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Nessus stores credentials in plain text
From: ~Kevin Davis³ <computerguy () cfl rr com>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 00:01:42 -0500

I have posted this issue to a couple entities like bugtraq and CERT with no response.  I mentioned this issue to an 
organization today which was considering using Nessus as a vulnerability scanner to assess their network security 
issues and this was in violation with their security policy so they are reconsidering using it.  Please read below...


Software Vendor: Nessus (www.nessus.org)
Software Package: Nessus 
Versions Affected: 2.0.10a (possibly others)
Synopsis: Username and password for various accounts stored in unencrypted plain text

Issue Date: Feb 22, 2004

Vendor Response: Vendor notified December 4, 2003
   Vendor declined to resolve issue 

================================================================================

1. Summary

The open source Nessus Vulnerability scanner stores the credentials of
various types of accounts in unencrypted plain text in a configuration file. 

2. Problem Description

The .nessusrc files stores username and password information for various types 
of accounts in unencrypted plain text.  Those parameters are typically set from 
the native nessus client but also can be added manually.  When setting these parmeters
from the Nessus client, the user is also not informed of this sensitive information
being stored insecurely.  This potentially affects the following types of accounts:

FTP
IMAP
POP2
POP3
NNTP
SNMP
SMB (Windows NT Domain)

3. Solution

None at this time.  A lengthy discussion with the vendor resulted in the vendor's 
decision that this was not a security risk that warrants resolution on. 


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