Vulnerability Scanner

Looking for an open source threat detection and vulnerability scanner. Any recommendations?

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I haven’t used it myself, but I have heard as OpenVAS for an open source vuln scanner.


OpenVAS will work and it is built into both Parrot and Kali Linux, but you will very likely get false positives that you will have to sort through. This happens with other paid systems as well, but with the paid ones you get some help sorting that out.


You can also check out Tenable Nessus, they have a free version as well. You can preform non credentialed and credentialed scans against a limited amount of target ip addresses for free. I have used the full suite in an analyst role and I really liked the abilities of the program, I was running it on a REHL box.

I’m a little late to this thread, but I recommend using the Nexpose Community Edition (I use a Debian VM for it). It is maintained by Rapid7, the same company that created Metasploit. Nexpose’s interface is very clean and intuitive.

I’ve tried several other free options; my thoughts on them:

Nessus Essentials: Very easy to set up; the interface is very intuitive; it’s easy to scan and set schedules. However, it only allows for scanning 16 IPs; Nexpose Community Edition allows for 32.

OpenVAS installed in Debian: Overly complicated to set up. OpenVAS’s interface isn’t exactly the greatest. I eventually had problems updating the feed and had to keep restoring snapshots.

OpenVAS in Kali: Much easier to set up, However, I prefer an “always on” solution where I can scan using set schedules (not the most practical with Kali).

Greenbone Community Edition (a version of OpenVAS): not worth the effort of installing. To update anything other than the feed, you have to download and install a new ISO.

AlienVault OSSIM: This includes OpenVAS as its vulnerability scanner. It’s nice to have an “all in one” SIEM solution, but every time I updated the system, something broke in the process. I used OSSIM for several years and finally gave up. In addition to Nexpose Community Edition, I use Security Onion for the rest of my needs.


I know this thread has been inactive for a while but as a newcomer to these forums I’m looking through the posts to seek out interesting info and came across this.

As a micro MSP we don’t have the budget to spend on expensive tools (yet) but do need to be able to carry out scans and check for open ports etc.

We too looked at OpenVAS but it was far too complicated to setup and configure. We stumbled up on this site: which offers access the their online tools for an annual subscription that starts at just $120 a year.

We’ve used this for a year and I think it’s great value and I will be renewing this week.

The “Starter” plan allows you to scan Nmap port scan up to 64 IP’s per day and OpenVAS Scan 16 IP’s per day, which is much more than we need:

Check them out, they also send out regular info and updates.