[Openvas-plugins] Encoding of NVTs

Michael Wiegand michael.wiegand at intevation.de
Thu Nov 5 09:23:29 CET 2009


Dear NVT authors,

While working on the upcoming OpenVAS 3.0 release, I noticed that there
is no standard encoding for NVTs. The vast majority seems to be ASCII or
ISO-8859, there is a small percentage (<1%) which are UTF-8 encoded.

This is not a big issue for openvas-scanner since it mostly just passes
along the string, but can create trouble in modules processing the
output of openvas-scanner, like openvas-manager or openvas-client. Since
OTP does not specify an encoding, they generally assume that everything
they get from openvas-scanner is ISO-8859 encoded and will try to
convert it.

This means that the encoding will be messed up if the NVT was already
UTF-8 encoded which can result in anything from funny looking characters
to incomplete reports.

I'd like to propose ASCII and ISO-8859 as the default encoding for NVTs
and would like to ask the authors of the UTF-8 encoded NVTs to convert
their NVTs to ISO-8859. I have attached a list of NVTs I found with
file; I did not check the individually, so there might be some false
positives/negatives in there.

Thank you very much for your cooperation; if you have any questions or
suggestions, feel free to let me know.

Regards,

Michael

-- 
Michael Wiegand | OpenPGP: D7D049EC | Intevation GmbH - www.intevation.de
Neuer Graben 17, 49074 Osnabrück, Germany   |    AG Osnabrück, HR B 18998
Geschäftsführer: Frank Koormann,  Bernhard Reiter,  Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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