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About OpenVAS Software

Architecture Overview

The Open Vulnerability Assessment System (OpenVAS) is a framework of several services and tools. The core of this SSL-secured service-oriented architecture is the OpenVAS Scanner. The scanner very efficiently executes the actual Network Vulnerability Tests (NVTs) which are served with daily updates via the OpenVAS NVT Feed or via a commercial feed service.

The OpenVAS software architecture

The OpenVAS Manager is the central service that consolidates plain vulnerability scanning into a full vulnerability management solution. The Manager controls the Scanner via OTP (OpenVAS Transfer Protocol) and itself offers the XML-based, stateless OpenVAS Management Protocol (OMP). All intelligence is implemented in the Manager so that it is possible to implement various lean clients that will behave consistently e.g. with regard to filtering or sorting scan results. The Manager also controls a SQL database (sqlite-based) where all configuration and scan result data is centrally stored. Finally, Manager also handles user management includiung access control with groups and roles.

The OpenVAS protocols

Different OMP clients are available: The Greenbone Security Assistant (GSA) is a lean web service offering a user interface for web browsers. GSA uses XSL transformation stylesheet that converts OMP responses into HTML.

OpenVAS CLI contains the command line tool "omp" which allows to create batch processes to drive OpenVAS Manager. Another tool of this package is a Nagios plugin.

OpenVAS key technologies

Most of the tools listed above share functionality that is aggregated in the OpenVAS Libraries.

The OpenVAS Scanner offers the communication protocol OTP (OpenVAS Transfer Protocol) which allows to control the scan execution. This protocol is subject to be eventually replaced and thus it is not recommended to develop OTP clients.

Feature overview

Standards and Interoperability

OpenVAS is a official OVAL Adopter and OpenVAS-5 registered as "Systems Characteristics Producer".

See here for the official entry at MITRE: OVAL Adoption Participant OpenVAS

See also: OVAL Adoption Program

Examples for usage are available here: Greenbone Learning Center on OVAL-SC