Tag Archives: OVAL

How to Perform a Free Ubuntu Vulnerability Scan with OpenSCAP and Canonical’s Official OVAL Content

Hello everyone! Five years ago I wrote a blogpost about OpenSCAP. But it was only about the SCAP Workbench GUI application and how to use it to detect security misconfigurations.

Alternative video link (for Russia): https://vk.com/video-149273431_456239104

This time, I will install the OpenSCAP command line tool on Ubuntu and use it to check for vulnerabilities on my local host.

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End of CentOS Linux. Where to migrate?

Hello everyone! As you probably know, CentOS Linux, the main Enterprise-level Linux server distribution, will soon disappear. It wasn’t hard to predict when RedHat acquired CentOS in 2014, and now it is actually happening. End of life of CentOS Linux 8 was 31.12.2021. There won’t be CentOS Linux as downstream for RedHat anymore. Only CentOS Stream, that will be upstream for RedHat, more or less a testing distro like Fedora.

Of course, it is a matter of debate whether security guys can actually decide which Linux distributions a company will use and set that as a requirement. But in any case, the security guys will definitely take part in the decision. I made a poll in my Telegram channel. 113 people voted. So, let’s take a look at the results and discuss which of the Linux distributions we can recommend to IT teams.

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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 ?:

  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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ISACA Moscow Vulnerability Management Meetup 2018

Last Thursday, September 20th, I spoke at ISACA Moscow “Vulnerability Management” Meetup held at Polytechnic University. The only event in Moscow devoted solely to Vulnerability Management. So I just had to take part in it. 🙂

ISACA VM 2018 Alexander Leonov

The target audience of the event – people who implement the vulnerability management process in organizations and the employees of Vulnerability Management vendors. I noticed groups of people from Altex-Soft (Altx-Soft), Positive Technologies and Vulners.

It was very interesting to see such concentration of Vulnerability and Compliance Management specialists in one place. Questions from the audience were relevant and often concerned the weaknesses of competitors. 😉 Here I will make a brief overview of the reports. You can also read here about previous year event at “ISACA Moscow Vulnerability Management Meetup 2017“.

Talking about the audience, there were fewer people than last year, but still a lot:

ISACA VM 2018 auditorium small

The event was recorded. I will add video here as soon as it’s ready.

upd. Video in Russian. My presentation starts at 1:35:56

The event was conducted entirely in Russian, including all the slides. So, maybe I will make English subtitles and voiceover, at least for my part.

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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. 😉 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 site

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. 😉

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,  service status, etc.). Of course, nowadays Сompliance Management is not only about 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 checks  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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