Tag Archives: Exploit-DB

Potential RCE in Nessus 7 and attacks on Vulnerability Scanners

A few days ago I saw an interesting youtube video (UPD. 14.05.18 Not available anymore) in my Facebook feed. It is demonstrating the exploitation of the RCE vulnerability in Tenable Nessus Professional 7.0.3. Currently we have very few information about this vulnerability: only youtube video, which is mentioned only on ExploitWareLabs facebook page.

Nessus 7.0.3 RCE

While there is no exploit in public access, it’s hard to say how it actually works. It’s also not clear what versions of Nessus are affected. 7.0.3 is the latest version currently. Because of API disabling in Nessus 7 many users are still on 6.11.3. It is not clear whether they are affected or not.

This even can be a fake video. Therefore, I specifically write “potential RCE”. I will update this post when more data is available.

UPD. 14.05.18 In the comments to my Facebook post anonymous account Destring Portal posted a comment with the second video of Nessus RCE exploitation and it seems, that it was made by the same author. In this video, the author runs a remote shell on the Nessus host and executes various commands. I will add review of this second video bellow.

Nessus RCE second video

UPD. 10.05.18 Renaud Deraison, Co-Founder and CTO of Tenable, commented on my post at Linkedin:

Our research team studied the video and we have several reasons to doubt its authenticity. We’ve conducted a thorough audit over the last 48 hours based the few details that are in the video and didn’t find anything. We reached out the researcher and instead of replying he removed the video*. We’ll communicate if indeed there is a risk.

In general, you are right though – the security of scanners is of paramount importance. This actually is a topic I’ve been extremely worried about ever since the early days of Nessus. We have a number of security mechanisms in place (interpreted language for the detection scripts, ciphered temporary files, very limited runtime environment) which really aim to limit the risk of being exploited but also to mitigate the risk should the scanner be compromised. I actually did a few talks in the past about scanning “rogue hosts” and we continue to treat all input as hostile.

Again, we’re continuing to investigate the matter and will let you know if we find anything.

* currently video is still available on the same address; it could be probably blocked for some time. (UPD. 14.05.18 Not available anymore)

In any case, it’s a good reason to talk about vulnerabilities of such kind, how they appear and how to protect Vulnerability Scanners from attackers.

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Exploitability attributes of Nessus plugins: good, bad and Vulners

Exploitability is one of the most important criteria for prioritizing vulnerabilities. Let’s see how good is the exploit-related data of Tenable Nessus NASL plugins and whether we can do it better.

Nessus exploitability

What are the attributes related to exploits? To understand this, I parsed all nasl plugins and got the following results.

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Vulners – Google for hacker. How the best vulnerability search engine works and how to use it

Original article was published in Xakep Magazine #06/2016 (in Russian)

vulners.com logo

The common task. Уou need to find all information about some vulnerability: how critical the bug is, whether there is a public exploit, which vendors already released patches, which vulnerability scanner can detect this bug in the system. Previously, you had to search it all manually in dozens of sources (CVEDetails, SecurityFocus, Rapid7 DB, Exploit-DB, CVEs from MITRE / NIST, vendor newsletters, etc.) and analyze the collected data. Today, this routine can be (and should be!) automated with specialized services. One of these services – Vulners.com, the coolest search engine for bugs. And what is the most important – it’s free and has an open API. Let’s see how it can be useful for us.

What is it?

Vulners is a very large constantly updating database of Information Security content. This site lets you search for vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, bug bounty programs the same way a web search engine lets you search for websites. Vulners aggregates and presents in convenient form seven major types of data:

  • Popular vulnerability databases, containing general descriptions of vulnerabilities and links. For example, well-known NVD CVEs of MITRE US agency and NIST Institute. In addition to this, Vulners supports vulnerability descriptions from various research centers and response teams: Vulnerability Lab, XSSed, CERT, ICS, Zero Day Initiative, Positive Technologies, ERPScan.
  • Vendor’s security bulletins. This bug-reports are published by software vendors and contain information about vulnerabilities in their own products. At current moment Vulners supports various Linux distributions (Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE), FreeBSD, network devices (F5 Networks, Cisco, Huawei, Palo Alto Networks), popular and critical software (OpenSSL, Samba, nginx, Mozilla, Opera), including CMS (WordPress, Drupal).
  • Exploits from Exploit-DB, Metasploit and 0day.today. Exploits are parsed and stored in full-text form and you can read the sources in a convenient text editor.
  • Nessus plugins for vulnerability detection. It makes easy to find out whether a particular vulnerability can be detected using this popular network scanner. Why is it important? Read in my article “When a free scanning service detects vulnerabilities better“.
  • Bug disclousers for bug bounty programs. At current moment Vulners supports HackerOne and Open Bug Bounty.
  • Potential vulnerabilities of mobile applications and CMS. It is possible in cooperation with the static application security testing (SAST) vendors Hackapp and InfoWatch APPERCUT.
  • Posts from hacking resources. Vulners collects Threatpost and rdot.org publications, which often cover vulnerability related topics.

All this information is handled, cataloged, structured and is always available for the search.

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