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Tracking Solaris Authentication Results

by Sharon Everson
June 20, 2019

To ensure the most complete information about the security posture of assets, organizations should use scans that make use of credentials. Scans that use credentials and successfully authenticate on a system (and run with Local Security Checks enabled) return a more comprehensive set of data about the system. This Assurance Report Card (ARC) provides the ability to report and analyze authenticated scan results for Solaris systems.

When managing a large enterprise, problems often arise when verifying the validity of a vulnerability scan. Ensuring the operating system is correctly identified so that the relevant checks can be run and that the system is properly authenticated can be challenging. For example, some hosts may have invalid credentials, valid credentials but insufficient privileges, or connectivity issues. Through the use of Dynamic Assets, Tenable.sc is able to group devices together for a comparative analysis.  Using the ARC, Tenable.sc provides advanced analysis capabilities to facilitate and easily distribute this functionality to organizations.   

This ARC presents a series of policy statements which together can be used to troubleshoot, fix, and verify authenticated scan results. The policy statements are grouped so that the analyst can focus on issues related to OS Detection, Authentication Errors, and Authentication Success. The first 4 policy statements relate to operating system detection and OS detection confidence level. The first policy statement reports on systems that are scanned by Nessus that are running SSH servers. The next policy statement helps identify systems running SSH that were not identified as Solaris. Examine these systems so that they  can be properly identified and then authenticated. The next two policy statements indicate the OS detection confidence level of systems running SSH where the operating system was identified as Solaris. The fifth policy shows all those systems that were identified as Solaris. This number includes all Solaris systems (those running SSH servers and those not running SSH servers).

The next 2 policy statements help isolate various types of authentication-related issues on suspected Solaris systems.

The next 3 policy statements help isolate various types of authentication-related issues on Solaris systems with successful credentials. The first two of these policy statements helps identify Solaris systems with authentication issues. The next 2 policy statements provide analysts with a clear view of systems with successful credentials that may still have authentication problems.

Finally, the last policy statement shows those systems identified as Solaris with successful authentication, with local checks enabled, and without authentication errors.

This ARC is available in the Tenable.sc feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards, and assets. The ARC can be easily located in the Tenable.sc feed under the Compliance category. The ARC requirements are as follows:

  • Tenable.sc 5.9.0
  • Nessus 8.4.0

This ARC provides the organization with clear and simplified method to identify Solaris systems for analysis.  By first Discovering the systems running SSH Servers from the scanned devices, the ARC can then assess the operating systems of the targets to ensure the devices are running Solaris.  Then, the data is Analyzed for proper authentication, which facilitates the Fix and Measuring steps to the Cyber Exposure Lifecycle.  Tenable.sc is the On-Prem solution for understanding a comprehensive picture of the network, while keeping the data under the organization’s control. Built on leading Nessus technology, Tenable.sc discovers unknown assets and vulnerabilities, and monitors unexpected network changes before they turn into breaches.

ARC Policy Statements

1. Number of systems scanned found to be running SSH: This policy statement displays a ratio number of the systems running SSH compared to the total number of systems scanned. Compliance for this policy statement is Any matching the policy.

2. OS Detection - Solaris: Systems running SSH where Solaris detection was not successful: This policy identifies systems that were scanned and found to be running a SSH server, but for some reason the operating system was not discovered. Systems that match this policy should be investigated for misconfiguration, valid login credentials, or for proper identification as a Solaris computer. Compliance for the policy is No matching systems.

3. OS Detection - Solaris: Less than 6% of Systems running SSH where Solaris detection confidence level was less than 95: This policy identifies systems that were scanned and found to have a SSH server, however,  Nessus was not confident of the operating systems. The matching systems are most likely running a version of Solaris, but the version could be new or the authentication could have been invalid. Systems matched by this policy should be investigated for misconfiguration, valid login credentials, or for proper identification as a Solaris computer. Compliance for the policy is less than 6% matching systems, which allows for new systems that are found on the network.

4. OS Detection - Solaris: Greater than 94% of Systems running SSH where Solaris detection confidence level was greater than 94.: This policy identifies systems that were scanned and found to be running a SSH server. Nessus is confident of the identified operating system. The matching systems are running a version of Solaris. Compliance for the policy is greater than 94% matching systems.

5. Authentication Errors: Systems identified as Solaris with No authentication attempts recorded: This policy identifies systems where no authentication was attempted. This could mean no suitable protocol was presented to Nessus, no credentials were available for the operating system, or another issue is present. These systems should be investigated and special attention should be paid to how the operating system was detected and what condition exists that prevents proper authentication attempts. Compliance for the policy is No matching systems.

6. Authentication Errors: Systems identified as Solaris and Authentication Failures: This policy identifies systems where the operating system is correctly identified as Solaris, however, the credentials provided with the scan failed to allow Nessus to login correctly. Invalid credentials, incompatible protocol settings, or other similar problems could cause this issue. The vulnerability data collected on this system should be considered incomplete. This policy statement displays a ratio number of the systems so identified compared to the total number of Solaris systems. Compliance for the policy is No matching systems.

7. Authentication Success: No Systems identified as Solaris with Authentication Success and Authentication Failures: This policy identifies systems where the operating system is correctly identified and with authentication success, however, the credentials provided with the scan failed to allow Nessus to login correctly.  Invalid credentials, incompatible protocol settings, or other similar problems could cause this issue.  The vulnerability data collected on this system should be considered incomplete.  Compliance for the policy is No matching systems.

8. Authentication Success: No Systems identified as Solaris with Local Checks disabled: This policy provides a list of systems that have been successfully authenticated, however, local checks were not enabled. While these systems should be considered successfully authenticated, there could be missing vulnerability data. System administrators should investigate these systems for misconfiguration. This policy statement displays the percentage of the systems so identified compared to the total number of Solaris systems with Local Checks enabled. Compliance for the policy is No matching systems.

9. Authentication Success: Less than 6% of Systems identified as Solaris with Local Checks Enabled & Errors: This policy provides a list of systems that have been successfully authenticated, however, there were recorded problems related to permissions or access to any number of resources. While these systems should be considered successfully authenticated, there could be missing vulnerability data. System administrators should investigate these systems for misconfiguration or possible insufficient privileges for the scan account. This policy statement displays the percentage of the systems so identified compared to the total number of Solaris systems with Local Checks enabled. Compliance for the policy is less than 6% matching systems, which allows for new systems that are found to be on the network.

10. Authentication Success: Greater than 94% Systems identified as Solaris  with Successful Authentication, Local Checks, and without Errors: This policy identifies the majority of Solaris systems on the network. Analysts can rely on the vulnerability data collected for these targets. Nessus was able to login and collect missing patches, compliance settings, and many other risk indicators based on the applied scan policies. Compliance for the policy is greater than 94% matching systems.

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