Running your first scan using NessusWX

Written by Lew Newlin

Continued from page 1

Performing Your First Scan

To perform your first vulnerability scan, you must create a Session (job) outliningrepparttar targets and scanning options desired.

  • Click menu selection Session/New;
  • You will be prompted to enter a session name or acceptrepparttar 132007 default of "Session1". Enter "First Scan", leave "Define additional properties" checked, click <Create>;
  • Atrepparttar 132008 "Session Properties - Test Scan", clickrepparttar 132009 "Targets" tab, then click <Add>;
  • Atrepparttar 132010 "Add Target" screen you haverepparttar 132011 option of entering a single host, a subnet, or IP range depending on scanning needs. For our test session, select a single IP address and enterrepparttar 132012 IP or Host name of your workstation, click <Ok>;
  • Click <Apply>.
  • Clickrepparttar 132013 "Options" tab:
    • Change "Maximum simultaneous" default value if needed;
    • Change "Security checks per host" default value if needed;
    • "General scan options/Enable plugin dependencies". Nessus uses many plugins (tests) that requirerepparttar 132014 use of other plugins to operate correctly. Checking this box permits Nessus to automatically enable dependencies as needed. For our test scan, "Enable plugin dependencies" should be checked;
    • "General scan options/Do reverse DNS lookups" simply performs a DNS lookup onrepparttar 132015 target to determinerepparttar 132016 host name. For our test scan, check "Do reverse DNS lookups";
    • "General scan options/Safe checks". As stated previously, Safe Checks disablesrepparttar 132017 most dangerous scripts from executing and instead relies on banner information to determine vulnerability rather than exploitingrepparttar 132018 real flaw. For our test scan, leave "Safe checks" checked;
    • "General scan options/Optimizerepparttar 132019 test" lets Nessus avoid all apparently irreverent tests. For example, tests will not be conducted for web site unless a web site is detected. For our test scan, leave "Optimizerepparttar 132020 test" checked;
    • "General scan options/Resolve unknown services" will permit Nessus to resolve any unknown services that may be operating onrepparttar 132021 system. For our test scan, leave "Resolve unknown services" checked;
    • "Path to CGI’s". Nessus hasrepparttar 132022 ability to check for generic CGI vulnerabilities that may be present. For our test scan, leave "Path to CGI’s" atrepparttar 132023 default of "/cgi-bin";
    • "Interface options" permits you to limitrepparttar 132024 results that are displayed onrepparttar 132025 screen while scanning is occurring. For our test scan, leave both items unchecked to displayrepparttar 132026 maximum amount of information;
    • Click <Apply>.
  • Clickrepparttar 132027 "Port scan" tab:
    • "Port range to scan" permits you to enterrepparttar 132028 ports Nessus will scan. For our test scan, we will userepparttar 132029 default of "Privileged ports (1-1024)";
    • "Port scanners" permitsrepparttar 132030 use of a wide range of port scanners depending on your needs. For our test scan, leaverepparttar 132031 default of "Pingrepparttar 132032 report host" and "tcp connect scan" checked.
    • Click <Apply>.
  • Clickrepparttar 132033 "Connection" tab will permit you to enter and store specifics aboutrepparttar 132034 Nessus server to be used forrepparttar 132035 session. Since we are currently connected to a specific Nessus server, no need exists to enter this information for our test scan;
  • Clickrepparttar 132036 "Plugins" tab:
    • To test for system vulnerability we must enable plugins. Checkrepparttar 132037 "Use session-specific plugin" checkbox. You will notice that currently "0 plugins currently are selected for execution";
    • Clickrepparttar 132038 "Select plugins" button to displayrepparttar 132039 "Plugin List" screen. For our test scan, clickrepparttar 132040 "Enable All" button, click <Yes>, when prompted with "Do you wish to enable all port scanners as well", click <Close>. You will notice that 2400 or so plugins are now selected for execution;
    • Click <Apply>.
  • Clickrepparttar 132041 "Comments" tab and input any remarks you have concerning this session or its settings, then click <Ok> to save your Session;

To executerepparttar 132042 Session, right-click onrepparttar 132043 icon and then select <Execute>. When prompted atrepparttar 132044 "Execute Session" screen simply click Execute and vulnerability scanning will commence.


Take some time, experiment, and learn what NessusWX and Nessus have to offer. Patch systems and rescan to verify vulnerability have been closed. Using NessusWX and Nessus will permit you to find system vulnerabilities before hackers and virus/worm writers have opportunity to do it for you.

Lew Newlin is CTO of Information Solutions, Inc. that operates SiteRecon specializes in security, email monitoring, and web site monitoring for Internet service providers and businesses.

Business case for an information security awareness program

Written by Gary Hinson

Continued from page 1

CEO of IsecT Ltd. and architect of the NoticeBored information security awareness service.

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