"Are you dead"

Continuation of thread: http://lists.wald.intevation.org/pipermail/openvas-discuss/2018-April/011958.html

(hit the link next to “Previous message” to see previous posts on this ^)

It appears that list has been shutdown very recently, I’d e-mailed in a reply but realized it should be posted here. Please move this thread to an appropriate area as needed.


I work in an environment of somewhat heightened security similar to Andrew Robinson’s story.

I generally know what to expect when it comes to scans causing devices, servers or printers to crash, network spam, erratic behaviors, print random pages or characters etc.

One thing I did not expect was the text outputted by this scan. This was not interpreted well by staff. I quickly received a concerning phone call about this.

Occasionally I will notify staff to expect the unexpected. However I could guarantee the same reaction to “are you dead?” regardless of warning.

If technology presents something that could be perceived as dangerous or threatening, i will most certainly get a call about it immediately.

A lot of us, myself included, do not work exclusively in a closet environment where this gets recognized for what it is. I recognized it for what it is, no one else did.

Changing this or at least offering the option to change it should be taken seriously. Thank you.


my research back then has shown that this string is defined within the C source code of the openvas-scanner (on current master) / the openvas-libraries on older releases.

As pointed out in the previous linked mailing list posting you could open a pull request with a change to the string and a rationale behind this to the github repository below.

If you’re not familiar with C coding you could also open a new issue to make the team working on the related components aware of your concerns.

Hello, It had been 2+ years, and this message “Are you dead” is still printed during the scan. Is there any update on this issue? Can i somehow modify it on my local machine , or everything is compiled, not accessible and the only way is through Greenbone developers ?

Thank you and best regards

There seems to be no update on this because no one seems to have created a pull request or notified the development team as previously mentioned:

I was notified about this and I am working on it. There will be a patch soon.


Even for openvas scanner version 5.1.3 which i am using ?

openvas-scanner 5.1.3 was part of GVM-9 which is already end-of-life since Oct 14, 2019. No support / patches or updates will be available for this version.

It is also strongly discouraged to use such and outdated and EOL version in production, please plan an upgrade to the latest and currently only supported GVM-20.08 version ASAP.

Message replaced with "“Network Security Scan In Progress run by <VENDOR_VERSION_STRING>”

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