Category Archives: Security

Using the Tenable.SC API to list Asset Groups for a list of IPs


Posted on May 1, 2020 by

I recently needed to pull all of the asset groups associated with a list of IPs from Tenable.SC. It’s easy enough to filter assets in Tenable.SC by Asset Group and get all of the assets in a group. And the full list of Asset Groups can be viewed in the Web UI by looking at the information for a single asset. But there was no report or query within the Web UI that would list all Asset Groups for list of IPs/assets.

Enter the Tenable.SC API. Within the API, there is a method called “assetintersections” that will list all Asset Groups associated with a given IP.{id}/assetIntersections

With a little scripting in your favorite language, a list of IPs and their associated Asset Groups can be created.

Using Powershell and the Nexpose API to create Exceptions


Posted on February 15, 2019 by

Nexpose, like other vulnerability management platforms, has the ability to create exceptions for the vulnerabilities it finds. You might need to issue exceptions because the vulnerability is a false positive, a compensating control is in place, or the risk is acceptable to the business.

Unfortunately, you sometimes have to create exceptions for hundreds, if not thousands, of vulnerabilities within Nexpose. It’s far too time consuming to create those manually.

The good news is that Nexpose has a well documented API. I’ve used this API to create a Powershell module that can help automate the submission of vulnerability exceptions.


Two Practical Lessons from the Equifax Breach Report


Posted on December 20, 2018 by

Last week, Congress released the full Equifax Breach Report.

To briefly recap the breach, attackers exploited an Apache Struts vulnerability on the Equifax ACIS web servers (accessed at  They then pivoted from these servers to gain further access and query multiple databases within Equifax. As a result, the personal information of 148 million US Citizens was stolen.

It’s a fantastic document that not only explains HOW the breach happened, but WHY it happened.  It’s a document that everyone in IT, from the new Service Desk Tech to the seasoned CIO, should read.

The report explains that the breach was the result of many contributing factors that will be familiar to anyone who has worked in IT.  Let’s go through the list. (more…)

Auditing Passwords with Active Directory Properties


Posted on August 28, 2015 by

Have you ever been looking through Active Directory and notice something strange in one of the fields?  Maybe the Organization or Description field has a weird string of letters, numbers, and characters.  You think, “Huh, that kind of looks like a password.”

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Yes, it happens.  Either through lack of understanding or just laziness, sometimes passwords get put into the plain text fields in AD.  This is dangerous because those fields are readable by everyone on the domain.

So how do you know if any of these fields are being used to store passwords?  I managed to cobble together a PowerShell script that can help. (more…)

Let’s Talk about Succession Planning


Posted on July 12, 2015 by

Last week I received an email from my web host.  It said that all customers needed to backup and move their data because their hosting services would be shutting down immediately.  It was a strange email.  After some digging, I found out that the reason for the shut down was that the CEO had just died.  There was evidently no one who could step in and take over the business.  So the decision was make to close.

Why would the unfortunate death of one employee, even a very high level employee, cause a business to shut down?  Simply put, it is the lack of succession planning.  What is succession planning and why is it important? (more…)

Volatility Modules from the SANS Memory Forensics Poster


Posted on March 26, 2015 by

If you’re like me, you LOVE Volatility, the open source memory forensics tool.  One of the best features of Volatility is that it can be extended with user created plugins.  SANS recently released an amazing Memory Forensics Poster that listed some great plugins.  Many thanks to Alissa Torres and Jake Williams for created it.  Unfortunately, the poster didn’t give the exact location of the plugins.  Below is the list of plugins used in the poster, where to download them, and any prerequisites. (more…)

Configure File and Registry Auditing with PowerShell


Posted on April 19, 2014 by

At this year’s Security BSides in Austin, Michael Gough of MI2 Security gave a great workshop on Windows Logging.  One of the points he made was that auditing file and registry creation events on high value folders and keys can provide information critical to the detection and remediation of breaches.  PowerShell should be used to automate and standardize the process of file and registry auditing.  I had some trouble finding information on using PowerShell in this way.  So I created this post to collect what I found.

File auditing has to be configured in 2 steps.

STEP 1: File and Registry auditing should be turned on in the Audit Policy. (more…)

Advanced Security Audit Settings Spreadsheet


Posted on February 19, 2014 by

I was recently reviewing the Advanced Security Audit settings available for Windows 2008 and above and decided to create a spreadsheet with all of the details. While Microsoft does have all of the details on their website, the details are spread across multiple pages.  Having it all in one document made it easier to research each setting, compare the defaults to existing settings, and make recommendations for changes.  The spreadsheet can be downloaded off of Google Drive below:

The spreadsheet contains two worksheets.  The first gives the default for each setting and the volume of logs generated with each setting.

The second worksheet lists every Event ID generated by each setting and the message associated with each Event ID.

Hopefully this will be useful to others.