Tenable released version 4 of the Nessus vulnerability scanner. Nessus is the world-leader in active scanners, featuring high speed discovery, configuration auditing, asset profiling, sensitive data discovery and vulnerability analysis of your security posture.
One of the most notable features of Nessus 4 is the ability to create custom XSLT reports based on your scan results. Nessus now also supports a fully multi-threaded scanning engine, which is improves performance and decrease your scan times.
The following is a highlight of some of the features and improvements:
- Uses the same engine on Windows and Unix-based systems for a unified experience on all platforms and more consistent results
- Fully thread-based (as opposed to process based) for better scalability and reduced memory usage
- Performance improvements to reduce CPU usage on all platforms.
- Local and remote port scanners can now be combined. For example, if you select the Nessus SYN scanner and the netstat WMI portscanner , Nessus will try to log in via WMI to enumerate the ports first, then to fall back to the SYN scanner
- The TCP SYN port scanner has been rewritten entirely and operates the same between Windows and Unix-based systems
- Native UDP port scanner (ProfessionalFeed Only).
- The database compliance checks can now log into MSSQL over SSL
- The PCI-DSS plugins are now fully supported.
NASL (Nessus Attack Scripting Language)
- Added support for Perl Compatible Regular Expressions (PCRE) to NASL
- NASL scripts can now share results between hosts via a global knowledgebase
- New NASL functions (XML parsing, the bignum library, new packet forgery functions, new socket-related functions and more).
- Support for XLST transformations of the reports – This is one of the most exciting features and will be described in more detail in upcoming blog posts.
- The ability to export a .nessus file based on a filtered report
- Unlimited number of filters for the NessusClient on Windows and Unix-based systems.
- No external libraries are required, eliminating the need to tamper with your system configuration in /etc/ld.so.conf
- Added support for the newest Linux distributions (Debian 5, Fedora 10, etc.)
- New “linux-generic32” and “linux-generic64” builds for additional linux distributions
- 64-bit native builds of Nessus/NessusClient for FreeBSD, Windows and Linux
- All the Unix command-line tools (e.g., nessus-fetch, ‘nessus’, nessuscmd) now also run on Windows.