Nessus is a proprietary comprehensive vulnerability scanning program. Its goal is to detect potential vulnerabilities on the tested systems. For example:
--Vulnerabilities that allow a remote cracker to control or access sensitive data on a system.
--Misconfiguration (e.g. open mail relay, missing patches, etc).
--Default passwords, a few common passwords, and blank/absent passwords on some system accounts. Nessus can also call Hydra (an external tool) to launch a dictionary attack.
--Denials of service against the TCP/IP stack by using mangled packets
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