How to Fix OpenVAS “ERROR: The default PostgreSQL version (14) is not 16 that is required libgvmd”

Currently OpenVAS needs PostgreSQL 16 on port 5432. If you have multiple versions of PostgreSQL, the lowest version will typically run on port 5432, and then they’ll increment from there. For example, if you have PostgreSQL 14, 15, and 16, 14 will run on port 5432, 15 on 5433, and 16 on 5434.

The quick fix is to edit the PostgreSQL config files, change the port numbers, restart PostgreSQL, and rerun gvm-setup.

vi /etc/postgresql/16/main/postgresql.conf

Change port number from 5434 to 5432

You will need to remove/disable/change the port for PostgreSQL 14

sudo apt remove postgresql-14
sudo systemctl restart postgresql@16-main.service

We can verify that PostgreSQL is running with netstat.

netstat -tulpn

We can see that the ports 5432 (PostgreSQL 16) and 5433 (PostgreSQL 15) are both running.

Rerun gvm-setup

sudo gvm-setup

Install and Setup OpenVAS on Kali Linux 2023/2024

Notes on installing OpenVAS on Kali Linux in 2023/2024

sudo apt install openvas

Run the setup script. This used to be called openvas-setup, now it is gvm-setup. Note that the script can take a long time to run.


At the end of the script, it will give you a password. Use this password to log into the web interface. You can reset the password if needed.

If you run into issues with PostgreSQL, check out this post

Log into the web interface at


On Kali Linux, you need to run commands as the _gvm user. You can do this by prepending the commands with

sudo runuser -u _gvm -- COMMAND

There are two — dashes, between the _gvm user and the COMMAND. Replace COMMAND with the GVM/OpenVAS command you want to execute.

Example, to list the current users do

sudo runuser -u _gvm -- gvmd --get-users

To create a new user run

sudo runuser -u _gvm -- gvmd --user=newadmin --new-password=longsecurepassword

Failed to find config ‘daba56c8-73ec-11df-a475-002264764cea’

If you receive a `Failed to find config ‘daba56c8-73ec-11df-a475-002264764cea'”` error,

try running the following command

sudo runuser -u _gvm -- greenbone-nvt-sync

This can take awhile, but it should sync all the files needed. Check the following link for more information.

The following link is also helpful for installing OpenVAS

Common Power Issue Terminology

Here is a list of terms associated with power issues.

FaultMomentary loss of power
BlackoutProlonged power outage
SagMomentary low voltage
BrownoutProlonged Low voltage
SpikeMomentary spike in voltage
SurgeExtended spike in voltage
InrushInitial voltage “surge” when a device is plugged in

Here is a visual image.

Table of Types of Law for Cyber Security

There are three types of law. Criminal, civil, and administrative.

Type of LawExamplesStandard of ProofBurden of ProofPenalty
Criminal LawMurder, assault, robbery, arsonBeyond a reasonable doubtInnocent until proven guiltyFines, Jail, Prison, Death penalty
Civil LawProperty Disputes, Personal injuryPreponderance of evidenceClaimant must give proof (most cases)Compensation for injuries/damage
Administrative LawDefine standards of performance and conduct for major industries, organizations and government agencies
Table of Law

List of Laws and Acts

The following is a list of “good to know” legislative acts.

CFAAComputer Fraud and Abuse ActFirst major cyber crime legislation
Federal Sentencing Guidelines (1991)Responsibility on senior management
ECPAElectronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986Made it a crime to invade the electronic privacy of an individual
CALEAComm Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994Amended ECPA. Made wiretaps possible for law enforcement with a court order.
Economic Espionage Act of 1996Made theft no longer tied to something physical
FISMAFederal Information Security Management ActCyber security requirements for government agencies
DMCADigital Millennium Copyright ActCopyright protection is 70 years +
1st major revision added CD/DVD protections
USA PATRIOTUSA PATRIOT Act of 2001Gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies broader wiretapping authorizations
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (1998)Made identity theft a crime. Up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
HIPPAHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996)Regulations for security measures for hospitals, physicians, and insurance companies
HITECHealth Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009Amended HIPPA. Updated privacy/security requirements for Business Associates (BAs), requires a written contract known as a business associate agreement (BAA). BAs are directly subject to HIPPA and enforcement actions like a covered entity.
HITECH also introduced new data breach notifications.
GLBAGramm-Leach-Bliley ActLimits services that banks, lenders, and insurance agencies can provide and information they can share with each other
COPPAChild Online Privacy Protection ActSeeks to protects children (<13 years old) online
FERPAFamily Educational Rights and Privacy ActGives students certain privacy rights. Deals with adults >18, and Children in school <18
ITARInternational Traffic in Arms RegulationRegulates the export of military and defense related technologies
EARExport Administration RegulationsFor commercial use, but may have military applications.
Table of Laws and Acts

Trademark, Patents, Copyright etc.

NameProtection Length
Trademarks10 Years
Patents20 Years
Copyright 70 Years after the death of the author
Trade SecretsUntil they are leaked.
Table of Trademarks, Patents, Copyright, and Trade Secrets

List of Symmetric Encryption Algorithms. Block and Key Size.

List of common symmetric encryption algorithms with their block and key size.

NameBlock SizeKey SizeNotes
AES Advanced Encryption Standard128128, 192, 256Is Rijndael
RijndaelVariable128, 192, 256Is AES
Blowfish 6432-448Often used in SSH
DES Data Encryption Standard6456
Triple DES64112-168DES 3 times
IDEA64128Used in PGP
RC4 Rivest Cipher 4Stream Cipher40-2048Insecure/Not used, used in WEP, WPA, and SSL
RC5 Rivest Cipher 532, 64, 1280-2040
RC6 Rivest Cipher 6128128, 192, 256
Skipjack6480Developed by the NSA and supported key escrow
CAST-256128128, 160, 192, 224, 256
ChaCha20Stream Cipher256
List of Common Symmetric Encryption Algorithms With Block and Key Size

Export GPG Private Key

Note that if you need to copy both your Private and Public key, you’ll need to export both separately.

List Keys

You can list all the GPG keys with the following command.

gpg --list-keys

Export Key

Change “keyID” to your key idea from the above command. The key ID is the long string of hexadecimal characters.

gpg --export-secret-keys "keyID" > private_key.asc

This will export the keys to private_key.asc. Rename as appropriate.

To export the Public Key

gpg --export "keyID" > public_key.asc

Import Key

To use the key, you’ll need to import and trust the key.

gpg --allow-secret-key-import --import private_key.asc
gpg --edit-key "keyID"

Then type


Select level 5.

Import the Public Key

gpg --import public_key.asc

Using Auditd to monitor changes to Linux

Install and enable auditd with

sudo dnf install auditd
sudo systemctl enable auditd
sudo systemctl start auditd

Add a file or directory to monitor with

auditctl -w /etc/passwd -k password

-w is watch path
-k is a filter key we can use later to search through logs

Now we can search with ausearch

ausearch -k password

Using Preconfigured Rules

There are already some preconfigured rules in /usr/share/audit/sample-rules/

We can copy those to /etc/auditd/rules.d/ and use them.

cd /usr/share/audit/sample-rules/
cp 10-base-config.rules 30-stig.rules 31-privileged.rules 99-finalize.rules /etc/audit/rules.d/
augenrules --load

Note on the 31-privileged.rules file. You’ll need to run the commands in the file which will create a new file. Then we can copy that to “/etc/auditd/rules.d/”

find /bin -type f -perm -04000 2>/dev/null | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $1 }' > priv.rules
#find /sbin -type f -perm -04000 2>/dev/null | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $1 }' >> priv.rules
#find /usr/bin -type f -perm -04000 2>/dev/null | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $1 }' >> priv.rules
#find /usr/sbin -type f -perm -04000 2>/dev/null | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $1 }' >> priv.rules
#filecap /bin 2>/dev/null | sed '1d' | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $2 }' >> priv.rules
#filecap /sbin 2>/dev/null | sed '1d' | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $2 }' >> priv.rules
#filecap /usr/bin 2>/dev/null | sed '1d' | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $2 }' >> priv.rules
#filecap /usr/sbin 2>/dev/null | sed '1d' | awk '{ printf "-a always,exit -F path=%s -F perm=x -F auid>=1000 -F auid!=unset -F key=privileged\n", $2 }' >> priv.rules

And Copy priv.rules to /etc/audit/rules.d/31-privileged.rules. Overwrite the file there if needed.

cp ./priv.rules /etc/audit/rules.d/31-privileged.rules

Load the rules.

augenrules --load

How to Create WireGuard Point-to-point Between Mikrotik Routers

We’ll create a tunnel between two Mikrotik RouterOS routers. Once we have the tunnel connected, we can then route traffic between them.

Note: You can add Preshared keys, but we don’t cover that in this post, just to keep things simple. Check out the following post if you want to add Preshared keys.

How to Create a Preshared Key for Wireguard

Here is how we will want our routers set up. The WireGuard PtP IP is the IP addresses used on both ends of the tunnel. The WAN IP is the IP of each Router. Local IP on Host B is setup to distribute DHCP.

Host A

WireGuard PtP IP:

Host B

WireGuard PtP IP:
Local IP:

We need Host A to be able to access Private IP’s ( behind Host B.

We’ll pretend that the address is a public IP, and Host B, is behind some sort of NAT network.

To create the Point-to-point, or PtP, we will create a WireGuard VPN tunnel, and then add routes from Host A to Host B.

For each Mikrotik we need to create a WireGuard interface, and then a peer. One of the peers needs a keep alive if we are behind a NAT.

Wireguard Setup Overview

Here is an overview screenshot of what our WireGuard settings will look like. Host A is on top, and Host B on the bottom. On the left are the WireGuard interfaces, and the right contains the Peers.

We copy the Public Key from the remote WireGuard interface, to the Public Key on the local Peer. I.e. The Host_B Peer contains Host_A’s Interface Public Key and vice verse

Host A

If you want to, you can use the WinBox GUI to setup and configure the router.

Create the WireGuard interface

 /interface/wireguard/add name=wireguard-Host_A disabled=no

Add IP address to the newly created WireGuard Interface in /IP/Address

/ip/address/add address= interface=wireguard-Host_A disabled=no

Create WireGuard Peer, WireGuard -> Peers

  • Select the WireGuard interface,
  • In the Allowed Addresses, put and*.
  • Finally, put in the Public Key from Host B.
    Note that we can’t do this until we create the WireGuard Interface on Host B, so you’ll need to come back for this step.
interface/wireguard/peers/add interface=wireguard-Host_A public-key=HOST_B_WG_PUBLIC_KEY allowed-address=,

Add route for to point to

/ip/route/add dst-address= gateway=

*The Allowed Address sets which addresses work on the other side of the tunnel. If we don’t specify, then we won’t be able to route to those addresses. If we don’t add, then our tunnel won’t work at all. Since we only need to route to the network from the Host A side, we don’t need this IP range on Host B.

Host B

Create the WireGuard interface, WireGuard -> Add

 /interface/wireguard/add name=wireguard-Host_B disabled=no

Add IP address to the newly created WireGuard Interface in /IP/Address

/ip/address/add address= interface=wireguard-Host_B disabled=no

Create a WireGuard Peer, WireGuard -> Peers

  • Select the WireGuard interface,
  • In the Allowed Addresses, put
  • Finally, put in the Public Key from Host A.
/interface/wireguard/peers/add interface=wireguard-Host_A public-key=HOST_A_WG_PUBLIC_KEY endpoint-address= endpoint-port=13231 allowed-address= persistent-keepalive=00:00:30


That should be it. Verify that there is a connection. From Host A, ping or any other remote device.


Unfortunately, there appear to be some wonky bugs with WireGuard on RouterOS. It does appear to be getting better, but here are a couple things to check if the tunnel is not connecting.

  1. Verify that the Firewall is not blocking WireGuard. You can allow the WireGuard port in the Firewall.
  2. Try disabling and re-enabling the Interfaces and/or Peers
  3. Verify that all the routes for the PtP are in /ip/routes. If not, try manually adding the route ( on the WireGuard interface on both routers.
  4. Add a keep alive if a router is behind a firewall/NAT.
  5. Reboot and or Upgrade the RouterOS version and firmware.

Hardening Mikrotik RouterOS

Things to harden

  • Delete default admin user
  • Disable unused services and whitelist IP’s
  • Secure SSH
  • DNS

Delete default admin user

Before deleting the default admin user, create your own user account.

/user/add name=MyUsername group=full password=mylongsecurepassword

Note: running /user/add will prompt you for the rest of the options.

Delete the default admin user with

/user remove admin

We want to delete the default admin user for two reasons. 1. There is no default password for this user. 2. It is a default username which means it will be targeted for brute force attacks.

Consider using the /users/groups for more granular control.

Disable unused services

In the following, we disabled all services except SSH and Winbox. We also limit access to those services only from private “RFC 1918” IP addresses. Customize as needed.

/ip service
set telnet disabled=yes
set ftp disabled=yes
set www disabled=yes
set www-ssl tls-version=only-1.2
set ssh address="set winbox address=",,"
set api disabled=yes
set winbox address="set winbox address=",,"
set api-ssl disabled=yes tls-version=only-1.2

for www-ssl and api-ssl, tls-version is not a required argument, but you may consider using it if you need the API or Webfig.

Secure SSH

/ip/ssh/set strong-crypto=yes allow-none-crypto=no always-allow-password-login=no host-key-size=4096

And regenerate the SSH host key. It will prompt for a [y/N], hit y to regenerate.



Unless your device is being used as a DNS resolver, it is best to disable the “Allow Remote Request”

ip dns/set allow-remote-requests=no

If you do need it enabled, then be sure to add some firewall rules to keep your router from being used in amplification attacks.

add action=drop chain=input dst-port=53 in-interface-list=WAN protocol=udp

You can configure interface lists in /interface/list or Interface -> Interface List in the gui

Or you can change to in-interface and specify the WAN interface directly. You could also set it to !LAN if you have a LAN interface list set up.

AirGateway Random Users in Config!

Recently ran across some AirGateway configs that had an extra user account on them. Typically on most Ubiquiti AirMax and AirGateway equipment, there are two user accounts that show up in the config.

  • users.1.* which is the admin user.
  • users.2.* which is the read only user. Disabled by default

A cool trick we can do is add users in the config i.e. (users.3, users.4 etc.)

So what do you do when you see a third user showing up that you didn’t put there?!

The user account looked like the following.

The username was the MAC address of the device and the password field is a DES(Unix) hash of what appears to be an 8 character randomly generated upper and lower case password.

Older AirOS versions only let a user select a password up to 8 characters long. You could create a longer one and log in via SSH, but you wouldn’t be able to log into the web interface.

Identifying Access

So how did these get on here in the first place?

I am guessing that the users were created at some point while trying to adopt them to UNMS/UISP before there was firmware that supported it. The user name is the actual MAC address of the device and the passwords do seem to be randomly generated. There do not appear to be any major differences between the support files from a normal AirGateway and a suspicious AirGateway.

Also appears to only affects AirGateways which were the only devices that had issues in the past connecting to UNMS/UISP. The rest of the AirMax equipment uses very similar firmware so if there was a security issue, it should have affected all the devices.

The hashing type “DES(Unix)” does not appear to be used anymore, being replaced with MD5 Crypt. So this does appear to have happened awhile ago.

Cracking the Hash

You’ll need hashcat installed and setup to crack the hash. Kali Linux has hashcat included (you will just want to have the NVIDIA drivers installed for optimal performance). You can also check out installing hashcat on Fedora, or check out the hashcat website for other systems.

Put the hashes of interest into a text file called hash.txt

Command to crack the passwords

 ./hashcat.bin -a 3 -m 1500 ./hash.txt -1?l?u ?1?1?1?1?1?1?1?1 -w 3 --session airgateway

the -1?l?u let’s us specify a custom character list made up of -l and -u. Lower and Upper case letters. –session airgateway will record a checkpoint ever so often. So if our run gets interrupted, we can restore the session with

./hashcat.bin --session airgateway --restore


Fortunately, remediation is fairly simple.

SSH into the affected device and open up the config file

vi /tmp/system.cfg

Find the lines that start with “users.3.”, delete them, and save the file

Run the following command to save the changes.

/usr/etc/rc.d/rc.softrestart save 

If you are not comfortable with the command line, then you can, through the web gui, download a backup, edit the backup file in a text editor, then upload/restore the backup.

Other notes

Something else you may run across is a mcuser that shows up in /etc/passwd. This is typically a user used for AirControl, so if you have used AirControl in the past that is most likely why it is there. Check out the following article to remove the user.