Tag Archives: NIST

What is a vulnerability and what is not?

It looks like a pretty simple question. I used it to started my MIPT lecture. But actually the answer is not so obvious. There are lots of formal definitions of a vulnerability. For example in NIST Glossary there are 17 different definitions. The most popular one (used in 13 documents) is:

Vulnerability is a weakness in an information system, system security procedures, internal controls, or implementation that could be exploited or triggered by a threat source
NISTIR 7435 The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) and Its Applicability to Federal Agency Systems

But I prefer this one, it’s from the glossary as well:

Vulnerability is a bug, flaw, weakness, or exposure of an application, system, device, or service that could lead to a failure of confidentiality, integrity, or availability.

I think the best way to talk about vulnerabilities is to treat them as bugs and errors. Because people deal with such entities more often in a form of software freezes and BSODs. šŸ˜‰

You probably heard a joke, that a bug can be presented as a feature if it is well-documented and the software developers don’t want to fix it.

Bug, feature and vulnerability

Vulnerability is also a specific bug that can lead to some security issues. Or at least it is declared.

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Assessing Linux Security Configurations with SCAP Workbench

Recently I had a chance to work with OpenSCAP. It’s a set of free and open-source tools for Linux Configuration Assessment andĀ  a collection security content in SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) format.

In this post I will write about SCAP Workbench.Ā It is a GUI application that can check the configuration of your local Linux host (or the remote host via ssh; note that agent installation is required), and show the settings that are not comply with some security standard, for example PCI DSS or DISA STIG.

SCAP Workbench PCI DSS CentOS7 localhost

Moreover, you can generate the script for automated remediation. You can also create your own scan profiles based on existingĀ  SCAP content.

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Vulnerability Databases: Classification and Registry

What publicly available Vulnerability Databases do we have? Well, I can only say that there are a lot of them and they are pretty different. Here I make an attempt to classify them.

It’s quite an ungrateful task. No matter how hard you try, the final result will be rather inaccurate and incomplete. I am sure someone will be complaining. But this is how I see it. šŸ˜‰Ā If you want to add or change something feel free to make a comment bellow or email me@avleonov.com.

The main classifier, which I came up with:

  • There are individual vulnerability databases in which one identifier means one vulnerability. They try to cover all existing vulnerabilities.
  • And others are security bulletins. They cover vulnerabilities in a particular product or products. And they usually based on on patches. One patch may cover multiple vulnerabilities.

I made this diagram with some Vulnerability Databases. Note that I wanted to stay focused, so there are no exploit DBs, CERTs, lists of vulnerabilities detected by some researchers (CISCO Talos, PT Research, etc.), Media and Bug Bounty sites.

Vulnerability Databases classification

For these databases the descriptions of vulnerabilities are publicly available on the site (in html interface or downloadable data feed), or exist in a form of paid Vulnerability Intelligence service (for example, Flexera).

On one side there are databases of individual vulnerabilities, the most important is National Vulnerability Database. There are also Chinese, Japanese bases that can be derived from NVD or not.

On the other side we have security bulletins, for example RedHat Security Advisories.

And in the middle we have a Vulnerability Databases, for which it is not critical whether they have duplicated vulnerability IDs or not.

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New National Vulnerability Database visualizations and feeds

Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) introduced a new version of National Vulnerability Database (NVD) website.

NIST NVD new siteļæ¼

I will not say that I liked this redesign:

new NVD website

IMHO, old website with US flag was much prettier and useful:

old NVD website

But the very fact that the site is developing, I really like very much. Let’s see what’s new there.

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.audit-based Compliance Management in Nessus

In this post I will briefly describe how Nessus .audit-based Compliance Management works, why I like it, what could be improved and why I suppose Tenable won’t do it soon. šŸ˜‰

Nessus compliance checks are mainly presented in a form of special .audit scripts. This scripting language is very different from familiar NASL (Nessus Attack Scripting Language).

Basically, it is a collection of universal checks for various objects (e.g. existence of the line or parameter in the file, access permissions of the file,Ā  service status, etc.). Of course, nowadays Š”ompliance Management is not only aboutĀ Operating System and software (mis)configuration. We have different network devices, databases, cloud services, etc. but originally it was the main case.

By combining the universal checksĀ  any requirement of low-level configuration standard (CIS, DISA, etc.) can be implemented. The similar principles are used in OVAL/SCAP content.

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Testing Secpod Saner Personal vulnerability scanner

SecPod Technologies is an information security products company located in Bangalore, India. They are also known as top OVAL Contributor and NVT vendor for OpenVAS. Besides the products designed for a big enterprises (vulnerability scanner Saner Business and threat intelligence platform Ancor), they have either vulnerability and compliance management solution for personal use – Saner Personal. And personal means that this scanner will scan only localhost. It’s free, SCAP-compatible, it has remediation capabilities. And it works. =)

Secpod Saner Personal scanning results

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Hello!

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Thanks for visiting my website! Glad to see you here.

My name is Alexander and I’m an Information Security Automation specialist. For 6 years I have actively participated in development of MaxPatrol and XSpider – the best known Vulnerability and Compliance Management products in Russia and CIS. I also worked in the biggest Russian Internet/Mobile Companies and Financial Institutions providing precise automated vulnerability assessment and vulnerability intelligence of a huge and diverse IT-infrastructure.

Enthusiast for NIST/MITRE/CIS and OWASP open security standards and initiatives.

Also the head of OpenVAS Russia project.

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Feel free to follow me or add me to your friend list at facebook, twitter, linkedin, telegram. Sometimes I publish videos on my youtube channel.

My email: me@avleonov.com