Tag Archives: Flexera

CISO Forum and the problems of Vulnerability Databases

Last Tuesday, April 24,  I was at “CISO FORUM 2020: glance to the future“. I presented there my report “Vulnerability Databases: sifting thousands tons of verbal ore”. In this post, I’ll briefly talk about this report and about the event itself.

CISO Forum 2020

My speech was the last in the program. At the same time, in a parallel stream, there was another interesting presentation by the most famous Russian information security blogger. Thus, there was a real danger of speaking in an empty room. 🙂 But everything went well. There were about 30 spectators and we had an active QA session afterwards.

As I wrote earlier, I started preparing my CyberCentral presentation several months before the event. I did not want to tell the same story again at CISO Forum and PHDays. So I prepared 2 different presentations. At CyberCentral, I was talking about Vulnerability Scanners. And at CISO Forum I was talking mainly about Vulnerable Databases. Of course, I reused some materials, but the accents were different.

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Divination with Vulnerability Database

Today I would like to write about a popular type of “security research” that really drives me crazy: when author takes public Vulnerability Base and, by analyzing it, makes different conclusions about software products or operating systems.

CVE Numbers their occult power and mystic virtues

The latest research of such type, was recently published in CNews – a popular Russian Internet portal about IT technologies. It is titled ““The brutal reality” of Information Security market: security software leads in the number of holes“.

The article is based on Flexera/Secunia whitepaper. The main idea is that various security software products are insecure, because of amount of vulnerability IDs related to this software existing in Flexera Vulnerability Database. In fact, the whole article is just a listing of such “unsafe” products and vendors (IBM Security, AlienVault USM and OSSIM, Palo Alto, McAfee, Juniper, etc.) and the expert commentary: cybercriminals may use vulnerabilities in security products and avoid blocking their IP-address; customers should focus on the security of their proprietary code first of all, and then include security products in the protection scheme.

What can I say about these opuses of this kind?

They provide “good” practices for software vendors:

  • Hide information about vulnerabilities in your products
  • Don’t release any security bulletins
  • Don’t request CVE-numbers from MITRE for known vulnerabilities in your products

And then analysts and journalists won’t write that your product is “a leader in the number of security holes”. Profit! 😉

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