Category Archives: Vulnerability Management

How to fix “Nessus failed to load the SSH private key” error?

If you are using Nessus to scan Linux hosts and authenticate by key, you may encounter this problem.

You have generated the keys correctly, placed the public key on a remote server. You can connect to this server using the private key.

ssh -p22 -i private_key user@server.corporation.com

But when scanning with Nessus, you get weird errors in the various plugin outputs:

  • Target Credential Status by Authentication Protocol – Failure for Provided Credentials
  • Nessus failed to load the SSH private key. Is the associated passphrase correct?
  • Failed to parse the given key information.
  • Unable to login to remote host with supplied credential sets.
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My thoughts on the “2021 Gartner Market Guide for Vulnerability Assessment”. What about the quality?

The Gartner Vulnerability Management Reports are one of the few marketing reports that I try to read regularly. This started back in the days when I was working for a VM vendor doing competitive analysis. Gartner is one of the few organizations that think about Vulnerability Assessment and Vulnerability Management and clearly articulate where we are and where we are going.

I got a free reprint of “2021 Gartner Market Guide for Vulnerability Assessment” from the Tenable website. Thanks a lot to them for that.

Let’s start with what I liked:

  1. It’s great that Gartner has made vulnerability prioritization technology (VPT) a separate class of solutions, that do not detect vulnerabilities themselves, but work with them. For example, Kenna or my Vulristics. And it could be additional functionality like Tenable VPR.
  2. I liked the focus on EDR as a promising VM replacement. Especially, Microsoft solutions (Defender for Endpoint or as was mentioned in the report Microsoft’s Threat & Vulnerability Management, TVM).
  3. It’s nice that various areas related to Vulnerability Management have been mentioned: Pentest, Bug Bounty, Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS).
  4. An interesting diagram that shows that VA is primarily about “Assess” and “Asset Management”, VPT is primarily about “Prioritize” and “Workflow Management”, BAS is primarily about “Compensate” and “Security Controls”.

Now what I didn’t like. I have one pain point – the quality of the scanning. And here, on the one hand, something was said, but on the other, it was not enough and not as definite as I would like. Market Direction is the most interesting section of the document. And it was the most painful to read.

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Last Week’s Security news: PrintNightmare patches and Metasploit, Kaseya CVEs, Morgan Stanley Accellion FTA, Cisco BPA and WSA, Philips Vue PACS, CISA RVAs, Lazarus job offers

Hello guys! The third episode of Last Week’s Security news, July 5 – July 11. There was a lot of news last week. Most of them was again about PrintNightmare and Kaseya.

The updates for PrintNightmare (CVE-2021-34527) were finally released mid-week. It became possible not only to disable the service, but also to update the hosts. This is especially important for desktops that need to print something. But the problem is that these patches can be bypassed. “If you have a system where PointAndPrint NoWarningNoElevationOnInstall = 1, then Microsoft’s patch for #PrintNightmare CVE-2021-34527 does nothing to prevent either LPE or RCE”. Microsoft has updated their security update guide after that: “if you set this reg key to = 1 then the system is vulnerable by design”. It seems that solving this problem requires hardening and registry monitoring.

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Vulristics HTML Report Update: Table for Products, Table for Vuln. Types and “Prevalence”

Hi guys! I was on vacation this week. So I had time to work on my Vulristics project. For those who don’t know, this is a framework for prioritizing known CVE vulnerabilities. I was mainly grooming the HTML report.

I added a logo at the top, set a max width for the report, added a timestamp when the report was created so you can now see how fresh it is. I have combined CVSS and Vulristics score statistics in two parallel columns.

But the main new feature is the tables of vulnerable products and types of vulnerabilities. The products are sorted by “prevalence”. You can review this list and ask yourself if this order is correct in your opinion or change the “prevalence” values for some products in the config dictionary. For software products with unknown “prevalence”, you will see the comment “Unclassified Product”.

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PHDays 10: U.S. Sanctions, My Talk on Vulristics, Other Great Talks Related to VM

Today I will talk about the Positive Hack Days conference, which took place on May 20 and May 21 in Moscow. I can say that this was and remains the main event for Information Security Practitioners in Russia.

First of all, I have to say a few words about the sanctions. The organizer of the event, Positive Technologies, is under the sanctions of the US Treasury Department since April 2021 among the “COMPANIES IN THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR SUPPORTING RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICES”. In a press release, the Treasury Department wrote that Positive Technologies hosts large-scale conventions that are used as recruiting events for russian special services. Well, I don’t know exactly what they mean. Maybe they mean PHDays or maybe not. But to say this about PHDays is like saying that any major international conference, Black Hat or RSA, is a recruiting event. This is ridiculous. In my humble opinion, these are some dirty political games. It is sad that reputable information security companies and security researchers are suffering from this.

Now let’s talk about my speech at PHDays 10. This year I had the opportunity to talk for an hour about my pet project – Vulristics. This project can help you prioritize known vulnerabilities. Anything that has a CVE id. There is a full video of my speech. I have uploaded this to my YouTube channel.

Russian version.

And a version that was dubbed into English.

So, if you’re interested, I recommend watching the full video. Here I will simply repeat the main points.

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AM Live Vulnerability Management Conference Part 2: What was I talking about there

Hello all! It is the second part about AM Live Vulnerability Management conference. In the first part I made the timecodes for the 2 hours video in Russian. Here I have combined all my lines into one text.

What is Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability Management process is the opposite of the admin’s saying “If it works – don’t touch it!”. The main idea of this process is to somehow fix the vulnerabilities. How do you achieve this is not so important. Maybe you will have a nice Plan-Do-Check-Act process and strict policies. Maybe not. The main thing is that you fix vulnerabilities! And the main problem is to negotiate this regular patching with system administrators and service owners.

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AM Live Vulnerability Management Conference Part 1: Full video in Russian + Timecodes in English

Hello all! 2 weeks ago I participated in the best online event fully dedicated to Vulnerability Management in Russia. It was super fun and exciting. Thanks to all the colleagues and especially to Lev Paley for the great moderation! I have talked out completely. Everything I wanted and the way I wanted. It seems that not a single hot topic was missed.

AM LIve: Vulnerability Management conference

You can see the two hours video below. It is in Russian. And it’s pretty complicated to translate it all. I won’t event try. ? If you don’t understand Russian you can try auto-generated and auto-translated subtitles on YouTube, but the quality is far from ideal.

To give you the idea what we were talking about I added the timecodes in English.

Timecodes

Section 1. Vulnerability Management Process and Solutions

  • 5:18 Vulnerability Management Process Definition
  • 10:53 Vulnerability Management is the opposite of the admin’s saying “If it works – don’t touch it!” The main thing in the process is to somehow fix the vulnerabilities. (Leonov)
  • 12:30 Sometimes a basic vulnerability scanner and Jira is already a Vulnerability Management solution (Leonov)
  • 13:30 Difference between Vulnerability Management Solutions and Vulnerability Scanners
  • 17:09 Vulnerability Management and Vulnerability Scanners: in our restaurant we call rusks “croutons”, because a rusk cannot cost $8, but crouton can” (Leonov)
  • 23:00 Licensing schemes, delivery options and costs
  • 28:48 Module-based licensing and the situations when modules can be excluded from the subscription (Paley)
  • 30:24 Commercial Vulnerability Management solutions are expensive, especially when licensed per host (Leonov)
  • 31:00 Maxpatrol unlimited licenses (Bengin)
  • 34:08 Perimeter scanning: very critical, low reliability of banner-based detections, it’s better to assess hosts accessible from the Internet with internal authenticated scans. Criticality of the network as an element of scoring. (Leonov)
  • 36:50 The impact of Regulators on the Vulnerability Management Market, a free ScanOVAL tool
  • 39:10 What to do with vulnerabilities in local software products that are not supported by foreign VM vendors?
  • 44:00 When it’s enough to use a free scanner? Could there be a full-functional and free vulnerability scanner? In theory, yes, but it is not clear how the vendor will finance the maintenance of the knowledge base. In practice, we see how such stories collapse. You need to understand the limitations of free products (such as OpenVAS). Including the completeness of the scan results and the ease of building the VM process. (Leonov)
  • 47:19 Poll: what is used in your organization?
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