Feeds

Federal flaw database commits to grading system

My vuln is worse than yours

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A federal database of software vulnerabilities funded by the US Department of Homeland Security has decided on a common method of ranking flaw severity and has assigned scores to the more than 13,000 vulnerabilities currently contained in its database, the group announced last week.

The National Vulnerability Database, unveiled in August, completed its conversion over to the Common Vulnerability Scoring System, a industry initiative aimed at standardizing the severity rankings of flaws. The CVSS gives vulnerabilities a base score based on their severity, a temporal score that measures the current danger - which could be lessened by a widely available patch, for example - and an environmental score that measures an organization's reliance on the vulnerable systems.

"There does not exist or ever will exist a perfect technique for scoring vulnerability impact," Mell said. "CVSS appears to work very effectively and it was better than my current scoring system and so it made sense to adopt it."

The move to the Common Vulnerability Scoring System gives the flaw-ranking initiative a major boost. Created by security researchers at networking giant Cisco, vulnerability management software provider Qualys and security company Symantec, the CVSS has not been used widely, though many companies are considering scoring flaws with the system. (SecurityFocus is owned by Symantec.)

The grading of the previous vulnerabilities on the CVE list solves a problem that hampered adoption of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System, said Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer for Qualys and one of the founding members of the CVSS team.

"With the introduction of CVSS as a standardized vulnerability scoring system, the question appeared, how do we go back and score all the historical vulnerabilities released?" he said. "It is very encouraging to see NVD has taken on this big task, providing comprehensive CVSS scoring for even historical vulnerabilities."

To date, no software vendor has yet graded vulnerabilities in its product using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. Microsoft, for example, has its own severity-grading system and has considered but not committed to supporting the CVSS. Microsoft's current scoring system - rating flaws as one of four levels of severity - works well for its customers, said a spokesperson for the software giant. The company did not rule out a future move to the ranking system, however.

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.