Tag Archives: Nessus

VMconf 22: Blindspots in the Knowledge Bases of Vulnerability Scanners

Hello everyone! This video was recorded for the VMconf22 Vulnerability Management conference. I want to talk about the blind spots in the knowledge bases of Vulnerability Scanners and Vulnerability Management products.

This report was presented in Russian at Tenable Security Day 2022. The video is here.

Potential customers rarely worry about the completeness of the Knowledge Base when choosing a Vulnerability Scanner. They usually trust the VM vendors’ claims of the “largest vulnerability base” and the total number of detection plugins. But in fact the completeness is very important. All high-level vulnerability prioritization features are meaningless unless the vulnerability has been reliably detected. In this presentation, I will show the examples of blindspots in the knowledge bases of vulnerability management products, try to describe the causes and what we (as customers and the community) can do about it.

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Vulnerability Intelligence based on media hype. It works? Grafana LFI and Log4j “Log4Shell” RCE

Hello everyone! In this episode, I want to talk about vulnerabilities, news and hype. The easiest way to get timely information on the most important vulnerabilities is to just read the news regularly, right? Well, I will try to reflect on this using two examples from last week.

I have a security news telegram channel https://t.me/avleonovnews that is automatically updated by a script using many RSS feeds. And the script even highlights the news associated with vulnerabilities, exploits and attacks.

And last Tuesday, 07.02, a very interesting vulnerability in Grafana was released.

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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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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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Nessus Essentials with offline registration and plugin updates

In this episode, I would like to talk about Nessus Essentials and, in particular, how to register and update it without direct internet access. Nothing complicated, but there are a couple of pitfalls that I would like to share.

Nessus Essentials with offline updates

Let’s say you need to scan a host in a critical autonomous segment where Internet access is strictly prohibited. In such scenarios, Nessus Essentials is really suitable. It is a fully functional network vulnerability scanner with a good vulnerability knowledgebase. It can be registered and updated offline! And most importantly, it’s free even for corporate use! There is, of course, a 16 IP addresses limit, but in this case it is not really important.

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Barapass, Tsunami scanner, vulnerabilities in Windows DNS Server and SAP products, weird attack on Twitter

This episode is based on posts from my Telegram channel avleonovcom, published in the last 2 weeks. So, if you use Telegram, please subscribe. I update it frequently.

Barapass, Tsunami scanner, vulnerabilities in Windows DNS Server and SAP products, weird attack on Twitter

Barapass update

I recently released an update to my password manager barapass. BTW, it seems to be my only pet project at the MVP stage, which I use every day. ?

What’s new:

  1. Now I am sure that it works on Windows 10 without WSL. And you can run it beautifully even with the icon. ? Read more about installation in Windows in this file.
  2. Not only “copy the next value to the clipboard” (or “revolver mode” ) is now possible in the search results section. You can also get the previous value or copy the same value one again if it was somehow erased in the clipboard. Previously, I had to retype the search request each time to do this, and it was quite annoying. By the way, I unexpectedly discovered that the user input history inside the application magically works in the Windows shell (using up and down arrows) without any additional coding. On Linux it does not.
  3. You can set a startup command, for example, to decrypt the container.
  4. The startup command and quick (favorite) commands are now in settings.json and not hard-coded.
  5. settings.json, container files and decrypted files are now in “files” directory. It became more convenient to update barapass, just change the scripts in the root directory and that’s it. I divided the scripts into several files, now it should be more clear how it works.

So, if you need a minimalistic console password manager in which you can easily use any encryption you like – welcome! You can read more about barapass in my previous post.

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Parsing Nessus v2 XML reports with python

Upd. This is an updated post from 2017. The original script worked pretty well for me until the most recent moment when I needed to get compliance data from Nessus scan reports, and it failed. So I researched how this information is stored in a file, changed my script a bit, and now I want to share it with you.

Previous post about Nessus v2 reports I was writing mainly about the format itself. Now let’s see how you can parse them with Python.

Please don’t work with XML documents the same way you process text files. I adore bash scripting and awk, but that’s an awful idea to use it for XML parsing. In Python you can do it much easier and the script will work much faster. I will use lxml library for this.

So, let’s assume that we have Nessus xml report. We could get it using Nessus API (upd. API is not officially supported in Nessus Professional since version 7) or SecurityCenter API. First of all, we need to read content of the file.

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