January 01, 2012

Secunia PSI

Secunia PSI is a security tool designed to detect vulnerable and outdated programs and plug-ins. These vulnerabilities expose your PC to attacks which are rarely blocked by traditional anti-virus due to the fact they exploit programs already on your computer and are therefore increasingly "popular" among criminals. Order/Download Now

The only solution to prevent these types of attacks is to apply security updates, commonly referred to as patches, to every piece of software and plugin on your system. Finding and applying these patches is a tedious and time consuming task. Secunia PSI automates identifying vulnerable software and alerts you when your programs and plug-ins require security updates. Secunia PSI will also alert you when software reaches the end of a support life cycle and may require an upgrade.

Note:  The default installation of the PSI client automatically updates Java and will automatically install updates that may cause incompatibilities UAB systems including Blackboard Vista, Oracle HR/Finance, and Banner.  

There are two methods of configuring PSI and working with automatic updates.  Please choose the appropriate one.

  1. Update Approval before Automatic Updates (Risk is not reviewing Secunia)
  2. Automatic Updates and ignoring Java (Risk is ignoring java)

Update Approval before Automatic Updates

Execute the PSI installer, click Next and then accept the License Agreement.

On the screen marked "Auto-Update Configuration" check the box "Require user-interaction before each Auto-Update"; click Next.

Click Next through the remainder of the install screens and click "Finish."

After installer finishes launch the PSI client.

The client will immediate start a scan.  Close the popup and wait for the scan to finish.



Scan results will likely show that there are insecure programs present.





Approving Updates

For software that has pending updates.  Those updates can generally be applied by left clicking the Approve Update link at the right hand side of the scan results page.  Sometimes the software cannot be automatically updated and will require the user to download and install the update manually.  In this case, clicking the update link will direct the user to the appropriate website to download the patch.

Ignore Java Updates and allow unprompted automatic updates

This configuration can leave Java as a risk that will never be identified.  However, it will automatically update many packages without user interaction.

Execute the PSI installer, click Next and then accept the License Agreement.

On the screen marked "Auto-Update Configuration" check the box "Require user-interaction before each Auto-Update"; click Next.

Click Next through the remainder of the install screens and click "Finish."

After installer finishes launch the PSI client.

The client will immediate start a scan.  Close the popup and wait for the scan to finish.



Scan results will likely show that there are insecure programs present.

View the scan results and take note of the location of the unpatched version of java and any other programs that should not be automatically updated.

Expand the Configuration menu on the left and select “Settings.”

Select the “Ignore Rules” tab at the top of the configuration screen.

Select “Create Ignore Rule” and name it java (or whatever program needs exclusion). Enter the location to the program in the box labeled “Rule Path”.

Clicking OK should immediately exclude the program from the scan list.

Finally, re-enable auto-updates for all programs that are not excluded. Select the PSI Settings tab and uncheck “Prompt before running automatic program updates.”

The computer will now update installed software automatically.

1. Overview

The IT Administrator's view of Secunia is via the "Secunia CSI" Console.   There are two subcomponents available.  

  • Deploying Secunia CSI Agents (Scan systems for software vulnerabilities)
  • Deploying Secunia PSI Agents (Scan systems for software vulnerabilities, provide some automatic patching and give reporting to end user).

1.1 Notes

  • UAB has a site license (currently through Fall 2013) for this software though there are license counts associated with the software and administrator accounts.
  • Secunia PSI can only have 1 linkID per reporting subaccount!
  • Secunia PSI can be configured to report to a CSI instance or be standalone. Personally owned devices should generally use the non-reporting PSI.
  • UAB IT's initial deployment does not include pushing patches via WSUS. How to accomplish this on top of our existing WSUS processes and coming Forefront-based processes is being examined.

2. PSI Usage

If you are only worried about one or two systems (like a workstation), use the end user install of secunia PSI.

3. CSI Usage

Full documentation is available at http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/corporate

  • Establishing Subaccounts. Each subaccount is a unique set of reporting views and licensing counts. Accounts can either be subordinate or they can be a "shadow" of an existing account.
  • Reporting (AdHOc or Scheduled Email); Several are available including static URLs that you can include in existing webpages as a dashboard for system status.
  • Integration with Secunia PSI;
  • Patch deployment Integration with WSUS or SCCM; This requires your own WSUS infrastructure. UAB IT is currently examining how to offer third party patches beyond Microsoft.

3.1 Getting Started with CSI

  1. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and request an account. Please indicate an approximate number of systems and other administrators you will need.
  2. You will receive an email with your account username and password from Secunia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .'; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text66502); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. Download and install the CSI Management console from http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/corporate
  4. Login to the CSI Console with your assigned username and password. You can change your password at anytime.

3.2 Downloading CSI Agent

Please note that a csia.exe download is bound to an account.  If you end up with multiple accounts, please make sure to keep your csia.exe unique.

  1. Go to Scan > Scheduled Scanning > Download Agent; There is also a manual available on this screen.
  2. Choose an installation methodology. At the end of this document is an example script that will run csia.exe using the -NAME of the hostname as the "group" .

3.3 Downloading a Linked PSI Agent

PSI agents are nice for situations where end users take some responsibility for the software they install and keep up to date.   Please refer to end-user documentation for dealing with some of the caveats associated with PSI, especially with Java.

  1. Go to Scan > PSI Integration > Download Custom PSI
  2. Create a unique LinkID for your area. This cannot be changed.
  3. Save the custom installer as PSISetup!.exe; The name of the installer should not be changed.

3.4 Creating a shadow account

This is an account with the same reporting scope as an existing account.

  1. Navigate to User Management > Shadow Accounts
  2. Click New Shadow Account
    • Name: Real Name
    • UserName: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Click "Generate Password"
    • Select the level of access they need to have to your main account
      • Read/Write (Can make changes/delete hosts/regroup systems)
      • Read (Can view reports/system status)

3.5 Creating a subaccount

This is an account with a new reporting scope.  This will not roll up into your main set of reports.  This is useful for delegated responsibility situations such as labs.  If you want someone else to have the same rights as you, create a shadow account!

  1. Navigate to User Management > Accounts
  2. Click New Account
    • Name: Real Name
    • UserName: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Click "Generate Password"

4. Secunia CSI Login Scripts

This script is suitable for being used as a login script or as a scheduled task.   Please share any suggested changes to this script.

'==========================================================================
'
' NAME: runsecunia.vbs
'
' AUTHOR: Chris Green This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
' AUTHOR: Aaron Blum    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
' DATE  : 2/2/2011
' DATE  : 5/1/2012 (updated)
'
' COMMENT:
'
'  Runs the Secunia csia agent (different visibility scopes per user) and
'    sets the site to the active OU|
'  
' CHANGES:
'     5/1/2012 - Updated Script to work with Secunia 5.0 Agent
'     2/2/2011 - Made csia execute in background.
'
' This default configuration assumes that the csia.exe file is
'   in the "C:\Secunia\" folder and that logs are to be placed
'   in the "C:\Secunia\logs" folder.
'
' It also configures the agent to check-in every two days
'  This can be modify by adjusting the flag after the -i in SecuniaCmd
'
' Change these values where needed.
'
'==========================================================================
' SEC (AKA Chris Green) Login Script

 'On Error Resume Next

'' full path to CSI Program
''const CsiaPath = "%ProgramFiles%\Secunia\csia.exe"
const CsiaPath = "C:\Secunia\csia.exe"
'' Output log directory, Log will be username.sec
''const LogPath = "%ProgramFiles%\Secunia\logs\"
const LogPath = "C:\Secunia\logs\"
'' Run in foreground?
const bInteractive = False

Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
' Overwrite the last instance of the logs
Dim objLogPath, ouGuess, idxDash, secuniaCmd
objLogPath = LogPath & objNetwork.UserName & ".sec"
Set objLog = objFSO.OpenTextFile(objLogPath,2,true)

TimeStamp = Year(now) & "-" & Month(now) & "-" & Day(now) & "-" & Hour(now) & Minute(now)
ouGuess = "ADLogonScript"
idxDash = InStr(1,objNetwork.computername, "-", 1) - 1

If idxDash > 0 Then
   ouGuess =  Mid(objNetwork.computername, 1, idxDash)
End If  

objLog.WriteLine("[*] Secunia " & objNetwork.UserName & "@" & objNetwork.computername & " on " & Now)

secuniaCmd = CsiaPath & " -i 2D -L -g " & ouGuess & " -v --skipwait -d " & LogPath & TimeStamp & "_csia.log"
objLog.WriteLine("[*] Secunia Executing with " & secuniaCmd)

If bInteractive Then
                set oExec = objShell.Exec(secuniaCmd)

                ' Wait for the scan to complete
                Do While Not oExec.StdOut.AtEndofStream
                                strText = oExec.StdOut.ReadLine()
                                objLog.WriteLine(strText)
                Loop

                objLog.WriteLine("[*] Secunia Exited with " & oExec.Status & " on " & objNetwork.UserName & "@" & objNetwork.computername & " on " & Now)

Else
    '' Close the output file, hide csia in the background
                objLog.Close
                objShell.Run "cmd /c " & secuniaCmd & ">>" & objLogPath, vbHide
End If