How to Use OpenVAS (BSWJ)


As a defender or ethical hacker, you should know how to use OpenVAS, one of the most popular open-source vulnerability scanning tools in the world. Learn how the tool can help in the bug-hunting process and why vulnerability scanning is so important in this “How to Use OpenVAS (BSWJ)” course, part of the Breaking Stuff with Joe (BSWJ) series.

9 minutes
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Course Content
Module 1: BSWJ: OpenVAS
Course Description

It's impossible to know if a system is truly secure until that system has been tested. Just like cars get put through crash tests to determine if the model is safe enough for public use, web services and information systems need to be put through intense scrutiny to ensure that they won't endanger their owners or users. To accomplish that, you'll need to use a vulnerability scanning tool.

Teaching Assistant George Mcpherson and Vikramajeet Khatri

(Disclaimer: Breaking Stuff with Joe is a Cybrary series that will be running indefinitely. You will not earn CEU/CPE hours by watching any individual 'Breaking Stuff with Joe' episode. However, you can still earn a certificate of completion for each episode completed.)

Using the OpenVAS Scanning Tool

The Open Vulnerability Assessment System (OpenVAS) is an all-in-one vulnerability scanning tool that has multiple built-in tests and a web interface that was created to make scanning easy to set up and run.

OpenVAS is a collection of various tools that work together to perform system testing that uses a database of known weaknesses and exploits. The purpose is to determine how well servers are protected against known attacks. OpenVAS is used as vulnerability assessment tool as well as a penetration testing tool.

The tool is a free vulnerability scanner that allows users to quickly and easily perform targeted scans of their computer systems. It is free, easy to use, and updated daily, making it the perfect choice for the penetration testers or systems administrators who need intuitive options for discovering potential security vulnerabilities.

Why Use the OpenVAS Scanning Tool?

In this technological age, computer system vulnerabilities are of the utmost importance. There are many threats to systems that must be identified, prevented from happening, or defended against. That’s why it’s essential that there are comprehensive vulnerability scanning tools like OpenVAS that sysadmins can count on. OpenVAS is an open source tool that acts as a solution for assessing vulnerability.

OpenVAS has a number of important features that make it a must-have for penetration testers and sysadmins everywhere, including the following:

  • It provides a high level of configurability
  • It is capable of authenticated and unauthenticated testing
  • It has various high- and low-level Internet and industrial protocol capabilities
  • It offers performance tuning for large-scale scanning
  • It is open source and free

For more information about the OpenVAS vulnerability scanning tool, take a look at our How to Use OpenVAS tutorial. In the tutorial you will learn about the installation process, the user interface, and how to run a scan. The tutorial also covers how OpenVAS can assist with bug-hunting, how to interact with the tool, and why this type of scanning is so important to information security. Enrolling in the course is easy, just click on the Register button at the top right corner of this screen to begin.

Instructed By
Joe Perry
Joe Perry
Senior Technical Instructor at FireEye, Inc
Certificate of Completion
Certificate Of Completion

Complete this entire course to earn a How to Use OpenVAS (BSWJ) Certificate of Completion