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Welcome Harold Booth to the CVE Editorial Board



All,

It is with great pleasure that I can inform you that Harold Booth has joined the CVE Editorial Board.  Harold manages NIST's National Vulnerability Database and brings many years of vulnerability analysis and content management experience to CVE.  We are delighted to have him on board.

By way of reminder, organizations are allowed to have up to two representatives on the CVE Editorial Board at any given time.  Harold joins Peter Mell, also from NIST.

-Dave
==================================================================
David Mann | Principal Infosec Scientist | The MITRE Corporation
------------------------------------------------------------------
e-mail:damann@mitre.org | cell:781.424.6003
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From: <Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com>
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Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 13:52:57 -0600
Subject: Counting on CVEs
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All,

We have problems with CVE reporting that are known issues but which are bec=
oming apparent to many more and could easily undermine the usefulness of CV=
E identification if left unchecked.

We discussed this at the ITSAC conference in the Future of Vulnerability Re=
porting Workshop and at the follow-on Vulnerability Reporting day at the So=
ftware Assurance event a month later. (There were action items out of the l=
atter that I am not aware have been completed=85)

I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of CVEs a=
s a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its value if th=
e trend continues.   The discussion centered around the accuracy of the num=
bers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in the community as a wh=
ole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers,  it appears that the numbers of=
 vulnerabilities have been dropping since a high in 2008.   This is a rathe=
r important error. As we all know, this is not accurate. Vulnerabilities ha=
ve not been dropping, they are growing, not dropping by 30%.

For the vendor community, these trends have rather concerning potential imp=
acts on us.  First, our vulnerability research databases use CVE as a prima=
ry reference.  The CVE Id has been authoritative in the past.  It is used i=
nternally as a means to communicate vulnerability record information betwee=
n fielded products and between research analysis teams.  As the numbers dec=
line, it means we are forced to look elsewhere to provide the identificatio=
n and communication that CVE provided in the past. More proprietary ids are=
 becoming more the norm.

The more serious concern is what it is showing to executives of companies.

"If the vulnerabilities have dropped  30% since 2008, why do I need to be f=
unding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am?  I see that MITRE i=
s reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you folks keep com=
ing to me saying that the threats are much worse and we may be in the same =
relative situation we were when malware spiked a couple years past=85"

For those that actively work in this environment, we know vulnerabilities h=
ave not dropped 30% since 2008. Quite the contrary, our internal numbers in=
dicate an increasing trend similar to a 30% rise.  Symantec has also report=
ed a similar trend.

One of the major problems is that MITRE funding is not what it should be. O=
n multiple occasions we have been asked to target the classes of products w=
here vulnerabilities are considered the most critical and which sources sho=
uld be monitored. The view of what to target and monitor gets smaller and s=
maller as funding is  held level or reduced.

At one point the intent of the effort was to cover all published vulnerabil=
ities that could be corroborated in some fashion.  Over the years the reali=
ty has set in that this is a very resource intensive operation.  As such th=
e focus of the effort has reduced what is reported on to assure CVEs can be=
 assigned for the types of products  most important to the Editorial Board =
participants and their sponsor.  This gives an artificial view of the numbe=
rs of existing vulnerabilities and that is being recognized outside the vul=
nerability community.

Another problem is the CVE format itself.  There has been an active discuss=
ion about the format limitations as well. The CVE format is CVE-YYYY-NNNN. =
This means that currently we cannot have more than 10,000 CVEs reported in =
a single year.  At the rates we are seeing internally, we are already there=
.

Then there are the limitations of CVE process in general.  The focus is Eng=
lish only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from time to=
 time.  CVE does not support the international community and software writt=
en for non-English geo-centric areas are not included.  While this has not =
been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is a great deal of regio=
nal software written for major emerging markets.  None of those vulnerabili=
ties are identified by a CVE.

Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to figure out how to addr=
ess the issues in a more of a creative way.  We know the constraints. Is th=
ere something we can do to augment the MITRE staff in certain areas that wo=
uld help?  I can see the format issue being a rather easy one to attack but=
 it is the coverage issue that is most concerning.  Or we should ignore it =
and slowly let the value of CVE to the community and vendors decay=85

Thoughts?

Kent Landfield
Director Content Strategy, Architecture and Standards

McAfee | An Intel Company
5000 Headquarters Dr.
Plano, Texas 75024

Direct: +1.972.963.7096
Mobile: +1.817.637.8026
Web: www.mcafee.com<http://www.mcafee.com/>

--_000_CB7CD1702DC8Akentlandfieldmcafeecom_
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<html><head>
<meta http-equiv=3D"Content-Type" content=3D"text/html; charset=3DWindows-1=
252"></head><body style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space;=
 -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 16p=
x; font-family: 'Times New Roman', sans-serif; "><div><div><div>All,</div><=
div><br></div><div>We have problems with CVE reporting that are known issue=
s but which are becoming apparent to many more and could easily undermine t=
he usefulness of CVE identification if left unchecked.</div><div><br></div>=
<div>We discussed this at the ITSAC conference in the Future of Vulnerabili=
ty Reporting Workshop and at the follow-on Vulnerability Reporting day at t=
he Software Assurance event a month later. (There were action items out of =
the latter that I am not aware have been completed=85)</div><div><br></div>=
<div>I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of C=
VEs as a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its value =
if the trend continues. &nbsp; The discussion centered around the accuracy =
of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in the communi=
ty as a whole. &nbsp;If we looked at just the CVE numbers, &nbsp;it appears=
 that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a high in 200=
8. &nbsp; This is a rather important error. As we all know, this is not acc=
urate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping, they are growing, not droppi=
ng by 30%. &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>For the vendor community, these =
trends have rather concerning potential impacts on us. &nbsp;First, our vul=
nerability research databases use CVE as a primary reference. &nbsp;The CVE=
 Id has been authoritative in the past. &nbsp;It is used internally as a me=
ans to communicate vulnerability record information between fielded product=
s and between research analysis teams. &nbsp;As the numbers decline, it mea=
ns we are forced to look elsewhere to provide the identification and commun=
ication that CVE provided in the past. More proprietary ids are becoming mo=
re the norm.</div><div><br></div><div>The more serious concern is what it i=
s showing to executives of companies. &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><i>&q=
uot;If the vulnerabilities have dropped &nbsp;30% since 2008, why do I need=
 to be funding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am? &nbsp;I see=
 that MITRE is reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you f=
olks keep coming to me saying that the threats are much worse and we may be=
 in the same relative situation we were when malware spiked a couple years =
past=85&quot;</i></div><div><br></div><div>For those that actively work in =
this environment, we know vulnerabilities have not dropped 30% since 2008. =
Quite the contrary, our internal numbers indicate an increasing trend simil=
ar to a 30% rise. &nbsp;Symantec has also reported a similar trend.</div><d=
iv><br></div><div><div><div><div><div>One of the major problems is that MIT=
RE funding is not what it should be. On multiple occasions we have been ask=
ed to target the classes of products where vulnerabilities are considered t=
he most critical and which sources should be monitored. The view of what to=
 target and monitor gets smaller and smaller as funding is &nbsp;held level=
 or reduced.</div><div><br></div><div>At one point the intent of the effort=
 was to cover all published vulnerabilities that could be corroborated in s=
ome fashion. &nbsp;Over the years the reality has set in that this is a ver=
y resource intensive operation. &nbsp;As such the focus of the effort has r=
educed what is reported on to assure CVEs can be assigned for the types of =
products &nbsp;most important to the Editorial Board participants and their=
 sponsor. &nbsp;This gives an artificial view of the numbers of existing vu=
lnerabilities and that is being recognized outside the vulnerability commun=
ity.</div><div><br></div><div>Another problem is the CVE format itself. &nb=
sp;There has been an active discussion about the format limitations as well=
. The CVE format is CVE-YYYY-NNNN. This means that currently we cannot have=
 more than 10,000 CVEs reported in a single year. &nbsp;At the rates we are=
 seeing internally, we are already there.</div><div><br></div><div>Then the=
re are the limitations of CVE process in general. &nbsp;The focus is Englis=
h only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from time to ti=
me. &nbsp;CVE does not support the international community and software wri=
tten for non-English geo-centric areas are not included. &nbsp;While this h=
as not been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is a great deal o=
f regional software written for major emerging markets. &nbsp;None of those=
 vulnerabilities are identified by a CVE. &nbsp;</div></div></div></div></d=
iv><div><br></div><div>Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to=
 figure out how to address the issues in a more of a creative way. &nbsp;We=
 know the constraints. Is there something we can do to augment the MITRE st=
aff in certain areas that would help? &nbsp;I can see the format issue bein=
g a rather easy one to attack but it is the coverage issue that is most con=
cerning. &nbsp;Or we should ignore it and slowly let the value of CVE to th=
e community and vendors decay=85</div><div><br></div><div>Thoughts?</div><d=
iv><br></div><div><div><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size:=
 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -w=
ebkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-ser=
if; "><strong>Kent Landfield</strong></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span=
" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizo=
ntal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial=
, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" styl=
e=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-s=
pacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helv=
etica, sans-serif; ">Director Content Strategy, Architecture and Standards<=
/span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb=
(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vert=
ical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span>=
<span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 1=
06, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-s=
pacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span =
class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 11=
3); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing=
: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><strong>McAfee | An Int=
el Company</strong></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px;=
 -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-=
serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12=
px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webk=
it-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;=
 ">5000 Headquarters Dr.</span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"fo=
nt-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing:=
 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, =
sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-siz=
e: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-s=
erif; ">Plano, Texas 75024</span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"=
font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacin=
g: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica=
, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px=
; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans=
-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 1=
2px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -web=
kit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif=
; ">Direct: &#43;1.972.963.7096&nbsp;</span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span=
" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizo=
ntal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial=
, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" styl=
e=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-s=
pacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helv=
etica, sans-serif; ">Mobile: &#43;1.817.637.8026</span><span class=3D"Apple=
-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-bo=
rder-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-fa=
mily: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style=
-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-h=
orizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: =
Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><strong>Web:&nbsp;</strong></span><span cla=
ss=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113);=
 -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1=
px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><a href=3D"http://www.mcaf=
ee.com/" style=3D"color: rgb(96, 106, 113) !important; ">www.mcafee.com</a>=
</span></div></div></div></div></body></html>

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From: <Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com>
To: <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 13:52:57 -0600
Subject: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Topic: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Index: Acz8m8+LlLUxyYyKRByHw3mzYu98zA==
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

All,

We have problems with CVE reporting that are known issues but which are bec=
oming apparent to many more and could easily undermine the usefulness of CV=
E identification if left unchecked.

We discussed this at the ITSAC conference in the Future of Vulnerability Re=
porting Workshop and at the follow-on Vulnerability Reporting day at the So=
ftware Assurance event a month later. (There were action items out of the l=
atter that I am not aware have been completed=85)

I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of CVEs a=
s a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its value if th=
e trend continues.   The discussion centered around the accuracy of the num=
bers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in the community as a wh=
ole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers,  it appears that the numbers of=
 vulnerabilities have been dropping since a high in 2008.   This is a rathe=
r important error. As we all know, this is not accurate. Vulnerabilities ha=
ve not been dropping, they are growing, not dropping by 30%.

For the vendor community, these trends have rather concerning potential imp=
acts on us.  First, our vulnerability research databases use CVE as a prima=
ry reference.  The CVE Id has been authoritative in the past.  It is used i=
nternally as a means to communicate vulnerability record information betwee=
n fielded products and between research analysis teams.  As the numbers dec=
line, it means we are forced to look elsewhere to provide the identificatio=
n and communication that CVE provided in the past. More proprietary ids are=
 becoming more the norm.

The more serious concern is what it is showing to executives of companies.

"If the vulnerabilities have dropped  30% since 2008, why do I need to be f=
unding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am?  I see that MITRE i=
s reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you folks keep com=
ing to me saying that the threats are much worse and we may be in the same =
relative situation we were when malware spiked a couple years past=85"

For those that actively work in this environment, we know vulnerabilities h=
ave not dropped 30% since 2008. Quite the contrary, our internal numbers in=
dicate an increasing trend similar to a 30% rise.  Symantec has also report=
ed a similar trend.

One of the major problems is that MITRE funding is not what it should be. O=
n multiple occasions we have been asked to target the classes of products w=
here vulnerabilities are considered the most critical and which sources sho=
uld be monitored. The view of what to target and monitor gets smaller and s=
maller as funding is  held level or reduced.

At one point the intent of the effort was to cover all published vulnerabil=
ities that could be corroborated in some fashion.  Over the years the reali=
ty has set in that this is a very resource intensive operation.  As such th=
e focus of the effort has reduced what is reported on to assure CVEs can be=
 assigned for the types of products  most important to the Editorial Board =
participants and their sponsor.  This gives an artificial view of the numbe=
rs of existing vulnerabilities and that is being recognized outside the vul=
nerability community.

Another problem is the CVE format itself.  There has been an active discuss=
ion about the format limitations as well. The CVE format is CVE-YYYY-NNNN. =
This means that currently we cannot have more than 10,000 CVEs reported in =
a single year.  At the rates we are seeing internally, we are already there=
.

Then there are the limitations of CVE process in general.  The focus is Eng=
lish only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from time to=
 time.  CVE does not support the international community and software writt=
en for non-English geo-centric areas are not included.  While this has not =
been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is a great deal of regio=
nal software written for major emerging markets.  None of those vulnerabili=
ties are identified by a CVE.

Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to figure out how to addr=
ess the issues in a more of a creative way.  We know the constraints. Is th=
ere something we can do to augment the MITRE staff in certain areas that wo=
uld help?  I can see the format issue being a rather easy one to attack but=
 it is the coverage issue that is most concerning.  Or we should ignore it =
and slowly let the value of CVE to the community and vendors decay=85

Thoughts?

Kent Landfield
Director Content Strategy, Architecture and Standards

McAfee | An Intel Company
5000 Headquarters Dr.
Plano, Texas 75024

Direct: +1.972.963.7096
Mobile: +1.817.637.8026
Web: www.mcafee.com<http://www.mcafee.com/>

--_000_CB7CD1702DC8Akentlandfieldmcafeecom_
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<html><head>
<meta http-equiv=3D"Content-Type" content=3D"text/html; charset=3DWindows-1=
252"></head><body style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space;=
 -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 16p=
x; font-family: 'Times New Roman', sans-serif; "><div><div><div>All,</div><=
div><br></div><div>We have problems with CVE reporting that are known issue=
s but which are becoming apparent to many more and could easily undermine t=
he usefulness of CVE identification if left unchecked.</div><div><br></div>=
<div>We discussed this at the ITSAC conference in the Future of Vulnerabili=
ty Reporting Workshop and at the follow-on Vulnerability Reporting day at t=
he Software Assurance event a month later. (There were action items out of =
the latter that I am not aware have been completed=85)</div><div><br></div>=
<div>I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of C=
VEs as a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its value =
if the trend continues. &nbsp; The discussion centered around the accuracy =
of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in the communi=
ty as a whole. &nbsp;If we looked at just the CVE numbers, &nbsp;it appears=
 that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a high in 200=
8. &nbsp; This is a rather important error. As we all know, this is not acc=
urate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping, they are growing, not droppi=
ng by 30%. &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>For the vendor community, these =
trends have rather concerning potential impacts on us. &nbsp;First, our vul=
nerability research databases use CVE as a primary reference. &nbsp;The CVE=
 Id has been authoritative in the past. &nbsp;It is used internally as a me=
ans to communicate vulnerability record information between fielded product=
s and between research analysis teams. &nbsp;As the numbers decline, it mea=
ns we are forced to look elsewhere to provide the identification and commun=
ication that CVE provided in the past. More proprietary ids are becoming mo=
re the norm.</div><div><br></div><div>The more serious concern is what it i=
s showing to executives of companies. &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><i>&q=
uot;If the vulnerabilities have dropped &nbsp;30% since 2008, why do I need=
 to be funding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am? &nbsp;I see=
 that MITRE is reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you f=
olks keep coming to me saying that the threats are much worse and we may be=
 in the same relative situation we were when malware spiked a couple years =
past=85&quot;</i></div><div><br></div><div>For those that actively work in =
this environment, we know vulnerabilities have not dropped 30% since 2008. =
Quite the contrary, our internal numbers indicate an increasing trend simil=
ar to a 30% rise. &nbsp;Symantec has also reported a similar trend.</div><d=
iv><br></div><div><div><div><div><div>One of the major problems is that MIT=
RE funding is not what it should be. On multiple occasions we have been ask=
ed to target the classes of products where vulnerabilities are considered t=
he most critical and which sources should be monitored. The view of what to=
 target and monitor gets smaller and smaller as funding is &nbsp;held level=
 or reduced.</div><div><br></div><div>At one point the intent of the effort=
 was to cover all published vulnerabilities that could be corroborated in s=
ome fashion. &nbsp;Over the years the reality has set in that this is a ver=
y resource intensive operation. &nbsp;As such the focus of the effort has r=
educed what is reported on to assure CVEs can be assigned for the types of =
products &nbsp;most important to the Editorial Board participants and their=
 sponsor. &nbsp;This gives an artificial view of the numbers of existing vu=
lnerabilities and that is being recognized outside the vulnerability commun=
ity.</div><div><br></div><div>Another problem is the CVE format itself. &nb=
sp;There has been an active discussion about the format limitations as well=
. The CVE format is CVE-YYYY-NNNN. This means that currently we cannot have=
 more than 10,000 CVEs reported in a single year. &nbsp;At the rates we are=
 seeing internally, we are already there.</div><div><br></div><div>Then the=
re are the limitations of CVE process in general. &nbsp;The focus is Englis=
h only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from time to ti=
me. &nbsp;CVE does not support the international community and software wri=
tten for non-English geo-centric areas are not included. &nbsp;While this h=
as not been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is a great deal o=
f regional software written for major emerging markets. &nbsp;None of those=
 vulnerabilities are identified by a CVE. &nbsp;</div></div></div></div></d=
iv><div><br></div><div>Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to=
 figure out how to address the issues in a more of a creative way. &nbsp;We=
 know the constraints. Is there something we can do to augment the MITRE st=
aff in certain areas that would help? &nbsp;I can see the format issue bein=
g a rather easy one to attack but it is the coverage issue that is most con=
cerning. &nbsp;Or we should ignore it and slowly let the value of CVE to th=
e community and vendors decay=85</div><div><br></div><div>Thoughts?</div><d=
iv><br></div><div><div><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size:=
 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -w=
ebkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-ser=
if; "><strong>Kent Landfield</strong></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span=
" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizo=
ntal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial=
, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" styl=
e=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-s=
pacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helv=
etica, sans-serif; ">Director Content Strategy, Architecture and Standards<=
/span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb=
(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vert=
ical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span>=
<span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 1=
06, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-s=
pacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span =
class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 11=
3); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing=
: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><strong>McAfee | An Int=
el Company</strong></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px;=
 -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-=
serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12=
px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webk=
it-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;=
 ">5000 Headquarters Dr.</span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"fo=
nt-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing:=
 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, =
sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-siz=
e: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-s=
erif; ">Plano, Texas 75024</span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"=
font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacin=
g: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica=
, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px=
; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans=
-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 1=
2px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -web=
kit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif=
; ">Direct: &#43;1.972.963.7096&nbsp;</span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span=
" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizo=
ntal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial=
, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style-span" styl=
e=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-horizontal-s=
pacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: Arial, Helv=
etica, sans-serif; ">Mobile: &#43;1.817.637.8026</span><span class=3D"Apple=
-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-bo=
rder-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-fa=
mily: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><br></span><span class=3D"Apple-style=
-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113); -webkit-border-h=
orizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px; font-family: =
Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><strong>Web:&nbsp;</strong></span><span cla=
ss=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"font-size: 12px; color: rgb(96, 106, 113);=
 -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1=
px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; "><a href=3D"http://www.mcaf=
ee.com/" style=3D"color: rgb(96, 106, 113) !important; ">www.mcafee.com</a>=
</span></div></div></div></div></body></html>

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--_000_A27B80707A1E924891446594C00EBA8C52B245E2Sunfishrconca_--

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 02:31:03 -0600
From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
To: Russ Cooper <Russ.Cooper@rc.on.ca>
CC: "cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org"
	<cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
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: ?In the beginning??we talked about needing 1 CVE number to represent 
: integer overflow, or another for insufficient parsing?clearly that never 
: stuck. But equally, it would seem that some vendors would like to assign 
: a CVE per ?threat?, which should also have never stuck.

There is CWE for that: http://cwe.mitre.org/

: I?m unaware of > 10,000 new vulnerabilities per year, at least not in 
: what I would consider ?new vulnerabilities?. That?s one heck of a lot of 
: lines of code, but if you?re counting vulnerabilities in Android Apps, 
: then I could also see that number be incredibly low. So perhaps the 
: issues aren?t with vulnerabilities, but instead with exposures??

OSVDB has 10,895 entries for 2006. Note, that OSVDB abstracts very 
differently than CVE or any other VDB currently, so I would guess we're 
the only ones who have hit that mark.

There is additional discussion on CVE handling the #### issue on the 
CERT-run vrdx mail list.

From owner-cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG Thu Mar  8 03:32:19 2012
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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 02:31:03 -0600
From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
To: Russ Cooper <Russ.Cooper@rc.on.ca>
CC: "cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org"
	<cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
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: ?In the beginning??we talked about needing 1 CVE number to represent 
: integer overflow, or another for insufficient parsing?clearly that never 
: stuck. But equally, it would seem that some vendors would like to assign 
: a CVE per ?threat?, which should also have never stuck.

There is CWE for that: http://cwe.mitre.org/

: I?m unaware of > 10,000 new vulnerabilities per year, at least not in 
: what I would consider ?new vulnerabilities?. That?s one heck of a lot of 
: lines of code, but if you?re counting vulnerabilities in Android Apps, 
: then I could also see that number be incredibly low. So perhaps the 
: issues aren?t with vulnerabilities, but instead with exposures??

OSVDB has 10,895 entries for 2006. Note, that OSVDB abstracts very 
differently than CVE or any other VDB currently, so I would guess we're 
the only ones who have hit that mark.

There is additional discussion on CVE handling the #### issue on the 
CERT-run vrdx mail list.

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 02:57:22 -0600
From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
To: <Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com>
CC: <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
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: I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of 
: CVEs as a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its 
: value if the trend continues.  The discussion centered around the 
: accuracy of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in 
: the community as a whole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers, it 
: appears that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a 
: high in 2008.  This is a rather important error. As we all know, this is 
: not accurate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping, they are growing, 
: not dropping by 30%.

I can't find it right off, but this came up several years back when 
several people noticed the drop in vulnerability totals around 2008. After 
additional examination of CVE, OSVDB, Secunia, and I believe BID, all four 
databases showed roughly the same drop. That in turn lead to speculation 
about *why* it was happening. I don't recall seeing anyone showing a 5 
year trending of vulnerability counts, as seen through multiple VDBs, but 
I would honestly request to see some rough numbers before pursuing this 
line of discussion further. 

: information between fielded products and between research analysis 
: teams.  As the numbers decline, it means we are forced to look elsewhere 
: to provide the identification and communication that CVE provided in the 
: past. More proprietary ids are becoming more the norm.

Is it cheaper for your team to manufacturer proprietary IDs instead of 
looking to Secunia, ISS, BID, and OSVDB for external references? If the 
answer is 'yes', why rely on CVE at all any more? If the answer is 'no', 
then perhaps these other VDBs are doing some of the work for you, where 
CVE is currently not.

: "If the vulnerabilities have dropped 30% since 2008, why do I need to be 
: funding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am?  I see that 
: MITRE is reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you 
: folks keep coming to me saying that the threats are much worse and we 
: may be in the same relative situation we were when malware spiked a 
: couple years past?"

That quote alone is a non sequitur really. I know that the conversations 
are more detailed with these executives, but even as a summary, it is too 
simplified.

Just because the number of unique vulnerabilities tracked by a VDB drops, 
does not mean the number of attackers drop. Further, it does not mean risk 
has dropped. Even further, more companies are using custom web 
applications, and no VDB tracks site-specific vulnerabilities (one current 
OSF project wants to, but we simply don't have funding or volunteers to 
make it happen). These are just a few issues of why an overall 
vulnerability count may drop, but their need to hire you and any other 
security company is stronger than ever. I certainly hope you can steer 
them past this limited view re: CVE.

: For those that actively work in this environment, we know 
: vulnerabilities have not dropped 30% since 2008. Quite the contrary, our 
: internal numbers indicate an increasing trend similar to a 30% rise.  
: Symantec has also reported a similar trend.

Could you provide links to the Symantec report? Again, I am just curious 
about the ~ 2008 thing where most VDBs reported a drop.

: Another problem is the CVE format itself.  There has been an active 
: discussion about the format limitations as well. The CVE format is 
: CVE-YYYY-NNNN. This means that currently we cannot have more than 10,000 
: CVEs reported in a single year.  At the rates we are seeing internally, 
: we are already there.

As I said in a previous reply, OSVDB hit the 10k mark in 2006 due to our 
abstraction method.

: Then there are the limitations of CVE process in general.  The focus is 
: English only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from 
: time to time.  CVE does not support the international community and 
: software written for non-English geo-centric areas are not included.  
: While this has not been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is 
: a great deal of regional software written for major emerging markets.  
: None of those vulnerabilities are identified by a CVE.

This is very difficult to manage. Even if CVE could keep up with all 
English-based disclosures from all sources (e.g., think of their team 
being triple in size at the very least), trying to keep up with foreign on 
top of it is another huge jump in resources. Carsten Eiram over at Secunia 
could probably give some insight on this better than anyone. I have 
noticed over the years that he appears to have several analysts that speak 
other languages, as they frequently pull up vulnerabilities with no 
English disclosure.

: Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to figure out how to 
: address the issues in a more of a creative way.  We know the 
: constraints. Is there something we can do to augment the MITRE staff in 
: certain areas that would help?  I can see the format issue being a 
: rather easy one to attack but it is the coverage issue that is most 
: concerning.  Or we should ignore it and slowly let the value of CVE to 
: the community and vendors decay?

If MITRE can't get funding to keep up (and catch up), looking to augment 
the effort from external staff would certainly be interesting. However, I 
would like to make two points on that.

1. Having non-MITRE resources work on CVE would require an entire overhaul 
of the process and policies around the project. Further, MITRE would have 
to divert some resources away from the already struggling CVE to 
implement some form of training program. I know this because Steve 
Christey and I 'traded roles' for *one* entry many years back. He gave me 
a link to a vulnerability and said "write a CVE". I gave him a link to a 
vulnerability and said "mangle the OSVDB entry to 100%". We both learned a 
lot from that process, and we both walked away with newfound respect for 
each other's process. Trying to train up a dozen people to meet their 
standards would not be easy.

2. OSVDB has been around for some time now, and I have been involved with 
it since 2004. We have been an 'open' database, where anyone could sign up 
for an account and contribute to our entries. We provided an extensive 
walk-through, near 24 hour support for a while should anyone have 
questions, reminder help screens for entries, templates to help ensure the 
text was readable, and more. Over the last 8 or so years, less than 1% of 
our data has come from volunteers. Off hand, I would guess that the bottom 
1,000 volunteers who signed up have contributed less than the #8 ranking 
contributor (http://osvdb.org/contributors). In short, the idea of an open 
community-driven database simply did not work. We tried a wide variety of 
campaigns to encourage people to help ranging from a reward system to 
internships to resume experience working for a 501(c)(3). In all of that 
time, less than 5 have stuck with the project and become core 
contributors. While we don't quite have the exposure of CVE, we are 
certainly not 'unknown'. We've had the framework to do this for a long 
time, and I have to think that if the community wanted it, they would have 
supported us. I know dozens of researchers and penetration testers that 
"don't have the time", but are overjoyed when I can create and mangle an 
entry for a vulnerability that no VDB has, so they can provide an external 
reference in their reports.

Brian
OSF / OSVDB

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 02:57:22 -0600
From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
To: <Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com>
CC: <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
In-Reply-To: <CB7CD170.2DC8A%kent_landfield@mcafee.com>
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: I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of 
: CVEs as a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its 
: value if the trend continues.  The discussion centered around the 
: accuracy of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in 
: the community as a whole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers, it 
: appears that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a 
: high in 2008.  This is a rather important error. As we all know, this is 
: not accurate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping, they are growing, 
: not dropping by 30%.

I can't find it right off, but this came up several years back when 
several people noticed the drop in vulnerability totals around 2008. After 
additional examination of CVE, OSVDB, Secunia, and I believe BID, all four 
databases showed roughly the same drop. That in turn lead to speculation 
about *why* it was happening. I don't recall seeing anyone showing a 5 
year trending of vulnerability counts, as seen through multiple VDBs, but 
I would honestly request to see some rough numbers before pursuing this 
line of discussion further. 

: information between fielded products and between research analysis 
: teams.  As the numbers decline, it means we are forced to look elsewhere 
: to provide the identification and communication that CVE provided in the 
: past. More proprietary ids are becoming more the norm.

Is it cheaper for your team to manufacturer proprietary IDs instead of 
looking to Secunia, ISS, BID, and OSVDB for external references? If the 
answer is 'yes', why rely on CVE at all any more? If the answer is 'no', 
then perhaps these other VDBs are doing some of the work for you, where 
CVE is currently not.

: "If the vulnerabilities have dropped 30% since 2008, why do I need to be 
: funding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am?  I see that 
: MITRE is reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you 
: folks keep coming to me saying that the threats are much worse and we 
: may be in the same relative situation we were when malware spiked a 
: couple years past?"

That quote alone is a non sequitur really. I know that the conversations 
are more detailed with these executives, but even as a summary, it is too 
simplified.

Just because the number of unique vulnerabilities tracked by a VDB drops, 
does not mean the number of attackers drop. Further, it does not mean risk 
has dropped. Even further, more companies are using custom web 
applications, and no VDB tracks site-specific vulnerabilities (one current 
OSF project wants to, but we simply don't have funding or volunteers to 
make it happen). These are just a few issues of why an overall 
vulnerability count may drop, but their need to hire you and any other 
security company is stronger than ever. I certainly hope you can steer 
them past this limited view re: CVE.

: For those that actively work in this environment, we know 
: vulnerabilities have not dropped 30% since 2008. Quite the contrary, our 
: internal numbers indicate an increasing trend similar to a 30% rise.  
: Symantec has also reported a similar trend.

Could you provide links to the Symantec report? Again, I am just curious 
about the ~ 2008 thing where most VDBs reported a drop.

: Another problem is the CVE format itself.  There has been an active 
: discussion about the format limitations as well. The CVE format is 
: CVE-YYYY-NNNN. This means that currently we cannot have more than 10,000 
: CVEs reported in a single year.  At the rates we are seeing internally, 
: we are already there.

As I said in a previous reply, OSVDB hit the 10k mark in 2006 due to our 
abstraction method.

: Then there are the limitations of CVE process in general.  The focus is 
: English only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from 
: time to time.  CVE does not support the international community and 
: software written for non-English geo-centric areas are not included.  
: While this has not been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is 
: a great deal of regional software written for major emerging markets.  
: None of those vulnerabilities are identified by a CVE.

This is very difficult to manage. Even if CVE could keep up with all 
English-based disclosures from all sources (e.g., think of their team 
being triple in size at the very least), trying to keep up with foreign on 
top of it is another huge jump in resources. Carsten Eiram over at Secunia 
could probably give some insight on this better than anyone. I have 
noticed over the years that he appears to have several analysts that speak 
other languages, as they frequently pull up vulnerabilities with no 
English disclosure.

: Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to figure out how to 
: address the issues in a more of a creative way.  We know the 
: constraints. Is there something we can do to augment the MITRE staff in 
: certain areas that would help?  I can see the format issue being a 
: rather easy one to attack but it is the coverage issue that is most 
: concerning.  Or we should ignore it and slowly let the value of CVE to 
: the community and vendors decay?

If MITRE can't get funding to keep up (and catch up), looking to augment 
the effort from external staff would certainly be interesting. However, I 
would like to make two points on that.

1. Having non-MITRE resources work on CVE would require an entire overhaul 
of the process and policies around the project. Further, MITRE would have 
to divert some resources away from the already struggling CVE to 
implement some form of training program. I know this because Steve 
Christey and I 'traded roles' for *one* entry many years back. He gave me 
a link to a vulnerability and said "write a CVE". I gave him a link to a 
vulnerability and said "mangle the OSVDB entry to 100%". We both learned a 
lot from that process, and we both walked away with newfound respect for 
each other's process. Trying to train up a dozen people to meet their 
standards would not be easy.

2. OSVDB has been around for some time now, and I have been involved with 
it since 2004. We have been an 'open' database, where anyone could sign up 
for an account and contribute to our entries. We provided an extensive 
walk-through, near 24 hour support for a while should anyone have 
questions, reminder help screens for entries, templates to help ensure the 
text was readable, and more. Over the last 8 or so years, less than 1% of 
our data has come from volunteers. Off hand, I would guess that the bottom 
1,000 volunteers who signed up have contributed less than the #8 ranking 
contributor (http://osvdb.org/contributors). In short, the idea of an open 
community-driven database simply did not work. We tried a wide variety of 
campaigns to encourage people to help ranging from a reward system to 
internships to resume experience working for a 501(c)(3). In all of that 
time, less than 5 have stuck with the project and become core 
contributors. While we don't quite have the exposure of CVE, we are 
certainly not 'unknown'. We've had the framework to do this for a long 
time, and I have to think that if the community wanted it, they would have 
supported us. I know dozens of researchers and penetration testers that 
"don't have the time", but are overjoyed when I can create and mangle an 
entry for a vulnerability that no VDB has, so they can provide an external 
reference in their reports.

Brian
OSF / OSVDB

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From: Carsten Eiram <che@secunia.com>
To: "'security curmudgeon'" <jericho@attrition.org>,
        "'Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com'" <Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com>
CC: "'cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org'"
	<cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Topic: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Index: Acz8m8+LlLUxyYyKRByHw3mzYu98zAAZUgUAAAIqAiA=
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 09:31:58 +0000
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            <alpine.LNX.2.00.1203080235500.27175@forced.attrition.org>
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org [mailto:owner-cve-
> editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org] On Behalf Of security curmudgeon
> Sent: 8. marts 2012 09:57
> To: Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com
> Cc: cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org
> Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
> 
> : I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of
> : CVEs as a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its
> : value if the trend continues.  The discussion centered around the
> : accuracy of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in
> : the community as a whole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers, it
> : appears that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a
> : high in 2008.  This is a rather important error. As we all know, this is
> : not accurate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping, they are growing,
> : not dropping by 30%.
> 
> I can't find it right off, but this came up several years back when several
> people noticed the drop in vulnerability totals around 2008. After additional
> examination of CVE, OSVDB, Secunia, and I believe BID, all four databases
> showed roughly the same drop. That in turn lead to speculation about *why*
> it was happening. I don't recall seeing anyone showing a 5 year trending of
> vulnerability counts, as seen through multiple VDBs, but I would honestly
> request to see some rough numbers before pursuing this line of discussion
> further.

I just participated in a panel ("Is it 0-day or 0-care?") at RSAC where I had included some slides on various vulnerability trends based on the Secunia database. I'm not sure if the slides are already publicly available, but else they should be at some point in the near future (if not I'll be happy to provide the slides to anyone interested). Anyway, based on our database the total number of vulnerabilities for the past years were:

2005: 6706
2006: 9915
2007: 7595
2008: 8387
2009: 7773
2010: 9640
2011: 9114

These numbers do not include any fake/invalid vulnerabilities and should only include a very low percentage of dupes (cannot be completely filtered out as a result of how we generate the vulnerability numbers from our advisories). Note that the total is for stable products only as the Secunia database (apart from a few exceptional cases) doesn't cover vulnerabilities in unstable/development products.

The same slide also included the trend in the number of SAIDs (Secunia Advisory IDs) issued to cover these vulnerabilities as well as the number of CVEs assigned for these vulnerabilities. While the number of SAIDs isn't interesting to this discussion, the number of CVEs assigned is; there does seem to be a drop in the number of vulnerabilities covered after 2008 (percentage is CVE to vulnerability ratio) and if anything our efforts in ensuring that our SAIDs include CVEs have increased:

2005: 3348 (49,9%)
2006: 5531 (55,8%)
2007: 4443 (58,5%)
2008: 5192 (61,9%)
2009: 3938 (50,7%)
2010: 4122 (42,8%)
2011: 3542 (38,9%)


-- 

Med venlig hilsen / Kind regards


Carsten H. Eiram
Chief Security Specialist

Follow us on twitter
http://twitter.com/secunia
http://twitter.com/carsteneiram

Secunia
Mikado House
Rued Langgaards Vej 8
2300 Copenhagen S
Denmark

Phone   +45 7020 5144
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From: Carsten Eiram <che@secunia.com>
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        "'Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com'" <Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com>
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	<cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Topic: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Index: Acz8m8+LlLUxyYyKRByHw3mzYu98zAAZUgUAAAIqAiA=
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 09:31:58 +0000
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            <alpine.LNX.2.00.1203080235500.27175@forced.attrition.org>
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org [mailto:owner-cve-
> editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org] On Behalf Of security curmudgeon
> Sent: 8. marts 2012 09:57
> To: Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com
> Cc: cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org
> Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
> 
> : I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of
> : CVEs as a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its
> : value if the trend continues.  The discussion centered around the
> : accuracy of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in
> : the community as a whole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers, it
> : appears that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a
> : high in 2008.  This is a rather important error. As we all know, this is
> : not accurate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping, they are growing,
> : not dropping by 30%.
> 
> I can't find it right off, but this came up several years back when several
> people noticed the drop in vulnerability totals around 2008. After additional
> examination of CVE, OSVDB, Secunia, and I believe BID, all four databases
> showed roughly the same drop. That in turn lead to speculation about *why*
> it was happening. I don't recall seeing anyone showing a 5 year trending of
> vulnerability counts, as seen through multiple VDBs, but I would honestly
> request to see some rough numbers before pursuing this line of discussion
> further.

I just participated in a panel ("Is it 0-day or 0-care?") at RSAC where I had included some slides on various vulnerability trends based on the Secunia database. I'm not sure if the slides are already publicly available, but else they should be at some point in the near future (if not I'll be happy to provide the slides to anyone interested). Anyway, based on our database the total number of vulnerabilities for the past years were:

2005: 6706
2006: 9915
2007: 7595
2008: 8387
2009: 7773
2010: 9640
2011: 9114

These numbers do not include any fake/invalid vulnerabilities and should only include a very low percentage of dupes (cannot be completely filtered out as a result of how we generate the vulnerability numbers from our advisories). Note that the total is for stable products only as the Secunia database (apart from a few exceptional cases) doesn't cover vulnerabilities in unstable/development products.

The same slide also included the trend in the number of SAIDs (Secunia Advisory IDs) issued to cover these vulnerabilities as well as the number of CVEs assigned for these vulnerabilities. While the number of SAIDs isn't interesting to this discussion, the number of CVEs assigned is; there does seem to be a drop in the number of vulnerabilities covered after 2008 (percentage is CVE to vulnerability ratio) and if anything our efforts in ensuring that our SAIDs include CVEs have increased:

2005: 3348 (49,9%)
2006: 5531 (55,8%)
2007: 4443 (58,5%)
2008: 5192 (61,9%)
2009: 3938 (50,7%)
2010: 4122 (42,8%)
2011: 3542 (38,9%)


-- 

Med venlig hilsen / Kind regards


Carsten H. Eiram
Chief Security Specialist

Follow us on twitter
http://twitter.com/secunia
http://twitter.com/carsteneiram

Secunia
Mikado House
Rued Langgaards Vej 8
2300 Copenhagen S
Denmark

Phone   +45 7020 5144
Fax       +45 7020 5145


From owner-cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG Thu Mar  8 11:01:08 2012
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	<cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
References: <CB7CD170.2DC8A%kent_landfield@mcafee.com>                      
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On 2012-03-08 03:31 , security curmudgeon wrote:

> There is additional discussion on CVE handling the #### issue on the 
> CERT-run vrdx mail list.

SUBSCRIBING

  This is an open list, anybody can join by sending email
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 - Art

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Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
References: <CB7CD170.2DC8A%kent_landfield@mcafee.com>                      
            <ED311CBEE6993C428563DEDF6D083BC81180FBF7@usilms113b.ca.com>       
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On 2012-03-08 03:31 , security curmudgeon wrote:

> There is additional discussion on CVE handling the #### issue on the 
> CERT-run vrdx mail list.

SUBSCRIBING

  This is an open list, anybody can join by sending email
  to <mailto:Majordomo@cert.org> with the "subscribe vrdx"
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 - Art

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From: "Boyle, Stephen V." <sboyle@mitre.org>
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Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
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This might sound like splitting hairs, but how "vulnerabilities" are counte=
d may well enter into this. I'm not claiming that CVE is keeping up - both =
Kent and others have correctly stated reasons and history that apply, and y=
eah, somebody who's only looking at somebody's raw numbers (be they CVE or =
anything else) is going to ask hard questions, especially when money is har=
d to come by.

Having said that, it bears mentioning that by design, there are always goin=
g to be fewer CVEs than there are "vulnerabilities" - it's kinda one of the=
 key features. :) There are also more players in the space than there were =
a few years ago, each of which has multiple incentives to publish more vuln=
erabilities than others.

Again, I am not saying there's not a problem - we have to be able to answer=
 honest questions such as the one Kent relayed. But we also have to be mind=
ful of what are real, what counting problems exist in all vulnerability rep=
orting sources, and what that means for CVE.

Tx,
Steve

From: owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org [mailto:owner-cve-edit=
orial-board-list@lists.mitre.org] On Behalf Of Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 2:53 PM
To: cve-editorial-board-list
Subject: Counting on CVEs

All,

We have problems with CVE reporting that are known issues but which are bec=
oming apparent to many more and could easily undermine the usefulness of CV=
E identification if left unchecked.

We discussed this at the ITSAC conference in the Future of Vulnerability Re=
porting Workshop and at the follow-on Vulnerability Reporting day at the So=
ftware Assurance event a month later. (There were action items out of the l=
atter that I am not aware have been completed...)

I have just had a very concerning discussion about the usefulness of CVEs a=
s a means to measure vulnerabilities today and the decay of its value if th=
e trend continues.   The discussion centered around the accuracy of the num=
bers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in the community as a wh=
ole.  If we looked at just the CVE numbers,  it appears that the numbers of=
 vulnerabilities have been dropping since a high in 2008.   This is a rathe=
r important error. As we all know, this is not accurate. Vulnerabilities ha=
ve not been dropping, they are growing, not dropping by 30%.

For the vendor community, these trends have rather concerning potential imp=
acts on us.  First, our vulnerability research databases use CVE as a prima=
ry reference.  The CVE Id has been authoritative in the past.  It is used i=
nternally as a means to communicate vulnerability record information betwee=
n fielded products and between research analysis teams.  As the numbers dec=
line, it means we are forced to look elsewhere to provide the identificatio=
n and communication that CVE provided in the past. More proprietary ids are=
 becoming more the norm.

The more serious concern is what it is showing to executives of companies.

"If the vulnerabilities have dropped  30% since 2008, why do I need to be f=
unding the security staff and efforts at the rate I am?  I see that MITRE i=
s reporting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet you folks keep com=
ing to me saying that the threats are much worse and we may be in the same =
relative situation we were when malware spiked a couple years past..."

For those that actively work in this environment, we know vulnerabilities h=
ave not dropped 30% since 2008. Quite the contrary, our internal numbers in=
dicate an increasing trend similar to a 30% rise.  Symantec has also report=
ed a similar trend.

One of the major problems is that MITRE funding is not what it should be. O=
n multiple occasions we have been asked to target the classes of products w=
here vulnerabilities are considered the most critical and which sources sho=
uld be monitored. The view of what to target and monitor gets smaller and s=
maller as funding is  held level or reduced.

At one point the intent of the effort was to cover all published vulnerabil=
ities that could be corroborated in some fashion.  Over the years the reali=
ty has set in that this is a very resource intensive operation.  As such th=
e focus of the effort has reduced what is reported on to assure CVEs can be=
 assigned for the types of products  most important to the Editorial Board =
participants and their sponsor.  This gives an artificial view of the numbe=
rs of existing vulnerabilities and that is being recognized outside the vul=
nerability community.

Another problem is the CVE format itself.  There has been an active discuss=
ion about the format limitations as well. The CVE format is CVE-YYYY-NNNN. =
This means that currently we cannot have more than 10,000 CVEs reported in =
a single year.  At the rates we are seeing internally, we are already there=
.

Then there are the limitations of CVE process in general.  The focus is Eng=
lish only although some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from time to=
 time.  CVE does not support the international community and software writt=
en for non-English geo-centric areas are not included.  While this has not =
been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is a great deal of regio=
nal software written for major emerging markets.  None of those vulnerabili=
ties are identified by a CVE.

Given these constraints, it seems like it is time to figure out how to addr=
ess the issues in a more of a creative way.  We know the constraints. Is th=
ere something we can do to augment the MITRE staff in certain areas that wo=
uld help?  I can see the format issue being a rather easy one to attack but=
 it is the coverage issue that is most concerning.  Or we should ignore it =
and slowly let the value of CVE to the community and vendors decay...

Thoughts?

Kent Landfield
Director Content Strategy, Architecture and Standards

McAfee | An Intel Company
5000 Headquarters Dr.
Plano, Texas 75024

Direct: +1.972.963.7096
Mobile: +1.817.637.8026
Web: www.mcafee.com<http://www.mcafee.com/>

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<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D">This might sound like spl=
itting hairs, but how &#8220;vulnerabilities&#8221; are counted may well en=
ter into this. I&#8217;m not claiming that CVE is keeping up &#8211; both K=
ent and
 others have correctly stated reasons and history that apply, and yeah, som=
ebody who&#8217;s only looking at somebody&#8217;s raw numbers (be they CVE=
 or anything else) is going to ask hard questions, especially when money is=
 hard to come by.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><=
/p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D">Having said that, it bear=
s mentioning that by design, there are always going to be fewer CVEs than t=
here are &#8220;vulnerabilities&#8221; &#8211; it&#8217;s kinda one of the =
key features.
</span><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Wingdings;color:#1F497D"=
>J</span><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&q=
uot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D"> There are also more players in the spa=
ce than there were a few years ago, each of which has multiple
 incentives to publish more vulnerabilities than others. <o:p></o:p></span>=
</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><=
/p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D">Again, I am not saying th=
ere&#8217;s not a problem &#8211; we have to be able to answer honest quest=
ions such as the one Kent relayed. But we also have to be mindful of
 what are real, what counting problems exist in all vulnerability reporting=
 sources, and what that means for CVE.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><=
/p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D">Tx,<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D">Steve<o:p></o:p></span></=
p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Ca=
libri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1F497D"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><=
/p>
<div style=3D"border:none;border-left:solid blue 1.5pt;padding:0in 0in 0in =
4.0pt">
<div>
<div style=3D"border:none;border-top:solid #B5C4DF 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 0in =
0in 0in">
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b><span style=3D"font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot=
;Tahoma&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">From:</span></b><span style=3D"font-s=
ize:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Tahoma&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"> owner-cv=
e-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org [mailto:owner-cve-editorial-board-li=
st@lists.mitre.org]
<b>On Behalf Of </b>Kent_Landfield@McAfee.com<br>
<b>Sent:</b> Wednesday, March 07, 2012 2:53 PM<br>
<b>To:</b> cve-editorial-board-list<br>
<b>Subject:</b> Counting on CVEs<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
</div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>
<div>
<div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">All,<o:p></o:p></span></=
p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">We have problems with CV=
E reporting that are known issues but which are becoming apparent to many m=
ore and could easily undermine the usefulness of CVE identification if left=
 unchecked.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">We discussed this at the=
 ITSAC conference in the Future of Vulnerability Reporting Workshop and at =
the follow-on Vulnerability Reporting day at the Software Assurance event a=
 month later. (There were action items
 out of the latter that I am not aware have been completed&#8230;)<o:p></o:=
p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">I have just had a very c=
oncerning discussion about the usefulness of CVEs as a means to measure vul=
nerabilities today and the decay of its value if the trend continues. &nbsp=
; The discussion centered around the accuracy
 of the numbers of CVEs identified compared to those reported in the commun=
ity as a whole. &nbsp;If we looked at just the CVE numbers, &nbsp;it appear=
s that the numbers of vulnerabilities have been dropping since a high in 20=
08. &nbsp; This is a rather important error. As
 we all know, this is not accurate. Vulnerabilities have not been dropping,=
 they are growing, not dropping by 30%. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">For the vendor community=
, these trends have rather concerning potential impacts on us. &nbsp;First,=
 our vulnerability research databases use CVE as a primary reference. &nbsp=
;The CVE Id has been authoritative in the past.
 &nbsp;It is used internally as a means to communicate vulnerability record=
 information between fielded products and between research analysis teams. =
&nbsp;As the numbers decline, it means we are forced to look elsewhere to p=
rovide the identification and communication
 that CVE provided in the past. More proprietary ids are becoming more the =
norm.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">The more serious concern=
 is what it is showing to executives of companies. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><i><span style=3D"color:black">&quot;If the vulnerab=
ilities have dropped &nbsp;30% since 2008, why do I need to be funding the =
security staff and efforts at the rate I am? &nbsp;I see that MITRE is repo=
rting an overall drop each year since 2008 but yet
 you folks keep coming to me saying that the threats are much worse and we =
may be in the same relative situation we were when malware spiked a couple =
years past&#8230;&quot;</span></i><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p></o:p></=
span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">For those that actively =
work in this environment, we know vulnerabilities have not dropped 30% sinc=
e 2008. Quite the contrary, our internal numbers indicate an increasing tre=
nd similar to a 30% rise. &nbsp;Symantec
 has also reported a similar trend.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<div>
<div>
<div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">One of the major problem=
s is that MITRE funding is not what it should be. On multiple occasions we =
have been asked to target the classes of products where vulnerabilities are=
 considered the most critical and which
 sources should be monitored. The view of what to target and monitor gets s=
maller and smaller as funding is &nbsp;held level or reduced.<o:p></o:p></s=
pan></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">At one point the intent =
of the effort was to cover all published vulnerabilities that could be corr=
oborated in some fashion. &nbsp;Over the years the reality has set in that =
this is a very resource intensive operation.
 &nbsp;As such the focus of the effort has reduced what is reported on to a=
ssure CVEs can be assigned for the types of products &nbsp;most important t=
o the Editorial Board participants and their sponsor. &nbsp;This gives an a=
rtificial view of the numbers of existing vulnerabilities
 and that is being recognized outside the vulnerability community.<o:p></o:=
p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">Another problem is the C=
VE format itself. &nbsp;There has been an active discussion about the forma=
t limitations as well. The CVE format is CVE-YYYY-NNNN. This means that cur=
rently we cannot have more than 10,000 CVEs
 reported in a single year. &nbsp;At the rates we are seeing internally, we=
 are already there.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">Then there are the limit=
ations of CVE process in general. &nbsp;The focus is English only although =
some non-US vulnerabilities do get assigned from time to time. &nbsp;CVE do=
es not support the international community and
 software written for non-English geo-centric areas are not included. &nbsp=
;While this has not been a concern for US-only software vendors, there is a=
 great deal of regional software written for major emerging markets. &nbsp;=
None of those vulnerabilities are identified
 by a CVE. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">Given these constraints,=
 it seems like it is time to figure out how to address the issues in a more=
 of a creative way. &nbsp;We know the constraints. Is there something we ca=
n do to augment the MITRE staff in certain
 areas that would help? &nbsp;I can see the format issue being a rather eas=
y one to attack but it is the coverage issue that is most concerning. &nbsp=
;Or we should ignore it and slowly let the value of CVE to the community an=
d vendors decay&#8230;<o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black">Thoughts?<o:p></o:p></sp=
an></p>
</div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"color:black"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span>=
</p>
</div>
<div>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><strong><span style=3D"font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&=
quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#606A71">Kent Landfield</span=
></strong><span style=3D"font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quo=
t;sans-serif&quot;;color:#606A71"><br>
<span class=3D"apple-style-span">Director Content Strategy, Architecture an=
d Standards</span><br>
<br>
<strong><span style=3D"font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;=
">McAfee | An Intel Company</span></strong><br>
<span class=3D"apple-style-span">5000 Headquarters Dr.</span><br>
<span class=3D"apple-style-span">Plano, Texas 75024</span><br>
<br>
<span class=3D"apple-style-span">Direct: &#43;1.972.963.7096&nbsp;</span><b=
r>
<span class=3D"apple-style-span">Mobile: &#43;1.817.637.8026</span><br>
<strong><span style=3D"font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;=
">Web:&nbsp;</span></strong><span class=3D"apple-style-span"><a href=3D"htt=
p://www.mcafee.com/">www.mcafee.com</a></span></span><span style=3D"color:b=
lack"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

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CC: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
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On 2012-03-08 11:52 , Boyle, Stephen V. wrote:

> This might sound like splitting hairs, but how “vulnerabilities” are
> counted may well enter into this. I’m not claiming that CVE is keeping
> up – both Kent and others have correctly stated reasons and history that
> apply, and yeah, somebody who’s only looking at somebody’s raw numbers
> (be they CVE or anything else) is going to ask hard questions,
> especially when money is hard to come by.
> 
> Having said that, it bears mentioning that by design, there are always
> going to be fewer CVEs than there are “vulnerabilities” – it’s kinda one
> of the key features. JThere are also more players in the space than
> there were a few years ago, each of which has multiple incentives to
> publish more vulnerabilities than others.
> 
> Again, I am not saying there’s not a problem – we have to be able to
> answer honest questions such as the one Kent relayed. But we also have
> to be mindful of what are real, what counting problems exist in all
> vulnerability reporting sources, and what that means for CVE.

The questions remain IMO:

1. What level of abstraction is appropriate for CVE?

2. What level of completeness is appropriate for CVE?

How narrowly do we define "vulnerability," the thing to name/count?

Is there desire/need for an accurate count of vulnerabilities?  OSVDB
either abstracts a little more narrowly than CVE and/or collects more
vulnerabilities, so OSVDB has higher numbers.

If CVE or any other database were to try to name and count all publicly
disclosed vulnerabilities, it would be important to be able to
distinguish between a vulnerability that is one of a dozen XSS bugs in a
PHP web app and a vulnerability that is a straight up stack buffer
overflow in httpd.  Sure, count them all, but be able to say that out of
20K vulnerabilities named this year, 61% were XSS or SQLi in web apps
with low distribution.

I'm guessing at some numbers in the above example, but this is a big
reason IMO that CVE numbers have declined.  Vulnerabilities "worth
tracking with a CVE" have declined, not the total number of
vulnerabilities.  Another way to look at it might be that thee criteria
for "worth tracking with a CVE" has changed.

And we're not even talking about threat or asset values (both of which
have changed over time, and are different depending on your
site/assets), which influence risk.  So a decrease in CVE IDs has little
directly to do with internet risk overall.


 - Art


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On 2012-03-08 11:52 , Boyle, Stephen V. wrote:

> This might sound like splitting hairs, but how “vulnerabilities” are
> counted may well enter into this. I’m not claiming that CVE is keeping
> up – both Kent and others have correctly stated reasons and history that
> apply, and yeah, somebody who’s only looking at somebody’s raw numbers
> (be they CVE or anything else) is going to ask hard questions,
> especially when money is hard to come by.
> 
> Having said that, it bears mentioning that by design, there are always
> going to be fewer CVEs than there are “vulnerabilities” – it’s kinda one
> of the key features. JThere are also more players in the space than
> there were a few years ago, each of which has multiple incentives to
> publish more vulnerabilities than others.
> 
> Again, I am not saying there’s not a problem – we have to be able to
> answer honest questions such as the one Kent relayed. But we also have
> to be mindful of what are real, what counting problems exist in all
> vulnerability reporting sources, and what that means for CVE.

The questions remain IMO:

1. What level of abstraction is appropriate for CVE?

2. What level of completeness is appropriate for CVE?

How narrowly do we define "vulnerability," the thing to name/count?

Is there desire/need for an accurate count of vulnerabilities?  OSVDB
either abstracts a little more narrowly than CVE and/or collects more
vulnerabilities, so OSVDB has higher numbers.

If CVE or any other database were to try to name and count all publicly
disclosed vulnerabilities, it would be important to be able to
distinguish between a vulnerability that is one of a dozen XSS bugs in a
PHP web app and a vulnerability that is a straight up stack buffer
overflow in httpd.  Sure, count them all, but be able to say that out of
20K vulnerabilities named this year, 61% were XSS or SQLi in web apps
with low distribution.

I'm guessing at some numbers in the above example, but this is a big
reason IMO that CVE numbers have declined.  Vulnerabilities "worth
tracking with a CVE" have declined, not the total number of
vulnerabilities.  Another way to look at it might be that thee criteria
for "worth tracking with a CVE" has changed.

And we're not even talking about threat or asset values (both of which
have changed over time, and are different depending on your
site/assets), which influence risk.  So a decrease in CVE IDs has little
directly to do with internet risk overall.


 - Art


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Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
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In my understanding to this thread, Kent raises three main points: 
- The count of members who are of the set CVE (by the people who count
CVE)
- Technical Limitation of the CVE name (namespace boundary)
- The operational quality and quantity of resources within the CVE
counting process (how a CVE comes in to being)

The crux of the problem as a I see it goes something like this: if the
desire is for CVE to be canonical and primary for every vulnerability
reference on a global scale, it certainly is not resourced that way and
the operational resources to really success at this goal is unknown at
this time.    

Unless someone can argue otherwise, the growth limits with CVE counts
over the years has more to do with the process capacity to do the
counting and not the expansion of things to be counted.  If this
assertion is true, we have at least two choices: 

Option A- address the operational resources required to get to the
resolution required by the market to count these items.  There will
always be some tolerance because this can never be perfect.  Once
identified, some business model must be put in place to sustain growth
and quality.
Or 
Option B- create a more ontological model that considers CVE not the
primary or root but just another piece of metadata use to reify some
other assertion.  As a vendor, I can only control what I can control and
that is my own internal ID which are organizationally closed for my own
data integrity. 
nCircle-ID-667 -has-CVE-ID-> CVE-xxxx-xxxx
nCircle-ID-667 -has-CVE-v2-ID->
CVE-xxxx-xxxx-withextension-yyyy-for-future-format
nCircle-ID-667 -has-Secunia-ID-> Unique-Secunia-ID
nCircle-ID-667 -has-OSVDB-ID-> Unique-OSVDB-ID
(for those of you who know me, I would rather be working on a standard
ontological model that any vendor interoperate no matter what the
resolution or primary identifier.  The goal of interoperability should
be to compute syntactic or semantic equivalence )
Call me pragmatic but this is an example of what I have done, not asking
for anyone else to follow.  Just needed an example where CVE was not
primary but one of the inverse-functional-properties that can be used
for saying that this is the same as that (compute equivalence) 

Call me old and jaded but I just don't see how the CVE operational team
gets the resources they need to succeed when no one is really paying for
the quality or quantity of their efforts.  I mean this with the utmost
respect for that team since I know most of the members personally and
know the tireless hours they put in.  "NOW GET OFF MY LAWN!" :-)

--tk



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG
[mailto:owner-cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG] On Behalf Of Art
Manion
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 2:56 PM
To: Boyle, Stephen V.
Cc: cve-editorial-board-list
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs

On 2012-03-08 11:52 , Boyle, Stephen V. wrote:

> This might sound like splitting hairs, but how "vulnerabilities" are 
> counted may well enter into this. I'm not claiming that CVE is keeping

> up - both Kent and others have correctly stated reasons and history 
> that apply, and yeah, somebody who's only looking at somebody's raw 
> numbers (be they CVE or anything else) is going to ask hard questions,

> especially when money is hard to come by.
> 
> Having said that, it bears mentioning that by design, there are always

> going to be fewer CVEs than there are "vulnerabilities" - it's kinda 
> one of the key features. JThere are also more players in the space 
> than there were a few years ago, each of which has multiple incentives

> to publish more vulnerabilities than others.
> 
> Again, I am not saying there's not a problem - we have to be able to 
> answer honest questions such as the one Kent relayed. But we also have

> to be mindful of what are real, what counting problems exist in all 
> vulnerability reporting sources, and what that means for CVE.

The questions remain IMO:

1. What level of abstraction is appropriate for CVE?

2. What level of completeness is appropriate for CVE?

How narrowly do we define "vulnerability," the thing to name/count?

Is there desire/need for an accurate count of vulnerabilities?  OSVDB
either abstracts a little more narrowly than CVE and/or collects more
vulnerabilities, so OSVDB has higher numbers.

If CVE or any other database were to try to name and count all publicly
disclosed vulnerabilities, it would be important to be able to
distinguish between a vulnerability that is one of a dozen XSS bugs in a
PHP web app and a vulnerability that is a straight up stack buffer
overflow in httpd.  Sure, count them all, but be able to say that out of
20K vulnerabilities named this year, 61% were XSS or SQLi in web apps
with low distribution.

I'm guessing at some numbers in the above example, but this is a big
reason IMO that CVE numbers have declined.  Vulnerabilities "worth
tracking with a CVE" have declined, not the total number of
vulnerabilities.  Another way to look at it might be that thee criteria
for "worth tracking with a CVE" has changed.

And we're not even talking about threat or asset values (both of which
have changed over time, and are different depending on your
site/assets), which influence risk.  So a decrease in CVE IDs has little
directly to do with internet risk overall.


 - Art


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From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
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Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
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On Thu, 8 Mar 2012, Art Manion wrote:

: The questions remain IMO:
: 
: 1. What level of abstraction is appropriate for CVE?

Their current method of abstraction is appropriate. It is well defined and 
consistent.

: 2. What level of completeness is appropriate for CVE?

I don't think "appropriate" is relevant. I think everyone wants it to be 
"absolutely complete". For our business and research, that is the only 
appropriate completeness.

: Is there desire/need for an accurate count of vulnerabilities?  OSVDB 
: either abstracts a little more narrowly than CVE and/or collects more 
: vulnerabilities, so OSVDB has higher numbers.

OSVDB does both, but our abstraction is more than "a little more narrow". 
We abstract per vulnerability, where CVE will group similiar. So take a 
single CVE that lists 10 scripts vulnerable to SQL Injection, and we will 
create 10 entries. OSVDB abstracts more than any other VDB, but as I said, 
that is not always suitable depending on a person's needs.

: If CVE or any other database were to try to name and count all publicly 
: disclosed vulnerabilities, it would be important to be able to 
: distinguish between a vulnerability that is one of a dozen XSS bugs in a 
: PHP web app and a vulnerability that is a straight up stack buffer 
: overflow in httpd.  Sure, count them all, but be able to say that out of 
: 20K vulnerabilities named this year, 61% were XSS or SQLi in web apps 
: with low distribution.

In theory, that is where CVSS (or another classification scheme) could 
come in. Combined, that data could be used to pick out 'relevant' or 
more critical issues.

: I'm guessing at some numbers in the above example, but this is a big 
: reason IMO that CVE numbers have declined.  Vulnerabilities "worth 
: tracking with a CVE" have declined, not the total number of 
: vulnerabilities.  Another way to look at it might be that thee criteria 
: for "worth tracking with a CVE" has changed.

Based on my chats with CVE, I don't think it is that. I don't believe they 
shy away from an issue due to severity. I think that the issue is that CVE 
monitors a list of sources for vulnerabilities, and their resources do not 
permit them to look at more. For example, they monitor Bugtraq, but not 
Full-Disclosure. Over the years, many researchers have started posting to 
F-D without CCing Bugtraq (for a variety of reasons). Add to that sites 
like Exploit-DB and other exploit aggregation sites that aren't being 
monitored, and the numbers quickly explain themselves. OSVDB has a long 
list, but we don't have the resources to monitor all of them in a timely 
manner. We use a weighted system for checking them as time permits, so the 
ones we consider critical (ICS-CERT) get hit daily, but a changelog or bug 
tracker may get checked yearly at best.

From owner-cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG Fri Mar  9 17:07:36 2012
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From: "Mann, Dave" <damann@mitre.org>
To: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
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Kent et al,

Summarizing my take on the situation...

0) People use vulnerability data for statistics at their own peril.

1) CVE cannot solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  We can be a part of the solution, but not *THE* solution.

2) To think clearly about the global vulnerability reporting problem and CVE, we need to think about "sources" of vulnerability disclosures and who is going to process which sources.  The analogy here is: sources are to vulnerability reporting as jurisdictions are to law enforcement.

3) We, the CVE community, need to finish our discussion on which sources CVE will cover. And we will need to discuss how fast and how accurately those sources are covered.

4) Once we agree on which sources need to be covered, and how fast and how well, then we can talk about ways to close any gaps such as resources, process improvements, expanding the CNA process and crowd sourcing.


More verbose ramblings on these points follow...


1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE cannot do is solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  This was my position in the global vulnerability reporting discussions last fall and my convictions in this regard have only solidified based on discussions with Carsten at Secunia, more detailed discussions with the folks at JP-CERT and others in the international community.  The sets of vendors/products in play are too different, the relationships between software vendors and various national governments are too different, and of course, the language barriers are too big.  The discussions of the past 2 years on this subject have led me to conclude that when the CVE community set our goal of "all publicly known vulnerabilities" 12 years ago, we did so naively and with an incorrectly parochial view of the global software market.  There may or may not be a good solution to the global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by knitting together various regional capabilities.  

I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.  



2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if we talk about vendors and products.

The goal of law enforcement isn't to catch bad guys.  It's to create and sustain a law enforcement system that can effectively catch bad guys.  This is a critical distinction.   The first results in cops with guns running around pursuing bad guys with no regard to coordination and jurisdictional boundaries.  The latter takes seriously the idea of jurisdictional boundaries and uses this to create command and control systems to operate effectively within those boundaries.

In my opinion, we need to think in these terms regarding vulnerability reporting.  The only somewhat stable structure I can see that does this for us to think in terms of "sources" of vulnerability information.  So, instead of thinking about vendor X or the list of products produced by vendor X (all of the internationalized variants), we can talk about the English-based security bulletin web site run by vendor X.  That web site can be on the list of sites tracked by CVE or not.  The set of sources tracked by CVE become, effectively, CVE's jurisdiction.   This is the discussion we, as a Board, started last fall.

I can hear the groans of complaint already.  Vulnerabilities don't stay on a single set of sources.  Absolutely true.  In the same way, criminals don't stay in a single jurisdiction.  But we can't organize a police force around a single type of criminal or a particular gang and I see no way to structure a CVE-like capability around a set of vendors or products.   If other CVE-like capabilities emerge that can handle other sets of sources (different jurisdictions), I suggest we'll have to deal with vulnerabilities that cross jurisdictional boundaries in the same way that law enforcement types handle it.

If people can suggest other better ways to define jurisdictions (or swim lanes) I'm all ears.


3) CVE COVERAGE - This past fall, we had discussions on the Board list about what sources you all felt were "must-haves" and those you considered "nice-to-haves".  We're processing this internally and are considering what sources we're actually covering, to what extent and how fast.   We hope to present a summary of that in the next little while and I further expect that the summary will highlight some important gaps between our expectations and the realities.  We'll have more to talk about at that point.

In preparation for that discussion, I'll quote the sign that hangs on Steve Christey's office door.  Vulnerability IDs - Pick 2: Good, Fast, Cheap.

We'll need to talk about each of these dimensions more.


4) EVOLVING THE CVE PROCESS - The CVE ID assignment process has evolved over the past 12 years and will continue to evolve.  Once we gain some clarity on which sources we need to cover, how well we need to cover them and at what we speed, we as a community can discuss what, if any, changes are required of the current CVE production process. I believe that everything can be put on the table for discussion at that point, but we really need to agree on the goals in terms coverage.


0) STATISTICS - Statistics require stable social categories and stable social categories require stable shared practices.  I'm not going to shock anybody by suggesting that security practices in general, and vulnerability practices in particular are not stable.  In short, our field is too young.   

The best book on the subject that I know is "Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life" by Lampland and Star.  The discussion of how "calendar age" became a standard in everyday life and how the age classification processes of the US census bureau evolved is particularly germane to the question of vulnerability statistics.   

I have no idea how to communicate this sort of troubling truth to upper management types but strongly suggest the book to everyone on this list.  You can thank or blame TK when you see him next.  He's the one who suggested it to me.  ;) 


-Dave
==================================================================
David Mann | Principal Infosec Scientist | The MITRE Corporation
------------------------------------------------------------------
e-mail:damann@mitre.org | cell:781.424.6003
==================================================================


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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 17:27:59 -0500
From: Adam Shostack <adam@homeport.org>
To: "Mann, Dave" <damann@mitre.org>
CC: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs
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Dave (and all),

First, I'd like to suggest that these issues are complex, and require
more than the high-interrupt, delve-in-as-you-can attention that email
can bring. (I've had two people walk into my office as I type this.)
So I think the board should meet in person (unfortunately, we just
missed RSA as an opportunity) or with a monthly call with agendas to
work through some of these questions.  I think that email is too
narrow a mechanism for the issues.

Also, I'd like to respond to one of the things you say below:

> I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help
> facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting
> capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and
> can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available
> to others as possible

I think we should also talk about the goals and uses that CVE
addresses, and reinforce the value to defenders of having the
concordance functions.  The reason that there's tension is that
there's value, and we should look for ways to make those explicit.

Adam

On Fri, Mar 09, 2012 at 10:07:08PM +0000, Mann, Dave wrote:
| Kent et al,
| 
| Summarizing my take on the situation...
| 
| 0) People use vulnerability data for statistics at their own peril.
| 
| 1) CVE cannot solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  We can be a part of the solution, but not *THE* solution.
| 
| 2) To think clearly about the global vulnerability reporting problem and CVE, we need to think about "sources" of vulnerability disclosures and who is going to process which sources.  The analogy here is: sources are to vulnerability reporting as jurisdictions are to law enforcement.
| 
| 3) We, the CVE community, need to finish our discussion on which sources CVE will cover. And we will need to discuss how fast and how accurately those sources are covered.
| 
| 4) Once we agree on which sources need to be covered, and how fast and how well, then we can talk about ways to close any gaps such as resources, process improvements, expanding the CNA process and crowd sourcing.
| 
| 
| More verbose ramblings on these points follow...
| 
| 
| 1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE cannot do is solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  This was my position in the global vulnerability reporting discussions last fall and my convictions in this regard have only solidified based on discussions with Carsten at Secunia, more detailed discussions with the folks at JP-CERT and others in the international community.  The sets of vendors/products in play are too different, the relationships between software vendors and various national governments are too different, and of course, the language barriers are too big.  The discussions of the past 2 years on this subject have led me to conclude that when the CVE community set our goal of "all publicly known vulnerabilities" 12 years ago, we did so naively and with an incorrectly parochial view of the global software market.  There may or may not be a good solution to the global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by knitting together various regional capabilities.  
| 
| I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.  
| 
| 
| 
| 2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if we talk about vendors and products.
| 
| The goal of law enforcement isn't to catch bad guys.  It's to create and sustain a law enforcement system that can effectively catch bad guys.  This is a critical distinction.   The first results in cops with guns running around pursuing bad guys with no regard to coordination and jurisdictional boundaries.  The latter takes seriously the idea of jurisdictional boundaries and uses this to create command and control systems to operate effectively within those boundaries.
| 
| In my opinion, we need to think in these terms regarding vulnerability reporting.  The only somewhat stable structure I can see that does this for us to think in terms of "sources" of vulnerability information.  So, instead of thinking about vendor X or the list of products produced by vendor X (all of the internationalized variants), we can talk about the English-based security bulletin web site run by vendor X.  That web site can be on the list of sites tracked by CVE or not.  The set of sources tracked by CVE become, effectively, CVE's jurisdiction.   This is the discussion we, as a Board, started last fall.
| 
| I can hear the groans of complaint already.  Vulnerabilities don't stay on a single set of sources.  Absolutely true.  In the same way, criminals don't stay in a single jurisdiction.  But we can't organize a police force around a single type of criminal or a particular gang and I see no way to structure a CVE-like capability around a set of vendors or products.   If other CVE-like capabilities emerge that can handle other sets of sources (different jurisdictions), I suggest we'll have to deal with vulnerabilities that cross jurisdictional boundaries in the same way that law enforcement types handle it.
| 
| If people can suggest other better ways to define jurisdictions (or swim lanes) I'm all ears.
| 
| 
| 3) CVE COVERAGE - This past fall, we had discussions on the Board list about what sources you all felt were "must-haves" and those you considered "nice-to-haves".  We're processing this internally and are considering what sources we're actually covering, to what extent and how fast.   We hope to present a summary of that in the next little while and I further expect that the summary will highlight some important gaps between our expectations and the realities.  We'll have more to talk about at that point.
| 
| In preparation for that discussion, I'll quote the sign that hangs on Steve Christey's office door.  Vulnerability IDs - Pick 2: Good, Fast, Cheap.
| 
| We'll need to talk about each of these dimensions more.
| 
| 
| 4) EVOLVING THE CVE PROCESS - The CVE ID assignment process has evolved over the past 12 years and will continue to evolve.  Once we gain some clarity on which sources we need to cover, how well we need to cover them and at what we speed, we as a community can discuss what, if any, changes are required of the current CVE production process. I believe that everything can be put on the table for discussion at that point, but we really need to agree on the goals in terms coverage.
| 
| 
| 0) STATISTICS - Statistics require stable social categories and stable social categories require stable shared practices.  I'm not going to shock anybody by suggesting that security practices in general, and vulnerability practices in particular are not stable.  In short, our field is too young.   
| 
| The best book on the subject that I know is "Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life" by Lampland and Star.  The discussion of how "calendar age" became a standard in everyday life and how the age classification processes of the US census bureau evolved is particularly germane to the question of vulnerability statistics.   
| 
| I have no idea how to communicate this sort of troubling truth to upper management types but strongly suggest the book to everyone on this list.  You can thank or blame TK when you see him next.  He's the one who suggested it to me.  ;) 
| 
| 
| -Dave
| ==================================================================
| David Mann | Principal Infosec Scientist | The MITRE Corporation
| ------------------------------------------------------------------
| e-mail:damann@mitre.org | cell:781.424.6003
| ==================================================================


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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 17:27:59 -0500
From: Adam Shostack <adam@homeport.org>
To: "Mann, Dave" <damann@mitre.org>
CC: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
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Dave (and all),

First, I'd like to suggest that these issues are complex, and require
more than the high-interrupt, delve-in-as-you-can attention that email
can bring. (I've had two people walk into my office as I type this.)
So I think the board should meet in person (unfortunately, we just
missed RSA as an opportunity) or with a monthly call with agendas to
work through some of these questions.  I think that email is too
narrow a mechanism for the issues.

Also, I'd like to respond to one of the things you say below:

> I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help
> facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting
> capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and
> can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available
> to others as possible

I think we should also talk about the goals and uses that CVE
addresses, and reinforce the value to defenders of having the
concordance functions.  The reason that there's tension is that
there's value, and we should look for ways to make those explicit.

Adam

On Fri, Mar 09, 2012 at 10:07:08PM +0000, Mann, Dave wrote:
| Kent et al,
| 
| Summarizing my take on the situation...
| 
| 0) People use vulnerability data for statistics at their own peril.
| 
| 1) CVE cannot solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  We can be a part of the solution, but not *THE* solution.
| 
| 2) To think clearly about the global vulnerability reporting problem and CVE, we need to think about "sources" of vulnerability disclosures and who is going to process which sources.  The analogy here is: sources are to vulnerability reporting as jurisdictions are to law enforcement.
| 
| 3) We, the CVE community, need to finish our discussion on which sources CVE will cover. And we will need to discuss how fast and how accurately those sources are covered.
| 
| 4) Once we agree on which sources need to be covered, and how fast and how well, then we can talk about ways to close any gaps such as resources, process improvements, expanding the CNA process and crowd sourcing.
| 
| 
| More verbose ramblings on these points follow...
| 
| 
| 1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE cannot do is solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  This was my position in the global vulnerability reporting discussions last fall and my convictions in this regard have only solidified based on discussions with Carsten at Secunia, more detailed discussions with the folks at JP-CERT and others in the international community.  The sets of vendors/products in play are too different, the relationships between software vendors and various national governments are too different, and of course, the language barriers are too big.  The discussions of the past 2 years on this subject have led me to conclude that when the CVE community set our goal of "all publicly known vulnerabilities" 12 years ago, we did so naively and with an incorrectly parochial view of the global software market.  There may or may not be a good solution to the global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by knitting together various regional capabilities.  
| 
| I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.  
| 
| 
| 
| 2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if we talk about vendors and products.
| 
| The goal of law enforcement isn't to catch bad guys.  It's to create and sustain a law enforcement system that can effectively catch bad guys.  This is a critical distinction.   The first results in cops with guns running around pursuing bad guys with no regard to coordination and jurisdictional boundaries.  The latter takes seriously the idea of jurisdictional boundaries and uses this to create command and control systems to operate effectively within those boundaries.
| 
| In my opinion, we need to think in these terms regarding vulnerability reporting.  The only somewhat stable structure I can see that does this for us to think in terms of "sources" of vulnerability information.  So, instead of thinking about vendor X or the list of products produced by vendor X (all of the internationalized variants), we can talk about the English-based security bulletin web site run by vendor X.  That web site can be on the list of sites tracked by CVE or not.  The set of sources tracked by CVE become, effectively, CVE's jurisdiction.   This is the discussion we, as a Board, started last fall.
| 
| I can hear the groans of complaint already.  Vulnerabilities don't stay on a single set of sources.  Absolutely true.  In the same way, criminals don't stay in a single jurisdiction.  But we can't organize a police force around a single type of criminal or a particular gang and I see no way to structure a CVE-like capability around a set of vendors or products.   If other CVE-like capabilities emerge that can handle other sets of sources (different jurisdictions), I suggest we'll have to deal with vulnerabilities that cross jurisdictional boundaries in the same way that law enforcement types handle it.
| 
| If people can suggest other better ways to define jurisdictions (or swim lanes) I'm all ears.
| 
| 
| 3) CVE COVERAGE - This past fall, we had discussions on the Board list about what sources you all felt were "must-haves" and those you considered "nice-to-haves".  We're processing this internally and are considering what sources we're actually covering, to what extent and how fast.   We hope to present a summary of that in the next little while and I further expect that the summary will highlight some important gaps between our expectations and the realities.  We'll have more to talk about at that point.
| 
| In preparation for that discussion, I'll quote the sign that hangs on Steve Christey's office door.  Vulnerability IDs - Pick 2: Good, Fast, Cheap.
| 
| We'll need to talk about each of these dimensions more.
| 
| 
| 4) EVOLVING THE CVE PROCESS - The CVE ID assignment process has evolved over the past 12 years and will continue to evolve.  Once we gain some clarity on which sources we need to cover, how well we need to cover them and at what we speed, we as a community can discuss what, if any, changes are required of the current CVE production process. I believe that everything can be put on the table for discussion at that point, but we really need to agree on the goals in terms coverage.
| 
| 
| 0) STATISTICS - Statistics require stable social categories and stable social categories require stable shared practices.  I'm not going to shock anybody by suggesting that security practices in general, and vulnerability practices in particular are not stable.  In short, our field is too young.   
| 
| The best book on the subject that I know is "Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life" by Lampland and Star.  The discussion of how "calendar age" became a standard in everyday life and how the age classification processes of the US census bureau evolved is particularly germane to the question of vulnerability statistics.   
| 
| I have no idea how to communicate this sort of troubling truth to upper management types but strongly suggest the book to everyone on this list.  You can thank or blame TK when you see him next.  He's the one who suggested it to me.  ;) 
| 
| 
| -Dave
| ==================================================================
| David Mann | Principal Infosec Scientist | The MITRE Corporation
| ------------------------------------------------------------------
| e-mail:damann@mitre.org | cell:781.424.6003
| ==================================================================


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From: Russ Cooper <Russ.Cooper@rc.on.ca>
To: Adam Shostack <adam@homeport.org>, "Mann, Dave" <damann@mitre.org>
CC: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Topic: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Index: Acz8m8+LlLUxyYyKRByHw3mzYu98zABik+BgABHq4IAABymxcA==
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:15:01 +0000
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            <2F43C4D2BE8AD24C8AC17D8C64B379B30F9B16@IMCMBX01.MITRE.ORG>
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I never thought CVE would ever be used as intended. As I remember it, it was intended to get all "vendors"  to call a spade a spade. If it worked, U.S gov't would be able to look at a spade called fifteen different things as a single issue, and in so doing, save a lot of money/resources/time.

There has, unfortunately, always been one insurmountable problem...my spade is better than your spade. Which, unfortunately, isn't simply a matter of detection. Seeing as a "spade" means a lot of different things, and vendors differentiate themselves on what they can do with the same CVE, is it not reasonable to understand that CVE has actually been counter-productive to its original intent?

To put it more succinctly, government wanted every vendor see report the same issues, but in enumerating those issue they forced vendors to do more with them.

When the "E" in CVE meant "Enumeration" there was a goal which government would benefit from. If it's not about coming up with a finite list of issues that need to be considered or tested, the I wonder why Government cares, or will pay for insight into...

Cheers,
Russ

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org [mailto:owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org] On Behalf Of Adam Shostack
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 5:28 PM
To: Mann, Dave
Cc: cve-editorial-board-list
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs

Dave (and all),

First, I'd like to suggest that these issues are complex, and require
more than the high-interrupt, delve-in-as-you-can attention that email
can bring. (I've had two people walk into my office as I type this.)
So I think the board should meet in person (unfortunately, we just
missed RSA as an opportunity) or with a monthly call with agendas to
work through some of these questions.  I think that email is too
narrow a mechanism for the issues.

Also, I'd like to respond to one of the things you say below:

> I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help
> facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting
> capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and
> can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available
> to others as possible

I think we should also talk about the goals and uses that CVE
addresses, and reinforce the value to defenders of having the
concordance functions.  The reason that there's tension is that
there's value, and we should look for ways to make those explicit.

Adam

On Fri, Mar 09, 2012 at 10:07:08PM +0000, Mann, Dave wrote:
| Kent et al,
| 
| Summarizing my take on the situation...
| 
| 0) People use vulnerability data for statistics at their own peril.
| 
| 1) CVE cannot solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  We can be a part of the solution, but not *THE* solution.
| 
| 2) To think clearly about the global vulnerability reporting problem and CVE, we need to think about "sources" of vulnerability disclosures and who is going to process which sources.  The analogy here is: sources are to vulnerability reporting as jurisdictions are to law enforcement.
| 
| 3) We, the CVE community, need to finish our discussion on which sources CVE will cover. And we will need to discuss how fast and how accurately those sources are covered.
| 
| 4) Once we agree on which sources need to be covered, and how fast and how well, then we can talk about ways to close any gaps such as resources, process improvements, expanding the CNA process and crowd sourcing.
| 
| 
| More verbose ramblings on these points follow...
| 
| 
| 1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE cannot do is solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  This was my position in the global vulnerability reporting discussions last fall and my convictions in this regard have only solidified based on discussions with Carsten at Secunia, more detailed discussions with the folks at JP-CERT and others in the international community.  The sets of vendors/products in play are too different, the relationships between software vendors and various national governments are too different, and of course, the language barriers are too big.  The discussions of the past 2 years on this subject have led me to conclude that when the CVE community set our goal of "all publicly known vulnerabilities" 12 years ago, we did so naively and with an incorrectly parochial view of the global software market.  There may or may not be a good solution to the global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by knitting together various regional capabilities.  
| 
| I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.  
| 
| 
| 
| 2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if we talk about vendors and products.
| 
| The goal of law enforcement isn't to catch bad guys.  It's to create and sustain a law enforcement system that can effectively catch bad guys.  This is a critical distinction.   The first results in cops with guns running around pursuing bad guys with no regard to coordination and jurisdictional boundaries.  The latter takes seriously the idea of jurisdictional boundaries and uses this to create command and control systems to operate effectively within those boundaries.
| 
| In my opinion, we need to think in these terms regarding vulnerability reporting.  The only somewhat stable structure I can see that does this for us to think in terms of "sources" of vulnerability information.  So, instead of thinking about vendor X or the list of products produced by vendor X (all of the internationalized variants), we can talk about the English-based security bulletin web site run by vendor X.  That web site can be on the list of sites tracked by CVE or not.  The set of sources tracked by CVE become, effectively, CVE's jurisdiction.   This is the discussion we, as a Board, started last fall.
| 
| I can hear the groans of complaint already.  Vulnerabilities don't stay on a single set of sources.  Absolutely true.  In the same way, criminals don't stay in a single jurisdiction.  But we can't organize a police force around a single type of criminal or a particular gang and I see no way to structure a CVE-like capability around a set of vendors or products.   If other CVE-like capabilities emerge that can handle other sets of sources (different jurisdictions), I suggest we'll have to deal with vulnerabilities that cross jurisdictional boundaries in the same way that law enforcement types handle it.
| 
| If people can suggest other better ways to define jurisdictions (or swim lanes) I'm all ears.
| 
| 
| 3) CVE COVERAGE - This past fall, we had discussions on the Board list about what sources you all felt were "must-haves" and those you considered "nice-to-haves".  We're processing this internally and are considering what sources we're actually covering, to what extent and how fast.   We hope to present a summary of that in the next little while and I further expect that the summary will highlight some important gaps between our expectations and the realities.  We'll have more to talk about at that point.
| 
| In preparation for that discussion, I'll quote the sign that hangs on Steve Christey's office door.  Vulnerability IDs - Pick 2: Good, Fast, Cheap.
| 
| We'll need to talk about each of these dimensions more.
| 
| 
| 4) EVOLVING THE CVE PROCESS - The CVE ID assignment process has evolved over the past 12 years and will continue to evolve.  Once we gain some clarity on which sources we need to cover, how well we need to cover them and at what we speed, we as a community can discuss what, if any, changes are required of the current CVE production process. I believe that everything can be put on the table for discussion at that point, but we really need to agree on the goals in terms coverage.
| 
| 
| 0) STATISTICS - Statistics require stable social categories and stable social categories require stable shared practices.  I'm not going to shock anybody by suggesting that security practices in general, and vulnerability practices in particular are not stable.  In short, our field is too young.   
| 
| The best book on the subject that I know is "Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life" by Lampland and Star.  The discussion of how "calendar age" became a standard in everyday life and how the age classification processes of the US census bureau evolved is particularly germane to the question of vulnerability statistics.   
| 
| I have no idea how to communicate this sort of troubling truth to upper management types but strongly suggest the book to everyone on this list.  You can thank or blame TK when you see him next.  He's the one who suggested it to me.  ;) 
| 
| 
| -Dave
| ==================================================================
| David Mann | Principal Infosec Scientist | The MITRE Corporation
| ------------------------------------------------------------------
| e-mail:damann@mitre.org | cell:781.424.6003
| ==================================================================


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From: Russ Cooper <Russ.Cooper@rc.on.ca>
To: Adam Shostack <adam@homeport.org>, "Mann, Dave" <damann@mitre.org>
CC: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Topic: Counting on CVEs
Thread-Index: Acz8m8+LlLUxyYyKRByHw3mzYu98zABik+BgABHq4IAABymxcA==
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:15:01 +0000
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I never thought CVE would ever be used as intended. As I remember it, it was intended to get all "vendors"  to call a spade a spade. If it worked, U.S gov't would be able to look at a spade called fifteen different things as a single issue, and in so doing, save a lot of money/resources/time.

There has, unfortunately, always been one insurmountable problem...my spade is better than your spade. Which, unfortunately, isn't simply a matter of detection. Seeing as a "spade" means a lot of different things, and vendors differentiate themselves on what they can do with the same CVE, is it not reasonable to understand that CVE has actually been counter-productive to its original intent?

To put it more succinctly, government wanted every vendor see report the same issues, but in enumerating those issue they forced vendors to do more with them.

When the "E" in CVE meant "Enumeration" there was a goal which government would benefit from. If it's not about coming up with a finite list of issues that need to be considered or tested, the I wonder why Government cares, or will pay for insight into...

Cheers,
Russ

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org [mailto:owner-cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org] On Behalf Of Adam Shostack
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 5:28 PM
To: Mann, Dave
Cc: cve-editorial-board-list
Subject: Re: Counting on CVEs

Dave (and all),

First, I'd like to suggest that these issues are complex, and require
more than the high-interrupt, delve-in-as-you-can attention that email
can bring. (I've had two people walk into my office as I type this.)
So I think the board should meet in person (unfortunately, we just
missed RSA as an opportunity) or with a monthly call with agendas to
work through some of these questions.  I think that email is too
narrow a mechanism for the issues.

Also, I'd like to respond to one of the things you say below:

> I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help
> facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting
> capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and
> can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available
> to others as possible

I think we should also talk about the goals and uses that CVE
addresses, and reinforce the value to defenders of having the
concordance functions.  The reason that there's tension is that
there's value, and we should look for ways to make those explicit.

Adam

On Fri, Mar 09, 2012 at 10:07:08PM +0000, Mann, Dave wrote:
| Kent et al,
| 
| Summarizing my take on the situation...
| 
| 0) People use vulnerability data for statistics at their own peril.
| 
| 1) CVE cannot solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  We can be a part of the solution, but not *THE* solution.
| 
| 2) To think clearly about the global vulnerability reporting problem and CVE, we need to think about "sources" of vulnerability disclosures and who is going to process which sources.  The analogy here is: sources are to vulnerability reporting as jurisdictions are to law enforcement.
| 
| 3) We, the CVE community, need to finish our discussion on which sources CVE will cover. And we will need to discuss how fast and how accurately those sources are covered.
| 
| 4) Once we agree on which sources need to be covered, and how fast and how well, then we can talk about ways to close any gaps such as resources, process improvements, expanding the CNA process and crowd sourcing.
| 
| 
| More verbose ramblings on these points follow...
| 
| 
| 1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE cannot do is solve the global vulnerability reporting problem.  This was my position in the global vulnerability reporting discussions last fall and my convictions in this regard have only solidified based on discussions with Carsten at Secunia, more detailed discussions with the folks at JP-CERT and others in the international community.  The sets of vendors/products in play are too different, the relationships between software vendors and various national governments are too different, and of course, the language barriers are too big.  The discussions of the past 2 years on this subject have led me to conclude that when the CVE community set our goal of "all publicly known vulnerabilities" 12 years ago, we did so naively and with an incorrectly parochial view of the global software market.  There may or may not be a good solution to the global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by knitting together various regional capabilities.  
| 
| I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.  
| 
| 
| 
| 2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if we talk about vendors and products.
| 
| The goal of law enforcement isn't to catch bad guys.  It's to create and sustain a law enforcement system that can effectively catch bad guys.  This is a critical distinction.   The first results in cops with guns running around pursuing bad guys with no regard to coordination and jurisdictional boundaries.  The latter takes seriously the idea of jurisdictional boundaries and uses this to create command and control systems to operate effectively within those boundaries.
| 
| In my opinion, we need to think in these terms regarding vulnerability reporting.  The only somewhat stable structure I can see that does this for us to think in terms of "sources" of vulnerability information.  So, instead of thinking about vendor X or the list of products produced by vendor X (all of the internationalized variants), we can talk about the English-based security bulletin web site run by vendor X.  That web site can be on the list of sites tracked by CVE or not.  The set of sources tracked by CVE become, effectively, CVE's jurisdiction.   This is the discussion we, as a Board, started last fall.
| 
| I can hear the groans of complaint already.  Vulnerabilities don't stay on a single set of sources.  Absolutely true.  In the same way, criminals don't stay in a single jurisdiction.  But we can't organize a police force around a single type of criminal or a particular gang and I see no way to structure a CVE-like capability around a set of vendors or products.   If other CVE-like capabilities emerge that can handle other sets of sources (different jurisdictions), I suggest we'll have to deal with vulnerabilities that cross jurisdictional boundaries in the same way that law enforcement types handle it.
| 
| If people can suggest other better ways to define jurisdictions (or swim lanes) I'm all ears.
| 
| 
| 3) CVE COVERAGE - This past fall, we had discussions on the Board list about what sources you all felt were "must-haves" and those you considered "nice-to-haves".  We're processing this internally and are considering what sources we're actually covering, to what extent and how fast.   We hope to present a summary of that in the next little while and I further expect that the summary will highlight some important gaps between our expectations and the realities.  We'll have more to talk about at that point.
| 
| In preparation for that discussion, I'll quote the sign that hangs on Steve Christey's office door.  Vulnerability IDs - Pick 2: Good, Fast, Cheap.
| 
| We'll need to talk about each of these dimensions more.
| 
| 
| 4) EVOLVING THE CVE PROCESS - The CVE ID assignment process has evolved over the past 12 years and will continue to evolve.  Once we gain some clarity on which sources we need to cover, how well we need to cover them and at what we speed, we as a community can discuss what, if any, changes are required of the current CVE production process. I believe that everything can be put on the table for discussion at that point, but we really need to agree on the goals in terms coverage.
| 
| 
| 0) STATISTICS - Statistics require stable social categories and stable social categories require stable shared practices.  I'm not going to shock anybody by suggesting that security practices in general, and vulnerability practices in particular are not stable.  In short, our field is too young.   
| 
| The best book on the subject that I know is "Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life" by Lampland and Star.  The discussion of how "calendar age" became a standard in everyday life and how the age classification processes of the US census bureau evolved is particularly germane to the question of vulnerability statistics.   
| 
| I have no idea how to communicate this sort of troubling truth to upper management types but strongly suggest the book to everyone on this list.  You can thank or blame TK when you see him next.  He's the one who suggested it to me.  ;) 
| 
| 
| -Dave
| ==================================================================
| David Mann | Principal Infosec Scientist | The MITRE Corporation
| ------------------------------------------------------------------
| e-mail:damann@mitre.org | cell:781.424.6003
| ==================================================================


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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 20:51:22 -0600
From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
To: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
Subject: RE: Counting on CVEs
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Couple of responses to Dave's points, and one new one for consideration 
(that may deserve it's own thread).

On Fri, 9 Mar 2012, Mann, Dave wrote:

: 1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE 

: global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of 
: is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by 
: knitting together various regional capabilities.

Definitely.

: I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help 
: facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability 
: is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try 
: to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.

Agreed. I think this will be in the form of announcing what vulnerability 
disclosure sources are monitored at the very least. After that, perhaps an 
average time it takes to issue an identifier after disclosure.

The other thing to consider is that if the regional entities share exports 
of references, it would be considerably easier to do matching. One thing 
OSVDB has done for vendors that wanted was to exchange such dumps. We'd 
provide a list of OSVDB - CVE - Secunia - BID - XSS cross references, they 
would provide a list of CVE - internal_id references. Each side could then 
import the other's data set to add a new set of references. OSVDB did this 
for example with Tenable for both Nessus and PVS. In a matter of hours, 
OSVDB could reference some 5,000 PVS references along with 40,000+ Nessus 
references.

Think of this on a bigger scale. If CVE and JP-CERT do that, and CVE 
shares with OSVDB, and OSVDB and Secunia swap data sets frequently, then 
each VDB and regional entity would have a solid framework that achieves 
two things:

1. They have good cross-references, which helps avoid duplicate 
assignments.

2. Each entity has a concise list of CVE (or any other shared ID) that are 
*not* in their database, and they can investigate why.

: 2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on 
: the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit 
: about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if 
: we talk about vendors and products.

Totally spitballing here:

With the creation of so many other VDBs that do daily monitoring, perhaps 
CVE should dramatically change the focus. Rather than trying to monitor a 
percentage of disclosure sources, why not monitor a handful off VDBs? By 
watching Secunia, BID, and ISS, CVE could create an entry with a certain 
level of confidence (especially if monitoring Secunia). Further, they 
could have the original disclosure and three VDB references with each CVE 
coming out of the gate. In turn, each of those VDBs can scrape CVE and 
import the assignment since their ID is already in the mix.

In short, CVE could become a different style of meta-VDB.

--

The other point I have brought up privately, and publicly to some degree, 
is the CVE / NVD relationship. I know the following is kind of a unicorn 
at best, because of government bureaucracy, but I think it would be 
considerably better for the industry and those that use CVE.

NVD needs to go away. Completely. The money they receive from NIST should 
be re-assigned to CVE. Hell, the existing contract could stay in place so 
very little is actually changed. For those not aware, NVD outsources the 
CVSS scoring to Booze-Allen junior analysts. The only real value NVD 
brings to the table, that so many rely on them for, is CVSS scoring. 
Having those same analysts report to MITRE instead of NIST would eliminate 
another issue many in the industry have, that being the extra day or three 
delay between CVE assignment and CVSS scoring. If CVE had those analysts, 
they could get a score affiliated with a CVE assignment that much quicker, 
not have to go through the daily push of data to NVD who then pushes it on 
to BA.

Again, its the government, two agencies and two contractors that make up 
the mess of funding and actual work. I know it is a small miracle to make 
big changes like that (on paper).

.b

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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 20:51:22 -0600
From: security curmudgeon <jericho@attrition.org>
To: cve-editorial-board-list <cve-editorial-board-list@LISTS.MITRE.ORG>
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Couple of responses to Dave's points, and one new one for consideration 
(that may deserve it's own thread).

On Fri, 9 Mar 2012, Mann, Dave wrote:

: 1) GLOBAL VULNERABILITY REPORTING - In my opinion, one thing that CVE 

: global vulnerability reporting problem.  But one thing I'm very sure of 
: is that this solution, if it exists, will need to evolve organically by 
: knitting together various regional capabilities.

Definitely.

: I think the best thing that we, the CVE community, can do to help 
: facilitate the emergence of a global vulnerability reporting capability 
: is to be able to speak clearly about what we can and can't do and to try 
: to make as many of our lessons learned available to others as possible.

Agreed. I think this will be in the form of announcing what vulnerability 
disclosure sources are monitored at the very least. After that, perhaps an 
average time it takes to issue an identifier after disclosure.

The other thing to consider is that if the regional entities share exports 
of references, it would be considerably easier to do matching. One thing 
OSVDB has done for vendors that wanted was to exchange such dumps. We'd 
provide a list of OSVDB - CVE - Secunia - BID - XSS cross references, they 
would provide a list of CVE - internal_id references. Each side could then 
import the other's data set to add a new set of references. OSVDB did this 
for example with Tenable for both Nessus and PVS. In a matter of hours, 
OSVDB could reference some 5,000 PVS references along with 40,000+ Nessus 
references.

Think of this on a bigger scale. If CVE and JP-CERT do that, and CVE 
shares with OSVDB, and OSVDB and Secunia swap data sets frequently, then 
each VDB and regional entity would have a solid framework that achieves 
two things:

1. They have good cross-references, which helps avoid duplicate 
assignments.

2. Each entity has a concise list of CVE (or any other shared ID) that are 
*not* in their database, and they can investigate why.

: 2) VULNERABILITY SOURCES - We've talked internally at great length on 
: the subject of vendors, products and sources.  We've also talked a bit 
: about this as a Board.  In my opinion, we'll drive ourselves bonkers if 
: we talk about vendors and products.

Totally spitballing here:

With the creation of so many other VDBs that do daily monitoring, perhaps 
CVE should dramatically change the focus. Rather than trying to monitor a 
percentage of disclosure sources, why not monitor a handful off VDBs? By 
watching Secunia, BID, and ISS, CVE could create an entry with a certain 
level of confidence (especially if monitoring Secunia). Further, they 
could have the original disclosure and three VDB references with each CVE 
coming out of the gate. In turn, each of those VDBs can scrape CVE and 
import the assignment since their ID is already in the mix.

In short, CVE could become a different style of meta-VDB.

--

The other point I have brought up privately, and publicly to some degree, 
is the CVE / NVD relationship. I know the following is kind of a unicorn 
at best, because of government bureaucracy, but I think it would be 
considerably better for the industry and those that use CVE.

NVD needs to go away. Completely. The money they receive from NIST should 
be re-assigned to CVE. Hell, the existing contract could stay in place so 
very little is actually changed. For those not aware, NVD outsources the 
CVSS scoring to Booze-Allen junior analysts. The only real value NVD 
brings to the table, that so many rely on them for, is CVSS scoring. 
Having those same analysts report to MITRE instead of NIST would eliminate 
another issue many in the industry have, that being the extra day or three 
delay between CVE assignment and CVSS scoring. If CVE had those analysts, 
they could get a score affiliated with a CVE assignment that much quicker, 
not have to go through the daily push of data to NVD who then pushes it on 
to BA.

Again, its the government, two agencies and two contractors that make up 
the mess of funding and actual work. I know it is a small miracle to make 
big changes like that (on paper).

.b


 
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