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I recently created an internal network with VirtualBox for scanning purposes.
I installed three virtual machines and I organized my internal network in two subnets.
It's a quick and easy solution in order to learn the fundamental techniques of scanning.
I decided to install OpenVAS 9 as vulnerability scanner in the virtual machine running Kali.
I subsequently installed Debian in the second virtual host and OpenBSD in the last virtual machine. Obviously, the machine running OpenBSD acts as a router allowing to simulate a real environment in which several scanning tasks can involve one or more subnets.
In my case, the first subnet consists of a single host (i.e Kali virtual machine) with address 192.168.10.2/24 .
The second subnet also consists of a single host (i.e Debian virtual machine) with address 192.168.11.2/24; this one will be the target for my scanning activities.
Then I configured the two interfaces of the OpenBSD virtual machine as gateways.
So far so good, everything about hosts reachability works correctly.
As additional step, I blocked all ICMP packets including ping request on Debian host through the following command:

iptables -A INPUT -p icmp -j DROP

Disabling ping requests on a target host is useful if we want to practice with OpenVAS.
While I was executing a "Full and Fast scan" on my Debian target, I noticed that there were not ping requests at the beginning of the scan from Kali host but TCP-SYN packets, despite having selected "Scan Config Default" as "Alive Test".
I analyzed all the traffic with Wireshark.
OpenVAS documentation mentions ICMP ping as default preference.
Is it possible that the default preference has been set to TCP ping in OpenVAS 9?

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