Automating Telegram Messages with Powershell

In this post I will go through automating Telegram Messages with Powershell, including a full script as an example.

Truth to be told, I’ve installed, and first used, Telegram about 3 hours before writing this post, but I saw so much potentials that I couldn’t wait to publish this. Consider also that I was actually after something similar for WhatsApp, but there’s no official API from them yet.

So because I’m such a noob here, I will actually go through the steps I’ve followed to get a Bot configured to work. Note that a Bot is an easier way to handle this sort automation, but if you’re an advanced user, you could look directly into Telegram’s API which will be way more flexible.

What can I actually use this for?

Well, of course you can just do it for fun and be able to send a message via powershell. But that’d be wasting this great potential. If I look out of the box, I see a possibility to build a (cheap) notification system and/or a (cheap) runbook system.

For example, imagine that you’ve got a script running that right now sends you an email once done just to tell you that the script has finished in 30 minutes. Why an email? Isn’t it handier having an actual push-notification on your phone telling you that?

Let’s think bigger, you’re deploying a new Virtual Machine with an automated script and, besides sending you a report via email, you want to know when it’s done so that you perhaps can go and work on the VM you just deployed, without continuously checking the status of the deployment. Or imagine adding a simple Message after an SCCM Task Sequence has been completed or even just use it to alert in case of a low disk space etc.

Now, what I like the most, what if Powershell can read what we’re writing into that conversation and based on that take actions? Like a runbook. Example: you write “Restart-Computer”. The PS script  could have a part of the code that checks every X amount of time if somebody wrote something and if they did, it checks the message. If the message equals to “Restart-Computer” then go and restart the computer. This is a very basic example, but it contain the core of what this can be used for.

Based on this idea, I actually build a very simple runbook automation script to leverage a Telegram message. Check it out here: Building a runbook with Powershell and Telegram

In the example at the end of this article I will be showing you how to send a message to a Telegram group and a possible action take after somebody replies with a specific keyword.

Set a Bot up

I suggest you to use a computer after step 1 as it’s going to be a bit faster in my opinion. This first bit is super simple.

  1. The first thing you want to do is register with Telegram if you haven’t done it yet. To do that, just go and download the app from the store (depending on what smartphone you’ve got).
  2. Launch the BotFather by opening this link: https://telegram.me/botfather
    • Start a conversation with the BotFather by typing /newbot – This will start the Bot creation wizard.
    • At this point, you will be asked to provide a Friendly name and a username. Once that is done, you will be provided with the token to be used in our scripts.
    • Telegram_botfather_create-bot

Time to intercept the Chat ID and run a quick test

So, in order for us to leverage the Bot to send a message, we will need to get the Chat ID of the conversation we want the Bot to talk/listen in. (more…)

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Searching a GPO for a specific setting with Powershell

Searching a GPO for a specific setting with Powershell is a pretty simple task to perform and it’s really handy when you need to go through a ton of policies or domains in the forest. The script I’ll propose below is very basic and will only require you to input the Domain and the string you want to be searching.

Prerequisites

  • You must be able to have enough permission to access all GPOs in the environment. Searching in a domain where you can only see a part of GPOs is sort of useless as the setting you’re after might not be visible with your rights. Perhaps this is good enough for you.
  • You must have the Group Policy Management feature installed.
    • Windows Client
      • Turn Windows features on or off >> Remote Server Administration Tools >> Feature Administration Tools >>Group Policy Management Tools.
    • Windows Server
      • Enable the Group Policy Management feature.

This is not a prerequisite, but I strongly suggest you to run this from a machine as close as possible to a Domain Controller. In a large environment it’ll take a long time to run, if ran on a slow link.

Searching a GPO for a specific setting with Powershell – The script.

In the example below, I’m searching for “Windows Defender Firewall” for the domain idroplets.com.

Here’s an example of what happens when the script finds what you’re looking for:

Search-GPO-for-Specific-String-Powershell_Example

If you want to use this on your one, modify the first two lines by adding the domain and the string you want to look for.

Script Review

After the first two variables to be input by the user, the script will try to get the nearest Domain Controller from where the its being executed. This is extremely handy to avoid to go to talk to a Domain Controller on a slower network.
It then gets a list of all GPOs in the domain and sort them by their DisplayName. This is important as the script will then go through them all alphabetically and you’ll can see them as they’re displayed in the GUI without going crazy.
For each GPO found, the script will get a report for it and will finally try to match the string you’re looking for. If it’s found, it’ll write down, in green, that the GPO has been found and will return more info such as the GPO ID and its Status.

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Get GoodWe data with Powershell

I recently had a few solar panels installed over the roof of my house and right after that I thought, how can I get GoodWe data with Powershell?

GoodWe is the brand of the inverter installed, which connects to my home wifi and sends data automatically to the GoodWe Portal. The model I have is the GW4200D-NS.

I have to say that I wasn’t happy with the app I was provided with, neither was I happy with the portal, which refreshes the Real Time Data every 15 minutes! What kind of real time is that? However, to be fairly honest, why would you want to see actual Read Time readings? Well, because I want to. 🙂

Before looking for a solution on my own, I always search online, I don’t want to re-invent the wheel, so I found a post where I got the main idea: https://brnrd.eu/misc/2016-03-13/goodwe-logging-to-pvoutput.html . This post describes a way of grabbing the data from a non-Windows environment.

Important: I am not (nor is the post above) grabbing the data directly from the inverter, but I am leveraging the GoodWe portal information. An idea I have is to sniff the traffic the inverter sends to goodwe, capture it and re-utilise it, however I’m not too interested in that yet as the solution I have works fine.

Edit 20180605: GoodWe has started using HTTPS, so the previous script got broken because of this. I’ve updated it (just changed the URL from http to https) and the script is working as usual.

(more…)

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Replicate all group members from Group A to Group B in Powershell

This is going to be a very quick article that will show you how to simply replicate all members from a group over to another group with the AD powershell module.

There are mainly two different goals:

  1. You want to replicate all group members from Group A to Group B in Powershell, as they are.
  2. You want to replicate all users that are in Group A recursively to Group B.

Case 1

Simple enough, this will grab every member as it is (either a user, a group or any other object) and add it to Group B.

Case 2

The difference between case 1 and 2 is -Recursive. This will grab all members including members of other groups. For instance if Group A had 3 members, 2 user objects and a group called “Group A1” which then contained 3 users, you will see that Group B will contain just the 5 users and not the groups.

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iDRAC 6: Drive Error Either Virtual Media is detached

I was working on one of these old iDRACs and once I added a new ISO, I was not able to mount it because of the error below.

iDRAC 6: Drive Error Either Virtual Media is detached or Virtual Media redirection for the selected virtual disk drive is already in use.

In order to fix this issue, connect to iDRAC with an admin account and go to System > Console/Media, then on Configuration.

idrac6-system-console_media-configuration

Under “Virtual Media” change it to Attach (or Auto Attach if you like).

idrac6-system-console_media-configuration_attach

Apply the changes and you’re good to go!

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