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Nessus

Nessus is the market leading vulnerability management solution. Nessus is available via multiple packaging options (Professional, Manager, and Cloud). Capabilities in all versions of Nessus include:

  • Vulnerability assessment and basic reporting
  • Broad coverage of networks, devices, systems, virtual, and cloud services
  • The most comprehensive vulnerability library on the market
  • Malware detection

With Nessus Cloud and Manager, you also get:

  • The ability to share scan resources
  • Mobile, patch and credential management system integration
  • An agent-based scanning option to increase scan flexibility

Nessus Plugin Families

Nessus plugin families are designed to allow an efficient and accurate grouping of similar security checks. This allows a user to quickly enable or disable a large group of plugins that are relevant to the target being scanned or unnecessary for a given host.

The following table summarizes the Nessus plugin families:

Plugin Family Description
AIX Local Security Checks Security checks that test IBM AIX systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Amazon Linux Local Security Checks Security checks that test Amazon Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Backdoors Plugins that detect high-profile backdoors, Trojan Horse programs, Worm infections, and systems with signs they have been compromised.
CentOS Local Security Checks Security checks that test CentOS Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
CGI abuses Checks for web-based CGI programs with publicly documented vulnerabilities. These checks include SQL injection, Local File Inclusion (LFI), Remote File Inclusion (RFI), Directory Traversal, and more. This family does not include checks for cross-site scripting (XSS).
CGI abuses : XSS Checks for web-based CGI programs with publicly documented cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.
CISCO Plugins that detect vulnerabilities in Cisco routers. This family consists of both local and remote checks. Local checks will only be executed if credentials are provided to Nessus.
Databases Checks that look for the presence of vulnerabilities in database software such as IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, and more.
Debian Local Security Checks Security checks that test Debian Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Default Unix Accounts Plugins that look for the presence of default accounts found on a wide variety of Unix and Linux systems.
Denial of Service

Checks that determine the presence of Denial of Service issues by using safe methods to identify the software, not exploit the vulnerability.

Note: Please refer to the Nessus User Guide for additional information about specifics when using this plugin family.

DNS Plugins that test DNS servers such as ISC BIND and PowerDNS for known vulnerabilities. This family includes several tests that look for common issues in all DNS servers, regardless of vendor.
F5 Networks Local Security Checks Security checks that test F5 Networks devices locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Fedora Local Security Checks Security checks that test Fedora Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Firewalls Plugins that detect the presence of firewall devices and vulnerabilities in various commercial firewall devices, free firewall software, and proxy software.
FreeBSD Local Security Checks Security checks that test FreeBSD systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
FTP Checks that look for vulnerabilities in FTP servers. These include common issues and misconfigurations regardless of vendor, as well as vendor specific issues that have been publicly disclosed.
Gain a shell remotely Plugins that test for a wide variety of software for vulnerabilities that allow for remote code or command execution.
General A set of checks that gather information about the remote system such as operating system and service identification, network connectivity, and more.
Gentoo Local Security Checks Security checks that test Gentoo Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
HP-UX Local Security Checks Security checks that test HP-UX systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Huawei Local Security Checks Security checks that test Huawei devices locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Incident Response A set of plugins to detect traffic anomalies used by network security professionals to hunt threats and respond to incidents.
Junos Local Security Checks Security checks that test Juniper Junos systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
MacOS X Local Security Checks Security checks that test Apple Mac OS X systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Mandriva Local Security Checks Security checks that test Mandriva Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Misc. Plugins that test for a wide variety of software including client-side and server issues.
Mobile Devices Plugins related to mobile devices such as Android-based phones and Apple portable devices such as the iPhone or iPad.
Netware Security checks that test Novell Netware systems for vulnerabilities.
Oracle Linux Local Security Checks Security checks that test Oracle Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
OracleVM Local Security Checks Security checks that test Oracle VM systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Palo Alto Local Security Checks Security checks that test Palo Alto systems and devices locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Peer-To-Peer File Sharing Checks that look for the presence of peer-to-peer file sharing software and associated vulnerabilities.
Policy Compliance

Plugins that are designed to verify a system meets criteria as set forth by a compliance initiative such as PCI DSS, SCAP, CIS benchmarks, and more.

Note: These plugins are only available to Nessus Professional, Nessus Manager, and Tenable.io™ customers and can be obtained from the Tenable Support Portal.

Port Scanners This family contains the port scanning functionality of Nessus.
Red Hat Local Security Checks Security checks that test Red Hat Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
RPC Plugins that look for the presence of vulnerabilities in Remote Procedure Call (RPC) services, NIS, NFS, and more.
SCADA

Checks that test for vulnerabilities in SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software.

Note: These plugins are only available to Nessus Professional, Nessus Manager, and Tenable.io™ customers and can be obtained from the Tenable Support Portal.

Scientific Linux Local Security Checks Security checks that test Scientific Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Service detection Security checks that allow Nessus to detect a wide variety of services on a remote host.
Settings Plugins that control the behavior of Nessus during a scan.
Slackware Local Security Checks Security checks that test Slackware Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
SMTP problems Checks related to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and mail servers.
SNMP Checks related to the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for a wide variety of vendors and common configuration errors.
Solaris Local Security Checks Security checks that test Oracle Solaris systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
SuSE Local Security Checks Security checks that test SUSE Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Ubuntu Local Security Checks Security checks that test Ubuntu Linux systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Virtuozzo Local Security Checks Security checks that test Virtuozzo systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
VMware ESX Local Security Checks Security checks that test VMware ESX systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Web Servers Plugins that check for vulnerabilities in web servers such as Apache HTTP Server, IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft IIS, and many more. Note: These checks only test the web server software, not the web applications hosted on the server.
Windows Checks for software installed on Microsoft Windows systems including Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Antivirus software, web browsers, iTunes, and much more.
Windows : Microsoft Bulletins Security checks that test Microsoft Windows systems locally if authentication credentials are provided to Nessus.
Windows : User management Plugins that check for issues in Microsoft Windows user management. These include user information disclosure, group enumeration, and more.

Note: Historically, Nessus has used additional families for plugin organization that were deprecated at some point. Their plugins have been integrated into current families.

 

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