General Aspects of OTPTopOpenVAS Transfer Protocol (OTP)Changes from NTP 1.2 to OTP 1.0

Changes from NTP 1.2 to OTP 1.0

This section describes the changes between NTP 1.2 and OTP 1.0. If you already have some experience with NTP, this section should help you to spot the main differences between the two protocols.

Plug-in upload

Section 10 of the NTP Extensions describes the ATTACHED_PLUGIN message type. Using this message type, it was possible for a client to upload a plug-in to a server. Due to security considerations described in the OpenVAS change request #4, this message type has been removed from the protocol.

Version information

The undocumented NESSUS_VERSION message type has been replaced with the OPENVAS_VERSION message type. When an OPENVAS_VERSION message is issued by the client, the server is expected to respond with a message containing the current server version.

New message types

In addition to the existing message types HOLE, INFO and NOTE two new message types have been added to the protocol: DEBUG and LOG. Their purpose is to give clients the possibility to display log and debug messages raised by plugins and allow the user to control the verbosity of the messages displayed.

Detached scans

This functionality has been dropped due to design decisions. This means the following commands have been removed from the protocol: DETACHED_SESSIONS_LIST and DETACHED_STOP. The following preferences have been removed from the protocol as well: detached_scan, continuous_scan, delay_between_scan_loops, detached_scan_email_address.

Plugin order information

The server command PLUGINS_ORDER was defined for NTP 1.2 but not implemented in the server. This command has been removed from the protocol.

Starting a scan

NTP offered two ways of starting a scan, NEW_ATTACK and LONG_ATTACK. The latter allowed arbitrary long list of targets while the first was limited to 4000 bytes. The OpenVAS-Client (and so did NessusClient) used only LONG_ATTACK anyway.

Reporting preferences errors

NTP allowed the reporting of preferences errors with the PREFERENCES_ERRORS message type. Since this message type was never properly implemented in either server or client and due to design decisions, this message type has been removed from the protocol.

Protocol extensions

These protocol extensions have been made standard in the OTP protocol: "timestamps", "dependencies", "plugins_version", "plugins_cve_id", "plugins_bugtraq_id" and "plugins_xrefs".


General Aspects of OTPTopOpenVAS Transfer Protocol (OTP)Changes from NTP 1.2 to OTP 1.0