Monthly Archives: July, 2007

OSVDB @ BlackHat/Defcon

Once again many OSVDB members will be in Vegas for Blackhat and Defcon. We are planning a dinner and several small meetings to discuss the OSVDB project and future plans. If you are interested then please get in touch with one of the moderators so that we can trade contact information.

See you in Vegas!

OSVDB Search Tips & Tricks

I should have started a series of these posts long ago. One of the more frustrating parts of most VDBs is the lack of a helpful search function. Searching for some products (SharePoint) is easy enough, as the name is distinct and not likely to find many matches. If you happen to know the script affected (logout.php), that too can make the search fast and painless. However, what if you want to list all vulnerabilities in PHP?

CVE: searching for “” yields 0 matches, while searching for “php” gets 2896 BID: search by vendor, PHP ISS: advanced search, “” will find most, but also include non PHP vulnerabilities SecurityTracker: search “” will find some, but a world of additional threads/advisories Secunia: search “”, pick a PHP vulnerability, click the software link, click vendor link, click the 6 links below corresponding to the major versions

If OSVDB had a complete data set, you could search fairly easily off the vendor name due to our vendor dictionary and listing associated products. Until then, one tip is to search references for “” to pull up a list of all PHP native vulnerabilities. This won’t work for most vendors, but for the bigger vendors we’re trying to standardize our entries and references to facilitate easier searches.

If you know the specific GUID (e.g. 3d742890-397c-11cf-9bf1-00805f88cb72) related to an advisory, or some other odd number or unique identifier, try searching the reference for it. This also goes for advisory identification numbers. Again, the data set is far from complete but we’re trying!

Many years ago I opened a ticket to create a new feature that allowed one to search for vulnerabilities by associated port. Curious what vulnerabilities are related to TCP port 1234 or UDP port 5432? No problem! Until we can get more developers on board and knock out some of these projects, search reference for “tcp port 1234” or “udp port 5432”.

Hopefully, more search tips to come.

This blog is pretty!

Ran across a post on Dancho Danchev’s blog about information visualization. I’ve seen these types of graphical renderings/representations of everything from “the internet” to web sites. In the past they have been part of presentations or been created with tools that weren’t public. Now, Texone is offering an online applet that will render an image based on your site. Putting in “” and letting it go for a while created this pretty picture. To be fair, it crawled well past OSVDB. I don’t think we’re pretty by ourselves.


Scrubbing the Source Data

A few months ago, Jeff Jones at CSO Online blogged about “Scrubbing the Source Data”, talking about the challenges of using vulnerability data for analysis. Part 1 examined using the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) showing how you can’t blindly rely on the data from VDBs. In his examples he shows that using the data to examine Windows is probably fairly accurate, yet examining Apple is less so and Ubuntu Linux is basically not possible. Unfortunately, there isn’t a part two to the series (yet) as implied by the title and introduction. Jones concludes the post:

Given these accuracy levels for vulnerabilities after the vendor has acknowledged it and provided a fix, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to also conclude that using this data to analyze unpatched data would be equally challenging. Finally, I think this exercise helps demonstrate that anyone leveraging public data sources needs to have a good understanding of both the strengths and the weaknesses that any given data source may have, with respect to what one is trying to analyze or measure, and include steps in their methodology that accomodates accordingly.


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