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Fake Internet Connectivity for your Lab (Tricking NCSI) – via: Canberra Premier Field Engineering

Posted by jpluimers on 2013/06/21

If you ever wondered why how in Windows – as of Vista – the NCIS (network connection status indicator) determines if you have a valid internet connection, it is pretty simple, as both these pages explain:

NCIS depends on the domain (link to the checks from IntoDNS) and is for supporting Network Awareness in applications.

The probing is done in this order:

  1. Download check:
    1. Do a DNS lookup for
    2. Retrieve the file
    3. Check if the content of this file matches the text “Microsoft NCSI” (without quotes).
  2. DNS check:
    1. Do a DNS lookup for
    2. Check if the DNS lookup returns IPv4 address

Windows supports three outcomes:

  • If the download check succeeds, it assumes a valid internet connection.
  • If not, it does the DNS check. If it resolves, but returns a different address, then it assumes you have no valid internet connection.
  • If it resolves, then it assumes you need to logon to get internet access.

With the above knowledge, it is takes few steps to simulate Fake Internet Connectivity for your Lab (Tricking NCSI):

  1. Setup a server at IPv4 address that does DHCP, DNS, WWW and can act as a default gateway
  2. Have the server serve DHCP so the DHCP clients have a default gateway and DNS pointing to the server
  3. Have the server serve DNS to the client for the domain
  4. Make the server resolve to itself
  5. Make the server serve WWW and serve
  6. Make the server resolve as


via: [Wayback] Fake Internet Connectivity for your Lab (Tricking NCSI) – Canberra Premier Field Engineering: Team Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

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