrators
15:20 16:05 Jeff Wouters [MVP] Tips and tricks
16:10 16:45 DuPSUG Speakers Ask us (almost) anything

The Dutch PowerShell User Group has a GitHub repository where all the demos and slides of the presenters will be gathered:

Dutch PowerShell User Group – Basics Deux

To give you an impression of the event I have included the following photos:

The code and the presentation has been shared on GitHub in my Events repository:
Manage your Infrastructure with PowerShell

I also shared the slides I used and my other presentations on SlideShare:

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Updated Events GitHub repository – Convert pptx to pdf

As I have been speaking at a number of events recently I also have been updating my GitHub Events repository. Usually I include a markdown file with a short description, my demos and my slides. I had been uploading my files as .pptx and I noticed that the repository edged over 100 MB. This prompted me into reconsidering this approach, I felt I needed to address the following:

  • Use the most compatible format available, presentations should be viewable on any device
  • Fonts should be correctly represented
  • File size should be minimal

In an effort to more efficiently use the space I have available and to use a more compatible format I decided to convert my presentations to .pdf.

Because I do not like doing stuff manually I decided to use PowerShell in combination with a bit of bash scripting to get my repository updated. First lets take a look what kind of data we are dealing with:

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Get-ChildItem C:\git\Events -File -Filter *pptx -Recurse |
Select-Object -Property FullName

In total 29 presentations uploaded in .pptx format, if I would have to convert these by hand it would take about 30 minutes. Taking a look at what is possible with the PowerPoint.Application Com-Object took about 5 minutes and an additional 5 to put together the following script:

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Get-ChildItem C:\git\Events -File -Filter *pptx -Recurse |
ForEach-Object -Begin {
    $null = Add-Type -AssemblyName Microsoft.Office.Interop.PowerPoint
    $SaveOption = [Microsoft.Office.Interop.PowerPoint.PpSaveAsFileType]::ppSaveAsPDF
    $PowerPoint = New-Object -ComObject "PowerPoint.Application"
} -Process {
    $Presentation = $PowerPoint.Presentations.Open($_.FullName)
    $PdfNewName  = $_.FullName -replace '\.pptx$','.pdf'
    $Presentation.SaveAs($PdfNewName,$SaveOption)
    $Presentation.Close()
} -End {
    $PowerPoint.Quit()
    Stop-Process -Name POWERPNT -Force
}

This script will recursively look for all .pptx files in the Events repository and the run the following code:

  • In the begin block load the PowerPoint Com-Object and the required type for storing files as .pdf
  • For each presentation, open the presentation, generate a new name and convert it to .pdf
  • Finally at the end close the PowerPoint application and afterwards using Stop-Process to close the window, note that if you had any other PowerPoint windows open they will also be closed.

Now I have both the .pdf and the .pptx stored in the folder, let’s take a look what the difference in file size is:

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foreach ($Extension in ('pptx','pdf')) {
    Get-ChildItem C:\git\Events -File -Filter "*$Extension" -Recurse |
    Measure-Object -Property Length -Sum | ForEach-Object {
        [pscustomobject]@{
            'SizeinMB'  = [math]::Round($_.Sum/1MB,2)
            'Extension' = $Extension
        }
    }
}

A nice decrease in size and a format that is more suitable for sharing, this is looking good. After verifying that the .pdf files are looking good we can remove the .pptx files with the following code:

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Get-ChildItem C:\git\Events -File -Filter *pptx -Recurse |
Remove-Item -Force

The last step is to commit everything to GitHub and make it available to everyone. I found a nice Stack Overflow thread that explained how to mass remove files:

Removing multiple files from a Git repo that have already been deleted from disk

Which left me with the following commands to run to commit everything to the repository using bash:

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git ls-files --deleted -z | xargs -0 git rm 
git add *
git commit -m "Removed pesky pptx and added glorious pdf"
git push origin master

And to view the result here is what is looks like on GitHub now and the commit:

GitHub – JaapBrasser – Events – Commits

Let me know what you think, is .pdf a more useful format over .pptx to share presentations or would you rather see it the other way around?

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Wrapup of BSides Amsterdam 2017

Last Friday I had the pleasure to speak at BSides Amsterdam, a security centered conference that hosted its first iteration in Amsterdam. I could not pass up on the opportunity to attend this event. Here is an excerpt about the BSides concept from their site at bsidesams.nl:

Security BSides is a community-driven framework for building events, by and for, information security community members. These events are already happening in major cities all over the world! We are responsible for organizing an independent BSides-Approved event in Amsterdam, for the Netherlands.

It was a full day with topics ranging from hardware hacking to botnet infrastructure. With 13 sessions on a single day it was very interesting to take part in this event and to be able to speak and network with professionals from all different sides of the spectrum. I have attached some pictures to give you an impression of the day at BSides Amsterdam:

It was a full day with topics ranging from hardware hacking to botnet infrastructure. With 13 sessions on a single day it was very interesting to take part in this event and to be able to speak and network with professionals from all different sides of the spectrum.

At the event I spoke about using PowerShell to Automate security and specifically about how to detect malicious activity. All the code and slides are as always available in my Events GitHub repository:

Automating security with PowerShell

I also shared this slidedeck and my others on SlideShare:

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Chat automation in a modern IT environment

Winops Banner

This week I was invited to speak at the joint WinOps London and London PowerShell user group meetup in central London. For more information about the event you can have a look at the following link: WinOps #14 – in connection with PowerShell London UK

Our July meetup will be held at Rubrik’s offices in Moorgate on Thursday 20th July. Rubrik are one of our gold sponsors for the WinOps Conference. This meetup will be in connection with PSUG UK and we’ll have a PowerShell MVP speaking on the night. Last meetup before the conference so not one to miss!

During my presentation I covered the very broad topic of Chat Automation, also known as ChatOps. This has recently been getting more attention and I put together a presentation in which I showed how to setup PoshBot on a Windows machine, demoed its functionality. Also I gave an example of how to use a Chat bot to resolve an issue in a production, assisted by Daniel Krebs. The full session description is as follows:

In this session we will cover a range of topics regarding Chat automation and the possibilities this gives us. We will dive into the concept of ChatOps, what it is, how we can implement it and what the benefits are. After this brief introduction we will dive into real-world examples of setting up and configuring your first chat bot, configuring security and resolving real-world incidents using this chat bot.

To give you an impression of the event I have attached some pictures taken that evening:

All the code and slides are as always available in my Events GitHub repository:

I also share my presentations on SlideShare:

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Secure your servers in time with JIT and JEA at Experts Live Summer Night event

Earlier this month I spoke at Experts Live Summer Night, an Security focused event for IT Professionals. I covered JIT, Privileged Access Management and JEA, Just Enough Administration. Here is an excerpt of the presentation:

Just Enough Administration, also known as JEA, has been around for several years and has received a lot of updates and new features. How can we use this to secure our servers and reduce the attack surface that we expose to potential malicious actors. During this session Jaap will demo how to configure and deploy JEA templates, configure JIT administration.

All the code and slides are as always available in my Events GitHub repository:

Furthermore I have also uploaded my presentations to SlideShare:

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