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Inconsistent Hostnames and IP Addresses

by Andrew Freeborn
January 13, 2016

Many organizations today use various implementations of virtualization technology in their environment. With virtualization, analysts and administrators are able to quickly bring virtual machines onto the network. An expected activity from these new virtual machines on the network would be hostname registration in DNS.

As virtual machines come and go in the organization, they can leave behind DNS records for their hostname or IP address. When performing scans or administrating systems, these residual records could cause inaccurate representations of systems and applications. It would be advantageous to run a report such as this to evaluate the state of hosts in the organization. Analysts and administrators can use this report to clean up the environment and promote a healthier DNS system.

A healthy DNS system needs continual maintenance in order to avoid issues with incorrect hostname-to-IP address mapping. Some hosts on the network can contain more than one hostname for an IP address. There can also be multiple IP addresses for one host. Both of these scenarios are possible depending on different needs of software or hardware in the environment.

This report also shows additional hostnames that may be a result of a NetBIOS name not matching a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) DNS record. Certain software applications may only be compatible with a NetBIOS name in DNS, which can help explain multiple hostnames for a machine. This report also shows hostnames that do not resolve to an IP address. This can be helpful to administrators to remove unnecessary hostname records and reduce ambiguous name resolution.

The report and its components are available in the SecurityCenter Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards and assets. The report can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed under the category Monitoring. The report requirements are:

  • SecurityCenter 4.8.2
  • Nessus 6.5.4

Tenable provides continuous network monitoring to identify vulnerabilities, reduce risk and ensure compliance. Our family of products includes SecurityCenter Continuous View (CV) and Nessus. SecurityCenter CV performs log normalization from hundreds of unique data sources. Nessus is the global standard in detecting and assessing network data.

This report contains the following chapters:

  • Executive Summary: This chapter provides an overview of hosts detected in the organization with mismatched hostnames to IP addresses
  • Inconsistent Hostnames and IP Addresses: This chapter provides a detailed list of hosts detected in the organization with mismatched hostnames and IP addresses