Tag Archives: Ubuntu

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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Scanvus – my open source Vulnerability Scanner for Linux hosts and Docker images

Hello everyone! This video was recorded for the VMconf 22 Vulnerability Management conference, vmconf.pw. I will be talking about my open source project Scanvus. This project is already a year old and I use it almost every day.

Alternative video link (for Russia): https://vk.com/video-149273431_456239100

Scanvus (Simple Credentialed Authenticated Network VUlnerability Scanner) is a vulnerability scanner for Linux. Currently for Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, RedHat, Oracle Linux and Alpine distributions. But in general for any Linux distribution supported by the Vulners Linux API. The purpose of this utility is to get a list of packages and Linux distribution version from some source, make a request to an external vulnerabililty detection API (only Vulners Linux API is currently supported), and show the vulnerability report.

Scanvus can show vulnerabilities for

  • localhost
  • remote host via SSH
  • docker image
  • inventory file of a certain format

This utility greatly simplifies Linux infrastructure auditing. And besides, this is a project in which I can try to implement my ideas on vulnerability detection.

Example of output

For all targets the output is the same. It contains information about the target and the type of check. Then information about the OS version and the number of Linux packages. And finally, the actual information about vulnerabilities: how many vulnerabilities were found and the criticality levels of these vulnerabilities. The table shows the criticality level, bulletin ID, CVE list for the bulletin, and a comparison of the invulnerable fixed package version with the actual installed version.

This report is not the only way to present results. You can optionally export the results to JSON (OS inventory data, raw vulnerability data from Vulners Linux API or processed vulnerability data).

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Vulners Linux Audit API: Security Bulletin Publication Dates in Results

Hello everyone! In this short episode, I want to talk about the new feature in Vulners Linux API.

Alternative video link (for Russia): https://vk.com/video-149273431_456239092

Linux security bulletin publication dates are now included in scan results. Why is it useful?

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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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Vulners Linux Audit API for Host Vulnerability Detection: Manual Auditing, Python Scripting and Licensing

Hello everyone! This episode will be about Vulners Linux Audit API, which allows you to detect vulnerabilities on a Linux host knowing only the OS version and installed packages. I had a similar post about this 4 years ago, but some details have changed, so I came back to this topic.

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No left boundary for Vulnerability Detection

It’s another common problem in nearly all Vulnerability Management products. In the post “What’s wrong with patch-based Vulnerability Management checks?” I wrote about the issues in plugin descriptions, now let’s see what can go wrong with the detection logic.

The problem is that Vulnerability Management vendors, in many cases, have no idea which versions of the Software were actually vulnerable.

OMG?! How this can be true? 🙂 Let’s take an example.

Each vulnerability at some points in time:

  • was implemented in the program code as a result of some mistake (intentional or not)
  • existed in some versions of the program
  • was detected and fixed

Read more about this in “Vulnerability Life Cycle and Vulnerability Disclosures“.

No left boundary in Vulnerability Detection

Let’s suppose that we have some Software A with released versions 1, 2 … 20.

Just before the release of version 10, some programmer made a mistake (bug) in the code and since the version 10 Software A has become critically vulnerable. Before the release of version 20, Software Vendor was informed about this vulnerability and some programmer fixed it in version 20. Then Software Vendor released a security bulletin: “Critical vulnerabilities in the Software A. You are not vulnerable if you have installed the latest version 20.”

And what does Vulnerability Management vendor? This vendor only sees this security bulletin. It is logical for him to decide that all versions of Software A starting from 1 are vulnerable. So, it will mark installed versions 1 … 9 of the Software A as vulnerable, even so actually they are NOT.

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Packabit project: building Nmap deb packages for Ubuntu

During the long New Year holidays (30 dec – 8 jan) I started a new project: Vagrant-based Linux package builder called Packabit. I thought it might be nice to have scripts that will automatically build a Linux packages from sources and will NOT litter main system with unnecessary packages. Something like a very simplified build server.

Packabit - Vagrant-based Linux package builder

Why might someone want to build Linux packages on their own?

Official repositories of Linux distros usually contain pretty old versions of packages. Let’s take, for example, Nmap. The only version of Nmap available in the repository for Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS is 7.60 , and the latest stable version of Nmap available on official website is 7.70.

Release dates according Nmap changelog:

  • Nmap 7.70 [2018-03-20]
  • Nmap 7.60 [2017-07-31]

The latency is more than a year.

Is it really necessary to use the latest version? Actually, yes. Every new version of Nmap contain more banner detects and service detects and produce more adequate results. Nmap project offers official packages only for RPM-based distributions: CentOS, RHEL, Fedora, etc. And if you need packages for DEB-based distributions, Debian, Ubuntu, Kali, etc. you should build them yourself.

What is the Packabit?

Currently it’s just 2 bash scripts for building stable Nmap package for Ubuntu 18.04: one is for creation and launching Vagrant virtual machine, the other runs on guest virtual machine and build Nmap package from the sources.

How to try it

I want this project to be as opensource as possible. If anyone wants to give it a try, get it from Github. For the end-user it looks like this: run the script build_nmap.sh, wait for 10 minutes and get new package from the packages directory. There won’t be any litter in a process. Each time a new virtual machine for building will be automatically created and then destroyed.

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