Category Archives: Vulnerability Management

Publicly available Tenable .audit scripts

This is most likely a slowpoke news, but I just found out that Tenable .audit files with formalized Compliance Management checks are publicly available and can be downloaded without any registration. 😳🀩 However, you must accept the looooong license agreement.

Tenable .audit script

So, I have two (completely theoretical!) questions πŸ€”:

  1. What if someone supports the .audit format in some compliance tool and gives the end user an ability to use this content by Tenable to asses their systems? Will it be fair and legal?
  2. What if someone uses this content as a source of inspiration for his own content, for example, in a form of OVAL/SCAP or some scripts? Will it be fair and legal?
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The most magnificent thing about Vulnerabilities and who is behind the magic

What I like the most about software vulnerabilities is how “vulnerability”, as a quality of a real object (and the computer program is real), literally appears from nothing.

The most magnificent thing about Vulnerabilities and who is behind the magic

Let’s say we have a fully updated server. We turn it off, lock it in a safe and forget about it for half a year. Six months later, we get it, turn it on. It is the same and works absolutely the same. But now it is also exposed to dozens of critical vulnerabilities that, with some (un)luck, can be exploited by any script kiddie. New important characteristic of the material object appeared from nowhere, isn’t this magnificent? 🀩

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PHDays 9: new methods of Vulnerability Prioritization in Vulnerability Management products

On May 21, I spoke at the PHDays 9 conference. I talked about new methods of Vulnerability Prioritization in the products of Vulnerability Management vendors.

PHDays9 new ways of prioritizing vulnerabilities

During my 15 minutes time slot I defined the problems that this new technology has to solve, showed why these problems could NOT be solved using existing frameworks (CVSS), described what we currently have on the market and, as usual, criticized VM vendors and theirs solutions a little bit. πŸ™‚

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Code IB 2019: Vulnerability Management Masterclass

On March 29, I held one hour master class “HOW to avoid excessive formalism in Vulnerability Management process” at Code IB Profi 2019. Everything went quite well and I’ve got 88% positive ratings. Not bad result ^_^.

The main feature of the conference was a very special audience. The only way to visit this event was to buy a real ticket (there were no promotional codes, invites, free tickets from sponsors, etc.). So, the people who came were really interested in the content. Target audience: CISO, their deputies, leading experts from all industries. The whole event was up to 200 people, it lasted for 2 days with 4 threads of masterclasses.

This year organizers decided that titles of all masterclasses should start with “How to” (to keep them practical) and there should be checklists for each masterclass as a handout. I am going to translate my checklist Into English and publish it in this blog soon.

In fact, there were 2 masterclasses on Vulnerability Management at the conference! The second was held by Lev Paley. However, our content did not intersect: I spoke mostly about technical stuff (and I criticized VM vendors as usual), and he spoke mainly about the organizational part and high-level processes.

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Vulnerability Management vendors and Vulnerability Remediation problems

It’s not a secret, that Vulnerability Management vendors don’t pay much attention to the actual process of fixing vulnerabilities, that they detect in the infrastructure (Vulnerability Remediation). Although it seems to be the main goal of VM products: to make vulnerabilities fixed and whole IT infrastructure more secure, right?

In fact, most of VM vendors see their job in finding a potential problem and providing a link to the Software Vendor’s website page with the remediation description. How exactly the remediation will be done is not their business.

Vulnerability Management vendors and Vulnerability Remediation

The reason is clear. Remediation is a painful topic and it’s difficult to sell it as a ready-made solution. And even when Vulnerability Vendors try to sell it this way, it turns out pretty ugly and does not really work. Mainly because the Remediation feature is sold to the Security Team, and the IT Team will have to use it.

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Why Asset Management is so important for Vulnerability Management and Infrastructure Security?

When people ask me how should they start building Vulnerability Management process in their organization (well, sometimes it happens), I advice them to create an effective Asset Management process first. Because it’s the foundation of the whole Infrastructure Security.

Asset Management. Because someone has to clean up this mess.

The term “Asset Management” has different meanings and if you start to google it, you will get some results related mainly to finance sphere. I use this term as Qualys and Tenable. For me Asset Management is the process of dealing with network hosts.

So, what should you do in situation described in the tweet above, when you don’t know exactly how many Windows hosts you have in your corporate IT environment? And, more importantly, why do you need to know?

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Can a Vulnerability Scan break servers and services?

The most serious problem of Vulnerability Scanners is that they are too complex and unpredictable. Usually they don’t affect the target hosts, but when they do, welcome to hell! And if you scan huge infrastructure, tens thousands hosts and more, it’s not “if” the scanner will break the server it’s “when” it will do it.

As a responsible person for Vulnerability Management you will be also responsible for all the troubles that VM product can make in the IT infrastructure. And what will you say to the angry mob of your colleagues from IT and Business when they will be quite curious to know why did the service/server go down after the scan? Actually, it’s not much to say.

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