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What is CVE and CVSS – Known Vulnerability Scoring Explained

It is common to hear these days about a known vulnerability having been exploited with the end result being a massive data breach or ransomware attack. The obvious lesson learned from these types of events for businesses is to keep track of known vulnerabilities and to get rid of them in their systems and software. This is done with the help of CVEs and CVSS scoring. 

In this guide, you will learn what these terms mean and how to find out if your software is afflicted by known vulnerabilities. But before we get too far, let’s jump to the beginning and explain what vulnerabilities are.

What are vulnerabilities?

Vulnerabilities are weaknesses in a system or software that can be exploited by a malicious actor. These weaknesses can be caused by a wide array of factors, such as coding errors, faulty designs, outdated software, or unpatched security flaws. Vulnerabilities can lead to a variety of outcomes, from data theft and unauthorized access to the system, to the execution of malicious code or disruption of service.

Depending on the type of vulnerability, an attacker can gain access to the system in a variety of ways, such as through malicious code, by exploiting a known vulnerability, or by using a zero-day attack. Malicious code can be used to compromise the system by exploiting a vulnerability, such as a buffer overflow, or to gain unauthorized access. Zero-day attacks exploit unknown or unpatched vulnerabilities to gain access to the system.

The most common types of vulnerabilities are application-level vulnerabilities, which involve flaws in the application code. These can be caused by coding errors, poor security practices, or outdated software. Some of the most common application-level vulnerabilities are SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and directory traversal.

Vulnerabilities can also be caused by system-level issues. These can be due to incorrect configuration of the system or network, or unpatched security flaws. Some of the most common system-level vulnerabilities are buffer overflows, insecure access control, and command injection.

Organizations need to take steps to protect their systems and networks from vulnerabilities. This includes regularly patching systems and software, using secure coding practices, and implementing security best practices. Additionally, organizations should regularly scan their systems and networks for potential vulnerabilities, and have a plan in place to address any discovered vulnerabilities.

What is a CVE?

A CVE, or “Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures”, is a type of publicly disclosed security vulnerability that can be exploited by malicious actors to gain access to a system or network. A CVE is a unique identifier that is assigned to a specific vulnerability or software flaw. It is tracked by the international CVE Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) and is used to help organizations identify and prioritize their security efforts.

A CVE is created when a security researcher discovers a vulnerability or security flaw in a given piece of software. It is then assigned a unique identifier, which is used to track the vulnerability through the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. The CVE system is an open standard, which means anyone can submit a vulnerability for consideration. Once the vulnerability is approved, its corresponding CVE is published in the CVE List, which is maintained by the MITRE Corporation.

The CVE system has become an important tool for organizations to track, prioritize, and address security vulnerabilities. By using the CVE system, organizations can identify which systems and networks require additional security measures, as well as which vulnerabilities should be patched or blocked first. The CVE system also helps organizations determine when to deploy new security measures, such as additional firewalls or intrusion prevention systems.

The CVE system is a valuable resource for security professionals and organizations alike. It helps them identify, prioritize, and address security vulnerabilities, as well as determine the best course of action to protect the organization’s systems and networks. The CVE system also serves as a central repository for tracking the status of all known security vulnerabilities. By providing a standard format for describing a vulnerability, the CVE system ensures that all stakeholders can access the same level of information.

Check out known vulnerabilities in BB-SEC’s vulnerability DB.

What is CVSS?

The CVSS is a scoring system used to rate vulnerabilities according to their severity. The system assigns a score to each vulnerability based on its impact on the affected system or network. A score of 0 indicates that the vulnerability is of minimal importance, while a score of 10 indicates the vulnerability can be exploited to gain access to a system or network.

How do I find out if my software has a known vulnerability?

The best way to find out if your software has a known vulnerability is to check the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). The NVD is a repository of known security vulnerabilities maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). You can search the NVD by software name, version, and other relevant details to see if your software has any known vulnerabilities. Check out known vulnerabilities listed in NVD in BB-SEC’s  vulnerability DB.

Additionally, you can use security scanners to scan your system and software for any known vulnerabilities.

Are known vulnerabilities checked during penetration testing?

BB-SEC’s penetration testing includes software composition analysis specialized in detecting known vulnerabilities.

What Is CVE And CVSS

About BB-SEC

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