System Auditing

We talk about how easy it is to use automatic scanning tools (both as a sysadmin and as an attacker), but also how those might miss critical security aspects. Automatic scanning tools are not the solution to everything. They do help with assessing the security of a target, but they do not always end up finding everything.


In order to improve the SIS course, your opinions and suggestions are important to us. The feedback is anonymous and the results will only become visible after the final exam. You will find the link to the feedback form on the main page of the instance for your master’s program SIS class.


Download the Kioptrix 1 VM from vulnhub. This will be our target throughout the lab.

To audit our target, we will use GVM (former OpenVAS). We will use a dockerized version, to speed up the setup process (this means that docker should be already installed on your systems).

  1. Set up the docker container:

    mkdir ~/gvm-docker
    docker run --detach --publish 8080:9392 --publish 5432:5432 --publish 2222:22 --env DB_PASSWORD="password" --env PASSWORD="password" --volume <absolute-path-to-gvm-docker>/storage/postgres-db:/opt/database --volume <absolute-path-to-gvm-docker>/storage/openvas-plugins:/var/lib/openvas/plugins --volume <absolute-path-to-gvm-docker>/storage/gvm:/var/lib/gvm --volume <absolute-path-to-gvm-docker>/storage/ssh:/etc/ssh --name gvm --net=host securecompliance/gvm:21.4.3-v1

    The container will be up and running in a few minutes, but the update process will take more (20-30 minutes). Leave it running.

  2. Download, import and start the Kioptrix 1 VM.

  3. Find the target IP and perform a port scan:

    • first list all adapters with ifconfig

    • perform nmap ping scans on all the networks to find all potential target IPs of hosts connected to any of the networks (nmap -sn <subnetwork>)

    • perform a fast port scan of the targets (nmap -sT -sV -T5 -p- <target>)

  4. Now Scan the target with GVM.

    • access the web interface located at https://localhost:9392 and log in using admin:password as credentials.

    • define the target (navigate to Configuration > Targets and click the New Target icon on the top left)

      • give the target a name and manually define it

      • select All TCP and Nmap top 100 UDP as Port List

      • select Consider Alive as Alive Test

    • define a new scan config (navigate to Configuration > Scan Configs and click the New Scan Config icon on the top left)

      • use the Full and fast as base scan

      • right after creating it, click on the Edit Scan Config button associated with the newly created scan config and make sure that the following three scan categories are checked:

        • General

        • Port Scanners

        • Service detection

    • create a new task that uses the target and scan config that you defined previously

  5. While waiting for the task to finish, try to perform some manual recon with nmap and some Googling. Compare this with the final result of GVM.

    • Notice that GVM did not find the major flaw that enables an attacker to exploit the current target