Cisco NAC Appliance - Clean Access Manager Installation and Configuration Guide, Release 4.1(2)
Configuring Network Scanning
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Configuring Network Scanning

Table Of Contents

Configuring Network Scanning

Overview

Network Scanning Implementation Steps

Configure the Quarantine Role

Load Nessus Plugins into the Clean Access Manager Repository

Uploading Plugins

Deleting Plugins

Configure General Setup

Apply Plugins

Configure Plugin Options

Configure Vulnerability Handling

Test Scanning

Show Log

View Scan Reports

Customize the User Agreement Page


Configuring Network Scanning


This chapter describes how to set up network scanning for Clean Access. Topics include:

Overview

Configure the Quarantine Role

Load Nessus Plugins into the Clean Access Manager Repository

Configure General Setup

Apply Plugins

Configure Plugin Options

Configure Vulnerability Handling

Test Scanning

Customize the User Agreement Page

View Scan Reports

Overview

The Clean Access network scanner uses Nessus plugins to check for security vulnerabilities. With Clean Access, you can define automatic, immediate responses to scan results. For example, if a vulnerability is found, you can have the user notified, blocked from the network, or assigned to a quarantine role.

Nessus (http://www.nessus.org), an open source project for security-related software, provides plugins designed to test for specific vulnerabilities on a network. In addition to plugins for remotely detecting the presence of particular worms, plugins exist for detecting peer-to-peer software activity or web servers. The following description defines Nessus plugins:

Nessus plugins are very much like virus signatures in a common virus scanner application. Each plugin is written to test for a specific vulnerability. These can be written to actually exploit the vulnerability or just test for known vulnerable software versions. Plugins can be written in most any language but usually are written in the Nessus Attack Scripting Language (NASL). NASL is Nessus' own language, specifically designed for vulnerability test writing. Each plugin is written to test for a specific known vulnerability and/or industry best practices. NASL plugins typically test by sending very specific code to the target and comparing the results against stored vulnerable values.

Anderson, Harry. "Introduction to Nessus" October 28, 2003
http:/www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1741 (10/29/04).

You can use most standard Nessus plugins with Clean Access. You can also customize plugins or create your own using NASL. Refer to the Nessus website for information on how to create plugins using NASL.

When scanning is performed, the network scanner scans the client system according to the plugins you selected and generates a standard report to the Clean Access Manager containing the results of the scan. Network scanning reports will indicate whether the plugin resulted in a security hole, warning, or system information (according to how the Nessus plugin was written). The Clean Access Manager then interprets the report by comparing the result of the plugin to the vulnerability definition you have configured for it. If the report result matches the result you have configured as a vulnerability, the event is logged under Monitoring > Event Logs > View Logs, and you can also configure the following options:

Show the result of the scan to the user.

Block the user from the network

Put the user in the quarantine role for limited access until the client system is fixed.

Warn the user of the vulnerability (with the User Agreement Page).

Network Scanning Implementation Steps

The following sections describe the steps required to set up network scanning:


Step 1 Configure the Quarantine Role

Step 2 Load Nessus Plugins into the Clean Access Manager Repository

Step 3 Configure General Setup

Step 4 Apply Plugins

Step 5 Configure Plugin Options

Step 6 Configure Vulnerability Handling

Step 7 Test Scanning

Step 8 Customize the User Agreement Page

Step 9 View Scan Reports


Configure the Quarantine Role

See Configure Network Scanning Quarantine Role, page 8-21 for details.

Load Nessus Plugins into the Clean Access Manager Repository

When the Clean Access Manager is first installed, its Nessus scan plugin repository is empty (Figure 12-1). Plugins in the repository are listed under Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Plugins. You can manually load plugins you have downloaded from the Nessus website—as a combined plugins.tar.gz file or as individual .nasl files—to the Clean Access Manager's plugin repository. You can also load .nasl plugins that you have created yourself.

Figure 12-1 Network Scanner Plugins Page


Note Due to a licensing requirement by Tenable, Cisco is not able to bundle pre-tested Nessus plugins or automated plugin updates to Cisco NAC Appliance, effective Release 3.3.6/3.4.1. Customers can still download Nessus plugins selectively and manually through http://www.nessus.org.
For details on Nessus plugin feeds, see http://www.nessus.org/plugins/index.php?view=feed.
To facilitate the debugging of manually uploaded plugins, see Show Log.



Note Most Nessus 2.2 plugins are supported and can be uploaded to the Clean Access Manager. You must register for Nessus 2.2 plugins from http://www.nessus.org/plugins/index.php?view=register. Once you register, you will be able to download the free plugins.


If a plugin you want to add has dependent plugins, you must load those dependencies or the plugin is not applied. When customizing a plugin, Cisco recommends giving the plugin a unique name, so that it is not overwritten later by a plugin in a Nessus update set.

The plugin's description appears in the Plugins form of the Scan Setup submenu (Figure 12-3). By customizing the plugin's description, you enable admin console users to distinguish the plugin from others in the plugin set.

Plugins that you have loaded are automatically published from the Clean Access Manager repository to the Clean Access Servers, which perform the actual scanning. The CAM distributes the plugin set to the Clean Access Servers as they start up, if the CAS version of the plugin set differs from the CAM version.

Uploading Plugins

1. Go to Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Plugin Updates.

Figure 12-2 Plugin Updates

2. With the plugin file in a location accessible to the computer on which you are working, click the Browse button next to the Manual Update field and navigate to the plugin archive file (plugins.tar.gz) or individual plugin file (myplugin.nasl).


Note The filename of the uploaded nessus plugin archive must be plugins.tar.gz.
Most Nessus 2.2 plugins are supported.


3. Click Upload.

4. The list of plugins loaded to the repository displays under Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Plugins (Figure 12-3).

Figure 12-3 Plugins Page After Upload


Note The default view on the Plugins page is "Selected." If Nessus plugins have not yet been checked and updated for the user role, the default view (i.e. Selected Plugins) shows no plugins. To view the plugins you have uploaded, choose one of the other views (for example, "All," "Backdoors," etc.) from the "Show...Plugins" dropdown.


5. If the plugins do not immediately display after Upload, click Delete All Plugins, then perform the upload again.

6. Apply the plugin and configure its parameters as described in the following sections:

Apply Plugins

Configure Vulnerability Handling.


Note When there are plugin dependencies and a prerequisite plugin is not uploaded, the uploaded plugin will not be applied.


Deleting Plugins

1. Go to Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Plugin Updates.

2. Click the Delete All Plugins button to remove all plugins from the repository. The Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Plugins page will no longer be populated.

Configure General Setup

After loading the scan plugins, you can configure scanning by user role and operating system. Before starting, make sure user roles appropriate for your environment are created.

The General Setup page provides general controls to configure user roles and operating systems for network scanning, including whether user agreement or scan report pages pop up, and whether a client is blocked or quarantined if found with vulnerabilities.

To configure network scanning user page options:

1. Go to Device Management > Clean Access > General Setup> Web Login

Figure 12-4 General Setup—Web Login

2. Choose the role for which you want to configure scanning from the User Role dropdown.

3. Similarly, choose the user operating system to which the configuration applies from the Operating System dropdown. You can apply settings to all versions of an OS platform (such as WINDOWS_ALL), or to a specific operating system version (such as WINDOWS_XP). ALL settings will apply to a client system if a configuration for the specific version of that user's operating system does not exist.

If providing specialized settings, select the operating system and clear the checkbox for the ALL setting (for example, deselect "Use 'ALL' settings for the WINDOWS OS family if no version-specific settings are specified").

4. Enable the network scanning options:

Show Network Scanner User Agreement page to web login users

Enable pop-up scan vulnerability reports from User Agreement page

Require users to be certified at every web login—this forces clients to go through network scanning at each login (otherwise, clients go through scanning only the first time they log in.)

Exempt certified devices from web login requirement by adding to MAC filters—(Optional) this allows users that have met network scanning requirements to bypass web login altogether by adding the MAC address of their machines to the device filters list.

Block/Quarantine users with vulnerabilities in roleeither:

Select the quarantine role in which to quarantine the user, or

Select block access to block the user from the network and modify the contents (if desired) of the blocked access page that will appear.

5. When finished, click Update to save your changes to the user role.

For additional details, see General Setup Overview, page 9-17 and Customize the User Agreement Page.

Apply Plugins

Select the Nessus plugins to be used to determine client vulnerabilities from the Plugins page. Select the user role and operating system and choose the plugins that participate in scanning.

To apply scanning plugins:

1. Go Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Plugins.

Figure 12-5 Plugins

2. In the form, select a User Role and Operating System, and check the Enable scanning with selected plugins check box.

3. If you have many plugins in the repository, you can filter which are displayed at a time by choosing a plugin family from the plugins list, as shown below.

Selecting All displays all plugins in the repository.

Choosing - Selected- displays only the plugins you already chose and enabled for the role.


Note The default view on the Nessus plugin page (Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Plugins) is "Selected." Note that if Nessus plugins have not yet been checked and updated for the user role, the default view (i.e. Selected Plugins) shows no plugins. To select plugins, the administrator must choose one of the other views (for example, "All," "Backdoors," etc.) from the "Show...Plugins" dropdown.


4. Click the plugin name for details. An information dialog appears for each plugin (Figure 12-6).

Figure 12-6 Nessus Plugin Description

5. Select the check box for each plugin that you want to participate in the scan for that role.


Note If the plugin is dependent on other plugins in the repository, those plugins are enabled automatically.


6. When finished, click Update. This transfers the selected plugins to the Vulnerabilities page so that you can configure how these vulnerabilities are handled if discovered on a client system.

If the plugin has configurable parameters, you can now use the Options form to configure them, as described in the following procedures. Otherwise you can continue to Configure Vulnerability Handling.

Configure Plugin Options

For plugins that support input parameters, you can configure parameters in the Options form. Before starting, the plugin must be enabled in the Plugins form, as described in Apply Plugins.

To configure plugin options:

1. In the Network Scanner tab, click the Scan Setup submenu link, then open the Options form.

2. With the appropriate role and operating system selected, choose the plugin you want to configure from the Plugin list. All plugins enabled for the role appear in the list.

3. Choose the option you want to configure for the plugin from the options list. When you select a configurable option, Category, Preference Name, and Preference Value dropdowns and/or text boxes will display, as applicable for the option. Parameters that cannot be configured are indicated by a "Not supported" message.

Figure 12-7 Options

4. From the dropdown menus, select the Category and Preference Name, type the Preference Value (if applicable), and click Update. Note that you need to click Update for each parameter you configure.


Note Cisco recommends using the Clean Access Agent for host registry checks. In order to use Nessus Windows registry checks, you will need to have a common account (with access to the registry) on all the machines you want to check. This can be configured under Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Options | Category: Login configurations | Preference Name: [SMB account/domain/password]. For details on Nessus 2.2 Windows registry checks (requiring credentials), refer to http://www.nessus.org/documentation/nessus_credential_checks.pdf.


Configure Vulnerability Handling

If scanning uncovers a vulnerability on the user's system, the user can be blocked from the network, quarantined, or only warned about the vulnerability.

Network scan reports are listed by user logon attempt under Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Reports. Client scan reports can be enabled by selecting the "Enable pop-up scan vulnerability reports from User Agreement page" option from Device Management > Clean Access > General Setup.

If enabled, a client scan report will appear in a popup window to notify users if a vulnerability result was found. This client report is a subset of the scan report and lists only vulnerability results along with instruction steps or a URL link that guide the user through remediation for the vulnerability. If browser popups are blocked on the user's system, the user can click the Scan Report link on the logout page to view the report. The warning text that appears to users for each vulnerability is configurable, as described in the following procedures.

Note that typically, plugins do not return results when no issue is found. If a client goes through network scanning and no vulnerability results are found, no scan report popup is displayed.

To configure how vulnerabilities are handled:

1. Open the Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Vulnerabilities form.

2. Select a User Role and Operating System. Note that plugins selected apply to the User Role:OS pair. The same set of plugins appears for all operating systems in the role. However, you can customize which plugins are considered vulnerabilities per operating system.

Figure 12-8 Vulnerabilities

3. For Enabled Plugins (plugins that have been enabled through the Plugins menu) select the following:

ID: This is the number of the plugin that will be listed on the scan report.

Name: Name of the plugin.

Vulnerable if: These dropdown controls configure how the Clean Access Manager interprets the scan result for the plugin. If the client is scanned and the result returned for a plugin matches the vulnerability configuration, the client will be put in the quarantine role (or blocked). You can increase or decrease the level of result that triggers a vulnerability and assigns users to the quarantine role.

1. NEVER—Ignore the report for the plugin. Even if a HOLE, WARN, or INFO result appears on the report, this plugin is never treated as vulnerability and will never cause the user to be put in the quarantine role.

2. HOLE—If HOLE is the result for this plugin, the client has this vulnerability and will be put in the quarantine role. A result of WARN or INFO on the report is not considered a vulnerability for this plugin. In most cases, administrators should select "HOLE" to configure vulnerabilities. "HOLE" will ignore the other types of information (if any) reported by plugins.

3. HOLE, WARN (Timeout)—This setting means the following:

A HOLE result for this plugin is considered a vulnerability and the client will be put in the quarantine role.

A WARN result for this plugin is considered a vulnerability and the client will be put in the quarantine role. A WARN result means the plugin scan timed out (due to personal firewalls or other software) and could not be performed on the machine. Choosing WARN as a vulnerability will quarantine any client that has a firewall enabled. However, it can also be used as a precautionary measure to quarantine clients when the results of the scan are not known.

An INFO result on the report is not considered a vulnerability for this plugin.

4. HOLE, WARN, INFO—This setting means the following:

A HOLE result for this plugin means the client has this vulnerability and will be put in the quarantine role.

A WARN result for this plugin is considered a vulnerability and the client will be put in the quarantine role. An WARN result usually indicates a client that has a firewall enabled.

An INFO result on the report is considered a vulnerability and the client will be put in the quarantine role. An INFO result indicates status information such as what services (e.g. Windows) may running on a port, or NetBIOS information for the machine. Choosing this level of vulnerability will quarantine any client that returns status information.


Note If the plugin does not return INFO results (and there are no HOLE or WARN results), the client will not be quarantined.


5. To edit a plugin, click the Edit button next to the plugin that you want to configure.

6. The Edit Vulnerabilities form appears.

Figure 12-9 Edit Vulnerability

7. From the Vulnerability if report result is: option menu, you can increase or decrease the level of vulnerability reported by this plugin that assigns users to the quarantine role.

8. In the Instruction text field, type the informational message that appears in the popup window to users if the plugin discovers a vulnerability.

9. In the Link field, type the URL where users can go to fix their systems. The URL appears as a link in the scan report. Make sure to enable traffic policies for the quarantine role to allow users HTTP access to the URL.

10. When finished, click Update.

Test Scanning

The Test form lets you try out your scanning configuration. You can target any machine for the scan, and specify the user role to be assumed by the target client for the purpose of the test. For this type of testing, the test is actually performed against copies of the scan plugins that are kept in the Clean Access Manager. In a production environment, the Clean Access Servers get copies of scan plugins automatically from the Clean Access Manager and perform the scanning,

To perform a test scan:

1. Go to Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Test.

2. Choose the User Role and Operating System for which you want to test the user.

3. Enter the IP address of the machine that you want to scan (the address of the current machine appears by default) in the Target Computer field.

4. Click Test. The scan result appears at the bottom of the page.

Figure 12-10 Network Scanning Test Page

Show Log

Clicking the Show Log button on the Device Management > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > Test page brings up a debug log (Figure 12-11) for the target computer tested (sourced from /var/nessus/logs/nessusd.messages). The log shows which plugins were executed, the results of the execution, which plugins were skipped and the reason (dependency, timeout, etc). Administrators can check this log to debug why a scan result is not as expected.

Figure 12-11 Network Scanning Show Log

View Scan Reports

After enabling network scanning, you can view individual scan reports from Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Reports. The report shown here is the full administrator report (Figure 12-13). The report shown to end users contains only the vulnerability results for the enabled plugins. (Users can access their version of the scan report by clicking the Scan Report link in their Logout page.)

Figure 12-12 Network Scanner Reports

Choose Anytime from the Time dropdown menu to view all reports.

To view only selected reports, choose a different Time, or enter search Text or Plugin ID, and click View. If choosing a "User Defined" Time interval, type the "begin" year-month-day and time in the first text box (e.g. 2006-03-22 13:10:00) and the "end" year-month-day and time in the second text box (e.g.2006-03-23 11:25:00), then click View.

To delete reports displayed according to the selected criteria, click Delete.

Click the Report icon to open the detailed scan report, as shown in Figure 12-14.

Figure 12-13 Network Scanner Administrator Report Example


Note When there are dependencies between plugins, for example plugin B is enabled and the scan result of plugin A is the prerequisite of plugin B, the network scanner automatically applies plugin A whether or not plugin A is enabled. However, since plugin A is not explicitly enabled, the scan result reported from plugin A will only be shown in the administrator reports.


To add reports to the Event log (Monitoring > Event Logs > View Logs), check the "Add reports containing holes to event log" option. CleanAccess category reports will be generated as shown in Figure 12-14.

Figure 12-14 CleanAccess Network Scanning Event Log


Note The latest Nessus report for the machine will persist until overwritten by a new scan of the same machine.


Customize the User Agreement Page

You can enable a User Agreement Page ("Virus Protection Page") for web login users to provide network usage policy information, virus warnings and/or links to software patches or updates after login and successful network scanning.

Only uncertified users will see the User Agreement Page. Once a user device is on the Certified List, the User Agreement Page is not presented again until the device is cleared from the Certified List. Note that the Certified List only records the first user that logs in with the device and in this way tracks which user accepted the User Agreement Page at login. To ensure that the User Agreement Page is presented to users at each login, enable the "Require users to be certified at every web login" option for the role/OS on the General Setup page.

Configuration settings for this page are located in two places:

The page target (whether the page is shown to users in a user role) is configured from Device Management > Clean Access > General Setup (Figure 12-15).

Figure 12-15 General Setup Tab

The page contents for a user role are configured under Device Management Clean Access > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > User Agreement Page (Figure 12-16).

Figure 12-16 User Agreement Page Content Configuration Form

Figure 12-17 illustrates what the default generated page looks like to an end user. The User Agreement Page is not a popup but an HTML frame-based page made up of several components:

The Information Page Message (or URL) component, which contains the contents you specify.

The Acknowledgement Instructions frame component. This contains text and buttons (Accept, Decline) for acknowledging the agreement information.


Note For quarantine role pages, the text is hardcoded and contains the Session Timeout configured for the role, and the buttons are also hardcoded ("Report" and "Logout").


Figure 12-17 User Agreement Page (Quarantine Role Example)


Note The page content ("Virus Protection Information") shown in Figure 12-17 is the default content shown to the end user, if no other information message or URL is specified for the User Agreement Page. Note that this default content is not displayed in the Information Page Message (or URL) text area of the configuration form.


The configuration form (shown in Figure 12-16) can be used to set up the following types of pages for a web login user:

After network scanning with no system vulnerabilities found—Users see the User Agreement Page configured for the normal login role (Accept and Decline buttons).

After web login and network scanning with client system vulnerabilities found—

Users are put in a quarantine role and see the User Agreement Page of the quarantine role (Report and Logout buttons).

Users are put in a quarantine role but see the User Agreement Page of their normal login role (Report and Logout buttons).

Before starting, create the HTML page that you want to use for the Information Page Message (or URL) component. Cisco NAC Appliance lets you present a specific information page to users with a particular role or operating system. The customized page should be on a web server accessible to Cisco NAC Appliance elements.

After configuring the User Agreement Page, you will need to create a traffic policy to enable users in the role access to the web resources of the page. Note that the role must grant access to port 80 of the CAM. See Chapter 8, "User Management: Traffic Control, Bandwidth, Schedule" for details.

To customize the User Agreement Page:

1. Go to Device Management > Clean Access > Network Scanner > Scan Setup > User Agreement Page. The configuration form for the User Agreement Page appears as shown in Figure 12-18.

Figure 12-18 User Agreement Page Configuration Form

2. Choose the User Role and Operating System for which the page applies. The Clean Access Manager determines the operating system of the user's system at login time and serves the page you have specified for that operating system. If selecting a quarantine role, the Acknowledgement Instructions and button fields will be disabled.

3. Type HTML content or the URL of the page that you want to appear in the Information Page Message (or URL) field of the User Agreement page. If using a file you uploaded to the CAM or CAS, you can reference the file as described below:

a. Enter URLs: (for a single webpage to appear)

For an external URL, use the format http://www.webpage.com.

For a URL on the CAM use the format:

https://<CAM_IP>/upload/file_name.htm

where <CAM_IP> is the domain name or IP listed on the certificate.


Note If you enter an external URL or CAM URL, make sure you have created a traffic policy for the Unauthenticated role that allows the user HTTP access only to the CAM or external server.


b. Enter HTML: (to add a combination of resource files, such as logos and HTML links)

Type HTML content directly into the text field.

To reference an uploaded resource file as part of the HTML content, use the following formats:

- To reference a link to an uploaded HTML file:

		<a href="file_name.html"> file_name.html </a>

- To reference an image file (such as a JPEG file) enter:

		<img src="file_name.jpg"> 

See Upload a Resource File, page 5-12 for additional details.

4. If desired, type the text that you want to appear above the accept and decline buttons in the Acknowledgement Instructions field.

5. Type the labels that should appear on the accept and decline buttons in their respective fields.

6. Click the Save button to save your changes.

The User Agreement Page is now generated with the changes you made for users logging into the network.


Note For details on the web user login page, see Chapter 5, "Configuring User Login Page and Guest Access."
For traffic policy details, see Configure Policies for Agent Temporary and Quarantine Roles, page 8-18.