How to open and work with (dot) Nessus 5 Reports in Excel 2010

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I have been working to find a functional way to quickly move from a completed Nessus scan into excel without a lot of trouble. The goal of bringing the files into Nessus is to make the data more usable and more report friendly. I wanted to avoid messing with transforming the original XML data into csv or even digging through the XML data to chop parts out.

The following assumes you are just using a single report or multiple reports you have consolidated using my previous post regarding consolidating multiple Nessus scans into a single XML file. The purpose of this post is to walk you through the steps to achieve the following:

  1. Import an already downloaded/saved .Nessus or .Nessus.XML file into Excel 2010
  2. Perform some simple changes to the table to make the data useful for further analysis and reporting.
  3. Create some simple charts using the data you have mined out of the overall total report.
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How to merge multiple (dot) Nessus 5 XML files into a single report.

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On a recent engagement I needed to merge several Nessus files into a single main file for easier reporting and data mining. I was able to find a few general instructions on the Tenable site, however none of them worked as stated. I wanted to do a quick write-up on how to perform the merge in case someone else runs into this down the road. I also made this write-up using a simple command to merge the files together. I found it impossible to copy/paste the data from one file to another after about 35000 lines of XML have been reached.

Background:
All Nessus scan files are comprised of XML data. You can open and edit these files easily in just about any text editor. I do not recommend using notepad as it will typically bunch everything together and be hard to work with. I like to use Notepad++. If you do not have it installed already you can find it here: http://notepad-plus-plus.org/

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