Nessus basic network scan

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If you are looking for a vulnerability scanner, you might have come across several expensive commercial products and tools with a wide range of features and benefits. Nessus was founded by Renuad Deraison in to provide the Internet community with a free remote security scanner. It is one of the full-fledged vulnerability scanners that allow you to detect potential vulnerabilities in systems.

The tool is free of cost for personal use in a non-enterprise environment. Nessus uses a web interface to set up, scan, and view reports. It has one of the largest vulnerability knowledge bases available; because of this KB, the tool is very popular. Create an account with Nessus.

Enter the activation code you have obtained by registering with the Nessus website. Also you can configure the proxy if needed by giving proxy hostname, proxy username, and password. Then the scanner gets registered with Tenable and creates a user. Download the necessary plug-in. It takes some time to download the plug-in; while you are watching the screen, you can go through the vast list of resources we have for Nessus users.

Once the plug-ins are downloaded, it will automatically redirect you to a login screen. Provide the username and password that you have created earlier to login. Nessus gives you lots of choices when it comes to running the actual vulnerability scan.

There are over vulnerability plug-ins with Nessus, which allow you to specify an individual vulnerability or a set of vulnerabilities to test for. Once you login to Nessus using the web interface, you will be able to see various options, such as:. Policies are the vulnerability tests that you can perform on the target machine. By default, Nessus has four policies. The policy is preconfigured so that Nessus scans externally-facing hosts that provide services to the host.

It scans all 65, ports of the target machine. It is also configured with plug-ins required for web application vulnerabilities tests such as XSS. This policy is configured to scan large internal networks with many hosts, services, embedded systems like printers, etc. This policy scans only standard ports instead of scanning all 65, ports. Nessus uses this policy to detect different types of vulnerabilities existing in web applications. It has the capability to spider the entire website to discover the content and links in the application.

Once the spider process has been completed, Nessus starts to discover the vulnerabilities that exist in the application.Start your free trial. Nessus is one of the many vulnerability scanners used during vulnerability assessments and penetration testing engagements, including malicious attacks.

This article will focus on this vulnerability scanner, discussing the fundamentals that one needs to have before getting started with the tool, the different scanning capabilities that it provides, what it takes to run the tool and how results appear once scans are complete. Please note that this article does not in any way serve as a comprehensive guide to Nessus, but as an overview. Nessus is sold by Tenable Security. The tool is free for non-enterprise use; however, for enterprise consumption, there are options that are priced differently.

The following are the available options at your disposal:. These products discussed above offer multiple services that range from Web application scanning to mobile device scanning, cloud environment scanning, malware detection, control systems auditing including SCADA and embedded devices and configuration auditing and compliance checks.

For us to appreciate the capabilities Nessus offers, we need to understand some fundamentals. We will first discuss the user interface and take a look at how to install Nessus on Linux and Windows Operating Systems. The downloadable installer can be found here for Linux-based systems. You need to make sure you know the distribution of Linux you are running in order to choose which installer to download. Once the package file has been downloaded, you may install it from within the Linux terminal using the command below:.

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You can obtain the Windows installer here. Remember to download according to your architecture and operating system.

Once downloaded, double-click on the installer and finish the installation by going through the wizard. You might be prompted to install WinPcap; if so, proceed with that installation as well. After installation and during your first run, you will be required to activate your product based on the license type you intend to install.

The exact steps for each of the products can be found here. After the license is activated, it is time to get down to running your Nessus scanner.

A Brief Introduction to the Nessus Vulnerability Scanner

The Nessus user interface is primarily made up of two main pages: the scans page and the settings page.Home About Contact. Quantify Cyber Risk Now. What is Nessus? Nessus is one of the most popular vulnerability scanners. It was initially free and open source, but they closed the source code in and removed the free "Registered Feed" version in Nessus is constantly updated, with more than 70, plugins. For downloads and more information, visit the Nessus homepage.

nessus basic network scan

Key Features Identifies vulnerabilities that allow a remote attacker to access sensitive information Checks whether the systems in the network have the latest software patches Tries with default passwords, common passwords, on systems account Configuration audits Vulnerability analysis Customized reporting Installation and Configuration.

The first step is license key. To use Nessus we can download a trial of 7 days or buy. You have to complete this step from this web page. Navigate to the Tenable Nessus downloads page and select the appropriate version for your installation of Kali Linux, either the bit or bit Debian package:.

Scan Your Home Network for Vulnerabilities Using Nessus

Once package download is completed. We will install the Nessus with dpkg tool. Our packages full name is Nessus Installation can take some time. Actually installing Nessus is fast but the configuration of the plugins take some time.

Using the command line, install the Nessus package:. After installing Nessus we should do some configuration. Nessus is not started by default. So we should start Nessus with the following command:.

After the Nessus service starts, using a web browser to navigate to the Nessus Web Interface at:. You can continue past this warning to properly set this up.

nessus basic network scan

To configure Nessus, follow the installation wizard. Create an administrator user account, activate with your activation code and let Nessus fetch and process the plugins. Nessus gives you lots of choices when it comes to running the actual vulnerability scan. There are over vulnerability plug-ins with Nessus, which allow you to specify an individual vulnerability or a set of vulnerabilities to test for. Among the foundations for discovering the vulnerabilities in the network are: Determining which operating system is running in the remote machine Knowing which systems exist Knowing which ports are open and which listening services are available on those ports The basic workflow of Nessus tool is to Login, Create or Configure the Policy, Run the Scan, and Analyze the Results.

Configuring the Policy Policies are the vulnerability tests that you can perform on the target machine. Based on this type, Nessus prompts you for different options to be selected. For example, Advanced Scan has the following options:. Enter the policy name and description on basis of scan requirement. Turn off Remote Host Ping. Enter the port scan range.

You can limit the ports by specifying them manually for example, Here we set Nessus is a remote security scanning tool, which scans a computer and raises an alert if it discovers any vulnerabilities that malicious hackers could use to gain access to any computer you have connected to a network.

nessus basic network scan

It does this by running over checks on a given computer, testing to see if any of these attacks could be used to break into the computer or otherwise harm it. If you are an administrator in charge of any computer or group of computers connected to the internet, Nessus is a great tool help keep their domains free of the easy vulnerabilities that hackers and viruses commonly look to exploit.

Nessus is not a complete security solution, rather it is one small part of a good security strategy. Nessus does not actively prevent attacks, it is only a tool that checks your computers to find vulnerabilities that hackers COULD exploit.

How to Use Nessus To Scan a Network for Vulnerabilities Part 1 | Lucideus

If you are familiar with other network vulnerability scanners, you might be wondering what advantages Nessus has over them. Key points include:. Its also provides a plug-in interface, and many free plug-ins are available from the Nessus plug-in site.

These plugs are often specific to detecting a common virus or vulnerability. The Nessus team updates the list of what vulnerabilities to check for on a daily basis in order to minimize the window between an exploit appearing in the wild, and you being able to detect it with Nessus. Nessus is open source, meaning it costs nothing, and you are free to see and modify the source as you wish.

To learn how Nessus and other port-scanning security tools work, it is necessary to understand different services such as a web server, SMTP server, FTP server, etc are accessed on a remote server.

Most high-level network traffic, such as email, web pages, etc reach a server via a high-level protocol that is transmitted reliably by a TCP stream. To keep different streams from interfering with each other, a computer divides its physical connection to the network into thousands of logical paths, called ports. So if you want to talk to a web server on a given machine, you would connect to port 80 the standard HTTP portbut if you wanted to connect to an SMTP server on that same machine you would instead connect to port Each computer has thousands of ports, all of which may or may not have services ie: a server for a specific high-level protocol listening on them.

Nessus works by testing each port on a computer, determining what service it is running, and then testing this service to make sure there are no vulnerabilities in it that could be used by a hacker to carry out a malicious attack. Nessus is called a "remote scanner" because it does not need to be installed on a computer for it to test that computer. Instead, you can install it on only one computer and test as many computers as you would like.

Nessus comes in two parts, a server called nessusd and a client, which can by any of several options. The server is the part of Nessus that actually runs the tests, and the client is used to tell the server what tests to run on what computers.

Therefore, once the server is set up and running, an administrator can run regularly scheduled Nessus tests using a client written for almost any platform. Go to www. This will install the Nessus server app and a client on the unix based machine note: this includes Mac OS X and above with developer tools installed. To run a scan, you must have the Nessus server running on some machine, then start up a Nessus client.

The client will look something like this:. The two most important tabs are "Nessusd host", which allows you to enter in the IP address of the Nessus server you will connect to, as well as the username and password needed to connect to this server. The other critical tab is labeled "Target Selection". This is where you specify which host s you would like to scan. Once you are ready to scan, hit the "Start the scan" button.

After a scan, Nessus clients typically offer to means to analyze the result.When it comes to network security, most of the tools to test your network are pretty complex. This post is part of our Evil Week series at Lifehacker, where we look at the dark side of getting things done.

Sometimes evil is justified, and other times, knowing evil means knowing how to beat it. Want more? Check out our evil week tag page. A vulnerability scan digs through the various devices on your network and looks for potential holes, like open ports, outdated software with known vulnerabilities, or default passwords on devices.

If they find anything, a hacker would test those vulnerabilities, then find a way to exploit them. Testing these vulnerabilities is a two-step process because a scan just reveals the possibility of problems, a penetration test verifies that the problem is actually exploitable.

Nessus is commercial software made to scan for vulnerabilities, but the free home version offers plenty of tools to help explore and shore up your home network. It also point you to a variety of different tools to then penetration test a network if you want to learn more. Next, Nessus will download a number of tools and plugins so it can properly scan your network with updated utilities.

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This can take a few minutes, so grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable. This is the fun part. Nessus can actually scan for quite a few different problems, but most of us will be content using the Basic Network Scan because it offers a good overview. Depending on what and how many devices you have on your network, the scan takes a while, so sit back and relax while Nessus does its work.

The rest of us will be fine with the Basic Network Scan. Each color of the graph signifies the danger of a vulnerability, from low to critical. Your results should include all the devices on your local network, from your router to your Wi-Fi-enabled printer. Click the graph to reveal more information about the vulnerabilities on each device.

Click on any plugin to get more information about the vulnerability, including white papers, press releases, or patch notes for potential fixes. You can also click the Vulnerabilities tab to see an overview of all the potential vulnerabilities on the network as a whole. Take a second to click the link on each vulnerability, then read up on how a hacker could exploit it. The vulnerability page also helpfully lists exactly what software one would need to penetration test and hack that vulnerability.

For example, Nessus lists Metasploit as the toolkit needed to exploit this weak point and with that knowledge, you can search Google for instructions on how to take advantage of the vulnerability. For example, Nessus picks up on any device still using a default password or points out when a computer or device is running an outdated firmware.

Nessus gives you all this data, but what exactly are you supposed to do with it?

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That depends on which vulnerabilities Nessus finds.Nessus gives you lots of choices when it comes to running the actual vulnerability scan. Once you log into the Nessus using web-interface, you will be able to see different options like. Policies are nothing but the vulnerability tests that you can perform on the target machine. By default Nessus has 4 policies.

How to Use Nessus To Scan a Network for Vulnerabilities Part 1 | Lucideus

Under the Scan tab, you can create a new scan by clicking New Scan on the top right. The above figure shows configuration settings of Port Scanning for the policy Basic Scan. I have configured the scan to run instantly with the policy that I have created earlier. And the scan target specify the IP address I am willing to scan. Once all the details has been entered click on Create Scan which shows the Scan is running as shown in the below Figure.

Once the scanning has been completed then you can see the results in Results tab.

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Below Figure shows the same. In the same manner you can analyze complete details by clicking on the vulnerabilities. Nessus also suggests the solutions or remedies for the vulnerabilities with few references. Posted by kamalb on February 27, in web application hacking. Your email:.Nessus is a proprietary vulnerability scanner created by Tenable, Inc. It is free to home users for personal use Nessus Homebut requires a license for commercial use Nessus Professional. Obviously, the commercial version comes with more features, but this does not in any way degrade the effectiveness of Nessus Home.

With Nessus Home, users can scan up to 16 IP addresses at high speeds with in-depth assessments. To download Nessus Home, obtain an activation code by subscribing with your name and e-mail address and then download the latest version of Nessus Home for your operating system. Nessus features several practical uses for cybersecurity professionals.

Additionally, the results of these scans are clearly organized and easy enough for end-users with little-to-no background experience to understand.

Basic Network Scan Using Nessus Kali linux

The results of each scan are quickly separated into five levels of criticality: info, low, medium, high, and critical. Furthermore, the results are supplemented with vulnerability details and countermeasures for remediation.

There are some scan templates that require an upgrade, however, available in the commercial version, Nessus Professional.

This should be abbreviated to CIDR notation, If you want to just scan your local system or your home router, specify the IP address of that device only. Here, you can schedule this scan daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

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Click the scan again and wait for Nessus to locate active hosts on your network and discover vulnerabilities. From my results, 54 vulnerabilities were discovered on my network, but none were high or critical. About 80 percent were just info and the other 20 percent being low or medium vulnerabilities.

You can click each host and individually search through their vulnerabilities. By clicking on a vulnerability, you can get more details about the vulnerability, and recommended suggestions for remediation. Nessus has discovered a vulnerability in which the remote DNS server my recursive or local DNS server responded to a query on UDP port 53 for third-party domains that do not have the recursion bit set.

This may allow a remote attacker to determine which domains have recently been resolved by my local DNS server, and therefore which hosts have been recently visited. In this case, it suggests I contact the vendor of the DNS software for a fix. If you discovered any high or critical vulnerabilities on your network, I would highly suggest you remediate them. Hope this helps! View all posts by thecybersecurityman. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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