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My Little CVE Bot, (Thu, May 18th)

The massive spread of the WannaCry ransomware last Friday was another good proof that many organisations still fail to patch their systems. Everybody admits that patching is a boring task. They are many constraints that make this process very difficult to implement and… apply!Thats why any help is welcome to know what to patch and when. This is the key:

  • What to patch? What are the applications/appliancesthat are deployed in your infrastructure?
  • When to patch? When are new vulnerabilities discovered?

The classification of vulnerabilities is based on the CVE (or Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) standard maintained by[1]. To explain briefly, when a security researcher or a security firm finds a new vulnerability, a CVE number is assigned to it (CVE-YYYY-NNNNN). The CVE contains all the details of the vulnerability (which application/system is affected, the severity and many more information). As an example, the vulnerability exploited by WannaCry was %%cve:2017-0143%%.

Those CVE are stored in open databases and many organisations are using them and provide online services like[2]. There are plenty of them that offer almost all the same features but they don width:700px” />

Based on cve-search, I can provide details about new CVEs to my customers or any other organisationsjust by querying the database. Indeed, reading the daily flow of CVE is difficult and useless for many people. They have to focus on what affect them. To help them, Im using a quick padding:5px 10px”>
email_contact | days_to_check | output_format | product_definition [ | product_definition ] …

The script will parse this config file and search for new CVE for each product definition. Results will be sent via email to the specified address.

As I width:700px” />

Of course, the main requirement is to know what you are using on your infrastructure. The information used in the config file describes the products is based on the CPE standard[6] which categorisesapplications, operating systems and hardware devices. This information can be found byNmap. An alternative is touse the following tool on your own network (only!): cve-scan[7]. It scans hosts and searches for vulnerabilities in thecve-search database.

My script is available on my GitHubrepository[5].


Xavier Mertens (@xme)
ISC Handler – Freelance Security Consultant

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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