Tag Archives: OpenVAS

CISO Forum and the problems of Vulnerability Databases

Last Tuesday, April 24,  I was at “CISO FORUM 2020: glance to the future“. I presented there my report “Vulnerability Databases: sifting thousands tons of verbal ore”. In this post, I’ll briefly talk about this report and about the event itself.

CISO Forum 2020

My speech was the last in the program. At the same time, in a parallel stream, there was another interesting presentation by the most famous Russian information security blogger. Thus, there was a real danger of speaking in an empty room. 🙂 But everything went well. There were about 30 spectators and we had an active QA session afterwards.

As I wrote earlier, I started preparing my CyberCentral presentation several months before the event. I did not want to tell the same story again at CISO Forum and PHDays. So I prepared 2 different presentations. At CyberCentral, I was talking about Vulnerability Scanners. And at CISO Forum I was talking mainly about Vulnerable Databases. Of course, I reused some materials, but the accents were different.

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OpenVAS Knowledge Base become smaller

At 23 January Jan Oliver Wagner, leader of OpenVAS project and Greenbone CEO, sent an email with a subject “Attic Cleanup”. In this message, he mentioned, that some NASL plugins will be excluded from the public NVT / Greenbone Community Feed (GCF) soon.

On the one hand it seems logical. These old plugins are not often used, but can slow down the scanner. But in fact there will be less plugins in public NVT feed. And the the commercial Greenbone Security Feed (GSF) will not change. Not good. 😉

“However, we will keep those NVTs in the Greenbone Security Feed (GSF) for the reasons of policy and of service level agreement.”

I took the archives downloaded within a few months after the letter and analyzed which plugins were added and removed:

  • tar -xf community-nvt-feed-current.tar -C 230118/
  • tar -jxf community-nvt-feed-current-2.tar.bz2 –directory 150218/
  • tar -jxf community-nvt-feed-current-3.tar.bz2 –directory 230318/

OpenVAS Plugins Deleted from community feed

The overall amount of plugins changed from 57502 to current 53383.

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Kenna Security: Analyzing Vulnerability Scan data

I’ve been following Kenna Security (before 2015 Risk I/O) for a pretty long time. Mainly, because they do the things I do on a daily basis: analyse various vulnerability scan results and feeds, and prioritize detected vulnerabilities for further mitigation. The only difference is that my scripts and reports are highly specific for my employer’s infrastructure and needs. And guys from Kenna team make a standardized scalable cloud solution that should be suitable for everyone.

I think their niche is really great. They do not compete directly with Vulnerability Management vendors. They can be partners with any of them, bringing additional features to the customers. Perfect win-win combination. That’s why Kenna speakers regularly participate in joint webinars with VM vendors.

I couldn’t lose a great opportunity to see Kenna Security service in action. 😉

In this post I will try to make a very brief review of Kenna functionality and formulate pros and cons of the solution.

When you submit trial request at https://www.eu.kennasecurity.com/signup (or https://app.kennasecurity.com/signup if you are not in Europe) you will get a link to your company account:

https://corporation.eu.kennasecurity.com/

The login screen will look like this:

Kenna login

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New Nessus 7 Professional and the end of cost-effective Vulnerability Management (as we knew it)

It’s an epic and really sad news. 🙁

Nessus 7 release

When people asked me about the cost-effective solution for Vulnerability Management I usually answered: “Nessus Professional with some additional automation through Nessus API”.

With just a couple of Nessus Professional scanning nodes it was possible to scan all the infrastructure and network perimeter (see “Vulnerability Management for Network Perimeter“). Price for each node was fixed and reasonable. And you could make your any reports from the raw scan data, as you like it.

Nessus Pro was still were best choice even when Tenable:

  • Cut off master/slave functionality in Nessus and created “Nessus Manager”.
  • Changed API completely during the update from 5 to 6 version.
  • Gradually increased the price from $1,5k to $2,7k per scanning node per year.

But unfortunately it’s not anymore. End of an era.

And what is even more sad is that Tenable does not mention disabling the API and multi-user function in the main Nessus 7 marketing, as it never was, as if it’s not very important. Just look at “Announcing Nessus Professional v7” – not a word  about “API” or users. Only in additional link:

get more information Nessus7

Only there, in the text (not a video) there is an information about removed features.

The nice little things like “Easily transferable license” and “Emailed scan reports and custom report name / logo” do not make it any better.

So, what next?

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Vulnerability Management for Network Perimeter

Network Perimeter is like a door to your organization. It is accessible to everyone and vulnerability exploitation does not require any human interactions, unlike, for example, phishing attacks. Potential attacker can automate most of his actions searching for an easy target. It’s important not to be such of target. 😉

Vulnerability Management for Network Perimeter

What does it mean to control the network perimeter? Well, practically this process consist of two main parts:

  • Assessing network hosts that are facing Internet using some Network Scanner (Nessus, OpenVAS, Qualys, MaxPatrol. F-Secure Radar, etc.)
  • Assessing application servers, e.g. Web Servers, on these hosts using some special tools, e.g. Web Application Scanners (Acunetix, Burp Suite, Qualys WAS, Tenable.io WAS, High-Tech Bridge ImmuniWeb, etc.)

Active scanning is a good method of perimeter assessment. Dynamics of the assets is relatively low, comparing with the Office Network. Perimeter hosts usually stays active all the time, including the time when you are going to scan scanning them. 😉

Most of the dangerous vulnerabilities can be detected without authorization: problems with encryption (OpenSSL Heartbleed, Poodle, etc.). RCE and DoS of web servers and frameworks (Apache Struts and Equifax case)

The best results can be achieved with scanners deployed outside of your network. Thus, you will see your Network Perimeter the same way a potential attacker sees it. But certainly, you will be in a better position:

  • You can ask your IT administrators to add your network and WAS scanners in white list, so they will not be banned.
  • You can check and correlate scan results of remote scanner with (authenticated?) scan results produced by the scanner deployed in your organization’s network and thus filtering false positives.

What about the targets for scanning? How should you get them?

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