Apr 24 2013

The font is very small and the recipient sees very LARGE fonts when composing a new e-mail in Outlook

I was contacted this week with a very interesting problem when a user is composing a new e-mail in Microsoft Outlook this week.

The problem:

The user starts to compose a new e-mail but the font is really small. When the recipient receives the e-mail they found that the font is very big on the recipients side. Now this could be a very confusing issue if you think about it. How does the font just change size from the sender to the recipient?

First things most people would look at is the mail filtering applications or devices that their companies use. This brings me to the old saying in IT, start at the basics. I’m quite guilty of starting to look at the problem at an in-depth level when most of the time it’s a basic setting somewhere.

What we found was that the user compiling the new e-mail had Outlook’s zoom level (found at the bottom right in Outlook) set to a small percentage. This led to the user increasing the font size so that it is readable. The recipient had the Outlook client set to 100% which is standard. This in turn magnified the font.

The problem was resolved when the user sending the mail set the zoom level to a 100%.

This was quite an interesting problem and shows how easily a small setting could potentially stuff us around for days on end.

Another example:

I had an issue with Auto Discover on Exchange 2010. Going through all the settings in Exchange, DNS and IIS showed that everything was configured properly. We then unchecked a check box in IIS, restarted IIS, checked the setting again, restarted IIS and voila the Auto Discover worked again.

I’d like to thank Michael P. Kassner (https://twitter.com/MKassnerNet) for letting me know about this interesting Outlook problem. This was a prime example of how easily small settings could make your day a mess.

Be sure to follow Michael P. Kassner for some interesting reading on IT Security.

Below is a screen shot of the zoom bar in Outlook:

Outlook Zoom Bar

Apr 18 2013

A new Scam where criminals claim they need to install software on your device to resolve problems with it.

Yesterday my mom received a call from someone claiming that they are phoning from “Microsoft”. They told her that they are receiving data or logs from her home computer and that something is seriously wrong on the computer. They then explained that “Microsoft” would like to assist her to resolve the problems.

The caller also told her that they see the motherboard is faulty, which should set off a million alarm bells as I doubt that Microsoft would even care if your home computer is having hardware problems.

He then proceeded by telling her that to resolve the issue he needs to get her to install a piece of software. Thank goodness my mom was savvy enough and told him that I look after her home computer and he immediately hung up.

Never install software from someone contacting you out of the blue to assist with a computer problem. Always use a reputable company if you are in need of assistance with a problem on your computer.

What could happen if software is installed on your machine from an untrusted source you ask?

1. They could gain complete access to your computer and find/use personal information to commit fraud.
2. They could install a keylogger to gain access to all your usernames and passwords.
3. They could hijack your computer to use in a botnet.

To keep this short. Always be careful and never trust e-mails and phone calls that you receive if you have not contacted that person or company in person for assistance. Stay vigilant even when you contacted a legitimate company for assistance.


Apr 10 2013

Getting your guests in Virtual Box to communicate with each other

I’ve built quite a few labs using Virtual Box but tend to forget how to get the guests to communicate with each other. Below is a quick video that I put together to show how to set up Virtual Box to get this working.

This is helpful with adding member servers to domain controllers and getting a complete AD site running. Another thing shown is how to setup sharing to access data from your guests that reside on the host machine.